Post Match Reaction: Legion Lose 1-0 to Detroit City FC

The Definition of Insanity is…

On Friday, April 15th, Legion lost to Le rouge de Detroit 1-0 after Antoine Hoppenot rips the heart out of the Legion chest once again. Despite the statistics and the film favoring the 3 Sparks, Legion still walk out of Michigan with a 1-2-3 record.

Pre-Match Predictions

Before this match, I was not very sure on the result. I could’ve seen Legion win 2-1 or lose 1-0. All I knew is that these teams are close and it was not going to be a blow out either way. Preseason I predicted a Legion win.

Starting XI

Legion 3-5-2
DCFC 3-4-3

There are SEVERAL things to note about this Legion line up. We’re sticking with the same formation, so that’s nice. Some down sides are that Bruno Lapa is not getting the start, which does not make sense to me whatsoever.

Something else we need to discuss is the substitutes. It’s not about who is there, rather who is not. We only brought 6 players for the bench despite being allowed 7. Who got left at home? Edi Horvat and Zach Herivaux. Why? We have no clue. Neither we’re included in the injury, so why in the world were they not on the trip? So. Many. Questions.

First 30′

The first 30′ really was both teams feeling each other out. The first 10′, it was all Legion, really forcing Detroit City into submission, but luckily for Le Rouge, they were able to survive the pressure. After that point, Detroit City showed their offensive talent, shutting down the Legion midfield and putting on the pressure on the backline.

In that time, DCFC only had one real chance in the first 30′, and that was a Botello Faz shot in the 12′. In this 30′ span, Legion had two GREAT chances with a Phanuel chance in the 30′ on the right side of the goal and Agudelo’s only shot of the night in the 23′ directly in front of goal. These would prove to be vital misses, but no one bigger than the one coming up next…

31′-60′

From 31′-60′ it was ALL Legion FC. Aside from Botello Faz having a go from the D in the 35′, it was almost completely 1-Way Traffic. In the first 35′, I was very disappointed by what I saw from Mikey Lopez, but after the 40′, he decided to completely turn it on and put in one of the best balls I have seen this year.

In the 45+1′, Mikey puts in a perfect ball to Jonny Dean. Dean had a wide open goal to shoot and completely botches it wide. Don’t get me wrong, he had to take it on the first touch, but a player of his quality needs to at least put in on frame. It was a massive miss that changed the entire “vibe” of the match.

The start of the second half was still all Legion, and a goal was absolutely on the way. Unfortunately for Legion, Le Rouge had Nate Steinwascher in net. In the 56′, Anderson Asiedu had a wide open header (how in the world he had a wide open header again, I have no idea) that Nate played perfectly. Point blank is an understatement. His ability to get to the ball and have his hands be strong enough to put it over the bar is absolutely top tier goal keeping.

61′-Final Whistle

63′ and Antoine Hoppenot remembers that he fancies a 1-0 win over the Legion. Why do you remember that name? He was the guy that scored in the 81′ for Louisville City to ensure that Louisville City won the division last year. Yeah. That guy.

So, what went wrong on this goal? Well, this was just more proof of the downsides of letting our wing backs push that high. Jonny Dean gets caught in No-Mans-Land, allowing an easy header and flick on for Rodriguez, who put in a cross that Alex Crognale just not quick enough to get in front of the ball. I do wish he would’ve at least slide in to stop the ball, not just watching it go in.

From that point on, Legion looked completely done in. While the 3 Sparks had chances, most were just long range efforts that really didn’t mean much. The biggest chance came against via Jonny Dean in the 83′ where Steinwascher came out and made another picture perfect save. That final save was the last chance Legion really had. Detroit City did a brilliant job at not allowing Legion to get real chances and slowly bled out the clock, and our chances to get a point from the match.

#SoehnOut?

The answer is no, no #SoehnOut. While those voices are getting louder, I think right now it’s time to continue to let Tommy do his thing. That said, this clearly is not working. Why do we continue to force feed these systems when it does not work? This system would’ve been PERFECT with Neco Brett up top, but we forced the 3-4-3 and the 4-2-3-1 on him, and it simply didn’t work.

This year, we have actual target men and we refuse to use them. There are certain things you cannot teach, and size is one of them. If we wanted to utilize this team, we need to do some real soul searching and really think about this system some more. I would almost argue that a 4-2-3-1 could work with Macky, Edi, and Juan, but we refuse to play the ball in the air. We could not do real high crosses due to wind, and I understand that, but we didn’t change any of our other tactics, and it ultimately cost us points.

