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Match Thread: July 1, 2019 - Valour FC v York9 FC

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9 minutes ago, Winnipeg Fury said:

 

And for the record, we finish Spring season in last place.  Not surprisingly, we have the worst goals For and worst goals Against.

Step AWAY from the knife drawer... 😫

All true, but also 2 points (one win) out of fourth, so not exactly left for dead.

Tied with FCE and HFX for least goals scored with 8; while York had 9 and the 9th was today in the 5th minute of stoppage time as Valour chased a late equalizer.

And tied with Pacific for most goals conceded with 15.

Sure, we were the worst team in the Spring Season but we only managed to land the wooden spoon on the last day so let's keep that in mind too.

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I do have hope that Valour can improve in the 2nd half, but that will require at the minimum a healthy Petrasso, and possibly another signing. Talent-wise, on pedigree and an the pitch, they are simply behind most of the other teams.

Btw, is there something about growing up in England that ages one terribly? Hoyle and Mitter are both 26, but the former looks like 36 while the latter plays like he is.

MOTM for Valour today is probably Ohin. Attardo did well on his one chance, but was invisible until he failed to finish right before being subbed off. Beland-Goyette and Arguinarena, two of my favourites, had rare off-days.

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2 hours ago, Cheeta said:

Showed a little grit towards the end there I thought.  They need to, it will go far. 

All in all not that bad I thought, might change my mind after rewatching the thing, but plenty of good to go with the bad. 

Outstanding crowd.  Don't know how it showed on the broadcast but whole north end of the stand was into it there at times.  And even if they weren't picking up on the lead from 144 they were involved vocally.  Wonderful stuff. 

P.S. May owe Farago an apology on the 2nd goal.  Either way showed he's a shot stopper today that's for sure. 

Unfortunately it did not really come through on the broadcast, as the field level mic continues to be placed between the player benches on the empty side of the stadium. There may be a technical reason for this but it really does a disservice to the product.

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The inaugural Canadian Premier League season couldn't have started any better for Valour FC.

On May 1 in Victoria, in what was the club's first ever match, Winnipegger Dylan Carreiro came off the bench and scored in the 78th minute to give Valour a 2-1 win over Pacific FC.

Valour FC mid-fielder Dylan Carreiro scored the game-winning goal in the squad's first-ever game for a storybook start to their season.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Valour FC mid-fielder Dylan Carreiro scored the game-winning goal in the squad's first-ever game for a storybook start to their season.

 

It was a storybook beginning for Winnipeg's newest professional soccer team, but since then, it has mostly been a nightmare.

The CPL's Spring season officially came to a close on Monday, and when all the dust was settled, it was Valour FC sitting at the bottom of the seven-team table with a disappointing 3-7-0 record. Valour found themselves in dead last after losing 3-1 to York9 FC on Monday at IG Field. York9 entered the match with only one goal in their past five games.

But Valour didn't just stink it up in league play, they also did so in the Canadian Championship — a 13-team tournament featuring clubs from five different leagues. A strong run in the event would've put Valour on the map as they had Major League Soccer's Toronto FC on their side of the bracket in the semifinal, but Valour, who had a first round bye, bowed out in the second round to HFX Wanderers FC after losing 4-1 on aggregate.

Fortunately for Valour, they have an opportunity to make up for their dismal Spring. They have the next two weeks off before they begin the CPL's 18-game Fall season. The winner of the Fall will challenge Cavalry FC, the winners of the Spring season, for the inaugural CPL championship. Valour kicks off their Fall campaign on July 17 on the road against FC Edmonton.

But before we officially turn the page on the Spring, here are the five biggest takeaways from the first half of Valour's season.

 

1) Will a goal scorer please stand up?

You don't need a calculator to add up all of Valour's goals from the Spring. In 10 league games, Valour only found the back of the net eight times — the lowest total in the CPL.

Valour FC is counting on Stephen Hoyle, centre, for scoring which has been hard to come by.

DARREN STONE / TIMES COLONIST FILES

Valour FC is counting on Stephen Hoyle, centre, for scoring which has been hard to come by.

