Brad Smith Whipsnakes Offense
Photo courtesy of Liam Murphy.

How Brad Smith Elevates the Whipsnakes Offense

By Adam Lamberti

Jul 30, 2023

Injuries have ravaged the Whipsnakes in 2023, but they hope to have Brad Smith suit up for the first time this season following the All-Star Game.

“[The] expectation is Brad will be fine by then,” said Head Coach and General Manager Jim Stagnitta.

One of the four finalists for the 2022 Gait Brothers Midfielder of the Year, Smith had 22 points in 10 games last season for the Whipsnakes. 

The return of Smith will help an offense that has already been good in 2023. Scoring double digit goals in every single game this season, the Whipsnakes boast the 2nd best offensive efficiency in the league at 29.5%.

But Smith will help so much more than just production and statistics, and here’s how.

Less pressure on Zed Williams and Tucker Dordevic 

It’s felt at times that one of Zed Williams or Tucker Dordevic has needed to will the Whipsnakes to victory offensively. Williams had a dazzling 7-point effort in last week's loss that was reminiscent of his 2020 Championship Game performance.

And while Dordevic has been outstanding with his innate ability to generate chances, having a rookie lead the league in shots doesn’t feel like a stable recipe for offensive success.

Tucker Dordevic shot chart

On top of that, Matt Rambo is rumored to be missing some time with injury so having last year's primary ball-carrying midfielder is that much more important. Teams will then have to decide if they’re going to pole Smith, Dordevic, or both, and leave a short-stick on an attacker. 

Brad Smith’s versatility opens up the offense

While Smith can certainly score for himself, perhaps the most impressive part of his game is how much attention he draws when he gets a short-stick or gains a step on his defender.

If Smith is able to continue his strong dodging from previous seasons, he’s smart enough to make the right pass and or read to generate a scoring chance if a quick slide is sent his way. 

Smith has also played some attack in the past for the Whipsnakes, so if Rambo is out for an extended period of time, Smith is an option there. Jack Myers and Keegan Khan could also fill this role, which would then allow Smith to become a dynamic inverting option from the midfield as the Whipsnakes have shown a desire to invert with Myers and Khan in previous games.

Bottom line, the Whipsnakes adding a top midfielder back in the lineup is great news for the offense. While he’ll produce goals and assists, some of his best contributions might not be as noticeable.

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