The past weekend might have been the lightest schedule we’ve seen this season, but there was still no shortage of incident to discuss after Week 4 of the inaugural League One season.
SWOOPING AND SOARING: At the halftime break, there might have been a familiar feeling lingering in Forward Madison FC’s locker room as the Flamingos trailed Orlando City B after conceding a penalty kick and had been unable to take advantage of their first-half chances. As we suggested last Friday, though, it was only going to be a matter of time before the breakthrough came for Head Coach Daryl Shore’s players, and once Josiel Núñez got them off and running in the 58th minute it felt like things had turned Madison’s way. A late sending off for Don Smart was a blemish on the first victory in FMFC’s history but getting off and running before their home opener this weekend was big for the Flamingos.
HITTING THE MARK: We also noted on Friday that despite creating some Grade ‘A’ chances through its first three games, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC hadn’t been as prolific as it maybe should have been in front of goal. It’s probable those issues were a discussion point in the lead-up to Saturday’s game with South Georgia Torments FC, because coming out and scoring on each of your first three shots of the game on the way to a 3-2 victory was a heck of a way to break out. The Red Wolves could still do with upping its shooting volume when it gets into the attacking third – they didn’t register another shot in the opening half after Steven Beattie’s 17th-minute tally – but picking up a win against the previously undefeated Tormenta FC was a very good way to wrap up their homestand.
SHOWING SOME FIGHT: Tormenta FC may have suffered its first loss in Chattanooga, but there were positives to take from the fightback the visitors made to make it interesting late on. A pair of quality finishes by Connor Antley and Christopher Hellmann put some pressure on the Red Wolves late and showed off the quality that can be found within South Georgia’s squad. There’s one more game on the four-game trip left as Tormenta FC heads west to take on FC Tucson this Friday, and the visitors will hope the momentum they built will allow them to return home with points before they finally take to the field at Erk Russell Park again.
ALIVE AND KICKING: It certainly hadn’t been the start to the season the Richmond Kickers had envisioned, but thanks to a piece of magic by Joe Gallardo on Saturday the first win of the season finally arrived against Greenville Triumph SC. Gallardo’s weaving run through the Greenville defense and finish early in the second half was almost canceled out by the hosts but for a goal line block by Kickers substitute Ivan Magalhaes. After being on the receiving end of some bad breaks to start the season, Richmond got to chalk one up in the positive column ahead of its return home next weekend.
GETTING THE CALL: North Texas SC wasn’t in action this past weekend, but after Monday’s announcement of the United States U-17 National Team squad to compete in the Concacaf U-17 Championship it will be interesting to see how it fares when it returns against Orlando City B this Saturday evening without standout forward Ricardo Pepi over its next few games. Pepi has scored all four goals for NTSC in its opening two victories, and while there is plenty of quality elsewhere in the club’s squad there will be a gap to be filled as Pepi and his U.S. teammates take aim at qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil and at claiming the continental championship at IMG Academy early next month.