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What Mwanga means: Not just another trade

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Danny Mwanga is gone.

What he was:

  • The Union’s number one overall pick in 2010
  • Extremely talented
  • Twenty years old
  • A second choice striker.

Of those details, two are facts, one is subjective, and one can be inferred from your collection of lineup cards (though not from the Union’s promotional materials).

Mwanga was the first Union star. Before Le Toux’s hat trick and Califf’s mohawk, before Sheanon showing up out of nowhere and Marfan’s Madrid chip, Danny Mwanga was the name Philly fans knew and loved.

Now he’s just the latest sign that something is very wrong with Philadelphia Union.

Taken alone, trading Mwanga would seem rash. He is just short of his 21st birthday and has not been given a consistent role to play since late in the 2010 season. In each year since his first, Mwanga sat and watched as the Union offense was built around the blunt spearheads of Carlos Ruiz and Lionard Pajoy.

Combined, Ruiz and Pajoy have scored a goal every 235 minutes they were on the field.

Mwanga scored a goal every 288 minutes. And he did a lot of his damage as a sub, which ain’t easy.

After he was dealt yesterday, the former Oregon State player told the Philadelphia Daily News’ Kerith Gabriel, “I don’t know why I didn’t get playing time this season. I don’t know why that decision was made and I don’t really have an answer.”

Looking for answers

There is an answer, but there is no good answer.

Theories about money, about effort, and about getting players who can help the club now abound, but none of them fit the larger narrative snaking its way around Philadelphia Union so tightly that it’s choking their 2012 season.

It’s the story of a coach at odds with his players and the on-field performances that tumble out of an unsettled locker room.

It could have been the angry fairy tale of a player scorned when Sebastien Le Toux told it. It might have been a tall tale from a guy unwilling to admit a bum knee had made him ineffective when Danny Califf told it. And it could be the whiny story of a young kid who didn’t want to earn his minutes on the practice field when Danny Mwanga tells it.

But when all three stories converge on a coach who apparently doesn’t effectively communicate with marquee players, an atmosphere of confidence-sapping uncertainty, and the relief of being somewhere else… well, you’re either fielding a team from the paranoid wing of the asylum, or you have a systemic problem within the organization.

So bearing in mind that only one shoe truly fits, let’s take a closer look at what this trade might have been before deciding what it was.

A salary dump 

Yes, but not a necessary one. Allocation money can be used to pay down salaries, and the Union probably have a ton of it, although how much is largely a matter of speculation because MLS keeps that information secret. Plus, if the team wanted to bring in a proven veteran goalscorer mid-season (leaving aside their choice in that department in the off-season), they know they have to get it right. They have a stable of young strikers who could use some time on the pitch while the team is rebuilding.

So, a chance to acquire the “right” player.

Is Jorge Perlaza that sure thing the Union need? John Spencer can answer this one.

Effort in practice

There have been rumors that Danny Mwanga wasn’t a hard worker in practice. The question of where such a rumor came from is asked a lot less than, “Does it fit the narrative?” So even if a narrative has zero evidence to support it, a rumor wiggles in and becomes accepted.

I don’t know if Danny Mwanga gave his all in practice, but if he didn’t, it still doesn’t mean he should be shipped across the country.

A talented young player who isn’t getting time being ornery? Not quite a revelation in the sports world, if it is true. In fact, it describes exactly the type of situation that you’d expect a manager with a history of working with youth teams to thrive in. It also echoes the relationship between a certain number one pick and his head coach when both wore the colors of the team that the Union sent packing on Tuesday night.

So for all of the talk about developing youth, the actions of the Union front office seem more akin to Donald Trump than Maria Montessori.

The hype and the reality

Some have already argued that Mwanga never lived up to his potential.

Feel free to laugh at these people.

Then ask them what they were doing at age 20. Had they mastered their craft yet? Sure, this is a snarky response, but the point stands that Danny Mwanga is a 20 year old striker whose numbers match up well against other MLS draft picks.

Mwanga was drafted in 2010 as an 18-year-old. Including the 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts, only four drafted players have a better minutes per goal average than the Congolese striker’s rate of one goal per 288 minutes: Teal Bunbury of high flying KC at 222 mins/goal, Will Bruin of Eastern Conference champion Houston at 254 mins/goal, David Estrada of Seattle at 237 mins/goal, and some kid named McInerney at 250 mins/goal.

