Soccer is a funny game; sometimes a tie can feel like a win, and sometimes a loss. It can make you a little crazy.
Had we been losing a tie would have felt great; instead we were winning, and a tie is disappointing. But there a lot of positives to see in this game. Tactically we had a lot of strengths. In attack, the boys made smart passes and smart runs. Every time a player took the ball downfield they moved to a flank, and other players would make runs down the middle and the other side to provide options to cross to. There were also a good number of diagonal passes to get defenses turned around. In defense, the boys usually trusted a teammate to deal with one attacker while they would deal with one making a move for a cross. This is a big improvement in our level of play.
In fact, I think it would be fair to argue that we did not give up the last two goals of the game to Missouri City; we gave them up to exhaustion. I honestly never counted how many players Missouri City had, but for us I feel 8 was not enough, and by the end of the game the midfielders just couldn’t find the energy to move even a few feet to challenge an opponent, and our defense was left exposed with only two players to deal with attacks involving at least three. We didn’t have much lead time for this game to work out schedules, but hopefully with our large player pool we’ll be able to get at least 10 players to every future game.
Chelsea01.com’s three stars of the game:
- Dylan Dreghorn. In attack, Dylan did everything asked of him. You cannot argue against 3 goals. His speed was certainly a good weapon, but he did more than just run. In particular, he used the walls well to send himself bounce passes that bypassed the opposition. Great work from Dylan, who also contributed in defense when we needed him to.
- Daniel Mirzai. Daniel did very well in goal in the second half, but was even more impressive in defense in the first half. I think it’s fair to say we could not have even come close to tying without Daniel’s presence in the game.
- Alexander Blankenship. For those who don’t know, Alex B hasn’t played with Chelsea in a while because he broke his wrist toward the end of the season. His cast just came off this week, and on top of that he got a cold which he was still recovering from. So to say he gave this game his all and left everything on the field would be an understatement. I thought Alex played a very strong game and, just as importantly, when he had drained himself completely let me know to take him out and give him some recuperation time. Excellent work.
Thanks to everyone for making it to the game. Parents, please take a moment to fill out the form about game-day availability so we can create a schedule of which players will be in which games. I know things will change, but at least we can get a rough picture of where we are.