1. Who do you think is going to breakout or have the best second half of the season.
Wow, seems crazy that we’re already about to start the Fall Season. I’m sure the blur of the “break week” including both an MLS Rally and a friendly with Swansea didn’t help, but here we are. I wish I could just give you one name, but I have a few based on different criteria. Throughout the preseason the standout was Alex Molano, who lead the preseason in goals, but where has he been since? Word is he’s been injured and almost finally ready to play again. Will he make the field this season for NCFC? Well, I’m not sure, but if he does, watch for it. Otherwise, I’d say both Nazmi Albadawi and Austin da Luz are due. Both players have really played well in the midfield but haven’t appeared on the score sheet as much as some might have thought, I’d expect that to change.
2. What changes need to be made to get into the playoffs.
A consistent approach to the defensive midfield is necessary. When James Marcelin plays in the center of the defensive midfield the difference in the two players mentioned above (Naz & da Luz) is extremely noticeable. Both players are able to roam much more freely moving forward with the Haitian tucked behind them, it also allows Nazmi (who set the league record for assists last season) to truly concentrate on the playmaker roll that he thrives in. We’ll also need more consistent scoring from our forwards not named Lance Laing’s left foot. While Schuler has definitely made a surprising mark as a sub, Fondy hasn’t hit his stride just yet this season.
3. Chances of making the playoffs.
4. Most impressed/least impressed from the team in the Spring?
I’ve already hit on some of the less impressive parts of the season so I’ll focus on the most overwhelming positive: Brian Sylvestre. Brian currently is 1st in the league in saves (and yes, here comes your daily serving of stats, cause it’s mid season and dammit we’re worth it) with an impressive 67 saves, and it’s not really even close. Former ‘MLS Goalkeeper of the Year’ Jon Busch is sitting 15 behind at 52 saves on the season thus far. Even crazier is that he’s only 24 (much like Danny Almonte: Lemme see that birth certificate). I don’t think it’s even an argument that the midseason player award goes to Sylvestre.
5. What letter grade would he give NCFC for their spring performance and why?