(Funny aside here: David Estrada was drafted in 2010 as a 21 year old. He hardly played for his first two seasons before breaking out in 2012 at age 24. How many Seattle fans would have taken an Estrada for Perlaza deal this past off-season?)

That old talkin’ and walkin’ thing

It comes down to this: The Philadelphia Union talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. The talk is youth, development, patience, and, well, unity.

The walk is drafting Amobi Okugo, then bringing in a guy that plays his position in two successive seasons.

The walk is drafting Jack McInerney, then making him disappear for long periods of time, including US Open Cup games after he lights up a reserve match.

The walk is drafting Danny Mwanga, then bringing in veteran strikers to play his position in two successive seasons, then giving the kid the type of information and feedback that leads to exit quotes like, “When you are comfortable you are a better player and I am already comfortable here in Portland.”

The walk is trading away your leading scorer (only scorer, really) and trading him away in his prime.

The walk is using young players as peace offerings to the fans, as the team appeared to do when they announced the permanent signing of Roger Torres moments after the Le Toux trade became official.

The walk is saying your captain is hurt… and having your captain disagree with you.

The walk is saying the media and the fans shouldn’t ask what happened to last year’s starting center back.

The walk is trying to use a Rookie of the Year candidate midfielder to cover up the defensive holes that went ignored in the off-season.

The walk is players expressing confusion, irritation and finally relief when they leave.

The walk is acting like all of this is normal.

It is not.

Not just another trade

Danny Mwanga may turn out to be a bust. Jorge Perlaza might be dynamite. And some will crow, “See? Just another trade.”

But it wasn’t. It was the Union’s number one pick who, after a first season filled with promise, never got a real chance, even during the team’s struggles in the two seasons that followed.

It speaks volumes about the organization, and don’t think players across the league aren’t listening.

You should too.

64 Comments

  1. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    I think we can pinpoint the exact moment this team went of the rails.
    At the end of season 1, Le toux and Mwanga were meshing and loking REAL good for us. We were all excited to see them the next season.
    What do we do? Bring in Ruiz to suck up minutes, a player who did not match this teams tactics, playing style, personality or level of effort expected.
    That was the beginning of the end.

    • The Black Hand says:

      …but he did score…a lot

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        Not the point. You can look past stats sometimes. This whole organization was built on the mantra of youth and development. Mwanga did nothing wrong his first season. Bringing in Ruiz was the first thing that showed the Union talk about one thing but do another. Look at it in places like Miggy over Okugo for so long. The point of playing young players is to watch them develop in a consistent environment. The Union is never a consistent environment.

        • The Black Hand says:

          It’s hard to develop players and go through the growing pains involved, when you are in a market that demands wins. We are a three year old club. Last year’s success was great, but it was a fluke. It was almost detrimental to the club, because it raised the bar of expectation far too high. A philosophy of “youth and development” is great, if you are able to weather through the learning curves and accept a noncompetitive club. Philadelphia is not that kind of place.

          • I am so sick and tired of hearing that “last season was a fluke.” It’s such BS. It was a 34 game season, not 20 minutes of pick-up soccer. And even if it was, how is that a defense to the current state of the team? The fans are mad for much more than the fact that the team is not doing as well as last year.

          • Sorry. That vent might have sounded a little more personal than I meant.

          • The Black Hand says:

            No problem. Now is a time of venting. Let me tell you, I loved the “fluke”. The Houston match was a great time, which left me hoarse for a week. I’ll take a fluke, over losing, every time. We were fortunate to have been able to experience a playoff, in only our second year. Some of those games were far from pretty and could have gone either way. Our defense was stingy, but our club was not structured soundly (for the future). After a great start, we almost came unglued; as the season wore on us (and players disappeared, or got deported and dengue). I was proud of our club. They played their asses off. That doesn’t change the fact that luck was on our side, quite a few times. I feel that we overachieved a bit; leaving many with lofty expectations.

          • The black hand is a MORON. Last season was no fluke. ANYBODY who saw how we were playing at e end of 2010 and new the improvements we wer making on defense could have seen it coming. We were a good team. Period. No debate.

