I'm in the minority among my friends, but I'm a big Donovan Ricketts fan. I think the venerable Jamaican keeper has earned all the accolades he received over his career, and I think that experience and presence is what made him very attractive to Phil, Coach, and the Orlando City ownership. I think it's precisely because they knew they had a fairly young defensive group that they made the tactical decision to start Aurelien Collin and Donovan Ricketts hoping that their experience would help to settle the youngsters and they could better anticipate what is coming.
But in the first quarter of the season, we've seen that hasn't really panned out as they hoped. It could be that Father Time is simply catching up to Ricketts (age 37), or it could be language barriers between such a diverse international squad, but there's been some clear communications breakdowns (cue up the Led Zeppelin, boys) that have led to bad defender-keeper interactions in our box and resulted in a number of goals we have gifted the other team.
On the other hand, Aurelien Collin has played fantastic, doing everything you would ask of a defender from sure takeaways to hard fouls that send a message to the opponents. But last night we saw him go down with an as yet unspecified injury, and it's hard to imagine he'll be fit in four days for the match against LA Galaxy on Sunday. So with Collin out and likely a younger, fresher face in the defense, I think it's time we get a little more speed in the goal.
Rarely in this season have I seen Ricketts completely fooled on any shot on goal. His instincts are great and he always goes toward the ball. But we have all seen him just get fingertips on shots this season that he would have easily saved four or five seasons ago. So while I always have and always will support Coach Heath's decisions in who our best Starting XI are for any given match, if he asked me, I'd be of the opinion that as long as Tally Hall is 100% fit, then it's probably time to make the switch and let him have a chance to start in goal on Sunday against the Galaxy.
What about you? Are you a fan of making the switch, or does my analysis betray how green I still am as a soccer fan?