Player Ratings: Las Vegas Lights 3-3 Birmingham Legion

Decent performances but a poor result

This one didn’t turn out as most would have expected and may highlight some issues the Legion has this season, one of which is depth. We’ll get into that more in Diving Deep later on this week, but for now here are out player ratings:

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. Matt was left high and dry on pretty much all three Las Vegas goals. Aside from that he made 4 saves and also made 3 clearances. His passing was above average for him too at 82.8% on 29 tries.

LB: MOSES MENSAH –6. A rare start for Moses in place of the suspended Gabriel Alves. But the issue is this: is he a fullback or a wingback? I tend to think the latter; he doesn’t seem to have the recovery speed for a fullback. 5 of 8 in duels, together with 1 tackle and 3 clearances, though. In attack, 1 for 2 in crossing attempts and 1 scoring chance created. Passing was poor though at 63.9% accuracy.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 8. A really strong performance by Phanny who was all over the place. He did get a yellow for dissent which was the result of justifiable frustration, so no ding for that. 84.8% accurate on a whopping 46 passes, 3 chances created and of course the assist on Enzo’s goal. A sightly low 6 of 13 duels, but 2 tackles 5 clearances and 2 interceptions.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Alex hung back in this one, usually Phanny’s job. He was involved in only one of the 3 Lights goals, but was not in a position to prevent the ball from dropping to Andrew Carleton. 25 of 35 in passing, not great, but he did create one scoring chance. Only 1 duel, which he won, 1 tackle, 3 clearances and 1 interception.

RB: JAKE RUFE – 7. Jake has been proving himself with Collin Smith back in Dallas. He’s not Jonny Dean fast, but he can move pretty well. He got a good shot off in this game and also attempted a cross. 18 of 25 in passing. He won 2 of 4 duels and made 1 tackle and 1 interception. Still, he may be best utilized differently.

LM: PROSPER KASIM – 6. Playing at left mid behind a 3-man front line is probably not the best option for Prosper and in fact he actually played more like a CAM. Even less his natural position. If anything, he was better in defense in his 67 minutes than in attack. He did attempt 2 shots, one off target and one blocked, and his passing was good at an 81.6% completion rate on 38 tries.

CM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 6. Ando looked very much out of sorts on Saturday. He played a central defensive mid role, which of course he usually excels at, but not this time. He won just 1 of 8 duels and recorded 1 clearance, 1 block and 1 interception. He also had one shot of his own blocked.

RM: TYLER PASHER – 7. A Goal of the Week nomination for Tyler, on which he got the hockey assist too. He generated 3 scoring chances and had 2 more shots, both off target. His passing was meh, though, with only a 72.4% accuracy rate on a lowish 29 attempts, and only 1 long pass among them.

FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 7. A great goal with his head, but he also got burned by Preston in the leadup to Carleton’s goal. He had 1 other shot, also on target, and attempted a cross. A team-high 56 passes, which connected an impressive 81.1% of the time. On top of that, 7 of 12 in duels, 1 tackle, 5 clearances and 1 interception.

FWD: ENZO MARTINEZ – 9. Man of the Match is a total no-brainer this time. 2 assists and a goal. 5 total shots, of which 2 were on target. A perfect 6 for 6 in duels, 5 tackles (and one of those was a beauty reminiscent of Bobby Moore’s tackle on Jairzinho. Google it if you don’t know) and 1 clearance.

FWD: NECO BRETT – 6. In 67 minutes Neco was largely ineffective and played largely as a center forward overlapping Enzo. Just 2 shots (1 on target, 1 blocked). One of those counted as a scoring chance, but otherwise not much contribution.

SUB: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 7. Matthew came on for Prosper and played a very similar position. Only 13 passes with a low 69.2% completion rate. No shots, but 1 cross found its target for a scoring chance.

SUB: DIBA NWEGBO – 7. Came on with Matthew and if anything was more active defensively than in attack. 1 shot blocked for a scoring chance, but 3 of 6 in duels and 1 tackle and 1 interception.

SUB: GRAYSON DUPONT – N/A. Grayson came on 1 minute into second half stoppage time and didn’t really do very much.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 5. Some may find this a bit harsh, but in my opinion the game plan for this one was all wrong from the get-go. He tried to shoehorn the available players into a 4-3-3 and that as I believe the critical mistake. More to come on that.

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