For reasons I don’t understand, I cannot watch highlights of the second leg of last night’s Polish Cup semifinal between Zawisza and Jagiellonia. All the videos I found can only be watched in Poland. Spoiler alert: it was a draw, so Zawisza advances on aggregate.
Zawisza posted this interview with Brazilian center back Hermes. If you can understand Polish spoken with a Paulista accent, this video is for you.
Odeen Domingo got around to doing player ratings for Saturday’s Arizona United match against Oklahoma City. His piece starts with a laudatory preamble about how great the management group is. It seems a bit much. Then again, they are miles ahead of the last crew and I can see why he’d be excited.
I think he’s spot on with his player ratings. There are a couple of observations I would add.
He rates London Woodberry a two out of five. I thought Woodberry was one of the better players to watch out there. He had a bit more to do than usual given how the entire team had their backs against the goal for what seemed the entire first half. He’s still an immature player, as demonstrated by his two yellow cards in rapid succession. The first was for a sloppy tackle, which happens, but the second was for grabbing at a player. A more experienced player would have taken the constant pressure a bit better.
Woodberry’s novice moments aside, Coach Dellorusso has put together a pretty experienced side. By my quick count, eight of the players who saw time on Saturday had made appearances for top flight teams at one time or another. Even opposing coach Jimmy Nielsen told me after the match that the quality of the players was not the trouble. It was the lack of cohesion.
Which brings me to a coaching decision by Dellorusso. My thinking that a team without a lot of time together would be asked to play simple tactics. Put them in a 4 – 4 – 2 because everyone knows how to play that. Instead, he had three players listed as forwards. The ball didn’t get to those forwards much, but Dellorusso was trying to play his possession-and-pressure tactics that he talked about earlier in the week. The tactics will likely work better when the players know each other’s names.
It tells me a lot about Dellorusso’s thinking. He’s thinking of these first matches as preseason and, rather than thinking of early results, he’s being aspirational: this is they way he’d like to see them play in a month or so. The question is how many losses will be tolerated from owners, fans and, yes, players before this starts producing results.
Interviews with Cruz Azul’s Marco Fabian and Toluca’s Alfredo Talavera: