Saturday, June 14, 2014

The WCMNT (Washington Capitals Men's National Team)

With the FIFA World Cup getting under way earlier this week, I began thinking: who would be on the Washington Capitals soccer team, regardless of what country they are actually from?

Here is my Starting XI, using a common 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Braden Holtby. I'm not taking any creative liberties here. I don't know anyone on the team with better reflexes than Holtby, and he is easily the best choice for keeper.
Reserve: Phillip Grubauer

Left/Right Defensemen: Dmitri Orlov and John Carlson. All defensemen have to play defense, but wing defensemen also have the added element of helping out offensively once in a while. Orlov and Carlson would fit in well.
Reserve: Connor Carrick

Center Defensemen: Karl Alzner and Madison Bowey. Although Bowey hasn't played in the bigs yet, he gets the nod over the next best prospect Jack Hillen because of the injury concern. Center D-men have to be tough enough to outmuscle forwards and gel with their keeper, and I think Alzner and Bowey would do that job just fine.
Reserve: Jack Hillen

Left/Right Midfielders: Mike Green and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Both of these guys are fantastic passers and can also shoot if need be. They get beat out for the center midfield, however, because of the comparative lack in defensive prowess.
Reserve: Jason Chimera

Center Midfielders: Nicklas Backstrom and Mikhail Grabovski. Probably the best passers on the team, both will be instrumental in getting the ball to the strikers. They can also finish a shot if they need to, as well as help out on defense when necessary.
Reserve: Marcus Johansson

Strikers: Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin. The best pure finishers on the team. Can you imagine the beauty of Kuznetsov passing the ball to Ovechkin who smashes it right in the net? Both Brouwer and Ovechkin are pure goal scorers who will be more than capable of stealing some wins for this team.
Reserve: Joel Ward

One more time, visualized:

Orlov - Alzner - Bowey - Carlson

Kuznetsov - Backstrom - Grabovski - Green

Ovechkin - Brouwer

What do you think? Who would you put in your XI? Let me know and enjoy the World Cup taking your mind off of hockey (it's all over...)

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