Sunday, July 14, 2024
Sunday, July 14, 2024

Red Wolves Preview: A Gallon of Slime

Good afternoon all, the season is upon us! Buckle in because this is a long one. It’s fitting we start the season vs Red Wolves, being that we played them at Breese to close out the 2021 season. While many Forward fans probably have been trying to forget last season, it brought us some truly memorable moments (and admittedly, plenty of frustrating ones as well). But here we are, at the precipice of a new campaign, with a clean slate, and optimism springs anew.

Obviously we’re going to win the league, the US Open Cup, and get promoted, right? Look, it’s not my job to temper expectations, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want at least the first two – and with the investment the club’s put into the technical staff and squad this offseason, it feels different this time around. So while we’re picking up where we left off playing the same opponent, the hope is we don’t find ourseves in a Groundhog Day scenario, trying new things but not fixing root issues. Glaeser’s team has looked quite good in preseason, and tomorrow night will be the first real test of a team built to exude grit, tenacity, and relentlessness.

News Roundup

Bavarians Friendly Cancelled due to Weather

The club was slated to play the Milwaukee Bavarians this past Saturday afternoon, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to unsafe playing conditions on the field. Yet another round of rain and snow Friday night and Saturday morning combined with temperatures dropping (hooray, springtime in Wisconsin), the turf was iced over and not worth putting players seriously at risk.

While it was a bummer for fans trying get a look at the team before competitive matches arrived, these types of conditions are not worth risking player safety (unlike some federations; hello, USSF). An unfortunate side effect is it prevented the squad from getting one last chance to gain some fitness and sharpness. With three competitive matches (two league and one USOC) in the first calendar week of the season, we should expect to see plenty of squad rotation early in the season. This can be a blessing and a curse as Matt Glaeser does have options in a few areas to get guys minutes and a chance to impress; but as we saw in 2019, it can hurt the league results as well.

The club held an impromptu event instead for 2022 Season Ticket Holders to pick up their 2022 scarf and concessions gift card while getting to meet and chat with some of the players. The team store was open as well, giving fans an opportunity to pick up preordered merch orders, buy new gear for the season, and see some familiar faces after a long offseason. Unavailable at the time was the 2022 Away kit, which made its debut later that night at The Flock’s Preseason Social.

2022 Flock-designed Away Kit Unveiled

The club released the 2022 away kit at The Flock’s Preseason Social at Garver Feed Mill this past Saturday, a harlequin style paneled shirt in pink and white with navy accents. Keeping with tradition, fans of the club designed the kit and a portion of proceeds will benefit the Flock Soccer Foundation, which awards scholarships and grants to local youth and disabled soccer clubs. The kit was described by design lead Chris Fox as a nod to historic football kits, and it’s hard to disagree with him there – they hit the nail on the head in that regard.

“Our supporters and our fans are what make this Club. The Flock is the best supporters group in the USL, and we are fortunate for the engagement on match day and year round. We are proud to be the only Club in the country that turns a kit over to their supporters.”

-FMFC COO & Owner, Conor Caloia

Carl Schneider Returns, Parker Smith Signs

FMFC announced two signings this week, further bolstering the defense in returning Madisonian defender Carl Schneider and former NIU keeper Parker Smith. Parker, a relative unknown to many fans in Madison, played in Portugal in his younger days and after the 2021 scholastic season at NIU played in Michigan for Kalamazoo FC of USL League Two. The 6 foot 5 inch glovesman conceded 15 goals in 14 appearances for Kalamazoo, saving 43 shots in the process. Schneider is a familiar face for many FMFC faithful, having played for the club in 2019, and for the Badgers and 56ers before that. A Lafollette High School graduate, Carl will likely take this second chance playing for the Flamingos as a welcome return home to Madison and an opportunity to wrap up some unfinished business. Good luck to Carl, we’re all pulling for him.

Red Wolves Preview

Andrew and Grant sat down on Thursday night to chat about the club’s roster, the Red Wolves game, and some stone cold medical facts. Andrew has been out sick from work for 3 days at this point, and ended up having a positive result for influenza. The following is unabridged/uncut, edited just slightly for grammar.

Andrew:
I’m waiting on my COVID test, which apparently they have a combination swab for flu and COVID now, which is great. But yeah, I’ve been steady feeling miserable all week and the Nurse Practitioner that I saw today was like, “Yeah, have you been drinking enough liquids?” I’m like, “I feel like I have been.” She’s like, “Well, you can lose like up to a gallon a day if you have a runny nose.” I’m like, “Who had to measure that?”

