Quick Weekend Review: 5/22
The next few weeks for me will be very busy in non-soccer life, so I will step back from the weekly previews/reviews but hope to look more in depth after that time about some of the broader issues around the two teams.
Meanwhile, after a disappointing weekend both teams are facing serious questions as they underperform their talent level.
The Courage wildly underperformed the expectations given by ELO rankings on both sides of the ball. While they did create more xG than Orlando, a loss wasn’t a shocking outcome.
Gifting the opponents a free shot on goal is not a good way to win games, and it’s hardly the first time it’s happened this season for the Courage. This is an area that has to improve; in general the Courage have given up too many shots on short possessions for their opponents.
The return of Mewis is the big storyline for tonight and the next few games. Her presence in the midfield should solve one key problem. Figuring out the ideal 4th attacking player is the next step.
North Carolina FC:
A draw against Richmond was an encouraging result. The return of Kamara to the lineup created a great deal more offensive balance. Still, there is a lack of scoring options up front. NC was outshot 16–12, and had just one shot in the 6 yard box or “second 6” directly in front of the box. That was an off target header from Flick. Yekeson Subah had a golden opportunity to win the game, and unfortunately missed the ball and it fell to Miscic at a tough angle who was unable to finish.
Subah looked ready for the level of play and I hope we’ll see more of him. Kristo and Simpson have not been dangerous enough. The midfield still has a lot of questions. Bradford does seem willing to rotate and give multiple opportunities to players. Fischer coming in seemed unplanned, but he played calmly to see the game out.
The game against FC Tucson at home is NCFC’s first game where they should be considered the genuine favorite to win. Hopefully we will see