The Premier team fell 1-0 to a very good Colorado Crimson team. The game was really a tale of two halves and although it was a loss, there were more positives than negatives to take away from this game.
The first half started a little bit disorganized. We had plenty of new faces and players who had not played with each other. We lined up in a traditional 4-5-1 set up. We started out with Shane in goal; Dede, Tyler, Matt, and Jose in defense; Chris and David playing the flanks; Dustin, Raph, and Nfansu playing a traingle in middle; and yours truly playing lone forward.
Crimson took it to us early, but courageous defensive efforts by our backline kept them off the board. Dustin almost put Chris or me through with a fantastic through ball, but neither one of us could get to it in time. Shane came up with some big saves but was finally beaten by a curling ball into the upper corner. Shane tried to take responsibility for that goal, but from where i was standing that goal would’ve gone in on anybody. Andy and Langston came in midway through the first half and helped stabilize things a little bit. Andy stepped in at sweeper and organized things and Langston’s presence up top made their defenders nervous. We almost caught a break late in the half when I chipped a pass over the backline for an on rushing Chris, but his shot went just wide of the far post. We ended that half as the better team.
At the break we made some tactical adjustments that really paid off in the second half.
We came out in a 4-1-3-2 formation and really took it to the Crimson. We were beginning to win the midfield battle and the momentum began to turn in our favor. This was mainly due to the tremendous efforts of Matt, Nfansu, and new player Tyler in the middle of the field. Their tenacity helped us take control of the tempo. Raph also did his part by putting the fear of God into some those “punk kids.” The man was playing with a purpose and his intensity really brought the team to life. Dede found some freedom up the right in the formation and was able to get up the field and put in some dangerous crosses. David and Jose were terrorizing the left flank but couldn’t catch a break to get us on the board. Our best chance in the second half came from a well driven corner kick that was met by Matt, but his header whizzed just over the cross bar. Because of our small bench we ran out of gas towards the end of the second half, but were able to keep them off the board until the final whistle blew.
We got caught out a few times in the second the half, but that is the risk you take when you push forward. All in all i think we showed what we are capable of, but we still need some work. I’m proud of our guys for playing so valiantly and as a coach and teammate all you can really expect from your players is 100% effort. In that respect everyone went beyond my expectations.
I also want to thank Eric for helping out in the defense because of our short numbers this weekend. His enthusiasm and direction from the sideline was also invaluable.