Is Cristian Arrieta the Union’s answer at right back?
When David Myrie limped off the field Thursday against Seattle, few expected to see him start a game again soon. Not due to injury (we still don’t know what it was, or it’s extent), but because Myrie had an absolutely awful game. The sky may be the limit for the 21-year-old right back, but, like many of Nowak’s other signings this year, his ability has yet to catch up to his potential. He’s just not MLS ready.
Enter Cristian Arrieta, The 30-year-old Puerto Rico Islanders right back is on trial with the Philadelphia Union, according to reports from American Soccer News and Soccer Insider.
In January, American Soccer News listed Arteta as the #1 “USL Buy to Ponder,” saying this about him:
At 30, Arrieta is not getting any younger but the fullback sure can play. An offensive threat as well as a defensive stalwart, the Florida-born defender who grew up in Italy and playing his way up the Italian league chain has scored 17 goals in a little over 50 appearances for the Puerto Rico Islanders. He started with “home-town” teams in Italy, all Serie C1 and C2 before latching on with Serie B’s Lecce (a former Danny Dichio club). After playing only 7 games with Lecce, a new challenge awaited in Puerto Rico where Arrieta has since been a part of two All-USL-1 Teams of the Year. He was also named USL-1 Defender of the Year in 2008.
What’s my take? I’ve been harping about the fullbacks for a while now. Myrie is not the answer, and will not be for at least another year or two. Nor is Jordan Harvey, who made some very questionable decisions on Thursday (especially his rec-league mistake on the Sounders’ second goal).
At 30, Arrieta is not a player for the future. But he would bring an important level of experience and (hopefully) leadership to the back line. His 17 goals in just two years for the Islanders speak to his potent scoring ability– something that Nowak certainly must be thinking about, considering the team’s recent goal drought (zero goals in the past three games).
Signing Arrieta would also force Myrie and Harvey to the bench. The back line would then most likely be:
I like the look of that.