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    In-Depth Player Analysis: Montreal Impact’s Joel Waterman

    Langley-born Joel Waterman officially made history on Tuesday afternoon, as he became the first player to make the jump from the Canadian Premier League to Major League Soccer, joining the Montreal Impact for a fee reported to be in the $100k region. Waterman also became the first player sold by a CPL team for a transfer fee, giving us an example of how beneficial the new Canadian first division can be for young footballers in this country.

    Despite being the only player to make the jump to MLS so far, Joel Waterman wasn’t necessarily considered one of the best players in the CanPL. In fact, OneSoccer ranked him just 43rd on their year-end list of the top 50 players in the league. Waterman has many strong qualities though, and if an MLS team was convinced by his quality, then maybe he was somebody we were overlooking all season long.

    Let’s take an in-depth look at what Waterman does and doesn’t bring to the table for the Montreal Impact:

    His versatility is very impressive, and is certainly one of the main reasons Montreal signed him.

    Joel Waterman is a centre-back first and foremost, and while he can play other positions on the pitch, his versatility within the centre-back position on its own is rather impressive. As you know, there are multiple different formations used regularly in all levels of football, and pretty much all of those formations use either 2 centre-backs (a back 4) or 3 (a back 3). The roles played by centre-backs in these 2 formations vary quite a bit more than you’d expect, as do the areas of the pitch that they cover.


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    • Well first one leaves out Hoilet, second leaves out Arfield.  I know what your saying, but Herdman wants them all in, thats why he keeps sticking Davies at LB.  It'll end up being a situational thing, which is fine.  Its good to have versatile players like Davies, lareya, Miller that Herdman can move around a bit.  Its a luxury that we havnt had lately.  
    • Solution play him at wingback with 3 at the back to provide cover.  ------------henry-vitoria-miller Laryea-arfield-piette-osorio-davies ----------------cavalinni-david   Or --------zator-james-cornelius Laryea-piette-osorio-davies ------david-----larin----hoilet  Any combination of these players seems ideal to me.   
    • Plus Bayern play a different system than our 4 3 3. They have Kimmich and Alcantara holding and controlling the midfield. The 2 of them dominate possession and are solid defensively. One is always available to help Davies.
    • Hardly put a foot wrong today, good to see him score another. It really seems like they a ton of trust  in him now, it’s hard to imagine him not playing the full 90 any time soon.  On the subject of LB for Canada, I’ve mentioned multiple times before that it’s not the same situation as playing LB for Bayern and I’m not a fan, Bison basically summed up why. It’s one thing having Alaba and Boateng covering for you, it’s another if it’s whoever we have at CB lol. Bayern’s backline is world class and ours is...lower class?
    • I hope we see Davies, David, Larin and Millar all in the Bundesliga next season. Then I hope Dusseldorf and Bremen get regulated, leaving Reyna, Mckennie, Adams and Brooks as the only Americans in the division.  Maybe then ESPN FC would have to settle for a "North" Americans in the Bundesliga power rankings
    • Bayern definately play to his strengths. Most of the time he is free to run wild, knowing his speed will let him recover, and his CB are at home watching the henhouse.  If we expect our Vitoria/Jackovic/Edgar/James/Henry et al to cover for him against decent opposition it will get ugly like against the USA.  A smart coach would realize duplicating these exploits for Canada with our personel just isnt going work.  Play him at LB, but restrain his offensive game, or play at wing with a def LB behind him and sit another winger that Herdman wants to get into the game.  I dont think you can have both...until the CB position improves, and maybe not even then.  
    • TBH that's the 1st I have watched of this other than a couple Euro ties where it was mandated and York 9 (sorry @zeelaw) I couldn't help myself, I got used to it quickly and will adapt! Time for the CPL to work something out!
    • This match wasn't a great example perhaps because of Bayern's dominance but he was way up the field for long periods of time, his recovery speed is obviously amazing allowing him to do so, I would say in this set up it is the perfect position for him, now Canada may be another matter!
    • You guys complain too much, who needs bundasliga??  I very much enjoyed the Korean baseball on TSN this morning,  And I think there is some frisbee football on later today.  I'm sure TSN makes loads of cash of this trash.  
    • One thing that seems evident to me in watching Davies over the last several games is that his real ability as a defensive back is when he tracks back. We know what he can do offensively but I am not convinced he is a true defender. It ain't in his DNA. As others have pointed out, for Canada we need him up the field when playing strong opponents, in part to keep their defenders on the back foot, but also to strengthen our defending. With a true left back behind him, Davies can get up the field safely AND provide additional support tracking back. I remain unconvinced that left back is his best position. It works for Bayern because of the quality in the squad and how they line up.
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