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Three games in…..


Zero losses, and frankly it feels pretty good no?

We’ve a tough week coming up though, so it is difficult to get too carried away. Pittsburgh and Cincinatti will be a proper test in the coming days, however one must think that we can go into these games with some hope (that kills you) that we can get some points on the road.

The past two games, whilst have been exciting and coming away with a win is euphoric after our past seasons, is it wrong to expect more? Is it wrong to think we’ve been lucky with our recent results?

The game at Louisville was a smash and grab, just without the smash. We grabbed that point and got out of dodge. Ottawa at home was a battle. A battle our midfield was up for and the newly found character and will to win shone through, but make no mistake we could have been looking at another heartbreak. Ottawa will cause some havoc in this league, especially when they eventually play at home instead of starting out on the road. Their loss at Tampa was telling and showed us a little bit of maybe where we are at. Tampa are perfect with nine points from nine, yet they’ve played two MLS2 squads and only beat Ottawa by one goal themselves, so are we on a par with them? Again it will be a testament to where we are as a squad when Tampa play Louisville this week and we face Cincinnati.

I was actually disappointed by the performance against NYRB2. Sure we won and I was delighted, yet again we snatched a win out of the jaws of defeat. I can wax lyrical on the character and determination of the win. That said, it should never have gotten to that point. Red Bulls 2 are not that same team that won the league last year. The home loss to City Islanders points enough to that. Are they a tough team to play against? Absolutely, but we had them over the barrel in the first half and were unable to put them away.

On the flip side of the coin, for so early in the season we’re pretty banged up. We’ve not played a stable back four all season and one has to think that doesn’t help Devala marshall the defense. I thought Ledbetter has come in and done well, but no disrespect to him I’d rather have Konrad Plewa back there, especially after he and AJ was described as trees in Louisville. Sheldon and Charpie for me look good on the flanks, but again Sheldon was missing presumed injured against Red Bulls and Ryan Howe filled in. In midfield however it is the walking wounded. Milan Petosevic has only given us glimpses of what he can do in one game of the three, and with Dalgaard going off injured adding to the Mirkovic injury they are big holes to fill.

I am glad Angulo got off the mark. For his sake. I wish his rasping volley just before halftime had hit the back of the net, it sure deserved better. The penalty took some minerals for him to step up and take it. I always felt he was on the outside looking in with regards the starting XI so the pressure was on for him to put it away and I hope his confidence and desire to show us what he can do is renewed.

Jose Angulo nets the spot kick. Pic by Will Bramlett

Pittsburgh will be tougher than I anticipated. I thought they’d be whipping boys of the league again after getting hammered by Rochester just before the season started, but a win on the road against Charleston and their own 3-3 draw against Red Bulls will have them confident as they return to play us at Highmark.

Let’s just hope we get some players back from the physio bench soon. I like the fact that the squad guys came in and did the business against Red Bulls, but I’ll feel a lot better once we’re healthy again.

I hope I can sit down this time next week and still boast we are unbeaten.

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