Monday, April 2, 2012

An Afternoon With The Kids

Mood: Hopeful
Soundtrack: *sigh* Whitney Houston because I do the believe the children are our future
State of Being: still a little sunburned

Following the first team's loss I and 20 or 30 other fans decided to stick around to watch the Reserve match. The sun was shining brightly on the east stands which led to the above mentioned sunburn and also had me wishing I had sunglasses - buy hey, we were nice and warm so that's a win right there. Taking the field were Quillan Roberts, Chris Manella, Aaron Maund, Adrian Cann (Sergio Camargo), Tyler Pasher, Oscar Cordon, Junior Burgos, Eric Avila, Omari Morris, Keith Makubuya and Jordan Hamilton.  

Other than checking out the development of some of the Academy kids the main reason I wanted to watch the Reserve match was because I knew that Adrian Cann would be playing. We've been anxiously awaiting the return of Adrian to the first team and his recent inclusions on the subs bench the past couple of games has been encouraging. Even more encouraging was his play during the Reserve match. He looked strong, had ease of movement, calm and careful ball distribution; but perhaps most importantly he was loudly and confidently controlling and organizing the back line. You could hear him (well, that wasn't difficult being there were so few of us but still) shouting orders and keeping everyone (especially Chris Manella) on track. I noticed an immediate change in the communication and vocalization during the second when Cann was subbed off. 

Also putting in a strong effort was (soon to be first team?) keeper Quillan Roberts.  He had good command of his area and made several strong saves including a beautiful fingertip save in the second to keep the score at 1-0. Oh, did I forget to mention that Ethan Finlay scored in the 58th minute? For me the score was almost incidental as I was just wanting to see how the Reserves and Academy Kids looked regardless of the score.

First team members Junior Burgos, Oscar Cordon, Aaron Maund & Eric Avila all showed good movement, field positioning and presence during the game. Avila in particular made some nice plays setting up his teammates as they continued to press for the equalizer in the second half. 

I am still trying to put names to numbers for some of the Academy Kids but all in all I'd say the kids are alright. If you've never been to a Reserve match I highly recommend it - I liken it to watching NCAA Basketball - energetic, sometimes frenetic and all out effort the entire time.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the sun regardless of the outcome.


Update: I forgot to mention that it was Danny Dichio coaching the kids and that we spotted Paul Mariner and Thomas Rongen observing and scribbling notes during the second half.  Couldn't quite get close enough to hear what they were saying...

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