Taking a quick look back at the last time these two teams met, just under a month ago. Back then we were living in a two division world. Oh how the times have changed.
There really wasn’t a ton to split the two sides. I remember thinking in the first half that it was the most entertaining no-score game I had seen in a while- you could see the teams feeling each other out, the tactical plans being implemented- truly the two best teams in NISA.
The graph says it all- there was only one big chance in the game and it was taken. Looked like the players got drawn out of position from a quick corner-throw in combo and Cali took advantage.
Again, not much to split the sides. It was never going to be a blowout in either direction.
I remember walking away feeling good about the effort the team put in. I know some were disappointed with the tactical setup but it shut down some of the most dangerous players in the league while still generating a few chances up top. Since then, the results haven’t gone our way, but on that day I was happy.
What I Want To See Tonight
- Set pieces into the box. This is not a naïve California team, it will be hard to bamboozle them with unusual routines. Give the guys a chance, put the ball in the danger zone.
- Work the keeper. If there is one thing my xG model likes (and therefore is characteristic of a good NISA goal), it is a keeper off his line. That means balls coming in from endline, lofted balls that he can’t decide whether to claim, unselfish passes across goal- things that don’t let him get set before having to dive and save. That’s what I would really love to see. I know, easy to say, hard to do, especially against this Cali defense.
- Effort. If we lose, so be it- as long as we see a desire to win from the guys. We want to be proud of the team at the end of the day, and so we will if they play for the badge tonight.
A Friendly Reminder
I haven’t kept up this blog, in large part, because the original purpose- timely, thorough match recaps- is now being fulfilled on the club website, such as this recap of our last game against Cali. But, the work on here is fun because numbers are fun. As always, thanks for your support, and let’s cheer on our boys in blue tonight!