Sep 262014

The schedule has been rewritten such that last weekend’s game has been moved to the 11th. Here’s what you need to know for this weekend’s game.

  1. Game time is 8am at Katy Park field 17. Please note that this is a change from field 14. As always, arrive 45 minutes early, at 7:15am.
  2. We are the away team, so please wear white but always bring both jerseys.
  3. Our opponents are West Houston Inter Milan. They have only played one game thus far this season, beating Texas United FC Leones Black 01B 2-1. They are not unfamiliar to us. We’ve played them three times. Several years ago we lost 4-0. In the fall 2013 season we lost 2-1, in part because of a tough call from a ref and a last minute free kick goal. In the spring we tied 1-1. I feel momentum is heading our way, but it won’t be easy. We will have to play our best to ensure victory, which is especially important considering the bad luck we had against Cy-Fair which cost us 2 points.

Tactical Notes

Vedad worked with the boys the past 2 weeks on ball movement and the necessary off-the-ball movement which makes it work so well, and I have to say the boys have looked very impressive. We handled the U14 Navy girls fairly easily, both in Sunday’s scrimmage and Thursday’s. Considering our past difficulties against them, it may be a good sign for this weekend’s game. But of somewhat more concern is our lack of goal-scoring; only 3 goals in the two scrimmages against them. As we saw in the last game, a 1-0 lead is not a safe lead. To that end, Vedad worked with the boys on shooting last practice. Now I know that saying “Score more goals!” isn’t exactly useful. So I want to point out that in my opinion, goal scoring in soccer is about percentage odds and finding space.

When I say percentage odds I mean understanding at that critical moment whether it is better to shoot or pass, and this is something that can only come from experience‚Ķ BUT, if no one is there to pass to, then the ONLY option is to shoot. So my point here is that the attack cannot be just one person, we have to have movement coming in the middle, coming from the sides, and coming from midfield. This movement does two important things: it offers the pass to the attacker who has the ball, and draws the attention of defenders who are forced to decide whether to care more about the run or the ball, and when that happens, options open up and a player with the ball can try to calculate his odds: do I have the better shot? Or my teammate? If the teammate has pulled defenders away from me, maybe I now have a good chance at scoring. If my teammate’s run has gone unnoticed by the defense, maybe he has a good chance at scoring if I can just get the ball to him. Calculate the odds, and improve the odds by making the runs.

Final Incentive

We should want to win because we’re a good team. We should want to win because we deserve to be playing Division 1 soccer. We should want to win because of our history with this team. We should want to win because we can win. But if all that isn’t enough, how about this?

We beat you every time and came second in the league with one less game”

That is the comment a player for West Houston (I presume) wrote on the preview for last season’s game. Now, first off for such a brief comment it’s amazing how many items he got incorrect: they haven’t beat us every time, they didn’t come second in the league last year, and we played the exact same number of games. But more importantly, doesn’t that just make you want to beat them more now?

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