North Texas Soccer Club began its 2021 campaign against David Beckham’s Fort Lauderdale CF. After initially going down a goal, North Texas SC battled back to a resounding 4-2 comeback win.
Four new faces made the starting eleven for Eric Quill after an off-season that saw a flurry of signings.
Fort Lauderdale was quick to get on the score-board after Noah Allen played a cross from the left wing to Venton Evans who headed the ball pasted Colin Shutler.
North Texas SC got their first goal of the season thanks to Thibaut Jaquel’s volley in the center of the box from Hope Avayevu’s cross.
Both teams went into the half even with the momentum in North Texas SC’s favor.
Matthew Corcoran, a U15 Academy midfielder, entered the match for Colin Smith as the first substitute in the 59th minute.
Bernard Kamungo and Kazu entered the game for Hope Avayevu and Alex Bruce respectively in the 71st minute.
Thibaut Jacquel got his brace from a free-kick to help bring North Texas SC level.
Gibran Rayo quickly gave North Texas SC the lead after a nice dribbling display just inside the box to find the bottom corner.
The flood-gates opened for North Texas SC as Bernard Kamungo scored his first goal.
Roman Torres and Ale Santana were the final subs as they replaced Thibaut Jacquel and Gibran Rayo respectively in the 89th minute.
North Texas SC saw out a 4-2 victory in their first game of the 2021 season.
Thoughts & Takeaways
North Texas SC typically plays the same formation (and subsequently system) as FC Dallas to ease the transition when players move between both teams. Luchi Gonzalez has started the first two games of the season playing a 3-4-3 / 5-2-3 formation.
North Texas SC built their attack from the back and looked to combine with the interior players. Additionally, the wide players would cycle the ball back toward the middle (to Alex Bruce or Nicky Hernandez) to “reset” the attacking play.
“The 4-3-3 is what we are comfortable with at home,” Coach Quill told 3rdDegree. “We have to be aggressive with the guys that we have. Maybe on the road, we tinker a little but this is what we know best. “
Quill has opted to play the same shape and style as last year which suggests that the 4-3-3 is the main formation. Any shape and style changes will be interested to watch during the course of the season.
Thibaut Jacquel drew plenty of attention during his trial with North Texas SC and for good reseason. He demonstrated his goal-scoring capabilities in his first match and it’s clear to see what the club saw in Jacquel.
Coach Quill opted to play with two “strikers” and its tactical merits are easy to see. Alex Bruce has good off-the-ball movement which draws a defender onto him. This leaves a least one less defender and creates space for Jacquel to create a opportunity for himself.
Bruce sat underneath Jacquel and dropped deeper into the field to receive the ball and carry it forward. Bruce then has the option to go for goal himself or pass the ball to the front three.
If this trend continues in 2021, North Texas SC looks in prime position to create many goal-scoring opportunities.
When a team obtains a large number of new players in the offseason, especially in the attack, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that each player wants to prove themself on the field. It goes without saying that both new and old impressed coaches and fans alike.
“It feels great to make my professional debut,” Jacquel said about his debut. “This is something that I’ve been waiting for a long time. It’s great to play with a lot of great players around me. My transition has been great and I have the chance to play with a really young team. I really the style of football that North Texas [Soccer Club] plays.”
For a developmental club, the first game went as desired. Fans got to see new players and the coaching staff learned more about the players at their disposal. The score reflected the tenacity of the young club to come from behind to earn a win.
North Texas SC started the new season with a strong performance that the fans and the club would’ve wanted. Given the new influx of players, there is plenty for regular viewers to be excited about throughout the year.
North Texas SC heads on the road to face the defending champions Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday, May 1, at 6:00 PM.