      • And Garbage men pick up trash. Ruiz was a cherry picker. Picking up the pits around the net.

        • The Black Hand says:

          Yes, but he did deposit quite a few of those pits into the back of the net. He was one reason we made the playoffs, the cherry picker that he was. He scored often, allowing us to jump out of the gates quickly and string wins early.

      • Ruiz did not score “a lot”. Also, Ruiz did nothing else on the field. With letoux and manga jelling like they were at the end of 2010 and with an improved defense, we would have been a good team Ruiz or no Ruiz. He pissed the fans off by putting his hands on his hips and walking when the rest of his offense was trying to create opporunities. He was horrible for chemistry.

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Also I am going to use your “The walk is…” segment. It is a fantastically concise way to list everything wrong with this club.

  3. Everything you stated about “talking and walking” is completely on point. And it depresses me.

  4. scottymac says:

    I was with you all the way until – But it wasn’t. It was the Union’s number one pick who, after a first season filled with promise, never got a real chance, even during the team’s struggles in the two seasons that followed.

    What constitutes a real chance? He’s played in 9 out of 11 MLS matches this year, was he fit for the other 2? He played in 28 league matches last year, with only 6 players (4 now gone)in more. LeToux was the only forward with more minutes. He had chances. Also, not sure that Season 2 counts as a “struggle” when they made the playoffs. I think the narrative is Danny didn’t get chances. The other side of that coin – what did he do when he did get chances?

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      “9 out of 11 matches”?? So what, a 20 minute sub appearance is being judged the same as a 90 minute start? He has played 458 minutes this season.
      And you can’t overlook the specific situations. Pajoy is crap – I wouldn’t expect most strikers to do much with him as your partner – let alone a 20 year old. Some games all the midfield could do was punt the ball upfield and pray – I wouldn’t judge Mwanga negatively for not putting the team on his back and scoring a wonder goal (hes 20).
      The point is, which is being missed by many more people than I would have expected, is that Mwanga is a kid. A youngster. You can’t string him along like a 30 year old who has developed, honed skills. Mwanga needed consistent playing time in a consistent system that allowed him to play to his strengths. He never got that here.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I agree that you need to be patient with young players. I would be backing your argument, if I saw improvement. He was a strong attacker, in year one. Unfortunately, the last two years have shown very little, if any, evidence that Mwanga is going to be the quality player, we had hoped for. At least, this time we got something in return. I think that Perlaza is a quality footballer. Very, very fast.

        • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

          I just think Mwanga wasn’t even put in a position to improve. Also, from what I hear about Perlaza, speed is ALL he has. In a bad way.

          • The Black Hand says:

            I’ve seen him play a couple of times. He’s a bit raw, but talented. He will be aggressive. We just need him to stay onside.

          • I agree and if he is “raw” that isn’t good when your 28-29. Being a player rough around the edges is ok when your 20 and getting used to playing a pro league. But 28-29 which is how old Perlaza is “raw” isn’t good enough. I also agree with your points above on no chances. Total games and minutes doesn’t mean anything. if your team is playing like Chelsea those minutes don’t help a striker or if you come on as a sub for 20-30 minutes.

      • If manga started with le toux consecutively from the end of 2010 to the end of 2012 they would have been unstoppable. Nowak sucks. Fire him now. I hope he goes to scotland.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Exactly the point. Mwanga did nothing with his opportunities. He had chemistry, with Seba, during our first campaign. Since that time, Danny Mwanga has been one of our most ineffective players. I just didn’t see the “strength off the ball”. He didn’t shoot. He wasn’t aggressively trying to track down balls on attack. Honestly, he looked a bit lazy; waiting for the ball to come to him. You never want to see a mass exodus of talent, but this is one trade that I don’t disagree with. We were paying too much for, a regressing, Mwanga. In return we saved a bit of cash and got a player of equal, if not greater, talent. I would love to see this “management” use this cash to put a quality transfer into our backline.

      • Not sure we save any money. BrotherlyGame has quoted the owner of Portland stating that they save money in this deal. So while on the surface it looks like we saved money I’m not sure we do.

