AC Milan Preseason Review

Richard MesquitaContributor IJuly 27, 2009

BALTIMORE - JULY 24: Ronaldinho #80 of AC Milan reacts after a play against Chelsea FC at M & T Bank Stadium on July 24, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

After a difficult season for AC Milan I was excited to see them play in their preseason. After a week of games against Galaxy, Club America, Chelsea and Inter I was left a little disappointed, but only at first. 

Then I proceeded to take apart the games for what they really are...Preseason Games!

Even though it would have been nice to see AC Milan win all four games, specially the one against Inter, I think that these matches served their purpose. To get the players re-acquainted, to test the new players, see how they will gel with the others, get Leonardo’s feet wet. There were some very positive signs as well.

Let’s take Ronaldinho for example. Last year there was no continuity to his playing. He was left on the bench most of the time and only put in when there was little time to really make a difference on the pitch.

In these four games I have already seen a different Ronaldinho. He is moving around, looking for the ball, trying to get on the same wavelength with the other players. He hit the post twice on free kicks and made Julio Cesar (Inter’s goalie) make a couple difficult saves.

He may have looked a little slow at times, perhaps unsure of himself in a couple of plays but that is common after not playing for a while. Plus you have to take into consideration that he played four matches in the span of one week, even players in top form would show signs of fatigue.

The problem is that everyone is so used to watching Ronaldinho create magic with his feet that anything less is viewed as a disappointment. If you ask me he still has all the ingredients to come back as the best player in the world. Can he lead this team to a Scudetto title? Only time will tell.

I am still amazed at how Seedorf continues to have a slot on this team. Talk about lack of creativity! This man wears the No. 10 jersey. Other greats that have worn this number…Pele, Maradona—think of what they have done for their teams.

Seedorf only has two plays, pass the ball backwards or attempt a dribble and lose the ball. We saw this time and time again last season, and we saw it again in the three matches that he played.

Ok so he scored a goal…big deal. As a midfielder he should be creating plays, creating chances to score. I saw nothing like that at all. May be he should consider a career in the MLS.

Pato showed some signs of brilliance but he is still young and very unreliable.  The one thing he has that Milan desperately need is speed. His ability to turn and leave the defender in his wake is incredible. With the right players helping him out, I believe he can shine this season.

Inzaghi, what can I say. He is a born goal scorer. If he could only get his off sides under control. I think Milan is in desperate need of a striker. After talks with Luis Fabiano have cooled off I don’t know what they are going to do, but I think he would have been a great choice to complement this squad.

I was very excited to see Onyewu play. I think overall he played well. He gave up a goal against Chelsea and I think he could have done better against Inter. Milito gave him a nice introduction to the Serie A twisting him around a couple of times before scoring.

I think he will learn quickly, he has everything to be a great defender. I don’t have to say what this can do for U.S. soccer but what a shot in the arm. The crowd went crazy when he took the field. I hope he does well.

Zambrotta played well, Nesta played well, if they can just keep him injury free he will continue to be an asset. Thiago Silva showed some good soccer. Ambrossini played like a rock. Gattuso is Gattuso there is nothing else to say. He will give 110 percent in every match. 

They definitely need either Dida or Abiati back. Kalac is terrible in goal. He missed a couple of saves that I am sure Abiati would have made. Specifically Inter’s first goal.

Overall I think the team showed some good signs and I think Leonardo is on the right track.