Match Ratings

Rowdies v Armada U23 Match Ratings – May 16, 2017

My Man of the Match, Alex Morrell, celebrates his goal

Rowdies starting XI
Subs used: Darwin Jones, Justin Chavez, Zac Portillos
Unused Subs: Nico Campbell, Darnell King, Deshorn Brown, Martin Vingaard

With Joe ColeMarcel SchäferNeil Collins, and Matt Pickens rested, wholesale changes were made to the squad as expected given our NPSL opponent and the busy fixture list coming fast and furious.  Despite nine changes to the starting XI, the Rowdies began with their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation and defensive, possession-based style.  This is both encouraging and disappointing. Encouraging because it shows the depth of our squad, the ability of our players to fit in to the system as needed, and our consistent ability to grind out results.  Disappointing because we are still lacking attacking creativity and a killer scoring instinct. I get the feeling that we play to not lose, rather than to win.  We are creating precious few scoring chances and much of our possession comes from lateral and negative passes.  Two of tonight’s goals came from a questionable call, and defensive passing error, while our third came against a 10-man side.  Playing against a NPSL U-23 side, I fully expected (and hoped) that we would go for the win with a dominant, attacking performance.  Instead, we got a timid, defensive, & underwhelming display.  There’s something just not quite right when your left-back leads the team in touches and passes.  I’m happy to progress, and can’t knock the squad for executing the game plan, but there were several times when instead of taking a shot or putting the ball in to the box, we went negative.  Campbell needs to encourage his men to take more risk up front. Let’s see how the side lines up at Toronto FC II on Friday.

See below for individual player ratings.

Manager rating: 5/10 — Overall team rating: 6.5/10

#50 – Akira Fitzgerald – GK

Quiet and steady night for Fitzgerald.  Faced no shots on target and only one corner, catching one cross.  Kept his defense organized and distributed well. Player rating: 7/10

#14 – Luke Boden – LB

Consistent night defensively and led the team with 121 touches 95 passes at a rate of 92.6% accuracy.  Didn’t get quite enough involved in the attack though, with only one unsuccessful cross. Player rating: 7/10

#17 – Tamika Mkandawire – CB

Solid night and deserved to wear the captain’s armband.  Won 4/5 tackles and 9/11 duels, while chipping in two clearances, and two interceptions.  Kept the back four organized and disciplined. Player rating: 7/10

#31 – Damion Lowe – CB (subbed off 72’)

Uncharacteristically quiet night.  Tam contributed to most of the defending while Lowe kept shape but wasn’t terribly involved although he provided the pass leading to Porter’s early goal.  Seemed to pick up a knock in the 59th minute & subsequently subbed in the 72ndPlayer rating: 6/10

#90 – Kyle Porter – RB

Got the early (albeit questionable) goal that allowed the Rowdies to settle in.  Solid defensively, also providing 6 crosses in attack & nearly picking up an assist when Paterson hit the post late. Player rating: 7/10

#22 – Keith Savage – DM

Playing in the holding position tonight & helped prevent the Armada from mounting much in the way of counter-attacks. Needed to get on the ball and distribute forward more. 50 fewer touches than Boden. Not involved enough. Player rating: 5/10

#23 – Michael Nanchoff – DM

While Savage held more, Nanchoff drove what little attack the Rowdies put forward.  Completed 3 of his 7 crosses, and 90% of his passes.  One shot on target resulted in a good save from the Armada keeper. Player rating 6/10

#11 – Leo Fernandes – LW (subbed off 78’)

Not involved enough going forward.  One cross, one shot on target, and only 38 touches in his 78 minutes.  Needs more service and to create more going forward. Player rating: 6/10

#10 – Georgi Hristov – CM (subbed off HT)

Where was Georgi tonight? Aside from putting in some defensive work and blocked a free-kick with his face, he wasn’t involved much, and not at all going forward.  No shots, no crosses, 56% pass rate. Poor performance & rightly subbed off. Player rating: 4/10

#9 – Alex Morrell – RW

At times looked lonely on the wing, not receiving much service but was energetic when he was on the ball and put in a shift defensively as well. Individual effort created his goal and could have gone down in the box, but stayed up to finish it off. Player rating: 7.5/10 – Man of the Match

#19 – Martin Paterson – F

At his best when he stayed central and provided a target for crosses.  Energetic and finished his chances well but often seemed frustrated at a lack of service, forcing him to drop deep or wide out of position to get on the ball, leaving no one up top.  Scored one and hit the post on two shots. Player rating: 7/10

#7 – Darwin Jones – M (Subbed on HT)

Came on at half-time for Georgi and played well. Provided the assist for Paterson.  Along with Morrell, one of two players willing to attack and create going forward. Player rating: 7/10

#13 – Justin Chavez – CB (Subbed on 72’)

Surprisingly came on to replace Lowe at center back, but did well enough to help keep the Armada from producing any real attacking threat. Player rating: 6/10

#15 – Zac Portillos – LW (78’)

On for Fernandes with the match already decided and managed one shot off target to go with his 10 touches in 12 minutes.  Not enough time to get involved. Player rating: 5/10

Statistics courtesy of Rowdies v Armada U23


Jeff Hernden
I bleed Black & White, and Green & Gold. Coach, player, and fan of the beautiful game. Come on Fulham, and Come on You Rowdies!!