Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wizards Defense Situation

Half of the Wizards back 4 that started most of the season is gone. And the Wizards went very defensive minded in the SuperDraft. Where does that leave the Wizards back line heading into 2008 preseason training?

With Nick Garcia and Jose Burciaga Jr gone, Jimmy Conrad is not the most seasoned Wizard on the back line. Captain Conrad, though, has shown his leadership throughout the years in KC and should do fine to teach many of the young defenders the Wizards have brought in. Jack Jewsbury and Michael Harrington, two players that saw plenty of time in the wing back positions during the 2007 season are also back. With it looking like a switch to a 3-5-2 being a very strong possibility, though, those two could be moved back up to midfield. Ryan Raybould will be starting his 4th season in KC, again switching back and forth from midfield and defense. The other two returning defenders, Aaron Hohlbein and Tyson Wahl will battle it out for a position in the center of defense. Hohlbein had a productive offseason, getting called into the U-23 camp for their trip to China.

The Wizards will have more competition at the back this season if all their draft picks sign, as the Wizards entire SuperDraft can play defense. The only two already on the team, Chance Myers and Roger Espinoza can take up positions on the right and left wing respectively. The other four drafted players, Yomby William, Jon Leathers, Matt Marquess, and Rauwshan McKenzie will all compete for time on the back line if they sign.

Overall, the Wizards are deep in the back, but unexperienced is an understatement. Jimmy Conrad is the only player with more then 20 professional starts on the back line. It would have been nice to have another experienced back, but that didn't completely hurt the team back in 2000, when Peter Vermes played center back with the inexperienced Brandon Prideaux and rookie Nick Garcia. We can only hope for the same results.

No comments: