Monday, July 11, 2016

Baggio Husidic & LA: The Dual Mystery

One of these guys is a grip. Might even be a key one.
Pop Quiz: If his name wasn't in the title, how many times would someone have to ask you to name a player for the Los Angeles Galaxy before you'd get to Baggio Husidic? For what it's worth, I think he'd be the 13th or 14th choice for most people, even LA's bigger fans.

Like Hollywood (to make an unfair analogy), I think LA has built its legacy by letting the stars soak up the adulation and gift baskets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars while the key grips (which, here, recalls Dan Gargan, A. J. DelaGarza, and even Marcelo Sarvas) hammers every last goddamn nail into the scenery behind them, the backdrop that lets that beautiful career exist, but, hey, no worries...

Still, what is a Baggio Husidic? I'll tell you who. He's a player with a charmed life, a guy who probably would (and, hey, actually did) die with the Chicago Fire, but who has started in the majority of the past three years' games for the Glamour Team of MLS. It only gets weirder when I tell you what he's not. For instance, he's not a strong tackler (and/or an actual risk to others like Nigel de Jong), he's not a devastating one-on-one dribbler (like, say, Sebastian Lletget), he provides neither goals nor assists in great numbers, he's not some brilliant deep-lying passer who shifts the field in novel, new directions: he's just...Baggio Husidic.

And yet he's seen the field in every game but one this season, and he's started 10 games of 18. If I had to guess, I'd describe Husidic's role like this: he's a player who facilitates (somewhat) close to goal by finding LA's "real" skill players; I'm guessing he participates in their high press, at least whenever LA's uses it, and I'm confident he's suited for that.

I guess my point is that, maybe LA coach Bruce Arena is that goddamn smart; maybe he's found an ego-free(-ish; these are professionals) role for a player fairly close to goal, but one that makes him just help out there, while he's got other players doing the more important work all around him. Anyway, it's just a theory because, honestly, who the fuck knows what Husidic does out there? For all we know, his dad's part of some Bosnian mafia who has the goods on The Bruce...

I kid, I kid. The deeper point here is that, fans often bitch about this player or that, down even to a clear, necessary need for an upgrade or all hell will break loose, etc. Husidic is sort of the counter-point to that, a defense of the idea that good soccer doesn't always require the best players so much as a player who both understands and embraces his (or her) role.

Though, again, I say that not really knowing what the hell it is that Husidic does out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment