Who should play at X for Chrome?

By Nick Zoroya

Aug 9, 2023

The Chrome offense is dead last in scoring. The offensive explosiveness seen during the 2022 season seems like a distant memory. This year's offense has struggled to find identity, initiators, consistency. The staff has tried five different lineups at attack resulting in various amounts of mediocrity.

There’s been a revolving door at X since the retirement of Jordan Wolf and Chrome need an attackmen that can dominate a defender at the end of the shot clock. So how do the Chrome address this issue: Do they make a trade or is there an answer in house? 

Status Quo: Jackson Morrill

Chrome Head Coach Tim Soudan is an extremely loyal coach and that loyalty may mean we see Morrill finish the season at X. His production has been adequate (19 points) but he has a very different skill set than Brendan Nichtern had. The 2023 Chrome feel like they’re trying to play the exact style of offense as 2022 without the same personnel. Last year’s team was attack dominated, Nichtern was able to initiate the offense from below GLE and open everything up. Nichtern has the ability to breakdown a set defender and find the open man. Morrill on the other hand is a more cerebral attackmen, great off ball and attacking unsettled defenses. The Chrome can maximize their offense by attacking top-down and focusing on midfield initiation.

Uncertain Future: Brendan Nichtern

Due to his military commitments we’ve only seen Nichtern play twice this season, accounting for one goal, one assist, and 11 turnovers. With months in between games and a lack of consistent playing time, Nichtern didn’t appear in top form during his two starts. Interestingly, he was also placed on the wing rather than at X during those games. Word is that he may miss time next season due to more military commitments. It seems wild that Chrome may need to plan for a future without the 2022 rookie of the year, but these commitments were well known to any team that drafted Nichtern.

Long-Term Solution: Jules Heningburg

What seemed to me like a pipe dream just days ago now seems like a real possibility. Monday night Redwoods LC coach Nat St. Laurent traded Myles Jones for Romar Dennis, making me think that he’s willing to make moves to make the Redwoods competitive now. If the ‘Woods are willing to move Heningburg he would be an instant solution for the Chrome. He’s being utilized as a midfielder but can often be found inverting to his more natural position at X.

In my opinion his talents are being wasted on the Redwoods midfield and a trade that moves him to attack would be in both his and Chrome's best interests. Heningburg is the closest thing to 2022 Brendan Nichtern that Chrome can hope to get. His production split is similar and moving back to attack full time would increase his output. At 27 and with plenty of tread on the tire, Heningburg could be a long term solution at X.

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