Player Ratings: Phoenix Rising 0-1 Birmingham Legion

A complete game by the Three Sparks

In what was almost certainly the team’s best outing so far this season we had a slew of great performances. Here’s how the Forge rates them:

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 8. A 5-save clean sheet in your 99th regular season USL game will get you a good rating. Oddly, Matt’s passing was poor: he was just 28.6% accurate on 28 passes. However, 24 of those were long passes and a good number of them after the go-head goal.

LB: JAKE RUFE – 7. Jake is not the most mobile of fullbacks, which affected the game plan somewhat. However, defensively he is pretty strong. 2 tackles, 3 clearances and 2 interceptions kept the Rising at bay on that side. Good on 13 of a rather limited 20 passes and won 4 of 10 duels.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7. Phanny was surprisingly not challenged too much by the Phoenix attack. He won 2 of 4 duels and recorded 1 tackle, 3 clearances and 1 interception. IN the attack he also created 1 chance.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE 8. Just the clean-sheet-saving clearance would be enough for a good rating, but on top of that Alex went 80% on 40 passes, won 5 of 6 duels and made 1 tackle and a whopping 7 clearances in total. He also had 2 attempts on goal with 1 on target.

RB: JONNY DEAN – 7.5. The USL doesn’t record hockey assists (MLS does) but Jonny deserves one here. On top of that he completed 88.2% of 34 passes, won 3 of 5 duels and logged 1 tackle, 3 clearances and 1 interception. Spoiled it a bit with a yellow card.

LM: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7. A solid game from Mikey playing in the defensive pivot position. He connected on 48 of 57 passes and created 1 scoring chance. Defensively he won only 3 of 9 duels, but made 1 tackle, 3 clearances a 1 interception.

RM: ZACH HERIVAUX 7.5. The yellow card was entirely earned, but otherwise a very good game. 85.4% accurate on 41 passes and 2 shots, 1 off frame and 1 blocked. At the other end, Zach was the victor in 8 of 14 duels and recorded 3 tackles, 1 block and 2 interceptions.

LAM: PROSPER KASIM – 9. A bit inaccurate to list Prosper as left mid, since he and Marlon switched sides at half time. That being said, all 4 of his shots came from the right side, including 1 on the first half. The goal as great, as was the crossbar shot. Of the other two 1 was on target and the other blocked. He was also pouring in crosses all game. Pulled after 88 minutes. No surprises here: Man of the Match.

CAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. The official stats do not credit Enzo with an assist! Absurd. He is a terror to defenses and in the absence of Bruno Lapa the primary distributor in attack. 3 shots, 2 off target and 1 blocked, and 1 chance created (of course).

RAM: MARLON SANTOS – 8. Marlon played 70 minutes and clearly needed the early rest. The Jonny-Marlon connection on the wing was beautiful to watch and has to be huge going forward. Just 1 shot off frame but he pumped in 6 crosses and created 2 chances.

FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 7. Jut 1 off target shot in 78 minutes doesn’t seem like much and Juan has been criticized for his lack of output often this season. But in this game he played very much as a hold-up forward and freed up other players to do their magic.

SUB: RYAN JAMES – 7. 20 official minutes for Ryan, replacing Marlon. He completed 4 of 6 passes and had 1 tackle and 1 clearance, Not a big output, but enough.

SUB: EDI HORVAT – 6. Edi didn’t get to do much in his 12 official minutes. Good on 2 of 3 passes and lost 6 of 7 duels. No shots, although the Legion was admittedly already pretty much in bus parking mode at that point.

SUB: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7. 2 official minutes (which turned into 7 actual minutes) is usually not enough to generate a rating, but Matthew’s second appearance included 1 good pass and 1 clearance.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN 8. Limited in lineup choices, Tommy went with the trusty old 4-2-3-1 formation but with completely revamped tactics. And they worked. Keep this going.

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