The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good.


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Gaspard D'Alexis
Published Sunday, January 11, 2009


11/29/2008

Match Report

Time

6:30 PM

Home Team

OMEGA SC SELECT BLACK (KS) 0

 

Away Team

Texas Rush Swoosh 90/91 (TXN) 0

 

Field

Richland 01

 

Weather

cool

Formation

4 - 3 - 3

 

Formation

4 - 4 - 2

 

Condition

Under lights

College Coaches in Attendance: 10+

 

OMEGA SC SELECT BLACK: (Bachtle - V. Munn - S. Grzeskowiak - L. Leidel - D. Guidi - A. Bruch - C. West - M. Meagher - C. Lee - S. Seiler - K. Evans); A. Werner - P. Miller - A. Davila - C. Szymkowski - B. Gold - L. Engelken     

 

Goals 0

Half:  0-0

Final: 0-0

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In my life time, I must have seen the classic western movie, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, at least a dozen times. Last time I watched it, not too long ago, I even bribed my co-pilot, who loves Christmas and Romantic movies, plus the food channel, to watch it with me. My co-pilot asked what I would give in exchange. She only agreed after I pledged to watch a couple of Christmas movies without sleeping and also some of the baking contest on the food channel with her in return. I really thought, that would be the last time I was going to see the Clint Eastwood classic. I did not think I was going to be one of its actors in the near future. Well, it happened in our third game in the Texas Cup when we played Texas Rush Swoosh 90/91. Because the Omega Select coach is no Sergio Leone, the famous producer of the original movie, there were some differences: So the actors of Omega Select Black and the Texas Swoosh 90/91 created instead: “The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

The stage seemed perfectly set for a great performance. It was at night under the lights and the moonlight. Mother Nature was very cooperative. I was cool not too cold. It was almost a perfect weather for soccer actors. The opponent that night, although a very good team, was not the strongest opponent we were going to face. Expectations were rightfully very high because in the prior two games, against tougher competition, the performance was outstanding.

However, in a tournament there is always one of those games that make you scratch your head. It is often a make it or break it game. It challenges every one. Regardless of how hard team plays and how focused a team is, it doesn't matter.  The team is in for a long and frustrating time. The Omega Select players experienced that at the Richland Park that night against Texas Rush Swoosh 90/91.

The Ugly: If our keepers barely touched the ball in the first two games, it was a different story this time. Because, at the 4 min mark, it took a brilliant save from Bachtle on a one-person breakaway by the quick and fast little forward of Texas Rush Swoosh. She stole the ball from one Select defender and dribbled through another to find herself face to face with Bachtle. Bachtle dove on the ground and made a cat like save to deflect the ball for a corner. Three minutes later, it was again the diving Bachtle who saved the night by deflecting in corner another close range shot from the little pesky forward of Texas Rush Swoosh. For the next 15 minutes Omega Select Black was under constant pressure. Their usual slick passing was completely off. One could say that they were playing hide and seek. They could not put three passes together. Team play would not work. Even our usual dominance of one-on-one dribbling was not happening. K.  Evans, who toyed with every opposing player on her side of the field before this game, struggled this time. The Select players tried hard but without any success. However, after some substitutions to add new blood on the field and some strategic shuffling, there was a slight improvement in Select plays. Particularly because of the play of Ashley Werner and Christina Szymkowski, who kept their cool, the flow of the game began to change.

The Bad: The last 10 minutes of the first half was hopeful because Select defenders could now do what the do best, rolling the ball to set up midfielders and forwards. But, when the referee whistled the end of the first half, it was a relief for all actors on the Select side. Even though the Ugly had improved to become the Bad, surely spectators and coaches, faithful to Omega , appreciated the sound of the half time whistle as much as the actors.  Now, Omega Select could refocus and retool for a better 2nd half. On the bench, the disappointment and frustration was noticeable on the faces of the Omega Select Black players. Players from our team were so upset about their performance, they shed a tear. In contrast, the atmosphere was upbeat and satisfactory on the nearby Texas Rush Swoosh bench. The Omega Select half talk went like this: 

I have some good news and some bad news. In fact, there is more good news than bad. The bad news: we played a very bad first 45 min and nothing worked for us. The score is still 0-0 thanks to our keeper. The good news: We have one more half to go and we couldn't play worst. Anyway, I have no doubt that we are a very good team. You will go back on that field and play like you know how. By doing what was working for you coming to this game: roll the ball from side to side, keep your positions, play simple, and win the 50/50 tackles. We should also slow down the pace of the game. Remember it's when it is difficult and things are not going as planed that good teams and good players step up to the task. You guys are better than we showed in the first half.

The Good: Even though, nothing was really working in the Select favor in the first half, they got beat physically, they got out shouted and out played most of the time. However, the players kept fighting without pointing fingers at each other or to an official even on non call questionable contacts.

In the beginning of the second half there were some changes in the Select line up: Ashley Werner was on the left forward flank, 14 yr old Lee switched her center forward position for the right flank of K. Evans who now was patrolling the center front of the Select attack and B. Gold was now the keeper of the fort. Maybe it was because of the changes or simply because the cream always rises to the top: The Omega Select Black team seemed almost like its old self. The passing, although not as slick as usual, was effective and satisfactory enough. The linking between defenders and midfielders created opportunities for the threesome's frontline. Lee's speed on the right, Evans' ball shielding at center and Werner's coolness and vision created constant danger for the Rush Swoosh defense. Now, the midfield was breathing easier and creating spaces for all. So it was not a surprise to see the Select's first opportunity came from a combination between Meagher and Bruch in the midfield to send a deep ball on the right to Lee who blew by her marker and took a shot that the Rush Swoosh keeper deflected in corner. The Select player's new found confidence put the team back in business.  With the arrival at the 60th min mark of the U15 youngsters, Miller and Davila, the Select Coach made more changes in the role play of his actors. Now, S. Seiler played center forward and K. Evans took the creative role of attacking center midfield, replacing Bruch. Sergio Leone would have been proud of his cast. The play of the Select actors was fluid and coordinated. And when one of them got out of line, B. Gold quickly put them in place with her commanding voice from her keeper position.  Miller almost opened the scoring on a long free kick that was saved by the Rush Swoosh keeper. The first half anguish of the pro-Omega Select spectators changed into more exuberance. The last play of the game was yet another great run on the right side by Lee. She beat two defenders to make a cut back pass to Seiler who timed her run perfectly 5 yards in front of the Rush Swoosh keeper to meet the ball. But, unfortunately Seiler's one time redirect shot sailed over the bar…The curtain came down. It was the end of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (in reverse order). 



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