With Columbus’ recent addition of Costa Rican forward Jairo Arrieta, what will become of Robert Warzycha’s lineup and formations? Will he stick with the more traditional two-striker formation? Or, maybe, will he opt for something a little more out of his usual comfort zone?
Arrieta will be joining the Crew from Deportivo Saprissa of the Costa Rican Primera División. He appeared in 161 games with Saprissa, scoring 45 goals and helping them win five championships.
The 28 year old will officially join Columbus on June 27th once the summer transfer window opens. However, he will begin training with the team by the end of May.
While with Saprissa, Arrieta was usually deployed as a left winger in a 4-3-3 formation. When mentioned to Warzycha, he didn’t seem too opposed to trying it. I, for one, would be very open to seeing Warzycha try his hand at putting out an attacking 4-3-3 formation (one that wouldn’t end up being a 4-5-1). A true, total football style of playing.
This is my proposition of what the Crew’s lineup should be if positioned in a 4-3-3:
Arrieta is used to playing on the left side, so he should easily be able to slide into that spot for the Crew. Olman Vargas is a good, hold-up type forward that needs service to score. Placed in the center of the three-man attack, Vargas would be on the end of plenty of good scoring chances. Plus, he and Arrieta were former teammates at Saprissa, so they have already played together before. Emilio Renteria has played on the right wing in previous years, to varying success. However, if Warzycha wants three pure forwards up top, Renteria is the best option on the right side.
In the midfield, Danny O’Rourke is the only player currently on the roster that can hold down the center defensive midfield spot by himself. He is good enough to cover the entire field, and his distribution from that spot, while not the best, is still above par. In front of him, both Milovan Mirosevic and Eddie Gaven are great two-way players. The pair are equally good in attack as they are in defense, and they could easily get back on defense to help out O’Rourke. Their service to the three forwards would be essential in Columbus having a dangerous attack.
In order for this formation to be successful, Mirosevic, Gaven, and O’Rourke would have to have great chemistry and be able to fill spots for each other whenever necessary. Vargas would have to present himself to the ball and successfully distribute to Arrieta and Renteria. Gaven and Mirosevic would be doing more work than anyone else on the team, as they would have to be box-to-box midfielders.
It would definitely be interesting to see our beloved Crew in this attacking style. However, I still have doubt in two things: 1) if Warzycha will be around then to implement this style, and, 2) if he is, will he have the cojones to try such a different formation from year’s past?