I went to Matt’s Reserve Soccer game against Sidney’s reserve team last night. It was in Sidney, and I had a haircut appointment at 5:00 which further delayed me. As a result, I missed the first half arriving just as the second half started.
The score does not reflect the level of domination which Troy had. They put on a clinic in ball control which I have not seen before at this level. They moved the ball both up and down as well as across the field without much opposition. Sidney didn’t really actively defend until the ball was just outside the penalty box.
It was impressive as a Troy fan, but I can’t help but feel discouraged for the Sidney fans. Their players just had no energy or spirit. They challenged poorly and did not even defend as a team – much less attack as one.
Matt shared after the fact that Chaz (his coach) had asked the players to put on a passing clinic by moving the ball around – mainly negative – and to focus on moving into supporting angles off the ball. If they could play like that all of the time, I’m sure that Troy would be much more successful. Unfortunately, most opponents don’t give you that much space (and time). I’m guessing the Reserve team does not win many games in the league. They are probably more successful playing the smaller local schools.
Becky and I stuck around for the first half of the Varsity game. Troy looked like the better team. The officiating was suspect in my eyes – very inconsistent. Touch fouls were being called in front of each 18, and very severe tackles were being let go in the central third. As a fan, it was discouraging to watch.
It was especially tough to watch because many of the parents decided to sit on the Sidney side of the field (small stands and no sun in the eyes). Somehow, the Sidney parents were under the impression that the refs were biased against their team. Sidney’s style of play is very direct. They have one player upfront who is very physically strong and one who is exceptionally fast. Basically, Sidney does not use the central third of the field. They play either directly to their forwards or into space behind the opponent’s defenders. Most of the time it was a foot race for our defenders. Not an attractive style of play.
I really enjoy watching Troy play. I can’t help think that they would be undefeated now if not for Ryan Tremblay’s injury and subsequent inability to play. Even without him, they did a great job controlling the center. They moved the ball up and down the field in a very attractive manner. It’s good stuff.
Unfortunately, the better team did not win. Sidney went up 2-0 before Troy managed to come back and tie the score. The first Sidney score came off of a deflection from a direct kick outside the Troy penalty box (another touch foul). Since Becky and left at halftime, we missed three of the goals. The TDN covers it pretty well.
Update: The Troy Daily News doesn’t retain its content online. Oh well, try to drive traffic to them and they ditch you. You can’t help some people.