FCE at home to SF Deltas
I was stuck at home watching this one from my couch – the dog just got spayed and according to the fiancé this meant I had to stay home and make sure she didn’t rip the stitches out (I thought that was what the cone was for?). It didn’t make much sense to me either but it wasn’t the hill I was going to die on.
Then again, with this shit weather, a little part of me was glad to stay home. Hopefully one day Edmonton has a SSS(Soccer Specific Stadium) – but for today, I hope the ESG brought their long johns.
The Deltas pressured early, but the Eddies weathered the early storm (perhaps gust would be more appropriate). Konopka had a couple of solid saves and looked good (throughout the game, in fact). The game settled into a good English style fixture. Tough tackles and not a lot of time on the ball.
There were positives to take from this game – and I’ll get to them once I use my soapbox to point out a few critiques:
Deltas were playing a very low line – Route 1 football won’t work against this. Settle in and use they space they’re giving you in midfield.
Diakite needs to tone it down one single notch. Far too often he’s giving the ref a little too much to think about. I like the physicality, but it’s a problem if he’s a flight risk for a red card.
This is an oddly specific one, but this wasn’t the first time I’ve noticed it. When we are pressing them deep in their end, they’ll give it a big boot to clear the zone – often it comes to one of our guys around the half line. Far too often I see them turning this back to the D to reset the offense. It’s not that it’s the worst option – it’s just that I’d like to see them take a first touch forward to get past a midfielder when possible. It takes a little bit of skill and confidence, but it can open things up when it clicks (it won’t always, but it’s worth it to try).
Still too many balls to “an area” as opposed to into feet. I’d like to see the passing a little bit more deliberate – especially when coming in from the wing. If the cross isn’t on, cut it back. We’re making it too easy on their D.
Supporter’s Section – I get it, you’re upset – but you’re scaring the children. Let’s stir in a dash more “festive”.
Delta’s scored very late on a cross that doesn’t get touched off a free kick. Everyone in the box deserves a share of the responsibility on this one – but these goals happen. They’re trickier than they seem.
Alright, now some positives:
Fisk has looked good on the wing. Making a case that he should be starting.
Little bit of rough stuff from Samsara after the whistle. I hope he sticks around – he seems like a guy this city would like.
Ledgerwood had an excellent game in midfield – I blasted him for being a petulant the other day, but his engine clearly runs hot and that will come with the territory.
As a takeaway – the Deltas are a good squad and this was another hard fought game that reminded me quite a bit of the recent match against Indy. Not a perfect game by any means – but a lot of things done right. Effort level was solid and the Eddies were back to defending well. Defensive gap control get’s an A- and Offensive gap control can have a B. We didn’t get the result by any good coach will tell you the process is just as important than the results. The bounces will come.
Now some off the pitch stuff. I said I won’t talk about attendance, and I won’t, but this is related. For the Love of God, front office. I don’t care what the difference in revenue is with the way you’re doing your seating, but you need to figure out a way to fill Big Blue.
Optics is optics – I have seen, more than a few times in the comment section, something along the lines of “Shaking my head – barely anyone there”. When I know for a fact that the stand on the near side is packed. You’re shooting yourselves in the foot. Either sell tickets to Big blue only, or switch where the cameras are set up. And don’t make people sit in some seats off camera for the first 15 minutes. You want to make it look like the place is as close to capacity as possible(the minute the match kicks off). Have you never been to a nightclub?? It’s a cliché because it’s true – “always keep a line”.