North Texas Soccer club hosted Union Omaha in their 6th game of the season. After losing to the Owls on the road earlier in the season, North Texas tied their opposition 2-2 on Sunday night.
North Texas SC now has 6 points and sit in 8th place.
Edwin Cerrillo was the newest edition to come down to North Texas SC after having limited minutes with FC Dallas in 2020. The inclusion of Cerrillo moved Alisson to the right center-back position.
It didn’t take long for North Texas SC to make an impact in the game thanks to a rocket of a shot from Edwin Cerrillo.
Early in the 2nd half, Ronaldo Damas was sent off after attempting to go for a ball that goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu had possession of. Nuhu retaliated and was also sent off.
Union Omaha found their break in the 75th minute off a well executed corner.
Earlier in the game (65th minute), Alex Bruce had came in for Oscar Romero as Eric Quill wanted to secure the lead that North Texas SC had earned.
This substitution proved to be beneficial after Bruce held the ball and dragged two defenders out of position allowing Gibran plenty of space to score.
Union Omaha wouldn’t go out of the game quietly though as they scored a goal of their own inside the box to make the game level in the 84th minute.
Eric Quill brought in David Rodriguez and Phillip Ponder for Gibran Rayo and Edwin Cerrillo respectively late in the game.
Despite the additions made, North Texas SC tied 2-2 and is now winless in the previous 5 games.
Thoughts & Takeaways
The inclusion of FCD Homegrowns Edwin Cerrillo and Thomas Roberts elevated North Texas SC, allowing Los Torolitos to have control of the game that hasn’t been seen this year.
Cerrillo played as the defensive midfielder but he made his presence felt all over the field, giving North Texas SC a moving defensive front. Cerrillo’s impact also comes from his ability to carry the ball forward and make an advancing pass.
“They really gave our interior some calm feet and allowed us to be able to build and play out some nice things and gave us a sense of security,” Coach Quill told 3rd Degree about the addition of Thomas Roberts and Edwin Cerrillo. “Once you play out of those first few tight situations, these two are confident guys, and the team gains confidence through these guys.”
Thomas Roberts – playing as a linking 8 – was positioned was deeper in midfield than he normally plays with North Texas SC. Roberts says he had a better game due to the positional change as it gave him more freedom to carry the ball forward and create chances rather than being immediately covered when he plays a higher position.
“To be honest, I enjoyed it more playing eight than I do playing ten,” Roberts said. “I feel like it brings out how I can cover ground in the back, going forward, and going back on defense. I feel like I was a lot better on the transition play than I was in the past couple of games.”
North Texas SC has found a consistent three players that compose their back-line: Brecc Evans, Justin Che, and Derek Waldeck. This game had glimpses of the defensive unit coming together.
The biggest improvement came in their consistency as a unit. There was more communication amongst players and there is a better understanding between them on when to make a challenge on an attacker.
“I thought tonight, as far as the group, the defending was good until the individual type plays in wide areas,” Eric Quill said about the progress of the defense. “I thought the shape was good, [Union] didn’t have much going forward except play direct into us, but the wide areas are where we have to be better in one-v-one duels.”
There is still plenty of improvement needed for this defense to contain opposition’s attacks and minimize the frequency of simple mistakes and concentrating for the full 90-minutes.
North Texas SC has a week off then travels to the great white north to take on Forward Madison on August 30th.
It’s too bad, I feel like this team has really been struggling to put games away. The defensive lapses have been just a handful of really, really bad plays. Otherwise, the shape and play has been decent IMO.
I’d like to see more connection throughout the midfield, but agree that Roberts and Cerrillo helped a ton this game. I also really like what Collin Smith has been doing. He seems to be getting better and better every game. Hoping he’s able to put it together with some moves in the box soon.
First off, the broadcast on espn+ was MUCH better. Thank you to whoever/whatever is responsible for improving the broadcast. The constant replays and close-ups that muddled the first few North Texas(and even FC Dallas)broadcasts were gone. The interruption of the run-of-play was minimal this time and l could really get into the flow of the game and appreciate the aesthetic beauty of football in this match. So after complaining about the broadcast last week, I want to give credit for the good job this time. It was an enjoyable match to watch.
On to the match itself: I’m pleased that the referee stepped in and at least made an attempt to stop Union Omaha from basically playing rugby instead of football. Anyhow, North Texas played much better this time out. That quick one touch passing is how you play possession football. Sometimes you’ll see two players one touch passing between themselves for a few seconds and as a spectator watching on a screen it can seem kind of pointless but when you are actually on the pitch having to defend against it, it makes much more sense. It’s difficult to cope with a team that is constantly moving the ball around the pitch. It keeps you off balance. North Texas were much better at quickly moving the ball around. There was much less dawdling on the ball. They were much more creative in the midfield and thusly more able to progress the ball out of the back and get some actual penetration. Thomas Roberts and Edwin Cerrillo showed a lot of technical ability and creativity. I agree that Colin Smith looks like he could be really good if he puts it all together. He definitely has all the tools to become a really great winger. A true speedster who provides width and can beat defenders on the run and put in quality service. He’s only 16! I’ll keep an eye on him. Anyway, the team’s performance was much improved but still far from ideal. Still too many bad passes/bad decisions. Especially from the likes of D Waldek and B Evans. Also, even though Ronaldo Damus is definitely goal dangerous and probably a player you wouldn’t want to have to play against, I just don’t think he’s necessarily the right kind of player for this style of football.