Tormenta FC v. Richmond: A Tale of Two Teams Desperate for Three Points
Statesboro, GA- For the third and final time this season Tormenta and Richmond will square off on the pitch. Through the first two matches, Tormenta has picked up 4 points through one draw and a win at home. Both teams sit in positions where three points would be massive. Tormenta for the first time all season sits outside of the top four. Following the 5-0 drumming at the hands of North Texas, Tormenta will have to fight for their playoff lives in the homestretch of the season. Richmond, on the other hand, sits in 9th in the league. But, as we all know, never count out any team in this league (except OCB who have already been eliminated). A Richmond win would only put them 7 points behind Tormenta. A Tormenta win, on the other hand, would slide them back into third place with 35 points. 35 points through 22 matches would give them the upper hand on Forward Madison and their rivals, Greenville. There would still be work to do but Tormenta would only be 4 points off second place Lansing with a game in hand.
Clearly, no one wants to play North Texas at home in the playoffs so Tormenta will have to do whatever they can to get into that second seed.
Key Match Points:
Defense, Defense, Defense: Early in the season, Tormenta was hailed as a Top 2 defense in the league. The strong backline assisted Pablo Jara by allowing less than 3 shots on goal per match. Tormenta’s defense would frustrate wingers and forwards on a weekly basis. But that has changed. Teams have figured out how to get through and wear Tormenta down over 90 minutes. What could be the cause of this? A big point is that Tormenta’s slide started when the traditional PDL season ended. As we all know, Tormenta spent the previous few years playing in the PDL so the majority of guys who now make up this roster were used to the tight, condensed PDL season where all matches are played in just over two months. Tormenta made a great move by bringing in Jordan Skelton from Tormenta 2 who has already looked strong in the backline. Having viable substitutes and backups will help the squad rotate in fresh legs. Keeping a fresh backline that is capable of starting an attack, like Tormenta did regularly early in the season, will prove to help the teams offense.
Killer Instinct Needed: Tormenta has never been the team that blew out their opponents. All season long, Tormenta has sat in the middle of the pack when it comes to goals scored. That worked for the team when they knew they could win a match 1-0 or 2-1. With teams breaking down the backline and defenders looking tired on the pitch, Tormenta needs an offensive boost. With names like Marco Micaletto, Alex Morrell, Shinya Kadono, and Charlie Dennis, scoring should be a breeze. All four have been praised at separate times for their offensive ability. But, the four could strike fear into opponents if they can get more creative with their shots. Over the recent slump in form, Tormenta has started averaging only 2.9 shots on goal. A common theme for the team over the course of the season is that the team does not score outside of the box. Of 25 goals scored, 22 have been scored within the 18-yard box. It often appears that the team is searching for the “perfect pass” to get the ball into the box instead of testing a keeper from outside. Yes, I know that these shots will not guarantee goals but it will keep a defense honest and open up more opportunities throughout the match.
Tormenta FC vs. Richmond Kickers.
Saturday, August 31st. 8 PM.
Erk Russell Park.
Watch on ESPN+ or Youtube internationally.