Written by: Billyle Alman
We believe in the playing ability of Lucas Rosendall. He has already made his impact on this team, and we believe he will get many opportunities for this club down the road, but if this club will be without Francis Atuahene and Mohammed Zakyi on Friday, we think they should consider playing 4-4-2.
Although a 4-3-3 formation makes sense to keep players familiar with the desired system, it can only work with a target #9 or a striker that can get in behind the defense. This example shows a 4-4-2 option with the current bodies we’ve had available (Cerda missing as well).
Conceding 1 goal in two matches, one of which included overtime, has the defense in good graces thus far. Monday’s match saw an extended opportunity for Peter Brown in the back line as well. His physicality and experience doesn’t bother us at all, we just prefer Mukuna and Samake together, when healthy.
This blog’s most known bias comes in the form of Robbie Mertz. Robbie has been solid and quick as ever through two contests, but this captain is due for a breakout game in 2017. Note, he had an MVP performance in the exhibition vs Green Bay on August 19th, but if this club is to be without some of its preferred talent on Friday night, we are looking for Mertz to pick up some of the offensive slack.
1-1 on the season thus far for the visiting Vikings, of Cleveland State. With what some would consider a softer exhibition and early season schedule, this group is of no shortage of results if you consider their 3-0 preseason slate. This group returns some real experience in their lineup and will face their first big time test here in Ann Arbor, Friday night.
Players to watch include All-Horizon Senior midfielder, Alec Nagucki, who sits pretty deep as a box to box #6. They return a proven goalkeeper in Sebastian Kalk, and will look for offense from sophomore Lawrence Karpeh.
This club has always placed in the better half of the table in the competitive Horizon League, and the Wolverines should look to apply pressure early. As we saw with Valpo, letting a visiting club build confidence and optimism at halftime can turn a game upside down. Michigan will look for a home field advantage that should feature the first match with serious Michigan Ultra supporter numbers.
Most recently, CSU fell to Bowling Green 0-2, though they outshot their opponents in attempts and shots on goal. With BGSU only sending 10 total shots, two of which resulting in goals, the Wolverine plan should include as many early shots as possible. Look for Michigan to test Cleveland State early, perhaps even settling for shots from distance.