VANCOUVER, BC -- As Vancouver Whitecaps FC prepare to take on Colorado Rapids on Saturday at BC Place, it's uncertain which formation head coach Carl Robinson will employ.
For the first three matches of the season, Robinson went with a 4-2-3-1 setup which brought a blockbuster 4-1 home win over New York Red Bulls on opening day before two away draws to Chivas USA and New England Revolution.
Last weekend, the Welsh tactician surprised Houston Dynamo by going with a diamond 4-4-2 formation.
“It's about having a little bit of flexibility in your squad,” Robinson told reporters after a training session at BC Place on Thursday. “The two systems I've wanted to use this year, I have used – even three with Chivas when we played against 10 men. We've got the personnel to do that.
“I want to become a set team in one style of play, but because I've got different players, it's important I am able to switch systems within games, because if things aren't going your way after 60 minutes, then if you flip to a different system or a different style, you can catch opponents out.”
Regardless of which way Robinson lines his team out, the focal point is surely Designated Player Pedro Morales.
The player's importance was highlighted Thursday when Robinson responded to a general question about formations not by going through different ways in which he could configure his group – but how he could work Morales into the lineup to best effect.
“It depends which players I decide to play,” Robinson said. “Do we play Pedro as the 10 guy behind the one, or do we play Pedro as a 10 behind the two? Or do we play Pedro out wide? That's a possibility we could look at at some stage.
“It'll just depend on the opposition as well, because different teams have different styles of systems.”
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.
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