 

English-born striker Stephen Hoyle was expected by many to lead the charge on offence. The 26-year-old was a top player in the ISPS Handa Premiership in New Zealand, where he had 40 goals in his past 84 games, including 10 goals in 17 appearances for Canterbury United this past season. He also won the league's Golden Boot and Supporters Player of the Year award in the 2015-16 season as a member of WaiBOP United. Hoyle scored Valour's first ever goal, as he opened the scoring in their opening match on May 1 against Pacific FC. But since then, he's done a disappearing act, as he’s been in and out of the lineup all season long due to injuries and inconsistent play.

Ali Musse hasn't been able to provide the secondary scoring Valour FC was hoping for.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Ali Musse hasn't been able to provide the secondary scoring Valour FC was hoping for.

 

But it's not just Hoyle. 23-year-old attacker Ali Musse from Winnipeg needs to be much better as well. He scored five game-winning goals a year ago with Calgary Foothills FC of the Premier Development League and scored a pair in the team's PDL championship game victory over Reading United. But Musse's clutch gene has been nowhere to be found with Valour, as similar to Hoyle, he also only has one goal this season. Surprisingly, 17-year-old Winnipegger Tyler Attardo is the only player on the squad with more than one goal in league play, as he notched his second goal in the opening minute of Monday's 3-1 loss to York9 FC.

This stat has been mentioned over and over again, but it still rings true: Valour hasn't scored more than one goal in a game since their season opener on May 1. That's unacceptable.

 

2) Good luck picking a starting goalie.

Valour FC Goalkeeper Mathias Janssens, centre, hasn't taken charge of the net like the team had hoped.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Valour FC Goalkeeper Mathias Janssens, centre, hasn't taken charge of the net like the team had hoped.

 

Valour head coach Rob Gale said he wanted to split the starts between Tyson Farago and Mathias Janssens in the Spring, and then roll with more of a traditional full-time starter for the Fall. Well coach Gale, pick your poison, because neither goalie has stood out. Farago, a 28-year-old from Winnipeg, has surrendered 11 goals in his six league appearances to give him a 1-5-0 record. Although to be fair to Farago, several of the goals have come on breakaways at the end of matches with Valour chasing the game. Janssens has shown flashes of being a legit starting goalie, as his first two starts were clean sheets. But since then, the 21-year-old from Belgium has been far from impressive. He gave up two weak goals in the final 10 minutes of Valour’s 2-1 loss to Forge FC on June 16 and he followed that up with another questionable performance five days later in a 2-1 loss to Pacific FC. Janssens has allowed four goals in four league games to go with a 2-2 record. Neither one has proven they deserve to be Valour's go-to option between the pipes, as the team is tied with Pacific for the most goals allowed (15).

 

3) Michael Petrasso is a difference maker... when he plays.

Michael Petrasso is the most talented player on the team but just can't seem to stay healthy.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Michael Petrasso is the most talented player on the team but just can't seem to stay healthy.

 

Toronto-born midfielder Michael Petrasso is the most talented player on the team. The only problem is he can't stay healthy. Petrasso, who spent last year with the Montreal Impact of the MLS, is the team's most dynamic player with the ball as he has a goal and two assists in four league matches. But a pair of lower-body injuries, one against Cavalry on May 8, and another against the Wanderers on June 13, have kept the star player out of the lineup for majority of the season. Valour isn't the same team without him, as they're 1-5-0 when Petrasso is sidelined. He signed a one-year deal with Valour as he's aiming for a return to the MLS, but if the injuries keep piling up, there's a good chance Petrasso won't be going anywhere. Petrasso is expected to return to the lineup for the Fall season opener on July 17 in Edmonton.

 

4) Marco Bustos is as good as advertised.

Marco Bustos has stepped up as the team's most dangerous player on offence

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Marco Bustos has stepped up as the team's most dangerous player on offence

 

With Petrasso out of the lineup, Marco Bustos has stepped up as the team's most dangerous player on offence. Bustos, who previously played for the Oklahoma City Energy of the USL Championship, returned home to sign with Valour after the first three games of the season. The 23-year-old Winnipegger showed why he's one of the best talents to come out of the city in years when he scored 30 seconds into the match against Forge FC on June 15. Bustos and Petrasso have also only played one CPL game together, which was a 1-0 victory against FC Edmonton on June 2. The idea of both players being on the field together for the Fall should help get this offence on the right track.

 

5) The emergence of Tyler Attardo and Raphael Ohin.

