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

Friday News Roundup, Bavarians Preview

Good friday morning, Andrew here with a roundup of this week’s FMFC news and a short preview of tomorrow’s match vs Bavarians. It’s been quite a soggy week in Madison and the weather is doing its lovely late March / early April vacillation between warm and sunny and cold and rainy, but it’s finally officially spring and there’s light at the end of this wintry tunnel: live football is back at Breese Stevens tomorrow. It’s not the usual evening kickoff time or League One opponents, but it’ll be nice to be back in the stadium to watch the boys and see some familiar faces.

Signings, Signings, Signings!

The club announced three signings this week, rounding out the squad with more defensive depth, and taking a midfielder and striker on a season-long loan. 20-year-old Finnish striker Jeremiah Streng comes to us from Finnish first division side SJK Seinajoki, having played last season on loan to FF Jaro, a club in Finland’s 2nd tier. Streng is originally from Vaasa, a city on the Baltic Sea on Finland’s west coast with a sizeable Swedish population. Vaasa has a subarctic climate, with average high temps in the 60s in mid-summer, so Streng ought not be bothered by the chilly springtime climes in the upper midwest.

Streng is described by FMFC’s Director of Soccer Operations & Development Keith Tiemeyer as someone who won’t be afraid to go 1v1 with defenders, but is moreso a “big tall guy who can play with his back to goal, hold up the ball while drawing out defenders and distribute to other attacking players,” and was compared to a taller, stronger Ryan Sierakowski. He’s a bit of a loan journeyman having been loaned out 4 times in the past 4 seasons, but has shown enough potential to be capped by Finland 22 times at the U16-U20 level. Let’s hope he can have a breakout season here and kick on to the next step in his career.

On Monday the Flamingos announced the loan signing of midfielder Alann Torres from Indy Eleven for the 2022 season. Torres recently signed an academy contract with IXI in August, playing his first pro minutes for the club just a month later vs Memphis. Young Torres was a part of Indy Eleven’s USL Academy League squad which won the East Central Region 2021 title, and was an All-Tournament First Team selection, starting in the side’s 3-1 tournament-wining game. A promising young talent with a lot to prove, and Indy’s new head coach Mark Lowry will be hoping some minutes in Madison is what’s needed to sharpen his game for the Championship and beyond.

FMFC announced the signing of Trinidad & Tobago international Alvin Jones on Thursday, ironically enough on a World Cup Qualifier day for the US Men’s National Team. Having scored a long range goal in that game vs Trinidad & Tobago, Jones still haunts the dreams of the silver bullet-swilling, neckbearded, starred & striped bandana’d across this fertile plain, making him the perfect antithesis of Omaha fans from Papillion to Lincoln and beyond. Jones has played in the Championship for OKC and Real Monarchs, since 2019 has been signed to RSL’s first team squad (though has only played 1 game for RSL). Before his time stateside, Jones won two titles with T&T side W Connection and featured for them in the Concacaf Champions League.

Squad Depth

Goalkeepers (1)
Phil Breno

Defenders (7)
Alvin Jones
Eric Leonard
Mikey Maldonado
Heath Martin
Cesar Murillo
Mitch Osmond
Cyrus Rad

Midfielders (7)
Matheus Cassini
Drew Conner
Christian Enriquez
Audi Jepson
Justin Sukow
Alann Torres (loan)
Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu

Forwards (5)
Nazeem Bartman
Derek Gebhard
Rojay Smith
Jeremiah Streng (loan)
Abdou Mbacke Thiam

The 2022 squad is looking quite deep in just about every position save for keeper, though it’s quite likely Glaeser et al will make a decision on whether to sign trialist and RSL backup glovesman Jeff Dewsnup, who has been training and playing with the team since before the Marquette friendly in February. We’ve seen another keeper training with Phil and Jeff at the Marquette and NIU friendlies, so it’s quite possible there will also be a third choice locked in before the season starts.

US Open Cup: Cleveland SC Advances

Mike Derezic equalized late for Cleveland SC on Tuesday night, which led to extra time and an eventual winner from Cleveland soccer legend Vinny Bell. I for one am stoked to have a club with proper fans visit Breese for the Cup, please do reach out if you’ll be visiting — first pint’s on me. You can watch a full replay of the match vs Chicago on US Soccer’s Youtube. Madison hosts on Wednesday April 6, in just a fortnight’s time.

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Photo: Charles Murray

Bavarians Preview

Bavs visit Madison tomorrow ahead of their 2022 MWPL and UPSL seasons, and bring with them a squad comprised of senior players likely from both squads. Bavarians were founded as a club in 1929, and have won 8 national championships, including a double in 2003 when they hoisted both the National Amateur Championship trophy as well as the USASA National Open Cup amateur championship. The last time the Flamingos faced Bavarians was the final game of the 2021 preseason, an outing which finished 4-0 in Madison’s favor (match report and highlights). Saturday marks a homecoming for Bavs midfielder and Madison West High School alumni Paolo Gratton, who has impressed for UW Milwaukee the past four years.

FMFC will likely be without Streng, Mele, and Alvin as they have yet to arrive in Madison. Expect to see a lot of subs and shuffling from Glaeser to get players minutes ahead of next week’s season opener in Chattanooga, we’ll be keeping an eye on movement and link-up in the middle and final thirds to see how the team’s attacking identity is shaping up.

With that I’m off to work, hope to see some of you out tomorrow at Breese. Gates are at 12:30 and I’ll be over at (likely) Robinia before and LJ’s after the game for a pint, please do stop by and say hello if you’re around. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the sunshine this weekend but do bundle up as we’re expecting a bit of a cold snap compared to the 70F temps last Sunday. Have a great weekend, enjoy it with some good tunes (I’ll be jamming STR4TA’s sublime LP, Aspects.)

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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