What good can I say about last week’s 2 2 draw to Wilmington? We didn’t lose and the streak continued. That’s it.
The bad is we are 1 point ahead of the best team in USL, the Junior Red Bulls (Yes I said it). They beat us at home and can beat us again; they have slowly been gaining on us as we continue to stay on top. If we lose this game against the defending champions Rochester Rhinos, you can expect we could be in 2nd like we were all last year. So what are the keys to the game in Rochester:
They currently sit 6th in the standings with 18 points and above Charlotte Independence on goal difference. This team is not the same as the championship team we saw last year who ran away with the trophy and the Regular season title. However, this team still manages to string together a good run of games. Their 3 losses have been decided by 1 goal, which isn’t that big of deal. However when you watch them play, the team is very reserved, almost playing on the defense and getting the attack when it is able to attack at speed rather than moving the ball methodically. Their defense has allowed just 11, goals so while their defense may not be the same as it was it is still one of the stronger ones in the league. Expect their defense to be a key in the win. Shutting down Chandler Hoffman and controlling the midfield will be another major key as that is the whole attack of LCFC, as we like to control the midfield and get the ball out for a cross or in for a shot. If the Rhinos control the tempo and midfield expect the game to look a lot like the 2nd half of the Wilmington game where we were playing defense the whole time.
The keys here are to control the midfield. In a game where we didn’t control the midfield, we watched as the Hammerheads threatened our goal repeatedly. The other key is for our players to keep the first touch closer to them. Several times I watched the players take an awful first touch or receiving touch, then lose the ball or have to panic and get rid of the it as soon as they got it. I understand in high pressure defense that is how it is, but Wilmington did not press hard like other teams had against us and still have the ball. We have to be more poised on the ball as well as stronger in the tackle, and we did not handle the physical play as well as I have seen in the past. It could have been the long road trip or whatever it was but it needs to be resolved quickly. LCFC can win the league if it has consistent play just not the greatest play at time.
1 0 LCFC
I think this will be a defensive game. It will largely come down to who can find the hole in wall. This game is hard to predict because LCFC is good away and Rochester is good at home so this game will be a good one. I put LCFC winning as they have a stronger attack so maybe that will be the x factor in this game. Anyway LCFC Will Float like Butterfly and Sting like a Bee! The goalie can’t catch what his eyes can’t see!