Grant:
That’s insane.

Andrew:
What medical researcher said, “You know what? I wonder much weight somebody will lose.”

Grant:
We’re going to take stock.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Grant:
Of how much fluid someone is expunging while they’re sick.

Andrew:
Somebody had to do it. Is that like, do you use a bucket? How do you even measure that? Anyway, she was like, “The muscle aches could be whatever virus you have, but they also could be dehydration.” So she’s like, “Just try to drink more water. And the muscle aches will probably get better.” Expert advice. I’m more than willing to take advice from somebody who’s spent far more time in school than I have.

Grant:
Yeah. But that’s the case with us and you don’t listen to me at all.

Andrew:
Well that’s true. Tomato, tomato. Come on. All right, let’s get into it.

Grant:
All right. Let’s do it.

Andrew:
So the first game of the season is coming up on Saturday, traveling away to Chattanooga to play the pariahs of Chattanooga.

Grant:
I feel like I should say, to quote Slackbot here, I should say, “Fuck the sad wolves.”

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, they kind of are persona non grata. Like outside of people that are Red Wolves fans in Chattanooga, which, you know, we find out today, former Madison striker Brian Bement-

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
Is now playing for them. Just announced his signing today. So I’m betting that we will see him on Saturday. Knowing my luck, he will probably score a goal. But no. Yeah. If anybody doesn’t… If you’re reading this, you don’t know the story, I’ll try to link it in (editor’s note: the Chattanooga Soccer Warz even made their way into local politics). Basically, billionaire investor from Utah comes to Chattanooga, tries to purchase Chattanooga FC and move them to USL, and CFC at the time was an NPSL club, and this guy tries to come in and basically two thirds… I believe it’s two thirds of the investor group at Chattanooga FC were like, “No. We’re good. We don’t want to sell and become a USL property.” The third guy, he decides to cut and run, sells his shares, and he comes over to be the GM of this new club that this billionaire is building. So to say that they are generally not welcomed by the established soccer community in Chattanooga would be an understatement. I think, and I would hope after a couple years that things would’ve mellowed out a little bit, but these are soccer rivalries and the Soccer Warz never end, Grant.

Grant:
Ever. Ever.

Andrew:
Yeah. It’s like Terminator movies. They just keep making more.

Grant:
Man, we still talk about poison lasagna.

Andrew:
That’s true. Yep. Anyway, I did like Brian Bement. I wish him the best. He was playing for Chattanooga FC and made the switch across town to the McMansion Soccer Park.

Grant:
Interesting move.

Andrew:
Trying to get paid and not have to move house. I get it. If you travel a lot for work, why would you want to move if you don’t have to?

Grant:
And I’d say ultimately that it speaks to something that is a reality when you’re talking about lower level soccer, is that it’s about… You got to go where the check… Where you can get a check.

Andrew:
Oh, absolutely.

Grant:
You know, I mean, for these guys, playing is… They’re not making a whole lot playing as it is. And so you got to go wherever you can get the check.

Andrew:
Yep.

Grant:
And for Brian, it was across town.

Andrew:
Yep.

Grant:
You know? He was playing for Monty Burns’ club.

Andrew:
Yeah. Down to the 11th hour too, on that.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Just two days before the start of the season.

Grant:
Yeah. I mean, so-

Andrew:
I wonder if that was strategic. Like they thought they were pulling one over on us. “We’ll get this guy and not give them enough time to react to us signing him and it’ll demoralize all their supporters.”

Grant:
I mean-

Andrew:
And Brian, great guy, but he only played for us for one season and didn’t exactly light the world on fire.

Grant:
Right. And it’s not like he was a fan favorite when he was here or anything like that. So I mean, if there is any gamesmanship, it’s a pretty fucking poor attempt at it. So, I think it probably just has to go with they’re just filling a roster spot.

Andrew:
You don’t think that Jimmy Obleda is the new Jose Mourinho of USL1? Getting players just out of spite?

Grant:
Do we need a Jose Mourinho? I mean…

Andrew:
No one does.

Grant:
No one needs that.

Andrew:
I think they keep him around just for vibes.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
But yeah, let’s talk through the roster and who might start, real quick. I mean I talked with this with Rob and Jeremy about this on Tuesday, but-

Grant:
Great job by the way. Great job.

