Player Ratings: Birmingham Legion 3-1 Loudoun United

Back to winning ways

As previously noted, we have skipped the player ratings the past two games, partly because of personal commitments, but partly because we have a hard time handing out zeroes. Such is life. Anyway, we are more or less back to normal, so here are the ratings for the Loudoun United game.

GK: MATT VAN OEKEL – 7. There wasn’t much MVO could do to stop Aboukoura’s golazo, but he did make two key saves to preserve the win. His passing was if anything better than usual at 71% accurate on 24 attempts.

LB: MOSES MENSAH – 8. Moses played 72 minutes at left back and was not overly involved in the attack. Defensively, he made 2 tackles, 1 clearance and 1 interceptions and won 4 of 8 duels. He was also impressively perfect on 22 passes.

CB: PHANUEL KAVITA – 8. A strong performance going the full 90 in the middle of the defense. 5 clearances, 3 blocks and 2 interceptions. Add to that winning 2 of 5 duels. Also an 82% accuracy rate on 33 passes. Loudoun tried to go through him and that was a mistake.

CB: ALEX CROGNALE – 7. Alex took a bad knock midway through the first half and was eventually subbed out at halftime. In the 45 minutes he played he was in fact forced into no defensive actions at all and won his only duel. His primary contribution was connecting on 24 of 29 passes.

RB: JAKE RUFE – 8. Jake played as more of a wingback than a true fullback at least in the first half. Still, he made 2 tackles, 3 clearances and 2 interceptions, along with winning an impressive 8 of 9 duels. He was good on 75% of his 33 passes, although his only crossing attempt did not find a target.

CDM: A.J. PATERSON –8. AJ moved to play as the sole pivot, meaning the Legion had effectively a back 5, and no fewer than 4 when Jake moved forward. He put up 2 tackles, 2 clearances (both headed) and 1 interception. He also won a hefty 9 of 13 duels, meaning the back line was hard to reach. Passing wasn’t too great though: 68% accurate on 34 tries.

LW: DIBA NWEGBO – 7. Diba’s speed was a problem for the Loudoun defense in the 56 minutes he played, but he didn’t really generate much in the way of attack. He only attempted 6 passes and connected on 4 of them. He missed on his only cross. He also lost 4 of 6 duels.

LM: KOBE HERNANDEZ-FOSTER – 8. Kobe is quickly becoming a key part of this roster and played the full game on Sunday. He had 3 touches inside the Loudoun 18, but tried no shots. He completed 78% of 36 passes and created 2 scoring chances.

RM: ENZO MARTINEZ – 8. Enzo moved back from the striker position and it worked excellently. He got the assist on Mujeeb’s late goal, and a cheeky backheel created the play that resulted in the first goal. He took 2 shots, both wide, but only just.

RW: PROSPER KASIM – 8. Prosper and Diba played the old switcheroo in the first half, but Prosper stayed primarily on the left after Preston entered the game. Just 1 shot, but a solid 24 of 28 in passing, and 1 of 2 in crosses.

FWD: TYLER PASHER – 9. Okay. First off, that own goal was really Tyler’s; from my angle it looked like it was going in anyway. His actual goal was a masterpiece (it’s up for Goal of the Week). His speed and ball control were a nightmare for Loudoun all evening and his energy was what kept the Legion motivated. Easy choice for Man of the Match.

SUB: MUJEEB MURANA – 8. Mujeeb replaced Alex at the break, but who had a Murana goal on their bingo card? 2 clearances (both headers) and 2 interceptions. Only 2 of 5 in duels. Offense is the best defense I guess.

SUB: PRESTON TABORT ETAKA – 8. Just as Tyler should have been credited with the first goal, Preston should have been given the assist. He took two off-target shots and was in position for a golden opportunity at least once, probably twice, but didn’t get the service.

SUB: DAWSON MCCARTNEY – 8. Back from injury, Dawson replaced Moses in the 72nd minute, signaling a formation shift. It worked brilliantly as his long pass to Tyler just 2 minutes later got the go-ahead goal. It’s good to have his speed back.

SUB: MIGUEL PEREZ – 7. I have yet to be impressed by Miggy, who seems to be trying too hard a lot of the time. He had just 5 official minutes in this one and didn’t have a great deal to do. Perfect on 2 passes; that’s about it.

HC: TOMMY SOEHN – 8. The 3-4-3 hadn’t been working so Tommy went with another new formation, a 4-1-4-1. Still pretty much a Total Football approach, but it worked out perfectly this time.

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