ST. LOUIS, MO (May 25, 2016) – For the first time in over a month, the first place team in the USL did not pick up three points. For the first time in quite awhile, they ended up with a lucky draw that could have been a loss. But still, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 are undefeated. The team that put them on their heels, Saint Louis FC, may have been unlucky but are gaining confidence in their development of chemistry.
Saint Louis FC Unlucky But Building Confidence After 1-1 Draw
— USL (@USL) May 26, 2016
Saint Louis and Vancouver played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. The two sides played to a fairly even first half in performance. Vancouver held the lead at the break, 1-0 off a goal from Brett Levis. The Caps led on shots 11-6, with a flurry of them coming 20 minutes into the match, including the goal.
Vancouver did a very good job staying organized at the back with their center backs doubling up on Irvin Herrera. The Caps created chances by controlling the ball and overwhelming Saint Louis FC’s holding midfielders, James Musa and Chad Bond, at the top the box.
The home side turned things around in the second half. Instead of playing quickly and often to Herrera, Saint Louis FC got the wide players involved in the offense more. Parker Maher and Richard Dixon were very active in the attack, overlapping with their respective midfielders. Musa and Bond also got forward with more regularity as the team built up into the attack.
Saint Louis won the shot total in the second half significantly, 10-1, with most of those coming from the run of play. Eight players recorded shots, several of them coming after great team build up play. It was an individual effort by Jameil Hardware in the 62nd minute that tied the game.
The club continued to push for the leading goal with substitute Jordan Robert and Hardware both creating chances. While Saint Louis came close on several occasions, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
“We were frustrated and wanted to score and I was thankful my goal went in and it helped the confidence of the team in the second half,” said Hardware after the match.
Even though the team only got one point, an argument can be made that they outplayed the Caps over the 90 minutes and dominated the league leaders at times. This is also coming off several excellent performances at Tulsa and in the U.S. Open Cup.
Herrera continues to impress as the starting forward. Head coach Dale Schilly appears to have a first choice formation and Starting XI. That group is getting the bulk of the minutes together allowing them to build better chemistry, especially in the attack. These are all things the club did not have last year, things that could have helped them make the playoffs.