Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Spector’

Why Spector Needs To Play

September 9, 2009

With Oguchi Onyewu out of the El Salvador game due to suspension and his central defensive mate Jay Demerit out due to injury, the US backline was a bit shuffled as Johnathan Bornstein and Jonathan Spector got the starts on the outside. I don’t think Bornstein played terrible, but he didn’t make a great impression as he made the giveaway to lead to El Salvador’s only goal.

But Jonathan Spector is another story. Playing for former Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, Spector has been used in a variety of ways. His natural position is right back, but he has played all across the backline. Spector is a naturally gifted defender, and given the fact that he started his soccer career as a striker, he is very good at getting forward as well. When Spector is pressured, rather than hoofing it upfield as quickly as he can, he usually calmly controls it and gets the ball out of pressure very efficiently.

But what makes Spector most special is perhaps his play on the other end of the field. His runs down the right or left flank almost always are made with purpose, and his crosses nearly always find its mark. With most American fullbacks that I can remember, I was surprised when their cross found its mark. With Spector, I’m surprised when it doesn’t. I understand that people are reluctant to go with new blood this late in the qualifying campaign, but Spector played phenomenally in the Confed Cup and it’s worth a change: The old guard hasn’t elevated US Soccer to where we need to be, so here’s to letting the new guard have their crack.