New face on defence on Saturday
The ejection of right back Jeb Brovsky from last game’s tilt with the Columbus Crew brings with it a little dilemma.
A mandatory one game suspension when shown a red card will force Impact head coach Jesse Marsch to make a change to the right of central defender Matteo Ferrari. Zarek Valentin, who was chosen in the expansion draft, is definitely an option as he has rejoined the team following the elimination of U23 U.S. National Team from the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament last weekend.
“We will have to see how he feels mentally as it was a big heart break or him not making the Olympics with the U.S. team,” said Jesse Marsch. “Now that he is back in the mix, we have to see how he is physically, how sharp he is.”
“It’s bitter sweet,” said Valentin. “I’m happy to be back, I missed my teammates, but to be eliminated from the Olympics is tough. Now my focus is to be as prepared as I can so if I get the call I can do my best. The system is a little different, so it’s a matter of getting re-acclimatized.”
Valentin could bring a different look to the lineup as he is a little more attack minded than Brovsky, but he is not the only option for the coaching staff.
Natural midfielder Calum Mallace, who has been training as a right back since joining the Impact as the team’s first pick of the second round of the MLS SuperDraft, has shown the coaching staff that he can be relied upon if needed.
“Calum has shown that he’s sharp, fit and mentally strong, so it’s a matter of deciding what’s best for the group,” added Marsch.
“It’s been an adjustment, but I feel more and more comfortable as the week’s pass,” said Mallace. “If I get the nod, I’ll be ready to take. If not, I’ll keep working hard and try to prove myself in the reserve game to be prepared for my first game.”