Sal Zizzo Trade: StumpTown Footy talks about Sal Zizzo

Jonathan Ferrey

Will Conwell from Stumptown Footy answered some questions and gave us a report on new Sporting Kansas City player Sal Zizzo

1) What role did Zizzo play in Portland and how well did he perform in that role?

Despite occasional experiments with him as a fullback (which did not go terribly), Zizzo has always been a right-sided winger. Quick, technical, and with a surprisingly good cross, Zizzo has the tools to thrive in the right system. Unfotunately for him, the manner in which he approaches the game just does not mesh with "Porterball". If Zizzo gets the ball on the wing you can expect him to take the ball to the end line and either try to get around his man or send a cross through the box. In his limited play this year, Zizzo did show off some willingness to play within the Timbers' short passing game, but his instinct will always be to bomb forward down the sideline.

2) From 2011-2013, Zizzo's starts declined. Was this more because of Portland acquiring more talent or due to a decline on his part?

Zizzo has had terrible luck with injuries since joining the Timbers. When he arrived in 2011, Zizzo had just recovered from a torn ACL, the first of his career. He made it through the majority of the season and played an important role in the Timbers' first year in MLS as they fell just short of the playoffs. Unfortunately, in the final game of the season, Zizzo again tore his ACL. The recovery from held him out for the start of the 2012 season. When he was ready to make his return he was one of the Timbers better players in the abysmal 2012 season. At the start of the 2013 season, however, Zizzo already looked like a player who may not fit the system that newly arrived head coach Caleb Porter was looking to play. So, when he was forced to undergo surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee just after the start of the season, Zizzo never quite made it back into the Timbers starting line-up.

3) What's his style of play like? Is it more attacking or defensive minded?

Zizzo has always been an attack minded player. Under Porter the defensive side of his game has grown, but expecting strong defensive play from him would be a mistake. In the few instances when he has been used as a fullback, Zizzo has been used to push forward and join the attack, keeping pressure on teams like Chivas USA and Toronto FC, rather than a more defensive minded player like Jack Jewsbury.

Looks like Zizzo is going to be some good depth come Champions League and US Open Cup. If he is fully recovered from his ACL tears then maybe we'll get to see some competition from him for the winger job. All in all this looks like a good move for Sporting KC.

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