12 July 2012

Home-grown cage match: FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC

The FC Dallas signing of home-grown defender/midfielder Kellyn Acosta on Thursday got me thinking. If the two most successful MLS academies in terms of home-grown players signed (7 each, by FC Dallas and Toronto FC) met on the field with only those players, who would win?

Here's what such a 7-on-7 matchup could look like, although the size and surface of the field and the rules of the game would surely affect how teams chose to lineup.

FC DALLAS (2-2-2)
GK Richard Sanchez (18yo)
DF Kellyn Acosta (16yo) ------------------ DF Moises Hernandez (20yo)
 MF Victor Ulloa (20yo)
MF Bryan Leyva (20yo)
FW Jonathan Top (19yo) ------------------ FW Ruben Luna (20yo)

FW Keith Makubuya (19yo)
MF Nicholas Lindsay (19yo) ------------------------------- MF Matt Stinson (19yo)
MF Oscar Cordon (19yo)
DF Ashtone Morgan (21yo) ------------------ DF Doneil Henry (19yo)
GK Quillan Roberts (17yo)
TORONTO FC (2-3-1)

Now it's an interesting game, but I'm giving the edge to Toronto because the combined experience of Morgan and Henry at the back would cancel out the main Dallas advantage - two forwards who have seen MLS game time - and limit Toronto's disadvantage in goal, where I think Richard Sanchez is further along than Quillan Roberts.

I like the Ulloa/Leyva tandem in the midfield, but even if Top dropped in to match Toronto's numbers, I don't think Dallas is getting on the board. Makubuya has yet to make his MLS debut, so Toronto could struggle up front, but the speed of a healthy (for the purposes of this exercise) Lindsay against the green duo of Acosta and Hernandez would put Toronto over the top.

Who do you think would make a difference in this game? Who would come out on top?

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