Well, this might seem a little by-the-book at this point, because the same players keep featuring in the winners column, and some of the same keep featuring in the losers column.
So, let’s go, I guess.
Winner: Pablo Ruiz
Ruiz remains a very capable midfielder in our system, and he was the source of a good deal of our firepower. Now, I don’t think that’s the tactical approach we should be taking, where we’re just lobbing shots from distance in an effort to do something, but if we’re going to do it, Ruiz is as good as anyone. Of course, he’s only scored one goal this year, but he did hit the crossbar tonight, and while that technically counts as a miss because, well, the ball was outside the goal area, it was at least close, and that’s more than I can say for anybody else, really.
Winner: Aaron Herrera
Do I need to repeat myself? Herrera is good.
But I am troubled that we’re spending the plurality of our attack (42% of it, at least) going down the left side, compared to just 29% down the right (and the remaining 28% going down the middle.) I would like to see us playing to the strength Herrera continually shows, but instead, we often look disconnected in pretty significant ways.
Winner: Jeizon Ramirez
Despite playing only a scant 11 minutes, Ramirez was creative, made some good moves, and had an extremely dangerous low cross into the box that Corey Baird should have absolutely finished. I do not understand why he is not getting more minutes. Perhaps I’m not meant to understand.
Loser: Douglas Martinez
In one particular instance, it was harder for Douglas Martinez to miss than it was to score, and somehow he did the thing in between both of those that was probably the hardest of all. He hit the post, and he should have scored, full stop. He was free (good job, kid), had an open goal in front of him, and
Loser: Corey Baird
I don’t understand what happened to Corey Baird. His rookie season two years ago showed such promise. Maybe we need better players around him. That’s probably it.
Anyway, there was one particular moment where Baird broke from the defensive line on a great run and following a great pass from Maikel Chang. He put the ball tamely into the goalkeeper’s arms. He should be better at those, but he is not.
Loser: Albert Rusnak
I do not understand how Albert Rusnak can always manage to take a dangerous position with the ball at his feet and turn it into a shot blocked from extremely close range. He has a real knack for it. We really could have done with some magic, but instead, we had a player that faded as the match went on — in part because he’s been training alone for 10 days under MLS quarantine rules following his return stateside.
I dunno. I just don’t get it.