Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 0-0 Louisville City
Getting better incrementally
So the Legion entered this game as underdogs at home, outplayed Louisville City for 40 minutes and looked potential winners, got a man advantage but finished with a draw. Tough but entertaining night. Here are the player ratings for this week:
GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. 3 saves to add to his growing 250+ career total and the first clean sheet of the season. Only one of the three saves was anything more than routine though as the Legion completely nullified the Lou City attack.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7. After an uninspiring performance last week, Phanuel stepped it up this week. 86.4% accurate on 44 passes, won 4 of 6 duels and logged 1 tackle (which frankly seems wrong) and 8 clearances. He picked up a yellow for defending the downed Zach Herivaux, for which I am tempted to give him an extra half point, certainly no deduction.
CB: THOMAS VANCAEYEZEELE – 8. Alex is back but Freddy isn’t (and probably won’t be for a long time) so Thomas is pretty much an expected starter at the back now. Just as well he’s good. A whopping 73 passes, albeit only completing 80.8%. He won 8 of 9 duels, including all 5 in the air and had 3 tackles and 3 clearances.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Oh, was he missed last week. An acceptable 81% accuracy rate on 58 passes, he also won all 3 duels (2 were in the air, no surprise there). 1 tackle, 4 clearances, 1 block and 2 interceptions. Add to that 1 blocked shot made for a busy evening.
LWB: JONNY DEAN – 7. Tweeting in-game, I noted that Jonny’s defense was much improved this week. The stats say he lost all 4 duels and had just 1 clearance, but the fact is he cut off virtually any meaningful attack from his side. A pretty good 85.7% accurate on 56 passes.
DM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 8. Are we going to see Anderson double as a field goal kicker for the Stallions in a couple of weeks? He certainly likes to shoot from range. That’s a bit unfair of course: of his three shots in the game only one went high. One was on target and one was blocked. Completed 34 of 40 passes, and won 8 of 12 duels (losing the only one in the air, no surprise there either). Man of the Match performance for sure.
DM: ZACH HERIVAUX – 7. Zach allowed Anderson to do all of the attacking from the pivot positions, concentrating on defense and distribution, at which he did very well. 89.4% accurate on 47 passes, 1 clearance and 1 interception. At this point he has probably earned an automatic starting role.
RWB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7. I’ll admit to not having been particularly high on Mikey in the past, but his play this season from the fullback/wingback position has been strong. He played 82 minutes, managing 75.7% success on 37 passes and booted in 6 crosses, although none found a target. Looked very pissed off to be subbed out, which is a good thing.
LAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. Sooner or later (and hopefully sooner) Enzo’s attacking play is going to result in a slew of goals. No one on the team seems able to get into threatening positions quite like he does (as his 3 offsides in this game attest). 1 shot on target, 3 wide and 4 chances created.
RAM: PROSPER KASIM – 8. Almost as busy as Enzo, Prosper is also a constant scoring threat. 2 shots, one on frame and one blocked as well as 3 chance creations. He also won all 6 duels and attempted 5 crosses (finishing one of them).
FWD: MARLON SANTOS – 6.5. Pulled early again after 60 minutes, Marlon did take 3 shots, of which 2 were on target. Or 4 shots if you count the yellow-worthy Diego Maradona1As a native Englishman this correspondent is required to hate Maradona. It’s a law. attempt which gets him a deduction.
SUB: BRUNO LAPA – 8. In 30 official minutes Bruno was extremely busy. He connected on 18 of 22 passes. He had one shot off target and 1 shot blocked…
SUB: MACKY DIOP – 6. …by Macky, who seemed totally unrepentant about it. That shot was in. Other than that, in 8 official minutes Macky had 4 passes, all completed and 1 blocked shot.
HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 7. Other than the failure to score (which is admittedly a big thing) the game plan worked flawlessly. However, the decision to sub in Macky rather than Edi was a bit surprising and likely cost the Legion 2 points.
AC: KHANO SMITH – -0.5. Well, he got a yellow card, but I can’t find any other stats on him, so he is my first ever negative rating.