The Quakes just announced they signed Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy. With so much hype with #Vela2SJ (which was comical to watch as most fans knew it would never happen, including this one), some fans seem disappointed with this signing. Here’s why you should NOT be disappointed.
He will no-doubt replace JJ Koval, and Koval had problems. His lack of speed is very apparent in MLS; Godoy brings the speed that the team tried to develop in the off-season by signing Wynne and Nyassi to complement Cato, Shea, and MPG.
Godoy is great on the ball. He can control balls that come his way, make quick passes, dribble out of trouble, and find open space. I have yet to see Koval showcase that skill-set this season on a consistent basis.
Koval doesn’t “know” the international game. He knows how to play the American college style of soccer, but the American college game is completely different than MLS with international players bringing speed and finesse to the pitch, as Adam Jahn and JJ Koval have demonstrated. Most college players rely on athleticism over skill and speed, trying to out-muscle opponents on the ball. As a result, both Jahn and Koval have struggled to maintain their spots in the starting XI; their game isn’t the MLS game. Godoy knows how to succeed at the higher levels of international soccer.
Godoy opens up the central midfield. There are numerous reasons why we are struggling to score, but one of the biggest reasons is the inability to set up and maintain attacks in the opposing team’s half of the pitch. The Quakes had a simple and predictable recipe for advancing the ball: get it out wide and try to beat the defense with speed. When we tried to go to MPG, he would be fouled like clockwork. A skilled controlling midfielder opens up the center of the pitch along with the flanks, which opens up our attack, which can generate more offense.
We got rid of Khari to make room for Godoy. I don’t see us getting rid of Pierazzi mid-season as he’s more familiar to the MLS game with his international experience, so I’m guessing Koval will be loaned to Sac Republic to develop as a player until Godoy is ready to enter (he still needs to get his Visa) and Pierazzi will be the DM sub if needed.
Personally, I like this signing. The Quakes were never going to part ways with MPG as the CAM, we got good forwards with Quincy and Wondo, decent midfielders in Shea, Sanna, Cato, and Tommy, but we were missing that second DM, which was supposed to be Koval or Pierazzi, none of which panned out.
The biggest thing I expect to see when Godoy arrives is a change in formation from the single-DM set to a double-pivot 4-2-3-1 set. I’m hoping this puts Wondo back at the #9 (no more box-to-box with Godoy AND Alashe on the pitch) and leaves room for rotating midfielders as needed to set up attacks or bunker down on defense.
Photo: Getty Images on Zimbio.