        • Dan Walsh says:

          Paulson said this on Twitter last night. I replied via Twitter asking how. He didn’t respond. Until I hear a plausible explanation, I don’t believe it. The only ways I can think of are:

          - the Union are still covering most of Mwanga’s salary for some reason;
          - there’s a remaining portion of a transfer fee on Perlaza that the Union got stuck on the hook for;
          - the Union already paid down Mwanga’s salary with allocation money, and Portland gets the knock-on effect of that.

          Of these, the last choice seems most plausible, IF Paulson is telling the truth. Allocation money dealings are kept largely secret, however, so we can’t know for sure.

          • scottymac says:

            You can only pay down a salary with AM to a certain number ($150k for an “Young DP” or $200k for a DP) per the murky rules posted on MLS’ site. That would still leave Perlaza’a $100k salary as cheaper. What Paulson said wasn’t that they saved money, but they take “zero salary/cap hit”. Which means its plausible(?) they have Mwanga in one of the unbudgeted 21-30 roster spots and are just paying cash. Which makes no sense at all. I think Paulson is talking out his ass OR, MLS changed the stated rules to suit themselves (see “Beckham Rule”; “Third DP Rule”, etc etc).

    • Adam Cann says:

      @Scotty (And BlackHand) – I’d probably constitute a “real chance” as a run of games as significant as those given to Ruiz and Pajoy. Both players were/have been treated with extreme patience, and they’ve been given a chance to get into their groove. And while Ruiz did produce, he certainly didn’t spearhead a potent attack or mesh well with the guy(s) who was producing before he came in. Does that answer the question?
      When Mwanga was given a run in year 1, he produced, no?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Point taken. Mwanga never was given a sure string of games. On the other hand, you would think that a player, in his position, would have been hungrier and ‘taken’ his place in the starting XI. When he was coming off the bench, he should have made himself far more imposing on defensive backs. With his fresh legs, I would like to have seem him put defenders on their heels and been a target in the box. Instead, he looked lost and ineffective. He rarely got a touch. (Pajoy gets on the ball quite a few times, for better or worse.) Poor service contributed, but he also didn’t move himself into space. For me, I just didn’t see high quality of play. I saw another American player excel in college, only to fail to make an impact at the higher levels. The best thing for Danny would be, to work his ass off in Portland and catch the eye of a European club. They will have the ability to develop Mwanga, through superior teaching.

      • scottymac says:

        He also went a string of games where he started and didn’t get a shot off. Not an SOG, but a shot, even a misdirected wobbly duck of a ball that went in the general direction of the end line. So maybe what happened first was the coaching staff lost in confidence in Mwanga creating something with his time.

  5. All very astute points, Adam. I just can’t see how a team that made the Playoffs, in its second season of existence, decided that Mwanga was part of the problem and couldn’t be part of the “get out of the basement” solution. How do they make a determination a mere 3rd of the way through his 3rd season, that the #1 overall pick (who they mired on the bench) has to be dealt for a “relatively unknown” guy who’s 10 years into his career? Did the technical staff think Danny had his his ceiling? At 20? It’s absurd. A sub point to bring up here – with all do respect to solid Colombian players Mondragon, Torres, and Valdes – what’s the Union’s fascination with Colombia? Mwanga was traded for a Colombian, and I’m starting to question why we’ve suddenly become an extension of Categoria Primera A (Colombian League)? The facts, as you’ve detailed in your writing, point to an organization that is poorly run from top to bottom. What’s the plan? Where are we going with these numerous head-scratching moves? I’m a disgruntled founding member season ticket holder, and those in my section were sounding off yesterday – do we want to keep investing hard-earned money in this team? never thought I’d have to have those conversations a mere third of the way through the 3rd season. But this is where we are…

    • The Black Hand says:

      Mwanga didn’t have much to do with our making the playoffs, last year.

    • Philly Cheese says:

      Where is the primary player development employee of Union country of origin, and what did he do before coming to Union? Answers: Colombia…..and. Players Agent.
      Possibly shear coincidence, right?

  6. N o w a k s u c k s says:

    For the above question about colombians check into who is their agent….

  7. James "4-3-3" Never says:

    James “4-3-3″ shut the F*&k Up for once. You are an idiot who talks way too much

  8. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    Will Parchman from No Short Corners lends some interesting context to the saga: “With apologies to Portland, which now has the Nos. 1 and 2 draft picks of the 2010-2011 draft cycle (and Mwanga-Nagbe could end up being damn special at the end of the day), the story that should get most of the attention is what exactly Peter Nowak thinks he’s doing in Philly.