Valour FC's Tyler Attardo, right, recently graduated from River East Collegiate.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Valour FC's Tyler Attardo, right, recently graduated from River East Collegiate.

 

If you're looking for a bright spot in Valour's Spring season, it has to be the performances of a pair of Winnipeggers who are getting their first taste of professional soccer. Due to injuries and inconsistent play from some of the more experienced players, Tyler Attardo and Raphael Ohin were given a chance and they've made the most of the opportunity. Attardo, an attacker who recently graduated from River East Collegiate, has generated scoring chances in all five of his appearances and has scored on a header in the last two games at IG Field. Ohin, a 24-year-old who was born in Ghana but moved to Winnipeg three years ago, started the season at the end of the bench. But since Gale finally gave Ohin his chance in the second leg of the Canadian Championship series against Halifax, he’s been a starting midfielder ever since. And it’s well deserved as Ohin is all over the field and easily the team's most energetic player. Out of the eight Winnipeggers playing on Valour, outside of Bustos, these two have been the ones making the most out of playing at home.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

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On 7/1/2019 at 9:46 PM, jonovision said:

I do have hope that Valour can improve in the 2nd half, but that will require at the minimum a healthy Petrasso, and possibly another signing. Talent-wise, on pedigree and an the pitch, they are simply behind most of the other teams.

Btw, is there something about growing up in England that ages one terribly? Hoyle and Mitter are both 26, but the former looks like 36 while the latter plays like he is.

MOTM for Valour today is probably Ohin. Attardo did well on his one chance, but was invisible until he failed to finish right before being subbed off. Beland-Goyette and Arguinarena, two of my favourites, had rare off-days.

Rewatched the game closely last night. This was my first time watching Valour FC, as I mainly stick to Y9 matches. I read this thread, so I had your comments in mind, but for me, I saw nothing wrong with Mitter at all, I saw one bad turnover and that was it.

If anything, I thought by far the weakest point of Winnipeg this game was your LB, Arguinarena. His positioning was absolutely horrid. The three best chances Y9 had all game all came from him being completely out of position and leaving your left flank completely exposed. The goals we actually scored was a Doner rocket out of nowhere, a deflected Aparicio FK, and a last minute counter, but our three best chances all came from a sweeping pass to your left flank with Arguinarena nowhere to be found. Just wanted to pass that on.

I thought Valour's offense wasn't bad either, good players who got lots of good shots on Ingham in the 2nd half. You should have seen Y9's offense in the first 3-4 games of the season when Brennan tried to impose a 5-3-2, I was genuinely worried.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/1/2019 at 4:05 PM, Lofty said:

Neither did the players. Mitter was getting hung out to dry by the left wingback, which appeared to be Arguiñarena. For the first half hour, York had the freedom of IGF on Valour's left flank.

Yep, this is what I saw as well, not only the first half, but the second half as well. Good observation.

The other thing I didn't understand about Valour's back 4 this game was, why a left-footed player who I thought was a CB, your captain Murrell, was playing at RB this game for the first 60 minutes until Gutierrez came in. I'm assuming it's because of injuries or something? You could tell Murrell was good on the ball, but a lefty playing RB will do very little damage offensively, as they can't cross on the overlap.

Edited by ironcub14

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ironcub14 said:

Rewatched the game closely last night. This was my first time watching Valour FC, as I mainly stick to Y9 matches. I read this thread, so I had your comments in mind, but for me, I saw nothing wrong with Mitter at all, I saw one bad turnover and that was it.

If anything, I thought by far the weakest point of Winnipeg this game was your LB, Arguinarena. His positioning was absolutely horrid. The three best chances Y9 had all game all came from him being completely out of position and leaving your left flank completely exposed. The goals we actually scored was a Doner rocket out of nowhere, a deflected Aparicio FK, and a last minute counter, but our three best chances all came from a sweeping pass to your left flank with Arguinarena nowhere to be found. Just wanted to pass that on.

I thought Valour's offense wasn't bad either, good players who got lots of good shots on Ingham in the 2nd half. You should have seen Y9's offense in the first 3-4 games of the season when Brennan tried to impose a 5-3-2, I was genuinely worried.

Mitter usually looks fine, but his foot speed is that of someone approaching 40. He also does a lot of yelling at his teammates, a distinction that is usually earned by age or experience, but not in his case.