Andrew:
Yeah. Thank you. Glad to be on there.

Grant:
Yeah. Good dudes.

Andrew:
Doing lower division soccer coverage is not an easy thing. And it’s very much a thankless job. So, I’m all about trying to collaborate on whatever it is, as long as there’s a mutual respect both ways-

Grant:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Andrew:
Anyway, let’s talk through our line up going into this first game. I have to assume Phil’s going to start.

Grant:
Yep. He’s the one. He’s the one. I don’t think there’s any question.

Andrew:
We just signed, what’s his name? Crypto bro from NIU. Like, I’m sorry man, but like-

Grant:
Time to get blocky.

Andrew:
Yeah. When your main… When all of your social presence is nothing but NFTs.

Grant:
NFTs. Yeah, dude.

Andrew:
I mean, he’s very popular. I’m not trying to rag on him, but I will rag on NFTs all day. Yeah. It’s the Pogs of the 2020s. They’re going to be worth something someday, Grant. You wait.

Grant:
I’m just waiting for that one with Steve Allen on it.

Andrew:
I bet Parker has a hologram slammer of Steve Allen. But no, I mean we… I think it’s good that we have a backup keeper because we didn’t.

Grant:
What we had seen in the preseason matches up to this point, it left something to be desired there.

Andrew:
Yeah. Parker Smith. He’s got two last names.

Grant:
He’s like a comic book character.

Andrew:
Oh, shit maybe his hands are just gigantically huge, like that’s his super power. All he has to do is stand there and they’re just (waves hands around, mimicking lightsaber sounds). But yeah, no, I think because up until Parker was signed, we didn’t have a backup keeper. I assume we’re still going after a third stringer. So none of our third stringers really got much minutes last year, except for friendlies.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
What do you imagine the back line will be tomorrow?

Grant:
I would probably guess, seeing that Osmond is just starting training, which we saw on the club’s page today, that Mitch Osmond has begun training again, I’m not expecting him to be in the starting lineup as of yet. So I would assume we’re going to see a back line of Eric Leonard, Murillo playing on the right, and probably Drew Conner.

Andrew:
Interesting.

Grant:
And so… Unless they move Drew Conner up to more of a midfield role.

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, I have this feeling. Wheeler… AKA AWO, and Conner might be interchangeable with each other.

Grant:
Right. Right. You’re getting that sense. Yeah.

Andrew:
That and Alvin Jones is not yet with the team.

Grant:
Correct.

Andrew:
Mélé is also not yet with the team.

Grant:
Correct. And both of those guys would probably be starting had they been with the team earlier on and been through the preseason.

Andrew:
And Cesar’s got experience playing in this league.

Grant:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Andrew:
So does Eric. I could potentially see…

Grant:
Do you see a Cyrus Rad back there maybe?

Andrew:
Maybe. I mean he looked okay. He just like… He’s looked good in preseason.

Grant:
He has. Especially in the Minnesota game. The one that we went up to in Minnesota, he looked really good.

Andrew:
Yeah. He still had some nerves about him, but maybe get some game actual game time, we’ll work that out.

Grant:
Yeah. I would agree.

Andrew:
Okay. So still some questions over that back line though. I agree with you. I think Eric and probably Murillo will get the nod. Yeah, and I think if Drew Conner can play in a back three, why not?

Grant:
Right. Right.

Andrew:
What about midfield? What are you thinking there?

Grant:
So I’m thinking, obviously you mentioned him before, so we’re looking at AWO, Cassini, for sure.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Grant:
He’s kind of the-

Andrew:
He’s one of the first names on the team sheet every game. He’s got to be there.

Grant:
Right. So he’s going to be there. You’re looking at your wings. You’re probably looking at more of… And it’s all going to be dependent on how far up they have those wings, but I’m guessing you’re probably looking and maybe somebody like Rojay on the wing, and then maybe either Audi or Justin Sukow on the left.

Andrew:
Yeah, it’s interesting too because I mentioned this when I was talking with Jeremy and Rob, but we actually have a fairly deep midfield this year.

Grant:
Very much so. Yeah.

Andrew:
And the players that I would have wanted to come back, have all come back.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
Let’s not leave out Christian Enriquez. I feel like he’s a very solid option in midfield.

