Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 6-0 Atlanta United 2
A good day at the office
13 goals scored and 1 conceded over the past three games is not exactly a bad state of affairs. There have been 5 games in the USL Championship so far this season in which a team has scored 6 or more goals; the Legion owns 2 of them (the others being New Mexico United, San Antonio and Louisville City). Showing power at this point in the season is a very good thing.
GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. MVO now owns sole possession of first place in clean sheets with 10, but he didn’t exactly have to work hard for it, adding precisely zero to his save total (57, good for 5th in the league). His goals against average improved to 0.76, but he’s still well short of Lou City’s Kyle Morton on a ridiculous 0.53.
LB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 7. Unsurprisingly, Mikey was not called on much in defense, winning 3 of 5 duels and making just 2 interceptions. His passing was extremely solid at 90.5% accuracy on 42 attempts, and he had 1 shot off target. He also sent in 3 crosses, connecting on 1.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7. Phanny got a rare early break after just 59 minutes, but had been his usual impassable self up till then. Just 1 duel, which he naturally won, 2 clearances and 1 interception. His passing was a whopping 95% accurate on 20 tries.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Went the full 90, but was not much challenged either. Somehow he managed to lose 4 of 7 duels, though, but made 2 tackles, 1 clearance and 3 interceptions. Passing was good with 83% of 40 passes connecting, and he also created 1 scoring chance.
RB: JONNY DEAN – 8. Jonny’s passing numbers don’t look too great at 32 of 41 (78%), but he found targets on 2 of 3 crosses (both in the air, yay!) and one of those was an assist. At the other end he won all 6 of his duels, made 3 tackles and 1 interception. 2 chances created and 1 shot off frame.
CDM: ZACH HERIVAUX – 8. Zach started at the pivot position but moved to center back when Phanny left the game and Ando came in. That didn’t stop him from getting a shot in (it missed) but his primary job was defense. He won 5 of 10 duels, indicating that Atlanta were trying to run it up the gut, and recorded 3 tackles. Passing was also decent, connecting on 31 of 37 attempts.
LM: BRUNO LAPA – 8. Amazingly, Bruno ended his 59 minutes without an assist. He did create one scoring chance, and was the obvious primary distributor in the game. 90.9% accurate on 22 passes, 1 shot on target and 2 successful crosses on 3 tries.
RM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 9. The clear choice for Man of the Match, Enzo racked up 9 shots. 6 of those were on target. 2 found the net, including the early game-winner which missed being the Legion’s fastest ever goal by 13 seconds (it was the fastest ever home goal though). He unselfishly gave up the hat trick, picking up an assist instead. His yellow card was very soft (he put his hands on Justin Garces after an offside call) so we’ll ignore it.
LAM: PROSPER KASIM – 8. Players don’t often have to take a PK twice, and even less often do they play the second attempt the same side. Prosper, despite being left-footed, put both to the left, one high, one low. He also did the same stutter step run both times. And sank both tries. 94.1% accurate on 34 passes. All in, a great 70 minutes. Love the new go-faster hair. Oh, and Legion appearance #100.
RAM: MARLON SANTOS – 8. Surprisingly, Marlon is not the most fouled player in the league. But on 58 fouls won he is the 2nd most (behind RGV’s Ricky Ruiz on 63). And that’s just those that got called. A ton more get waved off for advantage. So technically he gets the assist on Prosper’s PK. He also scored himself, of course. All that in just 45 minutes.
FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 8. Probably Juan’s best outing in Legion colors to date. His recovery and assist on Enzo’s first goal were incredible. His feed to Enzo for his second goal was pretty good too. He scored himself, of course and racked up a total of 6 shots, 3 on target. He even blocked a shot. An excellent 77 minutes.
SUB: MATAEO BUNBURY – 7. Either this kid is going to be a superstar for the Legion or he is going to earn them a lot of money. Maybe both. A full 45 minutes in which he connected on 17 of 20 passes, had 1 shot of frame and created 1 chance.
SUB: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 7. By the 59th minute when Ando came on, there wasn’t a lot of defending to do. He was in 3 duels (he lost 2), but that’s it. 91.3% passing accuracy on 23 tries. Well-rested for next week’s game.
SUB: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7. 31 official minutes in a game he should have been perfect for and Matthew wasn’t too great. He missed on only 2 of 16 passes, but lost 6 of 7 duels. 1 tackle and 1 block were all he was called on for otherwise, and he did have a shot blocked himself and created 2 chances.
SUB: RYAN JAMES – 7. In 20 official minutes Ryan made 7 passes, missing on only 1. He had 1 shot off target and created one chance.
SUB: SADIK BALARABE – 8. Can we say supersub already? In just 13 minutes Sadik took 3 shots, all on target and finished one of them. He looks like an absolute beast and could easily be a major threat.
HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 8. The formation change was just what was needed, and what has been asked for on this site and elsewhere. Let’s hope he sticks with it because it clearly works.