Posted by BOB TWIDLE on Jul 25 2006 at 05:00PM PDT
The rain stayed away and 3 points to the good with a 3-1 victory. You continue at a pace that puts you 1 point out of first place. Many thanks to Krysta Landry who joined us from the G17 and delivered a solid contribution to our win. We look forward to her future involvement. Completed passes were well below par, especially in the first half. Shots were 17 vs 4 in your favour. Having said that, the game overall was not our best performance. Sluggish start, too much standing around, not enough pressure on the opponent with the ball. Everyone needs to review what they did in the previous 48 hours in preparation for this game - hydration, nutrition, sleep, energy conservation. All players must imagine where the ball might go and shut down pass opportunities BEFORE they happen. Most of the night, we collectively moved after a pass was made to an open player and had to work twice as hard to deal with it. Our team shape was far too long with wide gaps between our defenders/mids/forwards. This created the need for long passes that often got cut off, or long 50/50 ball deliveries that are inconsistent with our possession game plan. You had far too many dangerous defending set plays given to Burlington caused by scrambling near our net. We gave up 3 unnecessary corners and at least two dangerous direct kicks - one resulted in a goal against and one missed gratefully from a bad delivery. You avoid these risks by keeping solid midfield control and keeping enough pressure on the other team that they can't organize long balls into our end. We will spending a lot of time on defending and attacking set plays in our next training session on Thursday. Our development of defensive walls last night was frightening and we left our keeper and our net seriously exposed. Defending against free kicks within striking distance as best taught and learned from the perspective of the keeper who must be in complete charge of all player positioning. Smart teams organize defending and attacking free-kick set up very quickly. The following link will give you a peek from the keeper perspective when setting up for a variety of free kicks. The soft end of our game schedule is over and the tougher games are ahead - the ones you MUST win to reach your goals and control your destiny. Remember that each of you have a very serious responsibility for game preparation, physically, mentally and technically. Let this be the last game that I hear someone ask about the record and performance of the team you are playing. Rep soccer is no different than another school subject - it involves homework, practice and you have an exam on every game night. See you Thursday and probably Sunday night somewhere (UTM is closed I think) as we prepare to face North Miss on Monday at South Common. On Thursday night there is a game at Fallingbrook between North Miss and St. Catharines Black - two teams that we have yet to face. All should consider taking in some of this game after training so you get to see what their shape, tactics, and skill levels (in your position) look like. I'll adjust our training session from 6:30 pm to 8 pm approx on Thursday so all who can, can catch the game. Wear something "generic" to the game so we aren't too obvious - although I'm sure we'll be noticed quickly. Homework...... Lots of responsibilities - but have fun while you're doing it. There is a possibility for a general training session on Friday morning 9-12 for those who are available. Let me know who can/can't. BT


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