Grant:
Yep. And I think that he’s going to be one of those guys that’s going to be interchangeable. It’s just a matter of who’s the hot hand and who’s the better matchup.

Andrew:
Right. Well, an unanswered question here – and we haven’t seen him in any games. We haven’t seen him in training photos at all, but – Alann Torres. Youngest player in the squad, 18 years old, just signed an academy contract with Indy Eleven at the end of the summer. Seems like a good prospect, but probably not one that we’ll see starting many games, but you never know.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
Who do you think is going to be up front? We saw Jeremiah Streng, first images of him in training today, which by the way, I don’t know if you know this, but Coach Matt, wearing the all black with white stripes Adidas boots.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Streng’s got those baby blue cleats, baby blue boots, Adidas boots, with pink stripes.

Grant:
And those are brand new. I’ve been noticing a lot of cats have been wearing them in the World Cup qualifying matches.

Andrew:
Oh yeah.

Grant:
And so they must have just come out in the last probably month or so. So we’ll have to look. We’ll have to do some research on those. I think they’re the new Predators, is what they look like.

Andrew:
Yeah. You can’t really tell if they’ve got the texture on the front from the photo, but yeah, you could be right. Two tall drinks of water right there. Matt Glaeser and-

Grant:
Yeah, very much. Yeah. Because Matt, you know, you look at that picture and it’s like… Because Matt’s a good 6’5″, right?

Andrew:
Matt looks like someone sitting on another person’s shoulders inside a big coat trying to get into a movie only having bought one ticket or something. He’s a very, very, very tall, very tall man.

Grant:
You mentioned up front. I think Abdou is probably the choice. What we’ve seen with him has been really great. However, I would not be surprised if Nazeem is the choice up front. He’s been really good. He’s been electric in almost every match we’ve seen in the preseason so far. He just seems to fit in well with what Matt is doing and what the club is doing. He’s kind of the striker you want. So I would not be surprised with seeing either of those guys up front or perhaps playing off of each other. Although I really like the option of having one of them available for a sub.

Andrew:
Yeah. I think, if I had to bet, I kind of feel like we’ll see Abdou get the start.

Grant:
Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew:
Kind of see what he can do. And you know, the interesting thing about Nazeem is that he can play on the right side of the wing too.

Grant:
Correct. Correct.

Andrew:
I mentioned on Talkin’ Flock that it seems like there’s a budding friendship between Rojay and Abdou, which I think is really cool to see. They were hanging out all night at the preseason social.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
And I mentioned on Talkin’ Flock, that it was Friday, it was actually Saturday, because I had somebody in my ear the day after when the episode came out, like, “Do you not know what day it is?” I’m like, “Gimme a break, my head is completely filled with cold meds this week.”

Grant:
I’ve been sick for three days. Leave me alone.

Andrew:
Yeah. This cold medicine does not play around.

Grant:
The other guy we’re not mentioning here is Derek.

Andrew:
We didn’t mention Mikey either.

Grant:
Yeah. Or Mikey.

Andrew:
This is a good problem to have, all these good players.

Grant:
I think because… I think it’s very possible you’re going to see either of those guys starting on Saturday. Whether it’s Mikey starting more in that right wing and they move Murillo up, or seeing Derek on that left side that he likes so much, kind of working with Abdou and Rojay because as we’ve seen, that’s been a pretty formidable partnership up front, you know? Up front three working together. It seems like those three seem to work together pretty well. But I guess it’ll all come down to like I said, the matchups that Chattanooga is throwing at us and what Matt feels is going to be best to line them up. I think it’s fairly certain that Derek’s going to be starting though.

Andrew:
Yeah. I would have to imagine. Yeah. You mentioned the matchups. We’ve gone through our squad pretty thoroughly at this point, which by the way, we’re currently sitting at 22 signed. Announced, I should say. Actually I think we’re at 23 now, after adding Parker.

Grant:
Yep. I think that would put us to 23.

Andrew:
And Chattanooga is only at 21. I think after today, maybe they’re at 23 as well.

Grant:
Okay.

Andrew:
Because they announced Bement and one other player. Anyway look, you have to imagine that we’re going to set our back line up to deal with an experienced striker like David Texeira, who plays for the Red Wolves now.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
I have not seen him play too much. I know you’re an MLS fan as a Sounders fan.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
What you can say about David Texeira?

