Cover Photo Credit: Rob Kinnan-NCFC
With their third game in seven days, NCFC travelled to San Francisco and earned an important point in the race for NASL playoffs. After Patrick Hopkins scored off a San Fran corner kick, Lance Laing scored his eighth goal of the campaign with a penalty kick. There were not too many highlights/talking points from the game, save Brian Sylvestre having another amazing game while also picking up a yellow card for hilariously throwing Tommy Heinemann to the ground on a corner kick.
It’s been a topic that has been covered in this space many times, but the attacking players need to take some of the weight off of Lance Laing’s shoulders in the scoring department. Renan Gorne is still probably getting used to playing soccer in a different country – although he seems very eager to be on the ball. Jonathan Glenn had a bright start to his NCFC career, but we haven’t seen much of him since and it’s possible he is also being eased in with a new team. Billy Schuler is coming off of injuries, and Matt Fondy just can’t catch a break other than from the penalty spot. One of the four needs to step and find the back of the net.
Switching to the midfield, it was nice to see Marcel Kandziora get his first start as one of deeper lying of the central midfield. Although I prefer a more defensive minded player like James Marcelin in that role, it was interesting to see Kandziora play in a more creative role than Marcelin or Bolu Akinyode. If Marcelin is drafted to fill in as a central defender in a game, I want to keep seeing Colin Clarke use Kandziora as the pivot and use Akinyode off the bench to shore up the midfield if there is a lead.
As you can see from the last two paragraphs, this team has a lot of good players and talent – it just needs to click.
Before I say a couple of things about the upcoming match between NCFC and the New York Cosmos this weekend, I just want to go on record and say that watching the match via a livestream on Periscope/Twitter was one of the worst sporting viewing experiences in my life. It’s worse than listening to whoever Fox Sports has their “commentators”. First off, the continuous cascade of heart emojis in the corner really didn’t do it for me. Then on the left hand side I got to see everyone’s user name who joined the stream and their comments of “Go Deltas” or “That was a foul ref!?!?!?”. The cherry of top was when a Jacksonville Armada fan came on to declare “if your a ncfc fan your a nazi”.
Anyway, NCFC hosts the Cosmos on Saturday with a chance to leap frog them in the NASL standings. Currently, it’s pretty tight between the Cosmos, NCFC, Jacksonville (boo) and Indy Eleven. The Cosmos are winless in their past three games (0-1-2) but they are a quality team that is not to be underestimated. Let’s not forgot the last time these two teams met.
Projected lineup: Sylvestre, Miller, Marcelin, Tobin, Black, da Luz, Kandziora, Albadawi, Fortune, Laing, Schuler
Predicted outcome: 2-1 NCFC
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You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs.