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Raves: Shea Salinas

Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks, PSP contributors will be posting what we’re calling “Raves” about our favorite Philadelphia players. They need not be the team’s best players, but they’re guys we like. You hear plenty of rants when the Union losing. Here are the raves, continuing with Mike’s rave about Union midfielder Shea Salinas.

When we started planning our rave series, I had to be the one to write about Shea Salinas. As an outside midfielder myself, I’ve often found the Union’s lack of width completely frustrating. It was unfortunate that he missed a long chunk of the season with a leg injury, but the little we did see from the winger was impressive.

On a team that routinely started center mids in the outside positions for much of the season, (Fred, Roger Torres, Andrew Jacobson) when Salinas did make it on the field, he showed them all how to play the outside position. He took on defenders with a purpose, driving down the sideline looking to put in crosses. And unlike many of the players I mentioned above, he was able to keep his play wide. Instead of dragging defenders across the park into a crowded central midfield, his width allowed him the room for one-on-ones. And unlike many of the other midfielders on the team, Salinas was aware enough to take his chances on goal when they were available. Knowing his role as mostly a crosser, Salins was not shy to have a go from distance when the chances came to him.

Early in the season, we even got to see Salinas deployed as an outside back, a position some people (myself included) thought he could start at when he returned from injury. Normally a right sided player, I find it hard to believe that he couldn’t have filled in for the much maligned Jordan Harvey at left back with a little practice. But instead we were only permitted to see Salinas in cameos coming off the bench, often late in the second half, and often combining very well with Sheanon Williams on the right side. It was never said that his injury was keeping out of the lineup, so we have to believe it was Peter Nowak choosing not to play him.

Here’s hoping he’s protected and a bigger part of the team next season, either as a winger or an outside back.

6 Comments

  1. Despite Harvey’s good game against NY the game away to Columbus again demonstrated the need for his ass to be permanently glued to the bench. I love Salinas as a midfielder, but I think his future with the U boys lays in the left back spot. Williams has established himself as our right back and if we do not find a replacement for Harvey then Salinas should be our left back.

  2. Mike Servedio says:

    I think you might be right if the Union don’t pick up a LB in the off season. And I’m totally fine with it. To be an outside back in this day and age, you are probably a converted winger or forward, so I think it makes sense. Outside back or midfield, I just hope to see more of Salinas next year.

    -Mike if you want to write the rave for Jordan Harvey, you have our full permission, because none of us are going to do it…

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  4. Salinas has to be the fastest wheels on the team. To have him play in the backfield is not the best use of him. His creativity and ability to beat players one-on-one down the line are very dangerous. I think Nowak needs to find room for him on the right side. I’d be HAPPY to see Le Toux moved up top with Mwanga, Salinas on the right, Mapp on the left, and Migs and Fred or Chacho in the middle. Notice…NO MORENO…he’s a diver and had no production this year.

  5. Salinas needs to be on the field somewhere. I like the idea of him as a right back because it makes him a better national team prospect, but for the Union, I think he helps most as a winger. Either way, whether it’s wingback or winger, he’s definitely the team’s most explosive player.

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