Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 1-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies

First report card of the year

In a new feature for the Forge, this season we are going to look at each player individually after every game and rate them on their performance. Ratings will be on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best. Par will be 7, so 5 should not be considered average but rather well below average. Yellow cards will get an automatic half-point deduction and reds a full point deduction. Ratings will include all substitutes (although subs who came in too late to make a meaningful contribution will get no rating) and we will also give the head coach a rating as well (so he won’t be exempt from the finger-pointing in the locker room!).

With that, let’s take a look at Sunday’s squad:

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 8. A 3-save outing for MVO, including a late-game hero stop to save the draw. Not much he could have done on the Dalgaard goal.

LB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7.5. Picked up a yellow card just 5 minutes into the game, which could have hampered him a bit. A solid 87.1% accuracy rate on 31 passes, as well as 1 tackle, 1 block and 2 interceptions defensively. Also took a shot, but off target.

CB: FREDDY KLEEMAN – 9. Man of the Match. Thrown in at the deep end for his first professional start, Freddy did not disappoint. He racked up 97 passes and managed 88.7% accuracy with them. With 7 defensive actions he also beat out his more experienced centerback partners: 1 tackle, 5 clearances and 1 interceptions.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 8. 76 passes for a massive 92.1% accuracy and – get this – 96.3% accuracy in the opponents’ half. That’s big.2 tackles, 1 clearance and 1 interception.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Not as productive in passing as the other two CBs: 79.5% accuracy on 78 passes. 1 tackle, 3 clearance s and 1 interception. By the way, none of the three CBs had any attacking threats to their name despite their massive height.

RB: JONNY DEAN – 6. Not Jonny’s best game, for a couple of reasons. First, he made a major mistake not covering Dalgaard on the goal. Second, his crossing was hampered in the second half by staring directly into the sun (more on that in Diving Deep this week). 43 passes (which seems low for him) generating an 81.4% completion rate.1 tackle and 2 clearances.

LM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 8. Playing a tiny bit off his preferred position, Anderson was still as dependable as ever. 88.9% accurate on 45 passes and just barely missed a shot wide right. One of the Legion’s 5 yellows.

CM: ZACH HERIVAUX – 9. One of the Legion’s best flex players, Zach found himself starting as the pivot in a huge game. He rose to the occasion, connecting on 90.6% of 53 passes. No shots, but he also made a big impact in defense: 3 tackles,  1 clearance and 3 interceptions.

RM: BRUNO LAPA – 7. An OK start to what should be an MVP season for Bruno. 85.7% accurate on 42 passes. He had 1 shot on target and another blocked. Also 1 tackle and 1 block in defense.

LF: ENZO MARTINEZ – 7.5. If motivation were the primary factor in these ratings, Enzo would score a 10 for every game. Although he never got a shot off, he was a major pest to the Tampa defense all game, and absolutely should have been awarded a penalty when CJ Cochran grabbed his ankle. Picked up a yellow card right at the end of the game.

RF: MACKY DIOP – 7. Also didn’t get a shot and it’s clear the chemistry between him and Enzo still needs some work. Having a big forward start the game was a good idea though.

SUB: PROSPER KASIM – 7.5. A key assist is going to get you a good rating every time, especially as a sub. In 22 official minutes he got 16 passes off, completing 81.3% when the game was getting intense. Spoiled it slightly by getting a yellow.

SUB: MARLON SANTOS – 9. Somehow I think Marlon is going to more than just a supersub on this team. But for right now,m that’s just fine. Go vote for him in the Goal of the Week poll.

SUB: ELI CROGNALE – 6.5. Getting a yellow card a minute after you come on the field is not a good look. Still, in just 9 official minutes he totaled 13 passes with a decent 76.9% accuracy rate.

SUB: RYAN JAMES – 7. Came on in cleanup duty in the 89th minute.Connected on 3 of 4 passes and also had a clearance. Did what was needed.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 8.  So Tommy tricked us all in this one. A 5-3-2? well well. And it worked. The only real problem? Speed in the final third.

All told, a very good game for the Three Sparks against probably the toughest opponent they will face all season.

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