Season Preview Series: Adelaide UnitedPosted: September 29, 2014
In the lead-up to the 10th of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- today starting with Adelaide United.
Last Season: 6th (Lost Elimination final to Central Coast Mariners) Adelaide started the season off the strongly despite still adapting to the new style under Josep Gombau winning seven of their opening ten games. They then however tailed off in the second half of the season, winning just two of their final eleven games resulting in an away final against the Mariners which the home side won.
1) Eugene Galekovic, 2) Michael Marrone, 3) Nigel Boogaard, 4) Dylan McGowan, 5) Osama Malik, 6) Cassio, 8) Isaias, 9) Sergio Cirio, 10) Marcelo Carrusca, 11) Bruce Djite, 12) Mark Ochieng, 13) Dylan Smith, 14) Cameron Watson, 15) Ben Warland, 16) Craig Goodwin, 17) Awer Mabil, 18) James Jeggo, 19) Pablo Sanchez, 20) Paul Izzo, 21) Tarek Elrich, 22) Fabio Ferreira, 23) Jordan Elsey, 24) Bruce Kamau, 30) John Hall, 32) Nathan Konstandopoulos.
Pablo Sanchez (CD Lugo- Spain), James Jeggo (Melbourne Victory), Dylan McGowan (Hearts- Scotland), Craig Goodwin (Newcastle Jets), Mark Ochieng, Dylan Smith, Ben Warland (All promoted from youth team).
Jacob Melling (Melbourne City), Daniel Bowles (Brisbane Roar), Jeronimo Neumann (Newcastle Jets), Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht- Netherlands (loan return)), Jake Barker- Daish, Jon McKain (both released).
Josep Gombau is edging closer to his stated ambition of having a roster of 18 South Australian players and five visa players with his recruitment including defender Dylan McGowan and left sided player Craig Goodwin. Both should prove solid acquisitions for the Reds, as should versatile attacker Pablo Sanchez. Early reports are that the Spaniard has slotted in nicely to what is a Spanish dominated attack. In terms of the departures, most have been covered with youngsters Barker-Daish and Melling replaced from within the clubs youth ranks, while young defenders from the AIS Ben Warland and Mark Ochieng replacing new Brisbane recruit Daniel Bowles. One player they may miss however is Jon McKain, whose experience and versatility saw him as a regular member of the side last season.
Expected Starting XI:
There is some talk going around that Gombau is looking to implement a 3-5-2 formation which we’ve seen Louis van Gaal implement with differing success with Netherlands and Manchester United, however im not sure their personnel suits that formation as they seem to have a lack of central defenders. If they do play a 3-5-2 you can just move Malik from his holding midfield role back into the defence so it could be a case of switching between the two over the course of a game. Having weapons like Ferreira and Mabil available on the bench provides some strong depth in the front third.
Adelaide have had some pretty solid pre-season results, especially against A-League opposition with just one defeat in six games against those sides, including that win in the FFA Cup round of 16 last week against the Roar.
Adelaide United 1-0 Perth Glory
Adelaide United 1-5 Malaga
Adelaide United 1-0 Wellington Phoenix (FFA Cup)
Alice Springs All-Stars 0-10 Adelaide United
Adelaide United 1-0 Melbourne City
NorZone All-Stars 0-6 Adelaide United
Adelaide United 1-1 Perth Glory
Adelaide United 0-1 Melbourne Victory
Adelaide United 2-0 Melbourne City
Adelaide United 2-0 Brisbane Roar (FFA Cup)
All time record vs. Adelaide United:
Based on their recruitment and pre-season form Adelaide should be right up there amongst the contenders for the prizes at the end of the season in year two of the Gombau revolution. They’re perhaps a little light on in the centre of defence if injuries strike but going forward they’ve got more than enough firepower to win games. They look to be one of the contenders for silverware going into the new season.