NoleGameday

FSU Football Reimagined as a Soccer Team

In honor of the Gold Cup Final tonight, I decided to have a little fun and make a starting 11 soccer squad out of ‘Noles. If you disagree with the lineup feel free to tell me why I’m wrong. I usually am. Moving on, I decided to line FSU up in a 4-3-3, one of the more popular formations in soccer today. Here’s who I picked for the starters: 

Striker: Jacques Patrick

Patrick has a similar build to US National team striker Jozy Altidore, which will allow him to shield defenders and hold up possession. I considered having a striker with more pace, but Patrick gives a nice blend of power and speed. In addition, Patrick provides a big target on crosses, which is crucial for a wide formation like the 4-3-3.

Left Winger: Noonie Murray

Murray has good pace, which is in my opinion the most important thing in a winger. What would make Murray special is his flashiness and creativity. If Noonie played soccer, there’s no doubt in my mind he would be a great dribbler. His ability to beat defenders 1-on-1 will help open the attack.

Right Winger Cam Akers:

With a unique blend of power and speed, Akers will be a headache for defenders. Similar to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Akers will be a winger who can provide clutch finishes in front of goal. He could easily play striker, but having him on the wing spreads out opponents’ back lines out of respect for his ability.

Center Attacking Midfielder: Deondre Francois

Every good team in the modern game of soccer has a great 10, or attacking midfielder. Since Francois is in charge of the offense on the football team, it was an easy choice for him to lead the charge on the attacking foot. His creativity and distribution to attacking players will help him rack up the assists, but don’t sleep on his finishing ability. Francois would score plenty of goals with his technical ability on the ball. He will also captain the team, which is very prestigious in soccer.

Center Midfielder: Tarvarus McFadden

McFadden’s length and aggressiveness will help him win plenty of 50-50 balls, but he won’t be afraid to come forward on the attack either. His speed and stamina will wear down opponents, much like Manchester United’s Paul Pogba. The interception leader on the football team will also lead this team in interceptions, using his pace and reflexes to sniff out passes.

Center Midfielder: Jacob Pugh

A 6’4 230 pound midfielder who moves like Pugh is a scary sight for opponents. He would be the more defensive central midfielder, but his impact will be felt. Good luck winning a header against Pugh, nonetheless shielding him off the ball. It will be tough for opponents to start a counter attack with this guy roaming the middle of the pitch.

Left Back: Levonta Taylor

Pace, pace, pace. Taylor is a speed demon and will help provide width going forward. His aggressiveness will help get counter attacks going, but for the most part he will stay back and help defend. Even if Taylor makes a mistake, his pace will always put him in a good position to make a play on the ball.

Center Back: Josh Sweat

Josh Sweat is a freak athlete, but you already knew that. Crosses will be easily defended by Sweat, and his strength will allow him to take possession with ease. Good luck to any striker trying to get around this guy.

Center Back: Auden Tate

What a scary sight it would be to see this guy on set pieces. His frame and vertical will allow him to go up and over to win headers against most defenders tasked with marking him. Tate would be one of the most dangerous center backs in the attacking third, and could easily be one of the top scorers on this team.

Right Back: Derwin James

My goodness, this would be so fun to watch. James would get forward on almost every attack, and his partnership with Cam Akers down the right flank would be lethal. James is so athletic, he could play any position on the pitch. But his defensive instincts and pace would make him a tremendous right back. James would be Manchester City’s Kyle Walker athletically, with PSG’s Dani Alves attacking creativity. The best player on this team, making incredible runs forward.

Goal Keeper: Matthew Thomas

Much like middle linebackers, goal keepers must read and react to the ball. Thomas’ experience and quick feet will make him more than serviceable between the posts. Moreover, 6’3 is the perfect height for a goalie in today’s day and age.

Subs:

GK: Rick Leonard

CB: Kieth Gavin

RB/LB: Kyle Meyers

RW/LW: Khalan Laborn

ST: Ryan Izzo

CAM: Logan Tyler

CM: Dontavious Jackson

 

So how did I do? If you disagree, feel free to hop in my mentions and leave a nice message. Other than that, enjoy the Gold Cup tonight, and go US!

Ben Brewton
Writer at Nole Gameday covering football and basketball. FSU alum. Follow me on twitter (@Ben_Brewton) and we can talk sports. On the 8th day, God created college football.

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