Recap: Saint Louis FC vs. AFC Cleveland
In our first Open Cup game of 2016 coach Schilly started a vastly changed side to face AFC Cleveland. The only regular starters in the lineup were Pais, Fink, and Musa. We got to see a rare appearance from the likes of Takada and a first look at Lurie.
Saint Louis controlled the play with ease in the first half and were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box. Musa’s kick from the spot was then saved by the Cleveland keeper. But, just a short time later, Hardware was able to slip through their defence and open the scoring in the 22nd minute.
The second half saw a lot more of the same, with us dominating play but struggling to score. Then, second half substitute Seth Rudolph, made a brilliant run and pass to Jordan Roberts. Jordan beat his man one on one to score a beautiful goal in the 77th minute to seal the win for Saint Louis.
Playing a much changed side against a semi-pro team it’s difficult to take too much away from this game other than advancing to the next round of the cup, but there are a few things we may have learned from last night’s game.
First of all, it is clear why some of these guys are not regular starters. Despite playing against lesser opposition, we struggled with giving the ball away in the middle of the field. However, some of the players who aren’t regulars proved themselves quite capable.
Lurie was a total mystery starting at the left fullback position, but managed to shut down Cleveland’s attack on his side while still getting forward at times. Rudolph and Roberts both came on in the second half and immediately got into the attack. They both pressured Cleveland’s defense and looked more dangerous than their predecessors did in much of the first half.
Neither Lurie, Roberts, nor Rudolph look ready to push for a starting role, but Lurie could give us a bit more depth at the fullback position while Roberts and Rudolph may be the attacking impact players we’ve been needing.
With a very tight schedule over the next couple of weeks, we could likely see more of these fringe players, as well as several changes to Schilly’s side.
Photo by Will Bramlett - http://www.workinthemorning.com