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

Union Omaha Preview: Tinnitus

Good Saturday morning all, Andrew and Kyle here with a roundup of the week’s FMFC news as well as a preview of the Omaha match. Tonight’s game presents an opportunity for Glaeser’s men to make a statement against the reigning USL League One champions, an Omaha team largely gutted from last season by the departures of crucial players to USL Championship sides. A win tonight would provide the momentum and confidence needed going into a full week of training before another run of three games in seven days, including an away trip to Tucson followed by a massive US Open Cup game at home.

It would also be nice to square away three points at home and silence the beyond-kayfabe wind-ups and shit-talking which has become a staple of a small vocal portion of Omaha’s fanbase, but let’s be honest: it’s all harmless talk from them and more akin to a ringing in the ears. Ultimately these early season battles present an opportunity to separate league leaders from the pack, building confidence at a crucial time. Being able to walk away tonight with a few goals and points would do a world of good for our title chances, so let’s hope the result on Wednesday is one this team can build on.

News Roundup

Ukraine Benefit

The club unveiled a United for Ukraine benefit kit on Friday morning, an azure and gold colorway version of the 21/22 home kit with the primary Dairyland sponsor replaced with the text “UNITED FOR UKRAINE” and the Just Coffee Co-op sleeve sponsor replaced by a sunflower (соняшник or soniashnyk in Ukrainian), a long-held national symbol of Ukrainian national identity. During the Russian invasion, the sunflower has taken on new layers of meaning as a symbol of resistance, unity, and hope.

FMFC indicated that their sponsors were happy to donate their usual spots on the shirt, and that all proceeds from sales of these replica kits would be donated to aid UNICEF Ukraine‘s humanitarian relief efforts. The squad will be wearing these kits vs Omaha and the match-worn shirts will be auctioned off with all proceeds benefitting UNICEF as well. Additionally, the club’s kit supplier, Hummel North America, and manufacturer, Tru Digital, have also donated their proceeds from this kit to charity. European kit distribution partner Classic Football Shirts will also be donating proceeds from kit sales to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Say what you will about the sheer numbers of kits the club releases in a given year, it’s great to see a purely charitable release and one that will raise not only funds, but ongoing awareness about the humanitarian crisis and brutality currently being perpetrated in Europe. UNICEF’s efforts will directly aid Ukraine’s 7.5 million children and their families with essential services – including health, education, protection, water and sanitation – as well as life-saving supplies. If you’ve got the scratch and can afford to buy one, not only is it a great unique piece of club gear, but the proceeds are all going directly to help families whose lives have been destroyed by war. I snagged one, you should too.

US Open Cup: Round 3 Draw

It was revealed Friday morning that FMFC will host MLS side and former affiliate Minnesota United FC on Wednesday, April 20. This will be the second time these teams have squared off, the previous an exhibition in June of 2019, where Madison fell 2-0 to Minnesota. This marks the first time Madison will host a top flight side in competitive play, Minnesota also contending with fixture congestion on either side of the game, hosting the Rapids four days previous and Chicago just three days later.

Despite the weeknight scheduling, we can likely expect a large allocation of away tickets to be sold and many Loons fans to make the trip, which is exactly what you want in a cup match and will mark the first time away support will travel en masse to Breese Stevens. It’s bound to be a cracking atmosphere and I (Andrew) personally am a bit bummed I’ll miss the match due to being on vacation, but I suppose I’ll be poolside in Belize so it’s a decent tradeoff. Don’t sleep on getting tickets, this game will likely sell out quickly so snap them up when they go on sale this Monday at 10 AM.

Omaha Preview

Union Omaha are the defending champs of the league, and with that came the exodus of high talent to different teams in USL Championship and throughout. Notable departures include 2021 MVP finalist Damia Viader (Sacramento Republic) 2021 USL1 First Team Greg Hurst (Phoenix Rising), second teamer Devin Boyce (Memphis 901) and Evan Conway (SD Loyal) plus starters and other main contributors like Tobias Otieno, Ferrety Sousa, Jacob Crull and Ethan Vanacore-Decker. With all of those replacements, Jay Mims has a very different squad to try and mold and assemble for his title defense.

In the attack, former North Texas attacker Alex Bruce will be the main option to try and fill in the boots left by Conway, Hurst and EVD while in the midfield, he is going to rely on new signing Chavany Willis along with returning players Conor Doyle and JP Scearce. Scearce is off of a Man of the Match performance in the US Open Cup match against Des Moines Menace, and it would be expected Jay Mims will rely on him and Doyle for this matchup. This was a midfield battle the last time these two teams played back in October, and Madison was able to have more control in the matchup while Josiah Trimmingham rightfully got the headlines. 

While the roster is different, Omaha will be putting the pressure on with a high intensity press and look to spring quick attacks once they win the ball. It wasn’t fully clicking for them against a tough Des Moines team as their goals came from set-pieces, but the backline of Osmond, Leonard and Murrillo will need to be on their toes. AWO and whoever joins him in the midfield will need to continue the crisp passing and movement we saw against Cleveland. The best way to break down Omaha will be to take care of the ball and for the midfield to create, as we saw in the first matchup between these teams in 2021. Maybe Rowdy Jepson and Justin Sukow can re-create that goal, just earlier in the match.


Right then, we’re off to enjoy our Saturday, chores and errands and all that before heading down to the match. If you’re around before the game a bunch of us will be at the Brass Ring, after you’ll likely find us at the usual haunts. Stop by, say hello, and here’s to three points. Up the fucking ‘gos!

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.

    Twitter

  • Kyle Carr

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

    Twitter

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