The issue with the left side of Valour's defense seemed largely down to the fact that they were playing some sort of 3-5-2/4-4-2 hybrid. For much of the year they've been playing a back 3 (Mitter, Murrell and Thomas when all 3 have been available) with Arguinarena and usually Gutierrez pushed up as wingbacks. In this match they clearly started in this formation, but eventually seemed to rotate into something approaching a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, which has not typically been their formation. I think Gale and this transition have much to do with the positioning issues, and Mitter playing far too narrow (he had previously been the central CB of the back 3 with Murrell and Thomas). As you mention, the left-footed Murrell playing on the right makes no sense, but it makes slightly more sense as the right most of a back 3 than it does as a traditional right back. The game plan was clearly 3 at the back, and this was adjusted later in the first half.

It was probably Arguinarena's worst game of the season, but think Gale and Mitter also have to share the blame for those openings on the left side. 

Edited by jonovision

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I might watch the beginning of the game quickly one more time. I swore I thought I saw Valour with a 4-2-3-1, but I'll keep what you said in mind. But for sure, if the shape is being shifted mid-game, or drastically from one game to the next, then for sure players will find their positioning inconsistent for sure.

And yep, Ingham did make a couple difficult saves off the top of my head in the 2nd half. There were a lot of pretty well-hit shots at Ingham, but lots went directly to him. Still, I didn't see too many obvious offensive breakdowns from Winnipeg or anything.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ironcub14 said:

Rewatched the game closely last night. This was my first time watching Valour FC, as I mainly stick to Y9 matches. I read this thread, so I had your comments in mind, but for me, I saw nothing wrong with Mitter at all, I saw one bad turnover and that was it.

If anything, I thought by far the weakest point of Winnipeg this game was your LB, Arguinarena. His positioning was absolutely horrid. The three best chances Y9 had all game all came from him being completely out of position and leaving your left flank completely exposed. The goals we actually scored was a Doner rocket out of nowhere, a deflected Aparicio FK, and a last minute counter, but our three best chances all came from a sweeping pass to your left flank with Arguinarena nowhere to be found. Just wanted to pass that on.

I thought Valour's offense wasn't bad either, good players who got lots of good shots on Ingham in the 2nd half. You should have seen Y9's offense in the first 3-4 games of the season when Brennan tried to impose a 5-3-2, I was genuinely worried.

I have not rewatched it but what I saw live exactly matches what you have said above. Mitter did the best he could trying to cover that left flank from a left CB position, often outnumbered. Arguiñarena, who to be fair has been one of Valour's best players, had no idea about what he was supposed to be doing. Your comments about his positioning in this match are spot on.

I also agree that except for those failings, Valour did not play badly and certainly could have won.

Edited by Lofty

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jonovision said:

Mitter usually looks fine, but his foot speed is that of someone approaching 40. He also does a lot of yelling at his teammates, a distinction that is usually earned by age or experience, but not in his case.

Mitter is not fast but he does many things well. He tackles, his positional play is good, he is a physical presence, his distribution is good, and he verbally takes command. IMHO he has definitely been our best central defender.

3 hours ago, jonovision said:

The issue with the left side of Valour's defense seemed largely down to the fact that they were playing some sort of 3-5-2/4-4-2 hybrid. For much of the year they've been playing a back 3 (Mitter, Murrell and Thomas when all 3 have been available) with Arguinarena and usually Gutierrez pushed up as wingbacks. In this match they clearly started in this formation, but eventually seemed to rotate into something approaching a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, which has not typically been their formation. I think Gale and this transition have much to do with the positioning issues, and Mitter playing far too narrow (he had previously been the central CB of the back 3 with Murrell and Thomas). As you mention, the left-footed Murrell playing on the right makes no sense, but it makes slightly more sense as the right most of a back 3 than it does as a traditional right back. The game plan was clearly 3 at the back, and this was adjusted later in the first half.

Mitter, Murrell, and Thomas have rarely all played together. Mitter came in late and was then injured; then he came back exactly when Thomas was injured. When they have all played together, I believe it has mostly been a back four (with Arguiñarena).

The back three has most often had Arguiñarena on the left, where as a natural full back he has covered the flank while Beland-Goyette has added cover in the middle. The VCup match at HFX saw Galvis playing left wing back (and Arguiñarena on the left of a back three, with Murrell in the middle and Thomas on the right).

Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that Arguiñarena does like to get forward, but then he does always return to his place on the left of the defence. A wing back would be further forward and much more often than Arguiñarena has typically been.

Edited by Lofty

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Posted (edited)

The problem Galey is having, so far as I can see, is that both Arguiñarena and Mitter are too good to leave on the bench while Murrell and Thomas are his blue-eyed boys so he refuses to leave them on the bench. But it is hard to get all four on the pitch in a sensible way.

Left footed Murrell is probably best suited to be a left back but Arguiñarena is better. Which means he is a centre back but Mitter and Thomas are better. Which means he is a left footed right back!

Or you put Murrell on the left of a back three (with Thomas and Mitter) and play your best DEFENDER, Arguiñarena, as a left wing back, where he is not nearly as effective because he is required to do less defending and more attacking.

Any way you look at it, Murrell is the odd man out when all are healthy but Galey stubbornly refuses to see it. Murrell needs to be used as a depth player, not an automatic starter. And until Galey accepts this, Valour will continue to under perform.

Edited by Lofty

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55 minutes ago, Lofty said:

The problem Galey is having, so far as I can see, is that both Arguiñarena and Mitter are too good to leave on the bench while Murrell and Thomas are his blue-eyed boys so he refuses to leave them on the bench. But it is hard to get all four on the pitch in a sensible way.

Left footed Murrell is probably best suited to be a left back but Arguiñarena is better. Which means he is a centre back but Mitter and Thomas are better. Which means he is a left footed right back!

Or you put Murrell on the left of a back three (with Thomas and Mitter) and play your best DEFENDER, Arguiñarena, as a left wing back, where he is not nearly as effective because he is required to do less defending and more attacking.

Any way you look at it, Murrell is the odd man out when all are healthy but Galey stubbornly refuses to see it. Murrell needs to be used as a depth player, not an automatic starter. And until Galey accepts this, Valour will continue to under perform.

I'm saying this literally off the one game I saw, but couldn't you put Thomas at RB, Mitter and Murrell as RCB and LCB, and Arguinarena as LB?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, ironcub14 said:

I'm saying this literally off the one game I saw, but couldn't you put Thomas at RB, Mitter and Murrell as RCB and LCB, and Arguinarena as LB?

Yes, but you have then weakened your central defence (vs. Thomas/Mitter who are a much more imposing duo) and have your tallest player at full back. Definitely not optimal. And the only reason for doing it would be to get Murrell on the pitch. The simple fact is that Valour's best line up does not include Murrell -- in any formation.

Back three: Arguiñarena Mitter Thomas.

Back four: Add Gutierrez Zuñiga at RB. 

Edited by Lofty

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4 minutes ago, Lofty said:

Yes, but you have then weakened your central defence (vs. Thomas/Mitter who are a much more imposing duo) and have your tallest player at full back. Definitely not optimal. And the only reason for doing it would be to get Murrell on the pitch. The simple fact is that Valour's best line up does not include Murrell -- in any formation.

Damn. Respect to that, thanks for all the good analysis. Cheers dude.

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7 minutes ago, ironcub14 said:

Damn. Respect to that, thanks for all the good analysis. Cheers dude.

To be fair I was very impressed with your analysis of Valour. There is no way I could put up such accurate and insightful thoughts about York! (Or any other CPL team for that matter.)

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2 minutes ago, Lofty said:

To be fair I was very impressed with your analysis of Valour. There is no way I could put up such accurate and insightful thoughts about York! (Or any other CPL team for that matter.)

Ah you flatter me, I didn't have that much from my viewing about Valour except for Arguinarena, and it was only because it became so apparent throughout the game. Anything else, I picked it up from this thread, you and Jono.

I do add a bit of analysis about Y9 time to time in the team thread, just added a small thing earlier today, feel free to give it a quick look. Cheers! Here's to a better Fall season for both teams.

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1 hour ago, jonovision said:

Thomas is also too slow to play RB.

I would say his propensity to get sucked out of his gitch is a much bigger liability. I don't ever recall seeing a professional footballer get so comprehensively beaten by the ball carrier. Escalante did it for Cavalry and someone else did it for HFX, I think. No wonder the guy is so scared to get close enough to challenge for the ball when it raises the possibility that he is going to be left standing there completely naked.

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