King’s of Group C

  We have been waiting for this. Since the restart United has played some really good football, A 2-1 win in Colorado Springs, a 2-2 draw in El Paso, and a 2-1 win in El Paso. But they hadn’t put it all together for a full 90 minutes. Until tonight. That’s a bad sign for the rest of Group C by the way. 

     The first 25 minutes or so were pretty even in terms of possession and control, and yes those are 2 different things. Then in the 30’ United won a throw in on the far side of the field. Wehan threw it in and 8 United players ended up touching the ball on the way to a goal. Kalen Ryden played a beautiful long ball to the feet of Daniel Bruce who lost control briefly but was able to chase it down and get it to Wehan, who gave it right back to Bruce. Romeo Parkes came along at the top of the box and received it from Bruce and played a through ball for Chris Wehan on a great diagonal run. Wehan squared the ball across the box and Amando Moreno opened his account with United by chesting it into the back of the net.  This may be my goal of the season from the club. It was a perfect team goal. 

     Then second before half time my preseason MVP pick, Wehan, added to his stat sheet for the match with a goal of his own. It came off a turnover created by the pressure of Andrew Tinari, more on him in a bit. Moreno got on the loose ball and quickly got it ahead to Parkes, who started up top in place of Devon Sandoval. Parkes used some fancy footwork to get the ball just inside the near corner of the box and then used his big body to keep it there while he waited for help. The help came in the form of Bruce. He came streaking past Romeo who delivered a cheeky pass which Bruce quickly squared it to a wide open Wehan on the back post and he powered it past the keeper and into the back of the net. 

The second half saw OKC keep a lot of possession. They ended the first half with a 56% to 44% lead in possession and only expanded that in the second half as they tried to erase a 2 goal deficit. But this is where possession and control really begin to show their differences. Even with OKC possessing the ball the majority of the second half they were never in control. The few chances they had were not of a high quality. 48 minutes into the second half it was still 2-0 until the young United rookie from France, Joris Ahlinvi, opened his professional account. After earning a free kick just outside the box he lined up a shot. It was terrible. It never got close to getting over the wall but fell right back to him and he capitalized on the second chance. His low shot found its way through the defenders and past the diving keeper into the lower left corner of the goal. 

From start to finish this match was never in doubt. The defense looked drastically improved and aside from a missed penalty kick that was awarded from a soft penalty in the first place there weren’t any real threats all night. Cody made a few saves but none were as challenging as last week’s. All in all this was the most complete performance of the season and possibly the young life of the club. 

3 Things 

  1. This has to start with Chris Wehan. Wehan has now scored in 4 straight matches since the restart of the season. He also added an assist to his stat sheet tonight and while not an official stat he has a couple of, what I call, hockey assists. Which means his pass led to the pass that led to the goal. He also has been a pesky defender in the high press and has forced several turnovers. All of this is really just for me to toot my own horn and say that I picked him as my MVP this season. 
  2. The new guys. Armando Moreno finally found the back of the net tonight as did Joris. Andrew Tinari has been spectacular in the midfield this season. His passing and defense have led to a lot of chances for United. Then there was Romeo. After a few matches out on the wing he finally got his chance up top. He should never play on the wing again after seeing him tonight. He was dangerous up there with his hold up play, which led to a goal, and his speed and skill almost led to 2 more had he been able to get a finishing touch on either of his chances. 
  3. D-fence! A clean sheet! Finally! We should have had one last week but thanks to a missed PK, a few solid saves, and a great defensive effort from the whole team we got it this week. Muhammad looked great again as a Center Back and we saw the restart debut of Rashid Tetteh as he came on in the second half and looked awesome as usual. Really top to bottom the whole club had a solid defensive night and should be proud of themselves. If the last 2 matches prove to be real from a defensive perspective then the league needs to look out.