Before the 2012 season began, I counted down the Top 10 keys to a successful season. Obviously, the season was anything but successful, so looking back at them is probably not going to be that much fun. Here's No. 10, Luis Zapata and Anthony Wallace.
Prior to the season, the left back position was one of the more intriguing races, with Luis Zapata joining the squad, which had lost Danny Earls and Miguel Comminges. Unfortunately, the competition for the starting LB position was over before it began.
Anthony Wallace being knocked out before the season started might have been a bigger blow than we thought. Without Wallace's solid defensive abilities, we were left with Zapata as the only option. (Scott Palguta does not count as an option.)
The problem with that? Oscar Pareja's system was not Gary Smith's system. Under Smith, defenders had to do less work with the ball stopping in the midfield more often than not. The team didn't even have Pablo Mastroeni to keep that tandem going under the new system, so Zapata's lack of defensive mettle was tested early and often.
Next season, we're probably going to be left with the same scenario we had this season, especially if Tyson Wahl doesn't come back. Wallace and Zapata, with Chris Klute perhaps being added into the mix, will be our left back scenario. Quite frankly, I'm not as worried about that tandem as I am about the right back scenario, which is pretty much just Hunter Freeman and then a big bag full of question marks. Having Wallace back to play against teams like San Jose will help the defense quite a bit. I don't think anyone would complain if they picked up a solid, versatile defender over the off season, though.