With the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup again right around the corner, this round of the Question of the Week is simple: Which bench players would you most like to see take the pitch for the Republic in the Open Cup?
Josh Beeman (@Josh_Beeman)
The possibility of seeing significant minutes for players that usually play the role of substitute or reserve is part of why I love the US Open Cup so much. The tournament gives us as fans a chance to see and evaluate first hand some players that we do not usually see.
Some players that I would most like to see on the field Wednesday are Mike da Fonte, Carlos Rodriguez, Chase Minter, and Matt LaGrassa. It would be the first time that either da Fonte or Rodriguez step on the field for the Republic and it would give us all a chance to see what the two defenders can bring to the team. At only 19, Rodriguez seems to be a project for the future so it would be nice to see what makes him so attractive an investment.
Wednesday would also be a good opportunity for Minter and LaGrassa to get some time. Minter started a few games earlier in the year but was not particularly impressive. The Open Cup would give him a better opportunity to make a big impact in the game. While we're at it let's throw Mackenzie Pridham in there and give the Republic's stable of Mustangs a chance to run wild.
Evan Eyster (@IronPonyChef)
With Derek Foran and Chris Christian moving towards missing at least one game due to yellow card suspension, I would like to see the defense be ready to bring in second string players. The Republic defense has played nearly every minute of every game to date as a unit, but what happens when a player misses a game?
I want to see both Mike da Fonte -- who is an unique mix of Ivan Mirkovic intensity with Gabe Gisse energy -- and the youngster Carlos Rodriguez come in and take the field. If they can play strong, my fears of a weakened backline when the core unit misses a game or two due to card accumulation will be quelled.
The midfield and defense has already proved that even with a player missing, the Republic has that replacement level USL player depth. Now the defense just needs to do the same.
George Shiel (@GeorgeMShiel)
It would be really interesting if Buckle would change the lineup. I'd like to see Pridham and Harry Williams get the start up top. I think the speed of those two would be exciting.
For midfield I would like to see Matt LaGrassa get some playing time. The team needs to shakeup the midfield and create more scoring opportunities.
According to what Buckle said after the last Saturday's game, we might see Evan Newton start in goal. As for the rest of the defense, it would be interesting to see Mike da Fonte and Carlos Rodriguez start at center back.
What do you think of our choices? Who do you want to see take the field for the Republic? Let us know in the comments below!