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

Tucson Preview: Stubborn, Irrational Defiance

I’m writing as the final whistle blows in Toronto as Fort Lauderdale bests them 2-1, all blessings to Shaan Hundal and his from-behind brace which keeps the Flamingos alive in the playoff hunt. There really is some dark energy around watching a native Torontonian show up to sink a team from his hometown. Given the atramentous wizardry on display vs Omaha on Wednesday, I for one am ready to embrace whatever luck or shadowy theurgical forces may be at work to the benefit of Forward Madison Football Club’s playoff chances.

It’s never ideal to be in a position where you’re relying on the results of other games to determine your position in the table at the end of the season. It takes me back to my younger days before I had a car or even my driving license, needing to depend on parents or friends or worse — Madison Metro in the mid-90s — to get literally anywhere. Whenever anyone vocalizes yearning for their younger days, I always envision a scale weighing out the aches, pains, and stresses of adulthood with that feeling of a lack of independence and climbing the walls of my childhood bedroom out of boredom.

While our playoff chances this year still hang in the balance (North Texas needs to lose tomorrow and next weekend, Toronto needs to lose next weekend and we have to win these last two games), no single fixture’s “worth” is ever just about the hunt for silverware. No game is ever meaningless, unless you simply don’t value some of the intangibles. Pride in your club, your city, the players who pull on your colors all season long.

A flame was rekindled in Richmond and then fanned heavily in Omaha, where we saw a team defiant. With their backs against the wall, they could have easily let their heads drop and phone it in. Instead they chose to fight for each other and the pride of not going quietly, despite whatever might happen. I personally would like to think regardless of whether we’re in or out of the playoff picture, if our guys play with the same arrogance displayed in Omaha, Breese is going to be rocking these next two games.

Players to Watch

Madison

Josiah Trimmingham is likely the first name on the team sheet, with good reason. Having scored 3 goals in the past two games, the Trinidadian will be looking to make the most of his chances. Derek Gebhard will be available, having been given the night off midweek. He’s the type of player you always want in the lineup, brimming with quality and he has the ability to produce moments of brilliance.

Jiro played 90 minutes in Omaha, but if he’s fit he needs to be in the lineup solely for his technical ability, close control, and pace on the wings. Wednesday’s game was a replay of the August 7 match abandoned due to weather — the same match he picked up the knee injury which sidelined him for over two months — making his return to Omaha all the sweeter. It was great seeing him back for the win, especially having played so directly and with physicality. Full time on Wednesday had to feel like a major victory for him, and hopefully provides a massive confidence boost going into this weekend.

Tucson

Attacking midfielder Kevin Rodriguez is in fine form, scoring a brace this past weekend vs Tormenta, not an easy feat versus a keeper of Pablo Jara’s quality. Rodriguez has Tucson’s best minutes to goals ratio this season, besting Charlie Dennis and Shak Adams who’ve tallied 8 and 7 goals this season, respectively. Dennis might well be Tucson’s best all-around player, bagging 6 assists this campaign and leading their team in chances created and key passes per match.

Defiance No Matter What

Tomorrow’s match is potentially one of the last opportunities to see this Madison team play together. Wisconsin winters are cold, often harsh, and seem to drag on forever. When the gates close at Breese after this season is done and dusted, we’ll miss it — regardless of the results. This Tucson team isn’t used to the cold or crowds — two factors we’ll have in our favor tomorrow night. And we will certainly need any advantage we can get, as this Tucson team averages a goal every sixty minutes.

It’s worth mentioning that with Connor Tobin’s career reaching its twilight, these final two games at Breese may well be the last time to see him play before hanging up his boots as a player. I can tell you right now Turbo is relishing these games, and will not go quietly — so why shouldn’t we be defiant, despite all the shit this year — pandemic, results, etc? It most certainly hasn’t gone well, but the fight seems to still be in these players, even if it took most of a season to find it. Fuck what people think. Let’s be defiant.

Show up, sing your heart out, make noise, and let’s help make sure Turbo has at least two more post-win beer chugs with us.

Author

  • 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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