Match Ratings

#TORvTBR Match Ratings


Rowdies Starting XI – Photo by Tampa Bay Rowdies
Subs used: Nanchoff, Paterson, Vingaard
Unused Subs: Fitzgerald, Mkandawire, Porter, Morrell

Away match. In the cold. On turf. This was an opportunity for the Rowdies to exorcise some demons and build confidence away from home.  Following the nine changes to the starting XI that the Rowdies made for their US Open Cup victory over the Armada U-23, Stuart Campbell brought a full strength lineup to battle against TFC II on Friday. Not only was the lineup full strength, but it was the more attacking lineup that many had been hoping to see for the past several matches. With Georgi Hristov starting on the left wing, along with in-form midfielders Joe ColeDarwin Jones, and Deshorn Brown up front, Campbell also returned Marcel Schäfer to the holding midfield position, and Luke Boden returned to left back, it’s almost as if Campbell read my past few posts, listened to Matt & Dan‘s podcasts, and took our advice.  Before the first ball was kicked in Toronto, we knew this would be a game the Rowdies would be playing to win. Considering Toronto’s form over the past few matches, (two draw, two losses and no goals) this match was begging for an attacking lineup, and Campbell provided. Campbell’s substitutions were also appropriate for the match, with Michael Nanchoff entering early for an injured Justin Chavez, and Martin Paterson scoring only seconds after entering.  My only criticism is that Cole should have been subbed a bit earlier. Despite somewhat of a slow start and TFC II scoring early on a classic third-man run from midfielder Luca Ucello that looked to be straight from the training ground, the Rowdies dominated the match both statistically and in style.  Easily our most positive away performance of the season.

Manager rating: 7.5/10  —  Overall team rating: 7.5/10

Player Ratings

#18 Matt Pickens – GK

Another excellent night in goal for Pickens.  He made a brilliant save to stop an early breakaway attempt and came up big on another in the 60th minute.  As usual he commanded his box and kept his back four organized.  Not much he could have done about the goal.  Two saves on the night and better with his clearances.  Player rating: 7.5/10

#14 Luke Boden – LB

Solid night going forward for Boden, contributing four crosses, one shot and created two scoring chances, but he also had a couple cheap giveaways leading to counter attacks. Defensively sound, with three successful tackles, one clearance, one blocked shot and an 80 percent passing accuracy. He’s back in the starting XI where he should be.  Player rating: 7/10

#3 Neill Collins – CB

Yet again Collins was a rock in the back.   He won tackles, blocked shots, made clearances and even contributed a couple shots up front.  He did however pick up another yellow card and was partly to blame for the goal allowed.  In following his mark who dropped deep, Collins opened up space behind him and failed to notice the the midfield run in.  A simple chip over Collins’ head and Ucello was one-on-one with Pickens. Although, Collins made for this later, getting on the end of Nanchoff’s free-kick and heading it back in the middle to Paterson, who provided the cool finish. Player rating: 7/10

#31 Damion Lowe – CB

Partnered well again with Collins.  No big mistakes to think of, but also no major successes. His six interceptions led the back line, but so did his five fouls.  Mr. Consistent in the back, although with this busy run of fixtures, it may be time for the big man to have a rest.  Player rating: 6.5/10

#2 Darnel King – RB

The past couple matches have seen a steady improvement in King’s performances. Not that he was poor to start, but he is getting even better. He’s becoming a force to be reckoned with in the back, winning six tackles and providing three clearances while also adding five crosses in attack and completing his passes at a rate of 85 percent. Top defender of the night. Player rating: 7.5/10

#4 Marcel Schäfer – DM

It’s no coincidence that Schäfer’s return to midfield has coincided with the Rowdies attack returning to life. His experience, 91 percent pass completion rate and defensive abilities help the Rowdies hold the midfield. But, perhaps his most important quality is to look forward in possession. He constantly combines with the attack and his steady ability allows Boden to overlap from left back.  Back where he belongs. Player rating: 7/10

#13 Justin Chavez – DM (Subbed off 24′)

It’s a shame to see Chavez come off injured as he has played so incredibly well holding the midfield for the past few matches, as well as in these 24 minutes.  In his brief time on the pitch, he got off a shot, made a clearance, and won a foul.  Wish him the best for a speedy recovery.  Even if he is recovered by Wednesday, I’d be surprised to see him in the lineup. With Nanchoff, Vingaard, or Keith Savage available, there’s no need to rush.  Player rating: 6/10

#10 Georgi Hristov – LW

Georgi’s best moment of the match came in the 57th minute when he made a diagonal run in to the center and, in a single movement, took Lowe’s long pass off his chest, did a half turn, and crushed a half volley on target, forcing a great save from the keeper.  Georgi also made the excellent decision to dummy Jones’ cross in the 68th minute, leading to the opening goal.  Aside from this bit of brilliance, Georgi had a relatively quiet evening with the bulk of our attacking chances coming from the opposite side of the pitch.  Player rating: 6.5/10

#26 © Joe Cole – CM (Subbed off 87′)

One chance created, one shot on target, and one goal. Cole found himself Johnny-on-the-spot when he lost his defender, darted in to the six-yard box and buried Darwin Jones’ low cross to score the equalizer in the 68th minute. Cole’s goal certainly took the wind out of the sails of TFC II  and boosted the Rowdies attacking confidence.  Cole connected well with Deshorn Brown and Jones throughout the match, providing the assist for Jones’ goal in the 82nd minute.  Player rating: 7/10

#7 Darwin Jones – RW

Man of the Match performance from Jones tonight. He was lively, energetic and attack-minded. Jones put in nine crosses, including the one that found Cole for the opening goal.  He also provided three shots (two on goal), with his well-deserved goal aided by a bit of a deflection. He is beginning to cement himself as the main man on the right wing.  Player rating: 8/10

# 8 Deshorn Brown – F (Subbed off 79′)

Brown did everything right tonight, except get his goal.  He should have scored in the 20th minute when he pounced on the long ball from Georgi, beat his defender and fired just wide. Brown’s connection with the midfield trio of Georgi, Cole, and Jones is looking continuing to develop, his hold up play and passing tonight were excellent.  Had he finished his chances he would have been Man of the Match.  While he is playing well, Paterson’s intensity and goals are definitely challenging Brown for that starting spot. Player rating: 7.5/10

#23 Michael Nanchoff – CM (Subbed on 24′)

Subbed on early for the injured Chavez, Nanchoff certainly made an argument for him to start in this spot in Rochester on Wednesday.  He defended and held the midfield, working well with Schäfer, and his connection with the front four was effective. Nanchoff completed three of his seven crosses, creating three chances, including the excellent free kick which found Collins and then Paterson for the third goal. Player rating: 7.5/10

#19 Martin Paterson – F (Subbed on 79′)

What else can you say about Paterson, but that he brings intensity to the match.  He scored the eventual game-winner with his first touch, seconds after coming on.  Having scored in the Open Cup match, he and Brown, show the depth and competition the Rowdies have for the center forward spot.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paterson start in one of these next two matches. Player rating 7.5/10

#32 – Martin Vingaard – CM (Subbed on 87′)

Subbed on late, so he didn’t have much of an opportunity to make an impact on this game.  However, with his performances over the past few matches not being up to his early season standards, it’s looking like he may be losing out on that starting spot. With all of the depth the Rowdies have in that center midfield, Vingaard is going to have to step it up if he wants to establish himself as the regular man there. Player rating: 6/10

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!!