North Texas Soccer Club hosted the Tacoma Defiance at home on Sunday afternoon after earlier this year defeating Tacoma in a penalty shootout on the road.
In a repeat of the earlier game, North Texas SC and Tacoma Defiance tied 1-1 as Tacoma Defiance won on penalties 4-2.
Coach Kah made a number of changes to the starting lineup. Nico Carrera returned between the pipes after being with the USYNT. Chase Niece replaced Lucas Bartlett in the backline. Thomas Lacerda made his first start for Derek Waldeck. Blaine Ferri replaced Jose Mulato and played as a winger.
Tarik Scott replaced Tomás Lacerda at halftime.
Defender Paul Amedume got his first goal for North Texas SC and opened the scoring from a loose ball in the box, in the 50th minute.
Isaiah Parker was sent off after accumulating a second yellow card in the 61st minute.
Nolan Norris substituted for Blaine Ferri in the 62nd minute.
Tacoma leveled the game from a loose ball in the penalty box from a freekick in the 69th minute.
Santiago Ferreira made way for Derek Waldeck in the 79th minute.
Blake Pope came in for Tarik Scott in the 86th minute.
The game ended 1-1, and in a repeat from the first encounter, the game would be decided by penalties.
North Texas’ penalties went as follows: Andre Costa (missed), Derek Waldeck (scored), Collin Smith (missed), Blake Pope (scored).
Tacoma won the shootout 4-2 and gained 2 points while North Texas came away with 1 point.
Thoughts & Takeaways
Both North Texas and Tacoma were not afraid to apply pressure and press their opponent to force a turnover and win the ball.
“I think we dominated the game,” Coach Kah said of his team in the game. “We had a couple of chances and we have to impose ourselves in the game. I appreciate the reliance and the desire to not give up. We had to play a man down but we fought to get a point by playing and being in the game. I am very proud of this group.”
Tacoma and North Texas handled the opposition press differently which was dictated by each team’s game plan. Most notably for North Texas, North Texas preferred to bypass lines and play long balls (out of necessity while playing a man down) to overcome the press.
“If you look at our game overall, we had found the ball, found the spaces, and we played with momentum,” Kah explained. “They had to play long balls but for us, we had to adapt and play with more long balls out of necessity.”
North Texas has started the season playing a short and quick passing game to buildup the attack with an occasional long-ball to switch the play or to find a player in space.
Interestingly, Santiago Ferreira, positionally, played in the “6” spot but functioned more as a pivot point than a sole defensive midfielder.
Ferreira has been a quiet yet consistent and key contributor to the North Texas development phase of the attack. Ferreira acts as a link and can make the final pass to put the attacking line in favorable scoring positions.
“I started the season as playing as an eight,” Ferreira said of playing deeper. “In training, I started to play as the six and I feel comfortable and we are just wanting to see how it goes.”
Santiago, in this game, played deeper and more centrally which takes advantage of his ability to string passes. Playing deeper also allowed him more time on the ball while “reading” the field in front of him so he could pick out the best possible pass.
“It’s a position that he hasn’t played in a while but I think that it is a position that suits him well,” Kah said of Ferreira playing deeper. “He has an engine and it’s great for the team. I think that he is getting used to the position and it will be an extra dimension for how we want to play. He is a very intelligent player and he sees things. He can link up the back four and the front three.”
North Texas SC will host Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on Saturday, May 14th, at home, at 9 PM Central.