Nov 152012

This was supposed to be the big one.

This was supposed to be the last game of the season, against the best team in the bracket.  The final test of how much we’ve improved.  It’s still against the best team in the bracket, but it’s no longer the last game, we will still have one left after this, to be played December 1st.

What you need to know

  1. We are playing Texas United FC Knights.  They are a very good team, as you might expect.  In fact, they have not lost at all this season, winning 8 and tying 2.  Who has managed to take points off them?
    They tied Texans 00/01B North 2-2. Texans beat us 4-1 a few weeks ago at Meyer Park.
    They tied Albion Hurricanes FC 02B B 1-1. Albion beat us early in the season 4-2.
    Texas United have had success largely through a very tough defense, the best by far in our bracket.  They’ve only allowed 9 goals all season (10 games), less than 1 per game.  They’ve had three shutouts and only allowed more than one goal twice, once in the tie against Texans North and, interestingly, once in a 3-2 win over Space City Red (a team we beat 4-1 by way of comparison).  Our defense has been much more porous, allowing 23 goals in 9 games, just over 2.5 per game and 9th in our bracket.
    When you compare offenses, however, you see where we shine.  They have scored a less impressive 25 goals total, just 2.5 per game and 7th in our bracket.  The most goals they’ve scored in a game is 4, against Texans 01B Red (we haven’t played them yet). By comparison our offense has put in more goals (29) in fewer games, placing us 3rd in our bracket in scoring. We’ve scored 4 or more goals in a game 5 times.
  2. Game time is 2pm at Katy Park field 19 (map here).  Please try to arrive by 1:15pm.  We are the away team, so please wear all white.

Tactical notes

We can do well in this game.  I have no doubt that we have the ability.  But we can also do poorly and let the game get away with us, as we’ve done in other games.  Which Express White will show up?  When we pass well and receive the ball positively things go well.  The attack speeds up and we get to take shots and score goals.  When we dribble for too long, allowing us to be surrounded by opponents, when we dribble in our own half, when we receive the ball negatively we tend to give up the ball in dangerous spots and we allow goals in those situations.  When midfielders lose the ball will you track back and try to win it, putting their players under pressure and forcing turnovers? Or will you give up on the play and figure it’s the defenders job to deal with them.  Talk to each other to let each other know where to pass and when the opponent is closing each other down.  Listen to each other, especially players behind you trying to organize the team shape and point out threats to deal with.

Their defense will be stout.  They may have a good goalkeeper.  We will have to get ourselves in good scoring positions and take our shots well.  And we will have to be careful when pushing forward that we don’t push too many up, leaving ourselves vulnerable to counterattack.

We have two games left in the season.  Our opponents have only this one. We cannot finish in first place in this group, but we can possibly disrupt our opponents’ plans to do so.  We can finish as high as third, though.  That would be a real accomplishment.  What do you want to do? How bad do you want it?

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