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Fire Players on Display Internationally

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry, the title can be a little misleading as there was only one Fire player display Friday. Matt Polster started in the right midfield spot for Andi Herzog's US U-23 team as they took on their Colombian counter parts in a 2 leg series to decide the final spot for the Olympic tourney in Rio later this year. The game finished 1-1 as the US got probably the best result they could hope for as Luis Gil put the US up early in the first half and a Colombian PK in the second half tied it up. Colombia out-played the US in every facet of the game but it was a result that the US U-23s can be proud of.

On that team that tied Colombia, Matt Polster went a full 90 minutes as he patrolled the right side of the midfield. I'll start with the good that I saw out of him Friday afternoon. He had some decent tackles throughout the game. Filled in the passing lanes which caused disruptions in the Colombian attack. Joined the attack by intercepting Colombian passes and pressed forward with the ball until he could find the likes of Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, and Luis Gil. His positioning was good as we saw with him taking away passing lanes and disrupting the Colombian attack. Now for the bad that I saw out of Matt Polster: his positioning could have been better. Yes, I did just say his positioning was good - but it was also bad. Multiple times he left Kellyn Acosta exposed on the right side as Matt tended to float towards the center of the field. A few times after Matt would win position he would dribble into the opposing players losing the ball or he would not react quick enough letting Colombian players take the ball from behind. Partially that is not his fault as his teammates should have been talking to him and also should have been trying to get open for him to pass to.

My take on Matt Polster's day, he played well. Could he have played better? Yes, but everyone on the U-23 team could have played better. I'll give him a 6.5 out of 10 and I expect him to play much better on Tuesday and possibly maybe he could play in the center of the field where he is more accustomed to playing.