Grant:
What I know of him is from his time with FC Dallas, and when he was in FC Dallas, he wasn’t a dynamic player in MLS, but he was what I would consider somebody who has a high motor and somebody who just works for opportunities. He has the kind of game that could play well in USL1, being that he just… That he works. He has an engine that just kind of just goes. If he can combine that with some technical ability, because there is a bit of a drop in technical ability from MLS to USL1, he could become very dangerous. He could become very dangerous. The question of course is, because I believe… How old is he? Is he 30?

Andrew:
He’s 31.

Grant:
Yeah. So the question is how much is in the tank.

Andrew:
You know, for context, Abdou is 30. So it’s not like he’s a spring chicken either. But I think part of it is what AWO said when I interviewed him earlier this year, it’s about habits and the guys that have been playing for a long time, it’s about habits, how they take care of themselves.

Grant:
Yeah. And because that would… What you just said was something I was going to bring up. I think you have to consider the mileage on players too. I think there’s a lot more mileage on a guy that’s been in MLS for however many years than a guy that’s been like Abdou, who went the college route and then took some years to get the… But that’s neither here nor there, I guess at this point. It’s… But I do believe that there is something to be said for mileage, because if you’re asking me which guy has more in the tank, I would tend to say that it’s Abdou every time. But I don’t know how much… Knowing what Texeira has left in the tank, you know? We’ll see.

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, he was playing at Moreirense last season.

Grant:
Right, right.

Andrew:
He’s kind of bounced around all over the place. But as we know, that doesn’t really mean much when somebody actually settles into a league.

Grant:
No. No. And as you and I have discussed numerous times is that at this level, everything becomes really cutthroat. And bouncing around is not necessarily indicative of anything other than you’re just going where the job is.

Andrew:
Right. Well, we should mention too, the Red Wolves have brought back a bunch of their core team. One name I remember from last year is Jimmie Villalobos, house of the wolves. It’s a pretty intense last name, really.

Grant:
Right. You know, you’re playing for the Red Wolves and your last name is house of the wolves.

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of a good fit there. Some of the other guys that we probably remember, you probably remember from last year, Juan Galindrez. He was, I believe one of the main players in the little dust up with Aaron Molloy at the end of the last game last season.

Grant:
He was.

Andrew:
Another name that you would probably recognize from the 2019 season has been playing in Memphis, in the Championship for the last two seasons, is Rafa Mentzingen.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
He played in Lansing in 2019. He’s a great player.

Grant:
Yeah. Very good.

Andrew:
Got a move up to Memphis. He’s a hard player to handle. He played for Ignite, especially being a… He’s sort of a second striker. He’s scored seven goals in 36 appearances, which isn’t terrible. He only had 13 appearances in the Championship so I don’t know if he was just injured or what, but he must have been.

Grant:
Right. He had to have been because… That Lansing squad was really good.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Grant:
Like they were really good.

Andrew:
Annoyingly good.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
One guy that I didn’t recognize his name when I first saw it, but then I saw a photo of him and it clicked. Ualefi. He’s a Brazilian guy, plays… He’s their six basically. He’s got arguably a more square head than I do.

Grant:
That’s a square head.

Ualefi
UALEFI Chattanooga Red Wolves 2019 - YouTube

Andrew:
Yeah. Just looks like, you know, chiseled features. But if the features that you’re chiseling are just a block. Yeah. He’s back for more. This is his… He’s been playing with the Red Wolves from the start. So he will be playing for them, but it looks like last season, he didn’t get that many minutes. He’s only started a total of 55 games for the Red Wolves in their three seasons. So I don’t know if he is more considered under Obleda, like a squad player or what? But anyway…

I feel like Rey Ortiz came in sort of later in the season for Chattanooga last year. And he was one of their more featured players. He’s an attacking midfielder, kind of a playmaker type of player if I’m remembering correctly. But yeah. Lot of guys coming back for Chattanooga, which can be good, can be bad. They had a good season last year. They finished pretty high up the table.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
You know, the interesting thing is we haven’t talked about it yet. Chattanooga has had a good amount of goalkeeper turnover, every year.

Grant:
They have. I mean, they had arguably one the best goalkeepers in the league the first two years. A favorite of ours, Alex Mangels.

Andrew:
Oh yeah. He’s writing ski reports now.

Grant:
They brought a guy in last year and they have a new goalkeeper this year.

