A World Cup and Team USA roundtable closes Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo. Anne Coulter’s critique of soccer as un-American and possibly immoral ignites the cyberspace. Fresh Air Bar-B-Que tunes its restaurant TV to World Cup soccer.
Is soccer really as American as apple pie?
Is it now worshiped like SEC Football?
But what if we threw futbol and football together in a paper bag and shook them up, what would come out? What if fall Saturday afternoon contests in Athens were played with a round ball and no hands? Drawing heavily on the expertise of veteran soccer coach Paul Thornton, DawnoftheDawg has created the University of Georgia Football Futbol Dawgs.
Get the picture.
Opening in a 4-2-3-1 formation, here is the starting eleven for YOUR Georgia Bulldog Football Futbol team.
At goalkeeper is number 31 on his green shirt and number one in your hearts, Chris Conley. (No doubt, with the departure of Tray Mathews and Josh Harvey-Clemons, Georgia will be better at knocking the ball down – the ultimate addition by subtraction.) Conley is long, quick and fast. He has great hands and his teammates trust him. He is a crowd favorite and the stands will respond vociferously to his acrobatics in the penalty area. Also, he’s smart and will have lots of time to think and ponder in the box as the Georgia team keeps opponents bottled up in the opposite end of the pitch
Starting at Center Backs are Leonard Floyd and Michael Bennett. Floyd’s strength and toe to head reach combined with his body control will make it difficult for any attacker to gain an advantage in the box. Bennett is fast and strong. His abilities are the ideal complement to Floyds size and aggressiveness.
At Outside Back and completing the 4 man back line in the 4-2-3-1 formation is Damian Swann and J J Greene. Swann will use well honed lock down defensive skills to defend the left flank. Both OBs will be asked to use their speed to defend the vast spaces near the touchline and to make streaking runs forward from the back to combine with the outside mids. Greene will quickly transition to attack when Georgia takes the ball and his strength and foot skill will help Georgia maintain possession of the ball in the attacking third.
Holding Center Midfielders – the “2″ in the 4-2-3-1 formation – will be Jay Rome and Ramik Wilson. (There was of lot of commotion among Georgia’s offensive linemen about holding skill, but after explaining the fundamentals of the Holding Center Mid position, they returned to the weight room.) Big, fast and perhaps the easiest choice on the entire roster, Rome will not only deter the most brazen of opposing attackers, he has the athletic ability to win 50/50 balls and to transition from defense to offense, putting Georgia on the counter. Wilson runs to the ball and arrives in a bad mood. He will collect Georgia’s quota of yellow cards but will also discourage attackers with his fast and furious style. If Holding Mids are indeed the team’s engine room, Rome and Wilson will give new meaning to “a Big Machine of Red and Black.”
At Attacking Center Midfielder Georgia will start Hutson Mason. In the Georgia football quarterback tradition, Mason will be a controversial futbol choice. Mason does not have the athletic gifts of a typical Center midfielder, but he will have the high passing percentage expected and required of the middle man in the “3″ of the 4-2-3-1 formation. His vision is tops on the team and he understands what the manager wants to accomplish with each possession.
No surprise at Outside Midfielder - Keith Marshall and Malcolm Mitchell will play on either side of Mason and will dominate. Both players have the quickness, footwork and offensive instincts to exploit 1 on 1 situations and take on opponents. They also have the skill and mindset to combine with their teammates. When their role turns to defense, Mitchell will transition quickly and be an exceptional defender. On offense they have the world-class speed to get behind the opposing defense and the athletic ability to finish their opportunities on goal. Their speed and footwork will complement the lone forward and leading attacker.
Forward can only be Todd Gurley. He is a relentless physical beast with speed and quickness. He has tremendous body control and the heart of a lion. He will feast on physical play. He hungers for goals. There has been only one other Georgia football player that could play the futbol position of forward as Gurley can, and while Herschel could probably suit up and play today, he is out of eligibility.
Strike up Glory! Glory!
Krytpon Fanfare after four minutes of play.
To the fore, Canines!
Paul Thornton is an elementary music teacher and veteran soccer coach. He is a University of Georgia graduate and a former Redcoat.
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