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

2021 FMFC Season Recap

Photo: Chris Norris

As the weather gets cooler and we have sang our hearts out for Forward Madison for the last time in 2021, I wanted to go through the season that was. Yes, we didn’t qualify for the playoffs. We all felt that was a disappointment in regards to our expectations for the season, but after all is said and done you have the opportunity to reflect. I always enjoy reading through these types of season reviews, the quick reflections on what was.

For me, the season started with a lot of uncertainty, and early on, excitement. I wasn’t sure if games were going to be in Madison, and if so, what the procedure would be with having fans. Would we have a Flock End? Can we try to have capos and drummers? What about trying to walk the fine line of vaccinated and unvaccinated people? Thankfully games were played in Madison with a Flock End and vaccinated section, and the home opener actually *happened*. The excitement and energy was similar to coming back to school and seeing your friends after the summer, and it was great.

Shortly after the start of the season I started feeling distant from everything FMFC and Flock-related. Partially with good reason; welcoming my second kid, but there were other personal conflicts; commitments and an unbalanced home schedule. I would still make sure to watch matches whenever they were on and record episodes for Forwards Backwards, but I felt I couldn’t truly be a part of what was happening. I was trying to catch up, and felt like while it was good to return, I didn’t know where I truly stood.

Thankfully, life settled down and I was feeling like I did at the beginning, but by the time I found some equilibrium, the season was over. I learned this year that sometimes you realize you can’t do everything you want, but you can still give it your all when you can be there. It’s funny, because in a lot of ways my life as of late has been analogous to the results on the pitch this season: full of energy and big plans, only for things to not go as intended — and by the time you figure it out, it might be too little, too late.

But today, we recap — because while the summer seems now like a hazy blur and a distant memory, it was only a month ago I was sweating on the capo stand. So let’s take a trip down the pink and blue road and recap the moments, goals, and events that comprised the 2021 season.

Moment of the Season

Gebhard’s game winner

It had been over 500 days since Forward Madison played a competitive game at Breese Stevens field. The energy leading up was a high that was sorely missed, and the match itself had everybody on edge. Madison had chance after chance but couldn’t seem to get the much-needed goal. But in the dying minutes, a moment of magic happened and Derek Gebhard etched his name in Forward Madison Folklore. After the tough year that was 2020, there was a magical glimpse when we all collectively enjoyed the moment.

Worst Moment of the Season

Terzaghi’s winner in the 4th Henny Derby

I don’t need to elaborate, do I?

Best Goal of the Season

Christian Enriquez’s free kick

There were plenty of great options, Aaron Molloy’s volley against TFC2 at home, Gebhard’s goal against FTL, which has been talked about on this site, and Josiah Trimmingham’s chip against Union Omaha. But I went with Christian Enriquez’s free kick against Chattanooga. I went with this for a few reasons; the first is that it was a phenomenal free kick placed in the top right corner. Second, scoring right in front of the Flock End in the final game of the season gave the fans a good thing to cheer about. Third, Forward Madison had struggled with set piece execution for most of the season so to see them make it work felt nice.

Best Game of the Season

Win at Union Omaha

With their backs against the wall and needing a win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, Forward Madison faced the tough task of playing regular season champions Omaha who were equally motivated to clinch the regular season title that night. Forward were poor on the road all season with only a single win in the thirteen previous road matches, so their prospects seemed low. The first half was a cagey affair but the second half was a different; Josiah Trimmingham scored a brace which included a beautiful chip from midfield. The shithousery was flowing and even though Madison missed the playoffs, this was the kind of fight and backbone the team lacked for months.

Worst Game of the Season

Loss at Revs 2

It was simply a game that highlighted every issue we saw from the team this season. The lack of offensive ideas, questionable substitutions, and a defensive lapse. This was foreshadowing to how the next three matches went and overall made a Friday evening miserable.

Team MVP

Aaron Molloy

There weren’t plenty of bright spots but Aaron Molloy was definitely one of them. He led the league in passes completed and was one of the top playmakers finishing top three in chances created. He was recognized making 1st Team USL Team of the Season and was something that Forward Madison wasn’t most of the season and that was consistent. I’m not sure where this club would be without him and it’s exciting to see how he does in year two.

Kit of the season

Friends with Benefits kit

The concept is something you don’t see really ever. A QR code on the kit is one thing, but the ability to use the code to buy someone a beer is a very great concept. I do hope we see that increase and allow it to be for other clubs across the country and world but this was a fantastic start. I also hope there is a chance to buy non-alcoholic drinks for those that choose not to consume alcohol. In the end the checkered patter mixes well with the colors and I wish we could have seen this kit in action more that one friendly appearance.

Author

  • Kyle Carr

    Capo, light gamer, podcaster and super amateur baker. All that plus some other stuff

    Twitter

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