Andrew:
They have two. I think two brand new goalkeepers this year. They got one from Tormenta, Carlos Avilez, who actually used to play for North Texas.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
Before signing for Tormenta, he started his career at the Dallas Academy, went to OKC Energy, played there, came back to the Dallas Academy and then played for North Texas, signed a pro contract, played for North Texas again on a loan deal, and then was… I don’t know what happened there, but got moved on to Tormenta and then ended up being without a club this last year. I don’t even know if I want to look at Phil’s from last year, but Avilez last year, in the 34 games he played, he conceded 41 goals. I should probably check Phil Breno’s just to be fair. Yeah. He played 27 games and conceded 34.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
So it’s about even.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
It also shows you too, what a well organized defense will do for a goalkeeper.

Grant:
Yeah. Yeah. Right. And I think that’s the thing I’m interested in the most this year. Its seeing what is this defense going to generate in terms of like for Phil… Because I think Phil last year, because just the way the defense was set up and some of the things that took place, Phil was left on an island a lot of times.

Andrew:
Yeah. He was kind of on his own.

Grant:
And so I’m wondering what it’s going to be like when there’s more of… It seems like more of a unit and a strategy around it.

Andrew:
Yeah. I wanted to mention the other goalkeeper that Chattanooga brought in early February. They signed Tim Murray. Who’s sort of a journeyman keeper. He was playing for FC Honka in the Finnish First Division. He’s been playing in Finland actually for the last six years, seven years almost.

Grant:
All right.

Andrew:
And he was, I believe with FC Honka when they got promoted to the First Division, but he played for the Railhawks as late as 2013. Looks like he was a maybe New England Academy kid, but he’s got Europa Conference League games under his belt. So dude seems very experienced, he’s 34 years old, so…a young buck basically.

Grant:
Yeah. As a goalkeeper, yes. Just about to hit his prime.

Andrew:
Yeah. So I have to imagine he’ll be starting ahead of the guy they signed from Tormenta though. Who knows? Jimmy Obleda seems to like young players too.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
Anyway. Yeah. I think it’ll be interesting to see how Matt sets this team up. Chattanooga played a really high press last year.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
Very good attacking football, but they lost a good amount of players this off season. What’s your prediction for scoreline? It’s not necessarily a hard place to play because they don’t… There won’t be a ton of fans there.

Grant:
Right. I think-

Andrew:
Not trying to take a dig at Chattanooga, but they just don’t draw as many fans as some of the other League One clubs.

Grant:
I think for more than anything, I’m going to be interested to see what’s the approach that we take to the game. Is it going to be… Are we going to go out, are we going to press, are we going to attack? Are we going to go at them from the start? Or are we going to kind of sit back and see what they’re doing first and then kind of adjust and go from there?

Andrew:
I would just go at them.

Grant:
Yeah. And so I feel like we’re going to go at them.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Grant:
So I think one of the things that has been the reason why we’ve made the change with Matt and part of the reason why we’ve brought the players in that we did, and part of the things that we’re doing in the preseason, is to score more goals. I think that will be an emphasis. I’m just hoping it’s not one of those things where if we don’t get a goal early, we start depressed, and it’s just… We get going like we’re… Kind of like the game last year against North Carolina where it took us until in the extra time for us to finally break through. I’d like for us to come out and get one early, kind of calm the nerves and just kind of… So prediction wise, I’m going to say 3-1 Madison.

Andrew:
I was going to say 2-0 to Madison.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
I feel like it’s important to Matt, especially, to have sort of a statement game for his first game.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Especially for the guys to come back here and play Omaha the week after that. We got a game on Wednesday too.

Grant:
Yep. We got a US Open Cup game. Yeah. Which we got to win. We got to win.

Andrew:
Yeah. They don’t work like some of the cup ties over in Europe. Where you play two legs, home and away.

Grant:
No.

Andrew:
Yeah. And I think, especially with the amount of money that the club has spent this offseason, both bringing in new technical staff as well as bringing in talent. I think the expectations are really high. When I interviewed Matt Glaeser shortly after he was hired, it was pretty clear. He made it very clear that like “Look, I understand that there’s a lot of pressure that’s involved with this job, but that’s a good thing. It’s going to fire me up and make me work hard.” So I’m hoping that that hard work pays off. I’m hoping that the guys can come good on Matt’s faith in them.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Especially the guys that he brought back. Yeah. It’ll be an interesting game to see. Like I said, I don’t put much stock in what Transfermarkt says about much of anything outside of maybe some fuzzy stats, but according to them, the total market value for Forward Madison is the highest in the league.

