Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 1-0 Memphis 901
Keeping the barbarians outside the gate
Derby games are supposed to be epic. This one was Gone With the Wind epic, clocking in at around 3 hours 45 minutes, and well worth it for the hardy souls who stuck it out until nearly 11pm. For the boys in red on the field it was more like 300, as they limped off bloodied after holding off the vile invaders. Here’s how they did:
GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. His second straight clean sheet (5 total, tied for 5th in the league), although he only had to make one actual save to do it. He did have to collect numerous dangerous balls however. A great way to log his 100th regular season game.
LB: JAKE RUFE – 8. Another good showing by Jake, who is demonstrating his value lately. Only 57.9% accurate in passing (although the team as a whole was poor on that score), but he won 7 of 11 duels and got 2 tackles, 6 clearances and 3 interceptions. Fotmob gave him their Man of the Match honors and I have to agree.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 8. Phanny was shown the yellow card for getting into the ref’s face, for which he deserves a bonus, not a deduction. He had a very strong game all told. A very high 86.8% completion rate on 38 passes, 2 shots (1 off target, 1 blocked). Only 2 of 6 duels won, but 3 clearances, 1 block and 2 interceptions to his credit.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. This game was screaming for Alex to get into it with someone, and he came close on a couple of occasions. He kept his cool, though and was pretty much impassable. Completed 31 of 44 passes, won 4 of 7 duels and logged 1 tackle, 5 clearances and 3 interceptions.
RB: JONNY DEAN – 7. Jonny’s game seems to be changing a bit. He is now making a living off wide to central dribbling, as Marlon takes the role of primary wideout. It’s fun to watch. 61.3% accuracy on 31 passes, 2 unsuccessful crosses in attack. Defensively, 5 of 9 duels won, 3 tackles and 1 interception.
LM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 7.5. The stats look pretty bad for Enzo: just 23 passes, connecting a mere 16. He lost 12 of 17 duels (although that he had that may in his position shows that the game was tied up in midfield). He had 2 shots, both blocked and 3 unsuccessful crosses. And there was the yellow card at the very end of the game too. Still, he is the engine that makes this team run. And he created 3 scoring chances.
CM: ZACH HERIVAUX – 8. Zach connected on all but 2 of his 31 passes and was 90% accurate in attack as well. He won 5 of 11 duels and had 1 tackle, 1 clearance and 1 block. In attack he made 1 blocked shot and created 1 chance.
RM: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7. Mikey was forced out after 77 grueling minutes, in which he went 71.4% on 21 passes, won all 4 of his duels, made 4 tackles, 1 clearance, 1 block and 1 interception. He also had 1 blocked shot.
LAM: PROSPER KASIM – 9. Prosper getting injured after just 26 minutes really changed how this game was played. After that, there was no way to replicate the strategy that worked so well in Phoenix. Yet, even in short time he racked up 4 crosses, 2 finding their target, and created 1 scoring chance.
RAM: MARLON SANTOS – 7.5. Clearly, Memphis saw how critical Marlon was to the win in Phoenix. He spent a ton of time on the ground, and ended up with a yellow card, plainly out of frustration at not getting the calls. Gassed after 71 minutes, he won 7 of 12 duels and attempted 4 crosses, although none connected.
FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 6. Another game with no shots for Juan, although he did have a very good chance right before the delay. Other than that, he was largely ineffective. But then so was Phillip Goodrum for 901. It was not a night for strikers.
SUB: RYAN JAMES – 8. Ryan got the early call for the gimpy Prosper and performed excellently in a wing position. There is of course the assist, but he was 80% accurate on 15 passes and had 2 shots, 1 on frame and one off. And he handled the second half wing switch pretty well too.
SUB: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 8. 19 official minutes. Typical Little Tank stuff. And a last gasp goal. Again. For the win. Again.
SUB: EDI HORVAT – 7. When is Edi going to get the start? 15-20 minutes a game is not enough for him to truly demonstrate his skills. And this was a physical game that he would excel in. Didn’t get to do too much, but did get a shot in off target.
SUB: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 8. 13 official minutes in Matthew’s home debut. The youngster was clearly not all cowed by the league-leading and rough-playing opponent. In short time he had 1 headed attempt on goal (off target), completed 4 of 5 passes, won 2 of 3 duels, and had 2 tackles and 1 clearance.
HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 8. Tommy’s post-game quote: “We made some adjustments at half time…I won’t say what they are.” Ha. Good for you Tommy. Keep the rest of the league guessing.