With Greg Garza missing this weekend’s game against Sporting KC, lets take a further look at his likely replacement, Mikey Ambrose. To do so, I took a look at his most recent appearance against Orlando City, when he came on for Garza for about fourteen minutes. He wasn’t asked to do a whole lot but there were some key moments for him.
In this first clip, it seems Ambrose does a good job keeping up with Rivas as the play develops on the left side, however, it seems he pulls off at the end. To me, it looks like he thought it was offside (it wasn’t because LGP kept him on). While it was close, he can’t just assume it is and let up, Atlanta catches a break here as Rivas just barely misses what could’ve been a game ending goal. While defense isn’t his strong suit, I believe he could’ve played this a lot better.
One of Ambrose’s key abilities is his crossing but he’ll need to do a better job in these one on one situations against more physical opponents. This week he’ll have to go against a decent one in Graham Zusi. I’d like him to use his pace to beat defenders to the line and cut in.
In this spot, Ambrose is given the ball in a tough spot and with the pressure of the clock running against him. He does a great job rerouting the ball and then drawing the foul from Laryea. Attacking is definitely his preferred style and if he’s able to draw and take on defenders like this, it’ll open things up for Asad/Almirón on the left side.
Ambrose does a good job of getting in front of Rivas’ shot with his body. Besides the one mess up earlier, I think he did a good job covering Rivas overall when he was on his side. It won’t get any easier this week as he’ll likely face Latif Blessings, who scored a vital goal last week in a 3-2 win over Chicago.
Hard to see it here but Ambrose’s spacing here creates a problem for Orlando’s Scott Sutter. It makes Sutter get out of position and create open space for Villalba’s equalizer. Little things like these will be really important going against a really strong SKC defense that has allowed the least amount of goals this season.
Ambrose didn’t have any real passing opportunities inside the attacking third, so here’s a little bonus clip of him feeding Brandon Vazquez for the game-winner against Charleston.