With Zizzo in central defense, Metro loses 2:0
May 3, 2017
At this point, we need to give Jesse Marsch his due. The manager has done more than earn benefit of the doubt since taking over Metro. That being said, starting Sal Zizzo in central defense... perhaps that wasn't the smartest thing to do.
Now, we get it. The team is playing three games in eight games, and some sort of team rotation is needed. So you go with the bench guys: Sean Davis and Derrick Etienne, Gonzalo Veron and Fredrik Gulbrandsen. Then, on defense, with Kemar Lawrence not training this week due to a bereavement leave, you switch Connor Lade to the left and decide to finally give Michael Murillo a run-out on the right. But what do you do in central defense?
Your options are limited. Aurelien Collin is still out injured, and there is no way the body of Damien Perrinelle could withstand three games in eight days. So you play Zizzo... a man who has never played central defense in his life. (This is where we question, why not leave Zizzo at right back and put Murillo in the center? He played some center in Panama... But we digress. Marsch should know better?)
The first half wasn't exactly terrible. In fact, Zizzo's largest impact came on the attacking end, when off a set piece, he received the ball on the doorstep of the Kansas City net... and somehow headed it parallel to the goal. Gulbrandsen had Metro's other good chance, stealing the ball and taking it to the edge of the box, before having his shot pushed over the bar by KC keeper Tim Melia. On the other end, Luis Robles made a terrific save from a wide-open header... but all things being said, going into the half tied at zeroes was pretty good.
And then, with the second half barely a minute old, Zizzo this time in front of the Metro net, failed to clear the ball, it landed with Dom Dwyer, and KC was up. Then, in the 68th, Dwyer was left all alone, and, with Zizzo on the ground, top-shelved his second.
Again, this is not on Zizzo. He is a serviceable player, who is still learning a new position... right back, not central defender. This is on Marsch. Let's just hope that this rest helps Metro get a result on Saturday... and that this is the last time we mention Sal Zizzo and central defense in the same sentence again.
Lineup: Robles, Lade, Long, Zizzo, Murillo, Martins, Davis, Muyl, Etienne, Veron, Gulbrandsen. Subs: Kljestan, Wright-Phillips, Royer.