Heading into the 2012 season, the biggest question mark for the Crew was the position of left back. After the team signed Montenegrin Nemanja Vukovic to platoon with Shaun Francis, it seemed the the team was set at the position. However, after Francis was waived on June 27 in order for the club to become roster and salary cap compliant with MLS standards, head coach Robert Warzycha called upon second year midfielder Bernardo Anor to shift to the back line.
Anor has occupied the left back spot for the reserves during training over the past two weeks, and went 90 minutes for the Crew reserves last week against New York at the position. Anor made his first appearance at left back coming on for Vukovic in the 81st minute of Sunday night's match in Montreal.
Giving him more defensive responsibility, Warzycha feels the attack-minded Anor is transitioning well.
"I think he's doing the best he can," Warzycha explained. "He has more responsibility defensively, so he has to take less risks."
"I think I've learned what it takes to be a good left back," Anor added. "You've got to be focused first on the defensive part, then the communication and position. As long as we keep good communication between the four backs and we step up with pressure and do our work defensively, I think everything can be done."
Willing to help the club any way he can, Anor has worked hard to adapt to his new defensive role with help from his coaches and teammates.
"I'm prepared for anything," the Venezuelan said. "I'm doing my best and working very hard to deliver what it takes to be a left back. I think I have done a pretty good job so far. I hope it continues with the support of the coaches with the the great comments and the help of all my teammates telling me that I can do it. It takes me to another level, believing I can do that job."
Having experimented with Anor at the position in preseason before the club signed Vukovic, Warzycha could call upon Anor the weekend to help slow Sporting Kansas City's speed on the right wing with Kei Kamara.
Should Warzycha call, Anor will be ready.