Player Ratings: FC Tulsa 3-1 Birmingham Legion
This wasn't great
To say this game didn’t go as planned is something of an understatement. The final score was hardly reflective of the overall play in the game – which we will take a closer look at in this week’s Diving Deep – but that also doesn’t mean the Legion played particularly well. And certainly not up to their potential.
Here then are this week’s player ratings:
GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 5.5. When was the last time MVO had no saves in a game? Admittedly, the first goal he had no chance to stop and for the final one he wasn’t even in the box. But the penalty right on the cusp of half time was entirely his fault and his alone. A terrible decision that changed the entire game.
LB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7. I am rather conflicted as to who deserves the start at left back – Mikey or Ryan James. Last week Mikey did not get anywhere deep enough to be a threat, but Ryan doesn’t do so great in that department either. However, he did get deep this week, and had 2 successful crosses. He also had 2 unsuccessful ones. Overall his passing was poor: 68.4% accuracy on just 38 attempts. Two shots, one on target. Exited the game in a double sub in the 75th minute.
CB: FREDDY KLEEMAN – 8. After a superb game against Tampa, Freddy was primed to do it again. A freak leg injury in the 36th minute put paid to that and is a concern going forward. However, in that time he got in 2 clearances despite the lack of offense from Tulsa. Let’s hope he’s alright.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7. Phanuel had no defensive actions in the entire game. He also spent virtually no time in the Legion 18. In other words, a totally uneventful outing.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 5. 1 tackle, 1 clearance and 2 interceptions. Not bad. 70.9% completion rate on 55 passes. Not great. A silly yellow just 10 minutes into the game. Not good. A second yellow for an off-the-ball foul. Bad. Doing that knowing the team is already potentially down a centerback for the next game? Plain dumb.
RB: JONNY DEAN – 7. The most active of all the defenders in the game: 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 block and 1 interception. A somewhat mediocre 73.3% passing accuracy, though, and only 2 of 4 crosses found their target. 2 shots, 1 off target and 1 blocked.
LM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 8. Statistics may be worse than damned lies, but that may be because statisticians are poor mathematicians. In the 60 minutes he played, Anderson reportedly had an overall 100% pass completion rate (that’s unprecedented, by the way) but a rate of only 93.3% in the attacking half. Explain that, please, Opta. His heatmap and passing chart show him executing the pivot role perfectly. He also had 2 long-range shots, both predictably off target.
CM: ZACH HERIVAUX – 8. Zach was everywhere in this game. He had 5 tackles and 3 interceptions (which partly explains the lack of activity by the back line), completed 48 of 55 passes and won 7 of 11 duels. No shots, but he created 3 chances.
CAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. Another good outing for Enzo. And if Sean Lewis hadn’t got his hands on that point-blank header I the 33rd minute, things would have turned out very differently. 66.7% accuracy on 33 passes (that’s actually good for an attacking player). 1 shot on frame, 1 off target and 3 blocked.
LF: MARLON SANTOS – 7. His golazo last week was obviously enough to get him the start this week. Still, the Legion remain without its pure striker in Edi Horvat. The 75-minute performance this week was less inspiring just 2 shots, both off frame.
RF: PROSPER KASIM – 8. 3 shots, 2 on target and one of those was of course the Legion’s only goal. Don’t forget though that he completely whiffed on an earlier big chance. Still, the goal and an impressive 81.6% accuracy rate on 38 passes is good enough for Man of the Match.
SUB: THOMAS VANCAEYEZEELE – 8. It’s never good when you have to sub in a defender in the first half (as Tampa discovered last week, in fact), especially when that defender spent most of the previous season as a holding midfielder and is 5 inches shorter than the guy he replaced. Thomas was up to the task though: 2 tackles, 1 clearance and 2 interceptions.
SUB: BRUNO LAPA – 7. Leaving your key playmaker on the bench is rather puzzling. Bruno replaced Anderson in the 60th minute in an obvious attempt to supply more offensive power. He completed 13 of 17 passes and had 2 shots on goal, 1 off target and 2 blocked.
SUB: ELI CROGNALE – 6. A second straight weak display by Eli.In 15 official minutes (22 actual) he connected on 6 of 9 passes. And that’s it.
SUB: MACKY DIOP – 6. Came on with Eli and frankly did even less. 50% completion rate on just 6 passes and 1 off-target shot.
HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 7. More formation tinkering. The game started with the same lack of attacking penetration as last week, but picked up quickly after about 25 minutes. The Three Sparks racked up a whopping 21 shots with 6 on target. That’s a major improvement. Now they need to start making those shots count.