Player Reviews

Alright… Here we go…

Juan Agudelo

For a guy who came out and said, “I want to take a different approach than I have before. I’m gonna focus a lot on scoring – before, I wasn’t really playing as a 9, I want to see if I can have that #9 mentality that those guys in MLS have where they shoot from everywhere and see if that works for me.” (source), only having 1 (ONE) shot all night long is not good enough. Is this a system thing? Maybe. Is this a Juan thing? Maybe. Either way, it’s not good enough.

Macky Diop

Frustrated? Can’t say that enough. He did some things offensively, but didn’t impress me at all. His biggest contribution to the match was fouling Detroit City in stoppage time to essentially end the match. In the wise words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Marlon

I don’t think anybody in the USL has been beat up as much as Marlon. That said, I wish we saw him more in the attacking end. He was playing a lot deeper than I would have liked to see. To get the most out of Marlon, we need to let him play higher up the pitch and let him out Futsal the other team.

Prosper

For a striker, he didn’t get into the box as much as I would have liked. I think he would have worked best playing out on the wing and allowing Marlon to play as Juan’s striking partner. Overall, it just wasn’t good enough from Prosper.

Enzo Martinez

Our expert “it” houser did “it” housey things. He absolutely got under the skin of Detroit City players and fans, and that’s great. That said, despite completing the most passes in the match, he miss played a ton of balls. I wish I saw some more out of him offensively. His defensive play was great, but offensively we were missing his touch.

Anderson Asiedu

Early on this season, Anderson has been the team MVP. His offensive capabilities were some of the most dangerous on the team yesterday, but he lost the ball more than I would have liked. Defensively, he shut down the DCFC attack up the middle, but when he would win the ball back, we didn’t do much with it. The rain made it difficult, but it was still sloppy passing. Much sloppier than we are used to with Anderson.

Bruno Lapa

I liked what I saw out of Bruno, but it didn’t feel like we had the right pieces around him. Not much to really talk about, but admittedly, his corner he had was absolutely dreadful.

Mikey Lopez

For the first 35′, as I said earlier, he was not great. Defensively, he was a hair behind and his passing was disappointing. That said, in the second half he was a man possessed defensively. His ability to steal possessions or slow them down with interceptions or clutch tackles was great. That said…

Ryan James

It’s time to play Ryan. His offensive ability was missed in this match. As a team struggling for goals, I think it is time for Legion to play Ryan. It’s not because Mikey is bad, but our defense is solid. We can afford to lose a defensive piece in place of a more offensive fullback. Especially Ryan who has made a point of playing even wider this year, which I love.

Jonny Dean

Disappointed. His second shot I can accept. It’s a difficult finish and Steinwascher made a great play. His first shot at the end of the half? No excuse to not put that on net. We are using him for his offense. We need him to finish these chances.

Defensively, he’s been stuck in nowhere. If you see the play that lead to the goal, he wasn’t far enough up the pitch to contest the header, and he was not back far enough to slow down Rodriguez before the pass. He’s been stuck between two midsets all season long. Something needs to change. Either go full offense and essentially let him be a midfielder or sit back as a proper fullback.

Thomas Vancaeyzeele

I thought Thomas had a good night. He made almost all of the plays he needed to. He was good in the defense, his challenges were great. I felt like the goal was not on him. Sure, he allowed the cross, but he also forced Rodriguez to make a perfect cross, and he did. Sometimes you just get beat.

Phanuel Kavita

Phanuel was okay. He played a fine defensive game, but his decision making has been a little weird. He had a play where he saved the ball from going out, but it was a perfect pass to give Detroit a half chance. Weird stuff.

Alex Crognale

Alex, of course, was a nightmare in the air. He played a good match in that aspect, but as the wind was insane, that part of his game was under utilized. That said, I wish he did more on the Hoppenot goal. He was position to at least slide to get in front of the ball. Hindsight, I guess.

Matt Van Oekel

He played a good match, stopping the other shot on goal. If it wasn’t for Nate Steinwascher, it could have been save of the week. The goal wasn’t really on him. He had to guess on a point blank shot and guessed wrong.

My biggest issue was his distribution. I feel like I have made this comment a lot, but his distribution is beyond disappointing. We all saw the wind and he continued to boot the ball as far as he could. I counted 4 times a goal kick bounced into the other box. Nate Steinwascher and Matt Van Oekel were having a mini game of goal wars.

Overall Takeaways

So, what is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. We keep doing the same thing over and over again, and it’s not working. Something needs to change, and it needs to change fast.

Not good enough. Simply not good enough. xG is for suckers, but when you have an xG of almost 2.5 and come away with 0 goals, it leads to rage like we had last night.

Let’s get things right against Tormenta at Birmingham-Southern in the US Open Cup tie.

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