North Texas Soccer Club went on the road to face the Real Monarchs in MLS Next Pro’s “Game of the Week.”
North Texas comfortably defeated their opponents with three goals while picking up a clean sheet to remain unbeaten on the road.
Pa-Modou Kah greatly rotated his lineup against the last-place side, keeping only 4 players in the starting lineup from North Texas’ 1-0 win over Whitecaps FC 2: Nolan Norris, Bernard Kamungo, Jose Mulato, and Blaine Ferri.
Bernard Kamungo opened the scoring in the 20th minute on a counter-attack and was assisted by Jose Mulato.
Jose Mulato was substituted for Collin Smith in the 55th minute.
Hope Avayevu capitalized on a turnover in the 56th minute to double North Texas’ lead.
Andre Costa and Pablo Torre replaced Tomas Lacerda and Luis Cardoso respectively in the 72nd minute.
Mere seconds after substituting in, Pablo Torre scored to give North Texas the 3-0 lead.
Hope Avayevu made way for Mikey Morales in the 81st minute.
North Texas Soccer Club finished the game 3-0 over the Real Monarchs.
Thoughts & Takeaways
In an odd way, patience doesn’t precisely describe North Texas and how Pa-Modou Kah wants his team to play. To some degree, patience implies stagnation and moving slowly which is the opposite of how North Texas Plays.
Though, North Texas has worked on its ability to read the game and capitalize on moments of favorable momentum that come their way.
North Texas defended slightly deeper, waiting for Real Monarchs to lob the ball forwards into North Texas’ half. Once doing so, multiple players will press on the opposing player with the ball. Once winning the ball, North Texas transitioned quickly from defense to attack.
“We showed the quality that we possess,” Kah said of his team’s patience. “We want to be both a possession team but a deadly team that can kill the opposition in transition. We also did our scouting point knowing that coming in away, at altitude, you cannot go gung-ho from the start. We had to pick our moments perfectly and that is what we did. It was a great tactical game to see how they responded to the demands.
This small change in North Texas’ game plan indicates a big development step in the team’s development: the ability to learn and implement new tactics over the course of the season.
In many ways, Kah is a player’s coach. He was a former player himself and understand the rigors that being professional entails. He constantly preached about building the person behind the player, and in doing so, building the team.
Pa’s and the players’ comfort with each other was first evident in the number of changes to the starting lineup from the last game. Even with seven changes to the starting lineup, the players looked comfortable with each other on the field.
“We don’t have a first eleven, we have a squad and a team,” Kah said of his team. “How you train and through tactical reasoning is how we make the changes. The hunger and desire this group has to work together is great.”
More impressively was the fluidity at which the backline had with each other given this being the first time they lined up with each other in a competitive game. The chemistry that players have with each other allowed them to execute North Texas’ game plan without skipping a beat.
“We are a team that is very close,” Antonio Carrera said. “We go out together, we hang out together, we eat together. We’re not just a team but a family. It’s like what Pa[-Modou Kah] said, when one player is out we have another guy ready to go. We are a family and we are there for each other on and off the field.”
This highlights the growth that North Texas, as a team, has made over the course of the season especially given the high roster turnover from 2021.
North Texas SC will have one weekend off before heading back on the road to face the Colorado Rapids 2 on Saturday, June 4th at 8 PM CT.