The boys in Blue are continuing to improve their chemistry, and they were already a strong team at the outset of the season. Each game has built upon the last; this game was no different. KW United’s 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Dutch Lions can be defined by an effective top line that really came together. Although KW United slowed their pace in the second half, partly due to the heat; the entire game demonstrated a high level of action and allowed for multiple opportunities by both teams.
The game was full of action from the first minute, with both teams pressing for an early goal. The Lions were able to start the game well, pushing KW onto the defensive and pressuring hard. It did not take long for United to find their footing however, and in the 11th minute a well-placed ground cross from Sameer Fathazada gave Jannick Loebe the perfect opportunity to put it home. 1-0 for KW United.
United looked to press their advantage and continued to push hard into the box. A collision between a KW United player tracking a chipped ball and Zeus de La Paz, the Cincinnati keeper, resulted in an early substitution by the Lions; Matthew Kesler coming in to mind the net. After a few good opportunities, Jannick Loebe again found himself with a great opportunity; in the 19th minute he was given a great ball by Liam Callahan. All alone on the left side, Loebe ran straight toward Kesler and was able to pull the keeper off his line. Loebe then send a ground ball across to the opposite side of the net, making the score 2-0 for KW United.
After the second goal, KW pulled back and the Lions made some attempts at getting back into the game. Unfortunately for the visiting team, their press provided an opportunity for exploitation; Sameer Fathazada made the scoreline 3-0 with a cheeky goal in the 34th minute. After receiving a smooth pass from Munir Saleh, Fathazada chipped the ball from distance. Kesler dove for the ball but couldn’t get back in time; 3-0 for KW United. This goal seemed to ignite Fathazada, who was all over the pitch making things happen. Goals came in pairs during this game, so it was only five minutes later that Fathazada found himself with some space to run. A stunning display of skill enabled Fathazada to drive right through the centre and past the Cincinnati defence to drive the ball into the net. The keeper was able to get a hand on it, but the strike was sure and powerful. 4-0 KW United.
KW United looked content to sit on their lead when the second half started, but the Lions came out far from being complacent. A through-ball was collected by Jesse Dingjan who made no mistake in his drive to the net; 4-1 KW United. As mentioned earlier, however; goals came in pairs for this game. KW was quick to respond, with Janick Loebe receiving a cross from Ismael Longo and tapping the ball in for the hat trick. Both teams continued to look for goals, but KW had lost some of their momentum. Cincinnati had a few solid opportunities, but were unable to make it past St. Clair until the 87th minute when Charles Rolls crossed a ball through the box. Dingjan was able to get his head onto the ball, making the final score 5-2 for KW United.
Post Match Comments
Jannick Loebe, the man of the match and MVP, believed the team started “really well, really fast and the other team couldn’t really deal with it”. He was particularly happy
with how the lineup is really coming together, explaining how “up front with my brother and Sameer, we are harmonizing really well and the guys behind are able to play really good through balls”. Coach Martin Painter agreed with Loebe on the front three, describing them as “excellent, […] they played with confidence; they’re starting to learn to play with each other and they finish well”. Painter described the first half of the game as “our best half of the season”, but lamented the fact that, during the second half, his squad “got a little bit sloppy”. Yet, he acknowledged that “three games in 8 days, 9 points” is not an easy task. As a result, he is “really happy with the performance, at least for the first half”.
KW United will have to play the rest of the season without Dayne St. Clair, who has been their keeper until now but is returning to Maryland for school. Replacing him will likely be Scott Levene, who has been waiting for an opportunity to shine. Moving forward, KW United has a tough road trip; facing Louisville, Cincinnati, and Dayton in five days. According to Painter, these “next three games are key, that road trip; obviously playing that many games in that short of a time and being on the road is a challenge but we have a lot of reasons to be confident”. Each game that KW United plays is a dual contest against the opposition and the Michigan Bucks, who KW must keep up with in order to have a shot at the championship title. Michigan lost to Dayton on May 23rd, which means that both teams have one loss. As Painter explained; KW would “like to be in a position where those two games against Michigan can decide the division, but we have a lot of work to do to get there”. KW United plays their next home game on June 28th against the Virginia Chaos, who they have outscored 6-1 and have beaten in both of their meetings this season.
- Jannick Loebe
- Janos Loebe (Tahrik Rodriques 76′)
- Sameer Fathazada (Sam Gardner 64′)
- Ismael Longo (Djimon Johnson 73′)
- Jiro Barriga (Jon Fraser 81′)
- Munir Saleh
- Darren Rios (Charles Novoth 66′)
- Liam Callahan
- Mathieu Laurent
- Kamal Miller (Ken Krolicki 64′)
- Dayne St. Clair (Keeper)