Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 3-2 Hartford Athletic

A wild game at Protective

Well, that was an experience. And a clear example of the cliché that soccer is a game of two halves. Which makes rating the various players a tad tricky. To make things a bit easier we’ll just give all the starters an incomplete for the first half, and judge everything on the second half.

Yeah, not really.

GK: TREVOR SPANGENBERG – 7. Trevor made 3 saves in the game, and nearly toed the first goal wide. He was left for dead on the second. His passing was unusually poor at 46.2% accurate on a very low 13 tries.

LB: GABRIEL ALVES –6. Gabriel played a slightly more defensive game than Ben Reveno on the right, a turnabout from his normal game. His passing was OKish at a 69.2% completion rate on 39 attempts, but only 6 were long balls. He did have 1 shot off frame, and created 2 chances, though. He won 8 of 15 duels, and logged 4 tackles and 2 interceptions.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 6. Phanny was even more inactive – so to speak – than normal, being almost entirely avoided by Hartford. Only 20 passes, connecting on 13, and 1 shot off target. He won all 3 of his duels and was forced to make just 1 clearance.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Was Alex fouled on Kyle Edwards goal? A slight push maybe, but an unreliable call, especially given the inconsistent refereeing in the game. Obviously he made up for that in spades with the game-winner and had another header that went over the bar. A decent 78.6% accuracy rate on 28 passes. He won 4 of 10 duels and recorded 5 clearances and 1 interception.

RB: BEN REVENO – 6. Ben is supposedly versatile, but I think the team is having a hard time figuring where best to use him. This stint at right back wasn’t great. In 72 minutes he went 22 for 30 in passing, attempting only 1 long pass and making 2 unsuccessful crosses for 1 chance created. He won all 5 of his duels, though, and made 2 tackles and 1 clearance.

LW: DIBA NWEGBO – 6. Diba played just the first half; his second early exit this week. 8 of 12 in passing, 1 shot off target and another blocked. Playing him as a wingback rather than a true winger may not have been the best option.

LM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 6.5. Ando lost 8 of 11 duels, almost unheard of for him. He made up for it with 2 tackles and 3 interceptions. He was also a solid 80% accurate on 35 passes and had 12 shot on target, if a tad on the soft side. He complained about his yellow card but it was probably justified.

RM: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7. Matthew had a respectable 77 minutes of game time. He connected on 30 of 38 passes, including 1 of 2 in crosses, and also had a shot off target. Defensively he win 4 of 6 duels and had 1 tackle, 4 clearances and 1 interception.

RW: PROSPER KASIM – 8. 2 assists, one off a set piece (a corner) and one in open play. That’s a good day’s work for anyone. He also had 1 shot on target, 1 off target and 3 blocked. He sent in a whopping 11 crosses, and 6 of them were good. In all, 5 chances created.

FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 7. For some reason (possibly the stream going out!) Juan was only credited with 1 shot off target. His late acrobatic attempt that virtually the entire stadium (including yours truly) thought was in apparently didn’t count statistically speaking.

FWD: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. I’m not dinging Enzo for the yellow card for dissent, as his objections to the uncalled PK were entirely justified. And it motivated him for the first goal anyway. He of course added a second and assisted on the game-winner. Man of the Match? Well, duh.

SUB: COLLIN SMITH –6. Collin came on for Diba and initially played the same position on the left before switching to his more natural right. He wasn’t very effective. Although he was a high 86.7% on 15 passes, only 1 was a cross and it didn’t connect. Otherwise not much of a contribution.

SUB: TYLER PASHER – 7. Tyler came on for Ben, at which point Collin moved to right back. He made an immediate impact. His only missed pass was a cross, and he attempted no shots, but his injection of pace was a major problem for the Hartford defense.

SUB: MIKEY LOPEZ – 6.5. His first appearance of the season and other than the yellow for a pretty rough foul, it was OK if clearly rusty. His only stat for the game was 2 short passes, both of which connected.

SUB: JAKE RUFE – N/A. Inserted to see the game out late, Jake had no real contribution other than helping to keep the ball in the Hartford corner.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 7. Tommy was clearly upset with his team at half time and possibly even more upset with the referees in the second half. His initial game plan was probably on the right track, but clearly some in-game motivation was needed and he obviously provided it.

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