The Tuesday XI: Mother Russia Edition

We couldn’t finish our coverage of the USMNT’s game against Russia without also giving you a squad full of the best Russian names and faces an oil oligarch can buy. We’ve lined them up in the kind of 4-3-3 where we expect a level of play from each according to his or her ability, and divy up chances to each according to his or her needs.

Kandinsky’s diagram of a set piece.

GK – Wassily Kandinsky – A master of the game’s geometry, he derives meaning from the chaos of the game around him to always arrive at the right point to make the save.

LB – Catherine the Great – Keeps an iron grip on the homefront while pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy into enemy territory.

LCB – Ivan Drago – Dropped from the squad after his controversial “I fight for me! For me!” comments, management eventually decided they couldn’t keep the most perfectly trained athlete ever away from the team.

RCB – Vladimir Putin – Hell, he’s done everything else.

RB – Garry Kasparov – Is constantly thinking so far ahead of his opposite attacker that he’s already taken the ball and crossed it for an assist by the time they realize they don’t have it anymore.

Pajitnov putting in time in the film room.

Regista – Alexey Pajitnov – The inventor of Tetris excels at squeezing passes into tight spaces to his midfield colleagues, and at clearing his team’s defensive lines by knocking long passes to the flanks.

LCM – Yuri Gargarin – Excels at getting into space before anyone else.

RCM – Zangief – This Street Fighter may look big and bruising, but he’s also got a mean 360 spin to go through defenders.

LW – Sergei Kravinoff – Spider-Man’s old foe Kraven the Hunter combines a poacher’s instinct for pouncing on chances will all the superhuman size, speed and strength that mysterious jungle potion can buy.

CF – Mikhail Baryshnikov – Central defenders who overlook the 5’6” forward because of his stature will find themselves ouvert up in no time as he jetés past them to get on the end of his teammate’s passé.

RW – Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov – Coaches have found that it’s best to just give him a completely free role; he’s just going to neglect defensive duties as beneath him anyway.

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