Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 6-1 Loudoun United
All told a complete game from the team
Some games are hard and not fun. Some games are hard, but also fun. Some games are easy, but not fun. Some games are easy, but also fun. No prizes for guessing which category this one belongs in. This time around the Legion came out firing on all cylinders and never took the foot off the gas. Here’s how they performed:
GK: TREVOR SPANGENBERG – 7. Trevor was only called on to make 2 saves. The one he made was an easy pickup. The one he missed he had no chance on. One other shot hit the crossbar, but Trevor was otherwise untested. He waws also a very impressive 94.4% accurate in passing.
LB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 8. A relatively rare full 90 for Mikey in the rotated squad and a slot at left fullback. He was a massive 98.7% accurate on an equally massive 76 passes and had 2 shots blocked. Defensively he was somewhat untested, winning 2 of 3 duels and recording 1 tackle, 2 blocks and 1 interception.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 8. When you have Phanuel Kavita do you really need another center back? He’s a 1-man wall. He missed on only 5 of 69 passes, was pretty much uninvolved in attack, won 4 of 6 duels and made 4 tackles 1 clearance and 1 interception.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 8. Alex had a pretty similar game to Phanny. No one was getting down the middle in this game. 95.8% good on 72 passes, had the upper hand in 5 of 7 duels and logged 2 tackles, 2 clearances and 1 interception.
RB: JONNY DEAN – 8. A really good game in which he showed his speed to maximum effect, it was rather spoiled by a mistake defending the lone Loudoun goal (he got turned the wrong way). Other than that, he connected on 59 of 69 passes, had 1 shot on goal, and added an assist (on Bruno’s second goal). At the other end he won 6 of 10 duels and had 4 tackles and 3 clearances.
LDM: BRUNO LAPA – 9. Yeah, Bruno played left defensive mid. Could you tell? He racked up a total of 9 shots, 3 went in, another 2 were on target, 2 were off target and 1 was blocked. He won 3 of 6 duels and logged just 12 block. He was obviously the more advanced of the two pivots. That history-making hat-trick goes a long way to winning him Man of the Match honors.
RDM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 8. No card for the Little Tank for once and also a rare early rest to huge plaudits from the fans. Ando showed off his just-try-and-take-the-ball-away skills as usual, to great effect. In 72 minutes he was 92.3% accurate on 52 passes, had 1 shot (way) off target and another blocked, and created 2 scoring chances. Defensively he was good in 5 of 9 duels, and had just 1 tackle and 1 block.
LAM: RYAN JAMES – 7. Relieved of most defensive duties Ryan was free to get up in attack, but was not hugely involved. He was credited with an assist on Bruno’s first goal, although it was more of a midfield pass and Bruni did the rest of the work by himself. 86.1% accuracy rate on 36 passes, 1 shot off target and chances created.
CAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. Only 76.9% accurate on a lowly 26 passes, to go with 1 shot of target and 1 blocked. He created 1 scoring chance. Nonetheless, he was everywhere as usual and was a dominating figure in the attacking midfield. Left the game after just 58 minutes.
RAM: PROSPER KASIM – 8. Added to his scoring tally with the first PK of the game and also had 1 shot off target and 1 more blocked. He also created 3 scoring chances and was good on 21 of 26 passes. And all of that in just 45 minutes.
FWD: MARLON SANTOS – 8. Marlon was pushed up to the striker position yesterday, which in Legionland means he was not called on to score. He did draw a ton of fouls as usual, though, created 3 chances and had 2 shots blocked. Another early break at 62 minutes.
SUB: MATAEO BUNBURY – 9. Mataeo got a big 45 minutes in this game and made the most of them. He was granted a PK and converted it calmly. He was perfect on 17 passes, had 1 more shot on target and 2 more off, and was credited with an incredible 5 chances. He was no slouch defensively either: he won 10 of 11 duels, and recorded 2 tackles and an interception. Huge night and he is a star in the making.
SUB: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7.5. Joe Pesci would be proud. The Legion went with its two yoots for much of this game, with Matthew getting 32 minutes in place of Enzo. The yellow card was rather silly but otherwise he was solid as usual and is clearly acclimated to playing at this level now. Good on 30 of 33 passes and attempted 3 shots (2 off frame, 1 blocked). Lost 4 of 5 duels though.
SUB: EDI HORVAT – 8. From our vantage point behind the Loudoun goal, Kaylor Hodges and I could clearly see that Edi wanted that first Legion goal. He was in position often enough, but never got the service. And the only time he really had a chance he unselfishly left the ball for Grayson Dupont. Don’t worry, Edi, that goal will come.
SUB: GRAYSON DUPONT – 8. 18 official minutes. 8 perfect passes and the nightcap goal. Last man in but it was worth it.
HC: KHANO SMITH – 8. Khano was the man on the sideline, but Tommy was not too far away. Still, he gets credit for this one and for letting the kids get their shot. Tactically it was pretty much a no-brainer.