Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Revs II 1-0 FMFC: Everything is Flat

2021 trucks on. On a personal note, this year has been harder than most in recent memory. Family in and out of hospital, a good friend passing away suddenly, COVID-19 still raging. While my story and specific circumstances might be unique, I’d wager many of us are similarly having a rough go and have been looking to the football for an escape. Unfortunately for Forward Madison fans in that category, you’ll have been finding frustration and uncertainty there as well.

I realize there’s more to life than this sport, but when “real life” gets difficult for a sports fan, all sense goes out the window. The stadium becomes your church, each match a safe place where for two hours where you can forget the outside world. You can vent all your pent up anger, and celebrate your team’s successes — even the small ones. You project your ire on whoever doesn’t make a run, put in a tackle, or get back to cover a counterattack.

“Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as mere consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.”

Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

This sport and the teams we support become a lightning rod for everything good and bad that happens in our lives. It might not be fair, but it’s been that way since the first time early humans kicked a ball and an onlooker shouted, “my gran can kick harder than that, you prick!”

Revs II 1-0 FMFC

Another Friday afternoon kickoff in an MLS2 side’s empty stadium, another disappointing result. The guys fortunately can spend the next few days together most likely training in New England, before flying straight from Boston to Richmond. I hope it galvanizes some sort of resolve to push on and take their chances, to fight for each other, because at the moment things look flat. Very flat.

The pitch setup at Gillette was god-awful. Red lines for soccer superimposed on a green surface already fully painted for the next Patriots game. One tweet even outlined how Revs 2 used this to their advantage on one occasion. If I’m Carl and Neil I’m furious at the state of their grounds, and while I realize that the reserves of an MLS team is the last thing on the minds of a huge money org like the Patriots, it was more fuel for my irritation with the way MLS2 sides treat this league as well as its players and fans.

The Lineup

I was excited to see the Allen / Keegan / Sierakowski / Gebhard front line I mentioned yesterday. I really do think that’s our best attacking group in this team, they’ve proven they can produce and work together to create chances. The only change from the Greenville match was Green Bay’s Audi Jepson in for Chino Perez.

Match Recap

Derek Gebhard would manage the first attempt on goal only 2 minutes in, off a build-up from Tyler Allen and Jake Keegan on the left flank. Now, if you’re Keegan or Gebhard there, you’d expect a diagonal run from Allen to either give a passing option or at least draw defenders away from your crossing target. Maybe Allen saw Sierakowski making a run, or maybe just felt like he’d hang back as a short pass option. Gebhard was lucky to have the ball in from Keegan fall to him after a slight deflection, but a bit of a moot point as the shot was straight at the keeper and in the end an easy save.

Revs would counter quickly and Justin Rennicks put a shot wide of Breno’s goal. The next scoring attempt from the ‘gos would come at 33 minutes where Jake Keegan put a curling shot in from the 12 yard line, another attempt which ended straight in the Revs’ keeper’s hands. Aaron Molloy would fire in a shot from nearly the same spot five minutes later after a fantastic turn. Enriquez tried a long-distance effort just after the interval, and the Revs’ Damian Rivera, who I outlined as a goal-scoring threat in my preview would have just one shot on target all game at the 52 minute mark. Eric Leonard and Aaron Molloy can take pride in keeping an in-form Rivera quiet most of the evening.

The only goal of the match would come at 57 minutes. A cross in from Noel Buck would find the head of a diving Justin Rennicks who beat a very leggy-looking Cyrus Rad. Breno managed an admirable save, but an on-rushing Edward Kizza was able to tap in the rebound. Josiah Trimmingham would receive an incisive pass at the 88th minute from MOTM Aaron Molloy, skying what could have been an equalizer through the field goal uprights.

Revs II fielded two senior side players in Macial and Edward Kizza. The latter of that duo showed his quality in more ways than one, managing an 87% pass rating, the most accurate of any player who played more than 45 minutes.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’m not sure at this point what to offer as far as solutions beyond trying to encourage these guys to play to their potential. We still mathematically are in the race for the playoffs. The missing ingredient for my money is the willingness to fight for each other, to squeeze the extra effort out, and to inspire a sense of belief in this team, who (and hear me on this) — have the talent, and the skill — they need the belief and the confidence it takes to be bold and take chances and know their efforts are not only plausible, but appreciated.


  • Andrew Schmidt

    Eclecticist, FMFC supporter, Flock co-founder, designer of things, and taker of photos. Writer, wrench, motorcyclist. Pro-intellectualist, anti-pedant. Drinker of coffee and greeter of dogs.


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