Midfield Combinations, Andy Dorman, Andrew Farrell, and the Nyassi Conundrum: It's Mailbag Time!

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

For the second edition of the TBM mailbag, we fielded questions from the general public. People stuck to Revolution topics, and we've got thoughts on some tasty midfield combinations, Andy Dorman's role, the future of Farrell, and Sainey Nyassi. Start sending in your questions for next week's mailbag!

Here were the questions and answers from week two of the TBM mailbag! Sorry we didn't get this to you on Sunday as planned, but it's been a little hectic around here. As we said last week, here are the rules:

  • Questions are submitted to thebentmusket@gmail.com
  • Questions can be on any topic. Revs, MLS, soccer, life, giant mutant space aliens...anything. We just won't post anything offensive.
  • There is no set timeframe for questions. You can submit any time. However, the mailbag will be posted on Sundays...therefore, the cutoff to be in that week's mailbag is Friday night at 5 PM EST. Any submissions after that will be forwarded to the next week.
  • Unless you specifically ask for a particular writer to answer your questions, they will be assigned randomly to each writer. Except this week. That was all me.

Renny Swan: Is it worth ranking our Revs' midfield players by their importance to our results? If so, please share how you would rank them. If no, please discuss the essential combinations or juicy match-ups that we can put out in midfield.

Steve: Rankings are pretty arbitrary, but I don't think it's a pointless exercise. That said, I'm not sure how to rank them. That's probably a topic better covered in a whole separate article. As for the second part of your question, there are a couple to really salivate over.

I think the combination of Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja is something we're seeing develop right before our eyes, and man that could get really incredible if things go the right way. I also like the Simms-Cisse combination as long as it's in a five-man midfield, but I'm even more excited at the prospect of a Cisse-Caldwell combination. I think Cisse is the best defensive midfielder on the team, and Caldwell's superior ball skills could generate some incredible creativity deep in the midfield.

Honestly, combining any of our attacking midfielders is pretty tasty-looking at this point. We're two games in but I'm already excited to see what the rest of the season will bring.

Hank Alexandre, The Midnight Ride Podcast: What is Andy Dorman's role on this team? I was surprised not to see him in the starting lineup against Chicago (thinking Toja wasn't 100%) but not even making an appearance that week makes me wonder where he will be used? Especially if a less than 100% Toja is a better option.

Steve: Dorman is walking into a really crowded midfield right now, especially in the attacking realm. He's competing with younger and more dynamic players. It's tough to really determine where he fits at times. However, I think his experience, leadership, and undeniable class is going to earn him minutes no matter how you look at it.

Right now I think Jay Heaps is still figuring out his best options. For me, the thing that keeps Dorman off the field is some lacking in creativity and passing polish. The thing that keeps me wishing he would get more time on the field is his goalscoring instincts. He's still got it, and watching Kelyn Rowe put in subpar starting performances makes me hope that Heaps decides to hand Dorman a start sooner rather than later. Actually, the idea of having Dorman start and then Rowe replace him as a super-sub sounds delightful.

Christopher Brown: Of the 3 most recent Revs first round Superdraft picks (Soares, Rowe and Farrell) who do you think will be the most successful (on the Revs, US National Team, maybe transferred to a European club, etc) and why?

Steve: Maybe it's just because he's the flavor of the season, but I think I have to go with Andrew Farrell. A.J. Soares is a very good defender and Kelyn Rowe has a bunch of U.S. youth experience, but neither of them were touted as highly as Farrell coming out of the draft. He was the consensus top pick, and when I see his amazing combination of athleticism, intelligence, and technical ability, I see the kid going places. He's not there yet, and there's always the chance that his development stalls, but if he continues the upward trajectory people seem to think he's on, I believe he'll be leaving MLS and getting caps for the national team. I also think he's a future MLS All-Star.

Joshua DeCosta: I was wondering what you folks think about Nyassi still being with the team and yet not providing much in the offense or defense (besides speed) his ball skills have seemed to stay stagnant at best throughout his time in New England.

Steve: Diplomatically, I should point out that Nyassi's been hurt a lot in the last year or two. Speaking frankly, I think he's been useless and I can't believe he's still here. Nyassi has regressed in New England. He was honestly better as a rookie. He should have been cut seasons ago.

That said, the partnership with Rochester presents new and interesting opportunities to re-ignite his development. Nyassi has that special kind of speed that you just can't teach, and it's that speed that can terrorize opponents and completely change the course of a game. You see his brother do it on a fairly regular basis. If Nyassi gets sent to the Rhinos and sees significant starting time in USL Pro, I think the very fact that he's getting minutes and getting appearances under his belt will kick-start his confidence and get him back on the path to being a solid contributor. Either that or he'll wash out there, too, and then I doubt he'd be back in 2014.

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