    Nowak has a history of mixing relatively benign transfers with bizarre clangers that send vital pieces away for what seems like chump change. The difference in DC, where Nowak gained his bona fides and earned his “I know what I’m doing” card, was that he had GM Kevin Payne to rein in his baser instincts. By adding a cool head to the negotiating table, Payne was able to check Nowak’s firebrand attitude and smooth ruffled feelings. It is clear, especially in light of events that have transpired this season, that Nowak does not have that in Philly.”

    http://www.noshortcorners.com/2012/06/trade-of-nowak.html

    • That’s a good read. I’m not sure what “sunshine pumping” is but it sounds like something I’d enjoy.

  9. Kensington Josh says:

    Aaaahgg! Nice post. What is going on? Go Harrisburg. I while ago there was a post of Herdling practicing- and Nowak was on the field playing in the short side match. Arrogant bastard thinks he’s useful at 40 plus to the practice drill. He probably holds it against Danny that he, Nowak keeps getting nutmegged by Mwagic. “Fine, no start for you on Saturday.”

  10. Well at least will get to start over with another #1 draft pick next year…#lastplaceinMLS

  11. scottymac says:

    Couple of you mentioned/lamented that we dealt away a #1 pick. I’d say that isn’t quite the same value as in the NFL or NBA. There’s just a handful of players drafted since 2010 that are in the Top 25 in goals right now. Another handful when you expand it out to 50. The rest are transfers, or, occasionally a home grown player. The HG designation is of greater value due to contract control,etc. I’d worry more about the Union’s ability to discern talent. They passed on Teal Bunbury for Mwanga / David Estrada for Jack / and Tim Ream for Toni Stahl all in the first 19 picks of the 2010 draft. In 2011, the U were the ONLY team to take a GK in the first round, letting CJ Sapong and Will Bruin drift by. Might be best if we trade our #1 or 2 overall to anyone for Allocation Money. We love that stuff and it hasnt let us down yet! Of course, like Danny, AM hasn’t scored yet either this year.

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      Re: Estrada: (Funny aside here: David Estrada was drafted in 2010 as a 21 year old. He hardly played for his first two seasons before breaking out in 2012 at age 24. How many Seattle fans would have taken an Estrada for Perlaza deal this past off-season?)
      Also, are you in any way insinuating MacMath was a bad pick!?!?

    • I think top picks have value but as with MLB. I’m not sure you can expect draft picks to walk on the field and produce the same way you see NBA and NFL picks produce. At the same time I don’t think it should take as long as MLB players to come along.

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      And because I am an idiot who talks to much, I compared Bunbury vs Mwanga:
      (Games played, Games started, goals, sog%)
      Bunbury: 64 36 16 39%
      Mwanga: 61 35 12 52%
      Hardly so far apart it is worth insulting the pick. (and I also hope you arent basing this on Bunburys NT callsups – those were insulting)

      • scottymac says:

        I’m basing it on the what have you done for me lately.Bunbury’s shooting % is much lower, but he has taken twice the amount of shots, leading me to think he is someone who is trying to create offense. If you take out 2010, its 11 goals to 5 for Bunbury and 82 to 42 shots. WHo would you rather have?

        As for the MacMath pick, I’m not “insinuating” it’s a bad pick. I’m saying it is. Before you use up all the punctuation marks, it’s nothing against MacMath, he’s been a serviceable keeper. The point is backup keepers can be bought. Investing time to develop them can be more of a crapshoot than outfield players. Only one other keeper was taken in that draft, so how valuable is it to draft them? Remember, we had a serviceable guy in Knighton, they cut him loose forcing the Mondragon signing and need to draft a GK.

        • Well I must have used up all the sense because you certainly aren’t making any.

          • scottymac says:

            Really? What confused you?

            Bunbury creates more offense than Mwanga.

            By cutting ties with Knighton, they forced themselves to draft MacMath. Had they kept an ok backup (and Knighton’s #s in 8 2010starts are > than MacMaths in 2012)they could have drafted the other offensive pieces I mentioned above.

          • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

            I like Zac plenty, but drafting a goalkeeper that high in the draft is rarely wise. Considering zac is at least 4+ years from his prime, if not longer, it was not the right move. Especially with Bruin and Sapong still available up top and Anibaba and Soares still on the board in defense.

        • Adam Cann says:

          Scotty, the problem I see here is that there’s no reason to assume Bunbury is “creating” anything. He could very well be the beneficiary of a really good offense. There’s no causal arrow.

  12. Perfect examples.. I’m willing to bet in a better environment where he gets the support he needs and a better on the field striker to play off of hes going to do great things. Good luck danny you’ll always be a ZOLO!

  13. Don’t forget that Mwanga has had a few injury problems as well. He had that rep similar to Torres of appearing to not be “durable” enough to play 90 minutes a match. So he gets a couple knocks, get put on the bench, someone else plays, Nowak might like him better for whatever reason, Mwanga keeps moving down the depth chart. That’s the sucky Catch-22 of sports. In order to play well, you need playing time. To get playing time, you need to play well.

  14. No one seems to be mentioning the worst part of this trade. The young forwards will NEVER play now, bc they refuse to sit Pajoy and there’s no chance they’ll sit Perlaza now.

    • Philly Cheese says:

      If I were Jack Mac, I’d be asking Nowak & Co. to trade me quick. If he sits rest of year, he will really be frustrated. I bet the Union could get a few thousand in allocation money. They really need to save up to make an offer for Beckham…..young player……great future….would love to leave LA for Philly….right?

  15. Let me first say that I’m sincerely going to miss Danny… But now that the #10 shirt is freed up, maybe they’ll give it to Marfan and stop playing him on the backline… Has anyone seen a manager play the #10 in the back before? Leave it to NoWhack to be the first!

  16. MikeRSoccer says:

    I have a friend who is studying abroad in Italy. Today he wrote on my Facebook wall and said “Mwanga to Portland? I don’t even know what to say anymore”. If Nowak is not the problem then I challenge anyone to tell me what is going on in this organization. Is Sugarman and FO skimming money off the top? Did we really have a collection of prima donna players? Whether you look to a Cinderella analogy or Occam’s razor at the end of the day Nowak is the common denominator. I really believe the fans need to start taking drastic and direct action. The Sons of Ben need to empty the river end for a game or two. No support until answers are provided and action taken. This team, FO, and management has forgotten that their pay checks and jobs would not exist without the fans. It’s time to show them the effects that their actions have not only on the team, but on the fans and by association their jobs.

  17. Well, so much for Danny “Bring the Danger” Mwanga.

  18. MikeRSoccer says:

    Lionard Pajoy listed as an All Star candidate. You’ve got to be kidding me. I would put every player on the Union’s roster up as candidate before him and we are the worst team in MLS. Adu and Gomez are serious stretches. Valdes, yes. Williams, yes. MacMath…too biased as a fan, but Pajoy? Come on, be reasonable.
    http://www.footballcourier.com/news/story/1192962/full-list-of-2012-all-star-nominations/full_story.html

    • Philly Cheese says:

      Totally agree with your evaluation.
      Must have something to do with “home field advantage”, but it is an embarassment. I wish Califf was playing a little better so he would have had a better shot at making the team. That would be great.

  19. So what do we do now. I can’t give up my tickets, can’t boycott games, can’t not beg and scream for wins, can’t not hope for a usoc win. What is our recourse. Anybody have garbers cell number. Is there gonna be a fans summit this year :)

    I just don’t know where to go or how to make Nowak, The FO and ownership know how much they are the turd in the ale barrel right now.

  20. Philly Cheese says:

    It seems like this move is designed to try to. “fix” Pajoy decision. Mwanga and Pajpy didn’t mesh mostly because of Pajoy. With Hoffman, Martinez, Hoppenot working with Mwanga, would that have produced results? I think much more likely than assuming Pajoy would learn how to not give away everyhing at his feet. Now we get another Colombian forward who is supposed to mesh with Pajoy. It will take Nowak about five games before he realizes that won’t work.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      That’s what I don’t get. Pajoy and Perlaza don’t even mesh on paper. They both want to hang out on the left, avoid contact and run with the ball at their feet. Perlaza makes Pajoy go back to the physical back to goal striker, a position he cannot play. This pairing doesnt even make sense in theory, let alone practice.

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