Grant:
Yep.

Andrew:
As far as players brought in.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
We still don’t have nearly as many international roster spots as some of the other teams do. Chattanooga has 10. FC Tucson has 12. And Tormenta has 11. Omaha only has nine surprisingly this year. But yeah, the average age on our squad is-

Grant:
It’s their Florida Marlins post championship year.

Andrew:
Right. Yeah.

Grant:
You know? Pay all the money and win a title and then you throw the team in the toilet.

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t be mad about it. Nah, I mean look, I think Gary Green, being a billionaire and being somewhat of a, you know… He is not like super arrogant, but he is kind of arrogant. You kind of have to be to be a billionaire.

Grant:
Yeah. I mean, you don’t become a billionaire just by being a nice guy all the time.

Andrew:
Yeah, you don’t. But it’s interesting is to me that they didn’t move on the market right away, and try to bring in talent right away.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
Because to me, that’s what relentless, ruthless, franchises do when they want to build a sort of dynasty.

Grant:
Right.

Andrew:
And it makes me wonder a little bit if he’s going to get bored with this project.

Grant:
Yeah. I mean they already won.

Andrew:
Yeah. But I also, I mean… That stadium, he owns a minor league ball club too. So it’s not like he doesn’t know what goes along with this. But I also think too, the fan investment, just emotionally and otherwise in soccer is just so much different than baseball.

Grant:
Very much so.

Andrew:
In baseball you’re trying to give young guys a chance. Not like you’re not doing that in lower league soccer, but you’re probably not finding a bunch of 27, 28, 30, 31 year olds playing for a AAA ball club.

Grant:
No.

Andrew:
Unless they’re Kenny Powers.

Grant:
I always think of the Simpsons episode of the minor league baseball team there.

Andrew:
Exactly. Any other thoughts? Because, and to quote Dylan Moran in Black Books, let me find the quote… “I can feel pieces of my brain falling away like a wet cake.”

Andrew:
What are you listening to this week? We can put a video in at the end here.

Grant:
Yeah. So one of the… What I’ve been listening to this week is a group that I mentioned to you when we took our band trip. I’ve been listening to The Lastlings a lot. Their first, their new… I think it’s their only album that they’ve done. I think it’s First Contact is the name of the album. But the song No Time, especially. That’s the one I played for you. That’s a good one. But yeah, they are… So little backstory on Lastlings, for those that don’t know, brother and sister electronic act out of Australia. They are on RÜFÜS DU SOL’s label, Rose Avenue.

Andrew:
I’ve been listening to the natural evolution of listening to a lot of the Minneapolis Sound and New Jack swing stuff. I’m listening to a lot of the Italo-disco this week. Silent Circle, Hypnosis, Laserdance.

Grant:
Laserdance. Yes.

Grant:
I mean, if you’re someone who you listen to Laserdance and you don’t want to get up and move around a little bit, or at least you’re not bobbing your head at least?

Andrew:
I don’t know what to tell you.

Grant:
Go to the doctor, because something’s wrong.

Andrew:
Yeah. Yeah.

Grant:
So yeah, we’re both kind of dance heavy this week.

Andrew:
Yeah. A bit. I mean, I’ve been trying to… I go through phases, man. I’ve lightened up in my old age.

Grant:
Which is saying something.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Grant:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Anyway. Cool. Well, I’ll let you go. I’m going to go probably go to sleep. And man-

Grant:
Before we cut off, for those of you that are interested, come down to the Brass Ring, for the watch party.

Andrew:
I will not be there sharing my germs. I will not.

Grant:
No, you will not. But I will be there. Come down to the watch party, the Brass Ring, enjoy the game, and hopefully Forward Madison will be taking three points.

Andrew:
Sounds good to me.

Grant:
All right, man.

Andrew:
We’ll see you next time.

Grant:
Go get some sleep and tell that Clyde he’s a good boy.

Andrew:
Well, he is right here. He’s making little chewing sounds in the background.

Grant:
As he should be.

Andrew:
It’s his job. All right dude.

Grant:
All right, bye.

Andrew:
See you later.

Grant:
Later.

Authors

  • 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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  • Grant Pieters

    Father, deep thinker, lover of life...and falafel.

    Twitter

  • Kyle Carr

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

    Twitter

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