Davy Armstrong needs to get minutes against Chivas USA and the Houston Dynamo, if only to prove that he can at least pull first team minutes during a youth movement if nothing else.
Three keys to the game posts are really not that much fun to write when the games are essentially meaningless in the standings, let's face it. So instead of writing up three keys for the match tomorrow against Chivas USA, here instead I'm just going to mention how much I hope to see Davy Armstrong get big minutes.
Remember Armstrong? We've scarcely seen hide nor hair of the kid since they picked him up on a homegrown contract in 2010. The two biggest appearances that he has made for the club so far were in the 'Miracle at Metapan', when he played for about 25 minutes in the second half, and the friendly against Swansea City. Past that, it's been nothing but a spattering of Reserve League starts.
That's not exactly a stellar appearance record, but it's what we expected when they picked him up considering they couldn't seem to find a position for him to play. Since Oscar Pareja joined the club as manager, Davy has been working as a right back. From what we've heard, he seems to have found his niche in that spot. The fact that it's a spot of need is just a bonus. Unfortunately, as much as we've needed some new blood on the right side of the defense with Kosuke Kimura and Hunter Freeman playing mediocre ball out there, we haven't seen Armstrong.
If Oscar Pareja is serious about getting the young guys out there, I have to ask that Armstrong gets the 180 minutes that will be available against Chivas and Houston. There are no players on this lineup that we know less about than Davy. Shane O'Neill may be a kid too, but we know what we've got with him in the lineup -- a solid, big box to box guy who can score and has a great touch. Heck, we knew more about Eddie Ababio when he was here.
That's a product of Gary Smith trying him in several different spots over his first two years and his switch to an attacking fullback role under Pareja in his third year as much as it is about his lack of playing time. If we're going to discuss getting a big signing at right back over the winter, a move that I've been clamoring for since they traded Kimura, it would be nice to know what our resident homegrown guy at that position is going to look like. Considering he looked serviceable at worst against Swansea, it couldn't hurt his stock to play against Chivas' anemic offense.
Davy isn't taking up any real space in the cap or on the roster, so we won't be getting rid of him if he doesn't do anything for the rest of this season. Since they signed him, he was established as a kid for the future. Still, it will be hard to get excited about his future if, after two years with the squad, he still can't earn any first team minutes during a youth movement... Well, let's just assume he plays.