So, how good is Chris Agorsor?

Quick answer – Pretty darn good.

Longer answer – No where near the finished product yet, but still very, very promising.

After watching an entralling (and ensoaking) 3-2 comeback win by the Cavaliers over George Mason, here’s what I have to say about Mr. Agorsor.

Let’s start with what I didn’t like about him:

  • As of right now, he has no ability to create his own chances. He does not track back into midfield to get the ball and create opportunities the way that a guy like Moreno does. He requires a midfielder that is able to read his runs and then find him with balls in front of him.
  • At 5-9, he isn’t going to be that useful on set pieces
  • He doesn’t track back to defend a lot, though the coaches may not
  • Has not developed any kind of back-to-goal game yet, so you need a no. 10 who can get him the ball in front of him, facing the goal in order for him to truly shine
  • He doesn’t do the kind of chasing around that college forwards typically do. I can’t tell if that’s because, like Henry Aaron used to do in the outfield, he just knows which balls he can reach and which he cannot, or if it’s just because he doesn’t want to. Normally, I think all that chasing around is a waste of energy, but on Saturday there were two periods of pouring rain, where a goalkeeping would more likely do something dumb if pressured a bit. That said, it’s a small complaint.
On to the interesting part… what I did like about him:
  • Once he gets the ball at his feel anywhere near goal, he is going to get his shot off. His speed and precision in possesion is simply outstanding. I have never seen a US forward beat move quicker with the ball in tight space. 
  • I am not even sure how he did it half the time, but when he is in possession facing the goal, he just finds a way to get past his markers and get a good shot off
  • He can poach too. His only goal Friday came off a header following a penalty area scramble. He nearly had a second but had it saved off the line by a GMU defender
  • He had a very good game (I’d say a 7.5 out of 10) despite having a nearly useless No. 10 in the form of Jonathan Villanueva, who was simply terrible for long stretches. 
My conclusions – Somebody professional ought to get him in their system sooner rather than later. He belongs in Europe, where he can develop some strength and some back-to-goal skills quietly rather than getting dumped in an MLS roster where any coach would be tempted to just pound balls over the top to him. (Which is also why I wouldn’t want him to end up in Scandanavia). I would compare him to a far more skillful version of Ante Razov or Jeff Cunningham. He’s not as physically strong as a Jozy or Charlie Davies. Also, I would love to watch more of him with either his club or in the USA youth system, where presumably he has better service.

I kept wondering though, if he isn’t being used in the wrong position. I would like to see how he’d do in that slightly withdrawn wide role that Leo Messi plays in on Barcelona. He may not pass well enough for that role, but it’s mouthwatering to think of Agorsor crashing towards defender from that angle.

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