Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 0-2 Colorado Springs Switchbacks

An underwhelming performance

Last week’s loss felt like the team was making progress. This week’s loss felt like a regression, both individually and as a team. We’ll handle the latter issue in Diving Deep (tomorrow), but here is our opinion on the various player ratings:

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. It’s hard to fault a 6-save performance, especially when that takes MVO over 250 career saves in the USLC. On the first goal he perhaps could have covered the near post a little better, although it was a rocket to the roof of the net. The second goal tipped in off the post and was out of reach.

LB: JONNY DEAN – 6.5. As far as I can recall, this was the first time Jonny has played on the left for the Legion. Overall, it worked out fairly well. It’s possible to criticize him for not tracking back fast enough on the Michee Ngalina goal, but he was playing wrong-sided. He won only 6 of 15 duels (which also means he was the object of Colorado’s primary attack). Also, he managed 3 tackles, 1 clearance and 1 interception. In attack he was 76.2% accurate on 42 passes, and slightly more accureate in the Colorado Springs half, on top of completing all 4 passes into the box (of which 2 were crosses). A late yellow card for a rather pointless shoulder barge into the back of Ben Mines.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 6. Last week Phanuel had a surprisingly uneventful game. This week wasn’t so great. He was an OK 88.4% in passing accuracy (you usually want your centerbacks to be over 90%), but lost all 3 duels he was involved in and had just 1 clearance and 1 interception.

CB: THOMAS VANCAEYEZEELE – 7. Conscripted into the centerback role for the suspended Alex Crognale, Thomas showed that he is well-versed in the position. The numbers don’t show it too well, but he was difficult to get past. He lost 6 of 8 duels but logged  1 tackle, 3 clearances and 1 interception. He did get an early yellow card, but the call was obviously bad and we won’t dock him a half-point for it.

RB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7.5. The switch with Jonny Dean went really well for Mikey, who put up very similar but slightly better numbers to his counterpart. Defensively, he had 6 tackles and 2 clearances. He won 7 of his 10 duels as well. He completed 90% of his fairly low 40 total passes and sent 4 successful balls into the 18. Spoiled it a bit with a yellow card in the 17th minute. Man of the Match, although he didn’t get much competition for it.

DM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 5.5. A very rare off day for Anderson. A stupid yellow card late in the game for arguing with the referees (although they had frankly earned it) capped off a bad game. Just 34 passes all night, of which he completed just 22. He lost 8 of 10 duels and had just 1 tackle and 1 clearance. None of his 3 crosses into the box found a target.

LM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 7. If anything, Enzo was busier in defense than in the attack, which rather indicates how this game went for the Legion. He had no shots, 2 unsuccessful crosses, his passing accuracy was just 70.5% on 44 attempt, but he registered 4 tackles, 1 clearance and 1 interception.

RM: BRUNO LAPA – 7. Bruno was totally ordinary in this game. In 76 minutes he made just 33 passes, completing 25, and had 1 off-target shot.

LAM: PROSPER KASIM – 7. After two strong outings, Prosper dropped off a bit in this one. 1 shot off target, 1 blocked shot, an 77.1% connection rate on 35 passes, and only one connecting in the box.

RAM: MARLON SANTOS – 6. Really not good. Pulled for Eli Crognale after 66 minutes, he managed a mere 56% accuracy on 25 passes and just one shot off frame.

FWD: EDI HORVAT – 8. In his first official Legion game, Edi looked uncomfortable. He had impressed in the game against Atlanta United but 3 weeks without playing did not do him any favors.

SUB: MACKY DIOP – 6. Replaced Edi Horvat and achieved even less in 34 official minutes. O shots, and just 11 passes, completing a whopping 3.

SUB: ELI CROGNALE – 6. Eli’s swan song didn’t exactly go as hoped. However, he did get in 1 shot, albeit off target and was a decent 76.9% accurate on 13 passes. Thanks for all you did for the Three Sparks, Eli!

SUB: RYAN JAMES – 6. Another nothing performance. Replacing Bruno, Ryan got zero shots in and attempted only 5 passes, connecting on 2.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 6. Asked after the game about the constant formation changes, Soehn  said “I think we’re going to explore different options until we get it right.” That doesn’t sound good. Admittedly, he was rather limited in this game due to Freddy Kleemann’s injury and Alex Crognale’s suspension, but that doesn’t affect the fact that the attack continues not to have any teeth. And that is his job to fix.

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