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

News Roundup & Independence Preview

Good Saturday to you all, it’s matchday! Hope everyone’s had a great week. Andrew here with a roundup of the week’s news bits and bobs and a preview of tonight’s game vs Charlotte Independence.

Tayor Bailey Loan Signing

On Tuesday, the club announced the signing of goalkeeper Taylor Bailey on a season-long loan from Oakland Roots. While his record as a pro isn’t exactly stellar — he’s conceded 10 goals in 8 caps for Roots — if he’s here to push Phil to be at his best, he’s probably worth the wages. I imagine we’ll see him get minutes in friendlies and potentially league games if we’re able to figure out how to score more goals. By all accounts he sounds like a fine young man, and despite his young stature and early career stats, he’ll be looking to impress with an eye toward going back to Oakland to challenge for the #1 shirt.

He also seems like a genuinely good human if his Wikipedia article is to be believed: “Bailey is an animal advocate who was trained as a therapy dog handler by Therapy Dogs International. He has worked with exotic animals and with over 280 big cats at Tiger Haven, a big cat sanctuary and rescue facility in East Tennessee”

Taylor Bailey - Wikipedia

Miwaukee Project?

News out of Milwaukee’s Marquette University on Friday included some initial details on a plot of land sold to Bear Development and Kacmarcik Enterprises, the latter of whom owns the controlling stake in Forward Madison Football Club. The partnership plans to develop the largely disused section of land and mostly vacant buildings (including a years-empty Ramada Inn) into a sports and entertainment district, part of which will be an 8000 seat stadium which will function as a home for Marquette’s soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as a new professional soccer team.

The article hints at the level of competition being higher than USL1, and for my money makes it sound like a first division club may be on the cards. While some Miwaukeeans may still be haunted by a failed MLS bid in the arly 2000s, MLS is likely firmly off the table with this venture simply due to the 8,000 seat capacity. However – it’s possible Kacmarcik et al may decide to pursue a women’s team, marrying up with first division NWSL and make a frequently-mentioned eventual Madison women’s team a talent pipeline of sorts for the Milwaukee women’s side. I could waffle on all day about the possibilities here, but from a pure stadium capacity perspective, its likely the league competition will be USL Championship or NWSL.

Independence Preview

This season is the first in USL1 for the Charlotte Independence, a mainstay in USL Championship for years. They finished 4th overall in the Eastern Conference in 2021, and were knocked out by Louisville in the conference’s semifinals. The Independence’s arrival in the third tier came on the back of Charlotte’s newly-minted MLS side, as well as ongoing ownership issues with bleating Trumper and perpetual shithead Dan DiMicco, leading to a hopeful eventual sale.

The Independence currently sit in 3rd place in the USL1 table, winning 3 of their first 7 games while Madison struggled to muster a single win. Charlotte’s strategy and gameplan relies heavily on offense, while their defending leaves a lot to be desired – they’re 11-10 on goal differential. Playing a team so top-heavy could play to Madison’s strengths: a staunch 3 at the back, leaving the potential for counterattacks, though our wing players and midfield really need to step up with their directness.

Former Loon Miguel Ibarra makes his return to the upper midwest, and it will be incumbent upon our defenders to keep him and Tresor Mbuyu quiet, with 6 goals and 4 assists between the two of them. If you read our interview with Head Assistant Coach Neil Hlavaty, he mentioned the return of Derek Gebhard and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, the latter of whom would be a massive boost toward seeing this year’s intended first XI take the pitch together.

We’re quickly arriving at do-or-die time for the 2022 league campaign. Let’s hope the returning players come back hungry and willing to fight for goals, the fans could really do with a boost after last week’s disappointment in Greenville. The name of the game is chance creation, taking shots, and imposing ourselves in the opposition box. If the boys can be brave and take some risks, the goals are bound to come.

If you’re around before or after the game today, stop by Robinia Courtyard and say hello. Tell us something you like about NDZ or something you’d like to see, and there’s probably a whiskey sour with your name on it. Ciao, and forza rosa e turchino.

This week’s vinyl pickups:

Add me on Discogs while you’re at it!


  • 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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