Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 1-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies

An excellent outing all around

For the second straight week the Legion game ended with a result we did not expect, but happily so this time. This was possibly the best team performance this season, certainly in league play. And so the ratings:

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. Matt had to make just 2 saves in the game, neither of which was taxing, but his ball control in the 18 was excellent. His passing was typically poor at 69.4% and 30.8% into the attacking half, but that one good pass was all the Three Sparks needed…

LB: GABRIEL ALVES –7. Gabriel’s numbers don’t really reflect what he did in the match. He didn’t move forward too much, acting more as a third centerback. But with that, just 4 of 6 in duels and 2 tackles. A surprisingly low 69.2% accurate on 26 passes. Pulled with a cramp after 87 minutes.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 7. 2 of 5 in duels and 2 clearances, which was way more than what his centerback cohort had to do. 90% accuracy rate on 50 passes (90% in the attacking half too). The Rowdies’ penetration was non-existent.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Alex’s numbers make almost no sense. He had just one duel, which he lost, and 1 clearance. That’s all the defensive actions he was involved in. Ridiculous. Left alone he was able to complete 61 of a massive 65 passes.

RB: COLLIN SMITH – 6.5. Collin was the attacking option of the two fullbacks. He played very high (which was key to the game plan) and was barely involved in the defense, although he does have Jonny Dean-like speed to get back. A low 2 of 9 duels, 1 tackle and 1 interception. Good on 39 of 48 passes, but unsuccessful on two crossing attempts. Gets dinged for the yellow card though.

LDM: ANDERSON ASIEDU – 7.5. Ando picked up a predictable yellow card, but should be available this weekend against Louisville (barely). He was the defensive pivot – mostly – winning 5 of 11 duels and recording 1 tackle, 1 block and 1 interception. He had a shot of his own blocked, but went an impressive 91.8% on 61 passes.

RDM: MATTHEW CORCORAN – 8. Matthew has laid claim to a permanent starting position. At least, until he is sold. He connected on 56 of 60 passes, won 2 of 5 duels, had 2 clearances and 1 block, He took 2 shots, one barely stopped by Connor Sparrow, the other blocked. He put in 1 cross, finding his target. Man of the Match honors well earned.

LAM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 7.5. Enzo effectively played at center forward. No surprise then that he scored from point blank range and had one other shot on target. He was also offside twice (and probably a bad call at least on one of those). One good cross as well. He was in ten duels, winning 6, and made 3 tackles. Spoiled it a bit with the yellow card.

CAM: TYLER PASHER – 7. Putting Tyler at CAM was a sneaky move that likely wrecked Tampa’s defensive game plan. From that position he finished 83.8% of his 37 passes and was credited with one scoring chance. Only one shot off target, but he was a nightmare to deal with. Give a rest after 78 minutes.

RAM: PROSPER KASIM – 8. Has Prosper finally found his right foot? Probably not, but that was a perfectly placed assist. He spent his entire 67 minutes wide right, no switching this time. Just one shot, which was blocked, but he created two scoring chances.

FWD: JUAN AGUDELO – 7. Not even a false 9 this time, but rather a left attacking mid. Juan was all over the field in this one, and ended up with 2 shots off target and 3 chances created. He connected on 24 of 27 passes. He looks good in this role.

SUB: NECO BRETT – 7. Neco came on for Prosper in a nose-thumbing attack-minded substitution. He had 1 good shot in stoppage time, pranging the crossbar.

SUB: DIBA NWEGBO – 7. Diba replaced Tyler in a second attacking sub. In 12 official minutes he had 1 shot off target and 1 good cross.

SUB: MOSES MENSAH – N/A. Just 3 official minutes, but as untroubled as Gabriel before him. 2 passes completed. That’s all he had to do. Other than plugging up space the Rowdies couldn’t use, of course.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 8. Tommy sure has the Rowdies’ number this year. Whatever he has seen in their play is clearly an exploitable weakness, which he did ruthlessly. Shifting his formation around is also interesting, and we’ll get into that later this week.

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