With nothing but pride (and some stats) to play for the Kansas City Wizards to play for this Saturday in the last game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, there are several ways Peter Vermes could go with his Starting XI.
He could chuck out a young lineup (Chance Myers, Eric Kronberg, Graham Zusi) to experiment and help build for the future. He could let vets who may not be on the team next year (Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad) have a testimonial-like game. He could unload the bench and get some fringe players who didn't play a part in any game this year (Nikos Kounenakis, Jamar Beasley) some action. Or he could go with the same lineup (or close to it) that he's gone with all season.
Which leads us to this morning's question: If you had to make the decision on the Starting XI against the San Jose Earthquakes, who would you go with?
I think you have to go for the win and put out the same lineup. It sends a message to the players and the fans that, while this may be a work in progress, every game matters.
I'd only offer a few tweaks: I'd start Josh Wolff at striker (sort of in a testimonial role, since I don't think he's back in 2011) and Myers at right back (maybe in a trade-bait showcase role). There are a few unknowns: Will Jimmy Conrad be recovered from the concussion that kept him out of the Revolution game? Will Ryan Smith be back from England and done resolving personal issues? Will Stephane Auvray be fit enough to play this weekend?
As always, I'd love to hear what you think in the comments...