Nov 142013
 

We didn’t have our shooting boots on.

Here are the stats:

Fusion 01B West

HESC 01B White

0

Goals

0

6

Shots

6

3

Shots on Goal

1

2

Corner Kicks

2

2

Fouls

7

0

Yellow Cards

1

 

So the first thing to note is that this didn’t feel like a tenth place team, did it? The number one problem from the stats is the shots on goal. We’ve had two other games with 6 or fewer shots (although we lost one of those), but we’ve never had fewer than 3 shots on goal before. If we don’t challenge the goalkeeper then we can’t score. So what happened?

It was again a physical game, and one where the referee saw only one team being physical. OK, fine. We should be used to that by now. What I saw was that our passing was not good this day. One thing I noticed is that Fusion, like Mexico Jr, liked to pop up balls in the air. This is understandable as they were a pretty tall team. So by responding to aerial balls with aerial balls of our own was not a good tactic. We needed to settle those balls and send them on the ground to each other. In tactics, in general, if you notice your opponent playing a certain way that is probably what they feel comfortable doing; if you are able to play a different way then you may gain an advantage.

Luis was, for the second game in a row, taken out of play by the referee’s constant calling of fouls against us. So the response has to be that Luis has to play wider and send balls in. But that means people have to support him in attack for him to send those balls to.

The good news is that, despite intense pressure we did not give up too many dangerous chances to our opponents, who seemed more and more eager to try and get a goal as the game wore on.

Soccer in Houston’s Three Stars of the Game

  1. Nicholas Fetzer – Nick had to shift over and play center defense for the first time this season. In doing so he had the unenviable task of marking Fusion’s #34. He did so quite well, despite the fact that #34 was much taller and more massive than Nick, and eager to use those qualities to his advantage. Great work from Nick.
  2. Sean Lau – When #34 was frustrated with lack of success against Nick, he would drift left and try his luck there. But when he did Sean was there to shut him down. If the physical matchup with Nick was uneven, Sean’s was even more so. But he stayed with his opponent, and didn’t let him get very many good looks at goal. Strong day from Sean.
  3. Alex Wintz – But there were a few times that Fusion did penetrate. When they did, Alex was there to make the save, stop the cross, or intercept the through ball. Some of those balls dropped awkwardly to the ground right in front of him, but he handled them without giving up a rebound, which is more than Tally Hall could do in the playoff series against New York. Nice work from Alex.

I have to give an honorable mention to our fourth member of the defense, João Mitchell. Zinho has been thrown into just about every position this season, and as usual did not disappoint.

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