Soccer notes compiled while plotting my return to the top of The Regiment’s MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager league table…
Sunday was kind of an away-day for local soccer, beginning with…
College of Charleston women fall to Georgia Southern
Christian Michner’s women’s team traveled to Statesboro Sunday for a Southern Conference spring season match-up with 2012 conference champions Georgia Southern. They returned home not entirely deflated by a 1-0 loss.
“It was a good game, two quality teams, and we played well,” said Tracy Chao, the team’s assistant coach. “We just gave up a little bit of a defensive error in the back. It was just a missed clearance and the ball kinda popped up in the box and they just tapped it in.”
Chao said despite the one breakdown, the Cougars generally did a good job of possessing the ball, but shifted their scheme at the break to become more effective in the attack. It didn’t produce an equalizer in the final 45, but Chao was generally satisfied with the results.
“We basically moved from a 4-3-3 in the first in the first half to a 3-5-2 in the second half,” Chao said. “Which helped us move the ball and keep the ball at a higher point in the attack, trying to create better chances in the final third as opposed to keeping possession in the defensive third. Which we did in the second half a lot better.
Claire Newman, a versatile defender from Greensboro, NC, turned in an impressive performance at center back.
“She’s a hard player — she’s physical, she’s aggressive,” Chao said of the freshman. “We wanted her to be a little bit more composed, and also to be able to use her as the link to start the attack, and she came out in the second half and did a really good job as far as creating the attack for us. There was good effort from everybody, but Claire probably stood out the most.”
The College hosts the women from Coastal Carolina on Sunday at Patriots Point at 10 a.m. More on that later in the week.
Battery Academy splits pair in Greensboro
Clark Brisson’s S.C. United Battery Academy U-18 squad held on for a valuable point on the road against the Carolina Fusion, and the local U-16s had their way with a down-table Fusion team Sunday.
“They probably had a few more chances than we did in the first, but in the second I thought we were the better team,” Brisson said of his U-18s. “We just couldn’t finish our chances.”
The unit, which was already running thin on players, traveled without Robert Perez or Josh Schooler, but benefited from the contributions of U-16 regular Adrian Thompson. “Adrian came up from the U-16s and played a great game at left back for us,” Brisson said. “We needed it.”
With eight games remaining, the draw provided a precious road point for the U-18s. Ranked fifth in their 12-team league, the squad would qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today, but needs to move up two spots to earn an automatic berth. “At this point in the season,” Brisson said, “we’ll take the point and move on.”
The U-16s dominated the afternoon match 3-1 to keep the Carolina team lodged at the bottom of the standings. Forward Rex Epps scored twice, both times on assists from midfielder Marcelo Malpartida, and Nick Wright added the other with an assist from Rhett Stevens. Wright is a student at Wando, while Epps, Malpartida and Stevens are all from the Columbia area.
Another Columbia player, defender Dillon Garcia, made his first appearance this season after rehabbing a bad groin, and earned praise from his coach. “Dillon really solidified the back for us,” Brisson said. “He had the calmness that this team was missing.”
The Academy play their next home match on April 28 t Blackbaud Stadium against IMG Academy from Bradenton, Florida.
I stream, U stream, we all stream for…
So I missed Sunday afternoon’s live stream of the Portland Timbers Reserve match against VSI Tampa Bay FC, but despite the owner’s pledge that this year’s Reserve games would feature log slices, just under 2,000 Portland fans turned out. That’s good attendance in some markets, but disappointing for Portland on a Sunday.
I’m guessing they were all still hungover from celebrating the Timbers’ 2-0 win over Houston. Heh.
Anyway, the Reserve Timbers won 2-1.
In other news about VSITBFC, the alphabet soup team finally has a stadium deal. They’ll play their home opener in Plant City on Saturday.
I did manage to catch part of the U Nation livestream of the Richmond-Pittsburgh match on Saturday. Just in terms of stagecraft, if Richmond is going to put all the fans on one side of the stadium, the league really ought to consider moving the cameras to the other side. The match finished 0-0, and from that lonely camera angle, it appeared to have been played in front of a few random day-laborers who dropped by on their dinner break to see why the lights were on.
The award for the best USL PRO performance of the week probably ought to go to the supporters group for the expansion FC Phoenix Wolves. The team lost 3-1 to a tough-looking Orlando City squad, but you’ve got to love this:
“The official pre-match festivities began even before the fireworks lit the sky during the national anthem. But the unofficial start was initiated when more than100 boisterous fans from the independent supporters group “La Furia Roja 1881” (The Red Fury 1881) marched into the stadium. Clad in red with flags and holding soccer scarves high, they sang and chanted in a section situated behind the south goal. The jumping and singing started 30 minutes before the match and never stopped.”
Regiment league fantasy update
Congratulations to Ben Smith’s Shep Messing FC squad, which hung 62 points on the board to vault to win the week and vault to the top of the table for the first time this year. Smith’s big move put him six points up on Regiment President Mikey Buytas, who spent one week as the league leader.
In other, far more inspiring news, my Xarktopia LLC team finished tied for second in the weekly scoring contest (with Luke Largin’s Deux Bleus FC). The tally moved Xarktopia into third overall.
PHOTO: “El Trencito” Valencia of the Portland Timbers Reserves beats VSI Tampa Bay FC Sunday afternoon. Orlando City beats expansion Phoenix, but wins the week’s “Best Supporters” Award. And of course we’ve got College of Charleston news…