Goodson and Bernardez ain’t getting younger, and with the departure of Paulo Renato in the off-season and a 19-year-old Matheus Silva who is not quite ready for prime-time, it wasn’t difficult to predict the Quakes would sign a center-back before the start of pre-season. The question was: Who?
The answer: Argentinian Andres Imperiale. While he may not be starter material, he will probably be playing off the bench or in a stop-gap role as Goodson and Muma will definitely be fighting injuries as age catches up with them.
- He’s an experienced center-back
- There’s potential to fill in at left-back
- He’s young, and should be healthy for the season
- He won’t be a starter with Goodson and Bernardez ahead of him
- He probably won’t be a long-term solution to a problem the Quakes will face: replacing Goodson and Bernardez in the next few years
The Quakes had one of the best defenses in the league last year, allowing just 39 goals all season, and an 11.7 shots per game average. Those numbers come with the work of solid center-backs who can plug up the shooting lanes and clear the ball. Imperiale can fill the gap off the bench, but I doubt he will be a starter in the coming years. Having bounced around in numerous leagues, the verdict is clear: his consistency is lacking to be a fixture in most teams.
The Super-Draft is tomorrow (January 14), and with the Quakes slated to pick 8th, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Quakes draft more defense, probably Jordan McCray out of UNC, a speedy fullback who could play either wing. I would not expect the Quakes to trade-up to a higher pick. They have already made their moves and have their starting roster set: Innocent, Wondo, MPG, Dawkins (one will have to be bought down or released a week before the start of the season), Godoy, Fatai, Wynne, Bernardez, Goodson, Stewart, and Bingham. The bench is practically set: Meredith, Imperiale, Francis, Pelosi, Salinas, Quincy, and Barrett. It’s simply a matter of finding practice-squad players that can fill in when needed, probably for the aging Goodson and Bernardez.
Welcome to the team, Andres!