It won’t much feel like it, with the Kinkaid tournament and the Thanksgiving tournament, but this is the last game of the season. Here’s what you need to know.
We are playing Texas Rush 00/01B Nero. They are currently in 10th place with a 2-1-7 record, while we are 5th with a 4-3-3 record. They are tied for the 4th worst offense at 1.8 goals per game (we are tied for the 4th best with 2.4 goals per game) and the 4th worst defense at 2.6 goals per game while we are tied for the 3rd best defense (at 1.2 goals per game).
They beat Texans 6-0 (we beat them 8-0).
They lost to Albion 4-1 (we beat Albion 1-0).
They lost to Lamar Chivas 4-0 (we tied them 0-0).
They tied Lake Jackson United 1-1 (we lost to them last week 4-1).
They lost to Tigres 2-3 (we tied Tigres 2-2).
They lost to Dynamos 4-3 (we lost to them 1-0).
They beat Eclipse 3-2 (we beat Eclipse 5-1).
They lost to Cy-Fair 2-1 (we tied them 1-1).
They lost to Texas United 4-0 (we beat Texas United by the same score).
They lost to West Houston Inter Milan 2-1 (we lost to them 3-2).
- The game is being played at 8am at Meyer Park Field 22 (this is a slight change from previously scheduled field 23). Map here. See below for when to arrive. We are the away team, so wear white, but be certain to bring the blue jersey as well.
When to Arrive
Vedad wants the players to arrive between 7:15 and 7:30 but NO LATER than 7:30. He is concerned about the weather; I would interpret this is as “plan to arrive at 7:15 and then you can stay in the car for 10 minutes before sending your player to the field”. Vedad would like the boys to wear their sweatpants over their shorts during warmup, and their jackets as well. Only after the warmup will they take these things off. The forecast for tomorrow’s kickoff is 40, cloudy, with a moderate east breeze. Dress warm; dress your boys warm.
Tactical and Other Notes
If you look at the standings, this appears to be a team we should easily beat. But when you look at the results a few things stand out: This team has done about as well against the top 3 as we have. We cannot take them for granted. We have to play well, we have to play strong.
At practice last night and earlier in the week Vedad focused on a number of things, often revolving around transition, especially in attack. Wide players play wide in possession, squeeze in when out of possession. Outside backs need to be willing to overlap their winger, and force the opposing defender to choose who to go with. Don’t stay back for fear you will be caught upfield when the ball turns over, because the two center backs and the opposite side outside back should be shifting to cover the space you vacated. Wingers need to come back when we lose possession; at that point they play more like midfielders; only the center forward stays high. But once we win the ball the wingers have to immediately run forward and wide; one frustration Vedad had was how many players waited until the ball was passed to them to get to the proper position; make the run first, then the ball will come.
Finally, Vedad was concerned about the lack of physicality. We have to be more physical or we will cede too much to the teams who are (see Lake Jackson, Tigres, Lamar Chivas, and others). What does this mean? We’re not talking about kicking a player; we’re talking about bumping, jarring, small pushes and pulls (not fouling) that force players to play off-balance, that pressure them to play the ball faster than they might want to, which can lead to turnovers. When marking a player, we rarely are in contact with them, but when you are not touching your mark, you’re not really marking them as well as you can. The truth is, none of this list of ways to be physical should be a mystery to the boys—it’s being done to them frequently.