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

FMFC 1-2 Charlotte: Taking Positives

Hello and a good Sunday to you. Unfortunately we’re once again on the back of a loss, and Glaeser’s men feeling they should have gotten more out of the match. It was a glorious late spring evening at Breese, finally a home game without driving wind and rain. Madison showed out to support, packing 3968 into Breese Stevens. The Flamingos’ sole goal came by way of Nazeem Bartman off a Rad assist, Bartman now the top scorer for Madison this season with 2 to his name. The last goal credited to FMFC happened vs FC Tucson back on April 17 (insert old Rose from Titanic meme here). We spoke with Nazeem after the game, who was chuffed to make the team sheet and score in front of the Madison faithful:

“It’s good to be back in the starting XI, but you’ve gotta earn your spot. The past couple of weeks I was sick and then I also came off Ramadan so I haven’t been fully fit. And this week in training, the guys were pushing. Everyone pushing. We all are fighting or positions. I was able to get a starting spot and I appreciate the coaches for giving me the opportunity. Overall, the result sucks. We lost, and it sucks. But I think overall this was one of our best games this season. I just think taking positives from this game is great because this is a building phase for us right now. We can build off of this game, going into the game next week and also training this week. I’m a forward, it’s my job to score goals. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get another one to tie it up but it’s always great to score. It’s an amazing feeling. I just hope I can do it again next week and get a better result.”

– FMFC Striker Nazeem Bartman

There were plenty of positives to take from the loss, creating far more chances and tallying far more shots than recent weeks. Madison communicated infinitely better in general, making runs and showing for passes, and employed a far more direct style of play, breaking lines on the dribble and moving the ball forward more frequently. Forward clocked only 3 shots in the first half, and more than doubled that sum with 8 more after the interval. Madison were much more imposing in the opposition box, yet again struggled to produce.

Madison’s heatmap vs Charlotte

Cassini had probably his best game for Madison thus far, despite being the most fouled player on the pitch. He won the most duels on the evening with 11, and showed some tasty bits of skill on the dribble, including multiple step-overs and spins. Chatting with him after the game, he expressed his pride in the team and the need to be better as a unit:

“Im so proud of the team, we did well during the week. This is just the start for all of us. I trust in everyone and I know we can do much better and we will. During the week we’re working hard, every day. So we know and we trust we can do much better. First step, I think win more games.”

– FMFC Midfielder Matheus Cassini

When asked about his family recently arriving stateside:

“My family is everything. My wife is here now, my daughter, and now I can be focused. When you’re alone, it’s different. You try do your best but you’re in a different country, sometimes you don’t speak the language. But I have my family here now and I’m so happy. My first two months here were difficult because I was alone in a different country. But now just work hard, be focused every day. My family is everything to me and now I can be focused. Just try to help Forward Madison, I’m so happy to be here in Madison.”

– FMFC Midfielder Matheus Cassini

Quinn McNeill chipped Breno for Charlotte’s second goal, Phil off his line again. It’s a worrying trend (it’s happened twice in 7 games this season) and something Glaeser will likely consider with the arrival of Taylor Bailey on loan from Oakland. The Independence go top of the USL1 table with this win, and showed a simplistic efficiency against Madison, putting only 5 shots up all night, all of which were on target. They forced 3 saves from Breno, who certainly was culpable for their 2nd. If his positioning is that predictable, he either needs to stop coming off (or staying off) his line so frequently and for such long periods, especially if he’s doing so when caught on the break.

Abdou Mbacke-Thiam made his return from injury as a sub, as did Christian Enriquez. Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu also made his return to the team, playing 76 minutes before being subbed off for Justin Sukow. AWO or “Wheels,” as his teammates call him, had a great showing despite the result, managing 83% pass completion including 8/10 long balls, 3/3 aerial duels won, and 7 recoveries. Grant spoke with him after the game, and he spoke highly of the performance despite the result:

“It’s unfortunate not to get the win, but that was a good performance. Getting myself back in, the coaches made it easy, the training staff, the medical team did an amazing job of helping me get back. Hopefully there’s no setbacks. I promise you, I’m excited. We’re putting the work in, and I hope you guys see that. It’s [wins, goals, etc.] coming. It’s coming.”

– FMFC Midfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu

I hope he’s right, and I still believe this team’s best days are yet to come. You could see glimpses of the quality this team possesses last night, and as more pieces fall into place and these guys continue to figure out each others’ mechanisms, body language, and tendencies, we’ll see more goals. I firmly believe one of these weeks we’ll see a 3-4 goal win, and that will be an opening of the floodgates. I just hope it’s sooner than later. Right. Grant and I are off to the record store, it’s time to find some gems.


  • 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.


  • Grant Pieters

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


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