Player Ratings: Orange County 1-2 Birmingham Legion
A huge team effort
The Legion traveled to Orange County with just 16 players, and 3 of those were goalkeepers. The injury bug has hit, it seems, although only Mikey Lopez was listed as unavailable. With the US Open Cup game looming in midweek, some squad rotation was to be expected, but the team was also riding a two-game league losing streak. And the USL is notoriously close-mouthed about injuries, so who knows what is up. But they guys who were there did what they needed to.
GK: TREVOR SPANGENBERG – 8. Two straight Man of the Match awards to the goalkeeper? That never happens. Except it’s happening here. Trevor was clutch, to put it mildly. He made the league Team of the Week and is up for Save of the Week. He made 2 other saves and had a solid 78.9% passing accuracy on 19 attempts.
LB: GABRIEL ALVES –7. Pretty much the entire back line was at fault for the Orange County goal, as we have previously noted, but otherwise Gabriel was solid. 87.8% accurate on 49 passes (mostly short, though) and 1 blocked shot. Defensively, he won 7 of 12 duels and made 3 clearances, 1 block and 1 interception.
CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7.5. Phanny and Alex made life rather risky with both of them getting yellow cards by the 53rd minute, but generally made up for the poor coverage early. He gets the assist on Juan’s equalizer; although Juan did most of the work solo, spotting and exploiting the effectively empty backfield was sterling work. A massive 93.2% accuracy rate on 44 passes, 7 of 8 in duels, 1 tackle and 8 clearances made for a very good night.
CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 6.5. A much better game than last week, other than the yellow card. Good on 87.2% of 47 passes, but otherwise no attacking involvement. A surprisingly low 3 of 8 duels won, but Alex made 9 clearances and 2 interceptions.
RB: COLLIN SMITH – 7. Collin is a wingback, not a fullback, despite what FC Dallas wants. His was the primary error on the Nielsen goal, but he made up for it in spades with the amazing nutmeg assist to Enzo. He was a fairly poor 21 of 30 passes, which included 4 unsuccessful crosses, but on defense he won 9 of 17 duels and logged 5 tackles, 2 clearances and 3 interceptions.
LDM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 7. A pretty typical Ando game, all things considered. He skied a shot, of course, and connected on 47 of 57 passing attempts. He won 6 of 11 duels, and was responsible for 3 tackles and 1 clearance.
RDM: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7. Matthew’s development continues apace. He played 82 minutes and was clearly gassed when he came off. He had 1 shot off target and made 81.5% of 54 passes. He won 4 of 9 duels and had 2 tackles, 1 clearance and 1 interception.
LAM: DIBA NWEGBO – 7. Diba had a relatively quiet game compared to some other on the team, but in 88 minutes he completed all of his 14 passes, although none of those were crosses. He created 1 scoring chance, got caught offside once and had 1 shot blocked. Not bad for a youngster playing slightly out of position.
CAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 7.5. Frankly, all the credit for Enzo’s goal goes to Collin, other than Enzo being in the right place at the right time and doing some weird Jedi thing on the defense making them ignore him entirely. One other shot in the game, but off target, and all the usual Enzo stuff. Including a yellow card.
RAM: PROSPER KASIM – 7. Also a quietish game, Prosper was pulled in second half stoppage time for defensive support. 1 shot blocked, 2 unsuccessful crosses and 1 chance created. Good on 41 of 50 passes. All in, a creditable performance.
FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 8. Juan also made Team of the Week and his effort to create the goal was more than enough justification. He had one other shot blocked, and was good on 86.5% of 37 passes.
SUB: BEN REVENO – 7. With the limited bench, Ben was the first sub in after a whopping 82 minutes. No passes, but 1 of 2 duels won and 2 clearances made.
SUB: MOSES MENSAH –7. Moses came on with 2 minutes left in regulation. He failed to connect on his only pass (deep in his own corner), but did have 1 clearance and 1 interception.
SUB: GRAYSON DUPONT – N/A. Grayson came on with just 2 minutes of stoppage time left and made just 1 pass deep into the Orange County penalty area. Job well done.
HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 7. Tommy had limited options this week, but got out of his team exactly what he needed. Will he have more to work with this week? We shall see.