INDIVIDUAL PLAYER UPDATES:
Declan - The miscommunication with Nick during the Indian Hills game was actually a very good mistake to make. It's something that could always happen and I'm glad it happened so that we can get it out of the way. Now we know it won't happen again. Continue to communicate with everyone and the best thing you usually tell your defenders is whether or not they should turn or pass it back to you. That's going to be key going forward. My only suggestion for you is to come out of the box when the ball is in the other half. That way if a through ball is played you could come out to win it easier.
Nick - Your looking very strong on the ball as usual. We already spoke about taking a touch AWAY from the opponent that's rushing towards you. I would recommend also being more assertive going forward. You usually take more charge attacking the ball and going forward when we are losing. You need to do that when we are tied. You're controlling the defensive line very well and the communication has be great. But we both know your biggest weakness is speed. You have to use your body and you have to bump players that are about to run past you. If you bump them than maybe the other center back can recover for you. I don't mind a player running past you at all. I don't even care if they score. What I do care about is seeing a bump. If I don't, I will have to pull you out of the starting line up going forward. As a center back you have to bump the runners. This happened versus Indian Hills and since we never really talked about it I couldn't hold it against you. But now we are talking about it. Please be aware going forward.
Rausch - Your decision making may actually be one of the best on the team. You pass when you should, you dribble when you should, you pass to where you should be passing it to, you do the right dribbling moves at the right times, and you win 50/50 balls very well. In fact, you win the 10/90 balls very well too. Keep up the excellent work.
Derek - I've been very happy with your play. My main criticism is allowing forward passes. You need to show your opponents down the line and take away any passes that they may make forward. Also, you need to get wider quicker when we have the ball. It will help you to dribble forward and take space easier. Granted, if you're a right back and the ball is at the far left than you shouldn't go too wide. But when the ball is being swung around to get switched to your side, you should go all the way to the sideline. In fact, have one foot on the sideline.
Joey - I genuinely don't understand why you are afraid of going forward. Against Indian Hills I know I frustrated you a lot. What happened was that you didn't go forward when a nice through ball was played to you. So I said you should've ran up. Five seconds later the other team sent the ball behind you and I told you to run back. I know it was frustrating for you because I'm asking you to run back and forth. I'm hoping you can learn from this because the issue I had is that if you were up and attacking in the first place, the other team would've never had the chance to send the ball behind you. You see Joey, when you attack a lot, you are pinning the opponents back because they need numbers to defend with. But then you ran up too late, which was the result of me saying you should've been there. Now I know it was my fault you got stuck running up the field too late. But I was trying to tell you that you should've been there, not that you should go there in that moment in which I'm talking to you. Anyway, just remember that if you run up, the other team has to worry about getting numbers back to defend you. You don't always have to play defense. Sometimes as a left back you are actually a left winger.
John - You looked very good on the ball versus Indian Hills. I was definitely happy with you as far as attacking. You had some really nice passes forward as well which I was thrilled about. We both know what I'm about to bring up though. You can't just commit to an opponent. You got beat very easily in one specific instance. And after that incident, you didn't go into some tackles whole heartedly, you became timid defensively, you looked afraid to commit, and as a result you didn't win the ball at times when you should've. I don't blame you at all by the way. I know committing into a challenge is something we spoke about before the game, especially after the Palisades Park game, but again it's about knowing when to commit and when not to. Biggest piece of advice I can give you is that if the ball is at a players feet, you should probably take an extra second to contain. If the ball is loose then you should go in 100%, UNLESS you feel like the opponent will get to the ball before you. But even in some of those instances where the opponent will get there first, you need to ask yourself if you can still make a hard challenge and make contact with the ball so that the opponent won't be able to control the ball. Those are the things I'll be looking for the most when you are in games.
Clouse - Some games you tend to hold on to the ball too much, and it's best to just act as a wall pass to your teammates sometimes. Honestly, that is my one and only criticism. Sometimes the passes you make are absolutely incredible. I can't wrap my head around how you see some of the passes you make. And obviously your feints and first touch on the ball are brilliant. Keep up the good work.
Anthony - You're the biggest reason we are switching to 3 in the middle. I love seeing you as a center midfielder, but I didn't like just having you with Clouse, which is why I would often switch you with Burt. We'll see if this formation will work for you. And consequently for the team as well from an attacking perspective. You've been excellent. The issue is that teams play very aggressive against you and when we don't have a referee that calls the fouls we get hurt as a team. I will be having a conversation with the referees going forward about them keeping an eye on you because opponents often go through your legs to get the ball. And touching the ball AFTER going through someone's legs is of course a foul, even though they got the ball after. So I will talk to the referees about protecting you from that. Hopefully they will listen.
Denilson - Usually you're amazing at releasing the ball at the right time. I think against Indian Hills you held on to it too long because you were getting crowded quickly and you didn't look up before being in that situation. As soon as you take a big touch try to look up during that time where you the ball is off your feet and you are running to touch it again. Since you do small touches a lot I know you won't get to really do it, so I would suggest looking around before getting the ball. And remember, you don't have to pass it ONLY when you are in trouble. Try to pass the ball if you see a teammate that is in good position to do something with the ball. Excellent use of your body though. I often talk about you when I'm with the JV players.
Danny - You need to feel comfortable using your laces when you shoot. The shot you took versus Indian Hills inside the box, 100% should've been with your laces. And as I mentioned before the Indian Hills game, you need to have more moves under your belt. At practice you did a good job trying to do the scissors, granted it didn't work but you did try. Those are definitely things you need to master for next year... 1 on 1 moves. You have been using your speed well and you've been fantastic at getting out of tight spots in midfield. And as much as you make incredible forward runs, you can't stop doing it. Sometimes you may not get the ball but at least you're forcing the opponents to move out of position.
Burt - I'm hoping by the time we play Cresskill I will have figured out exactly where I'd want you to play. I am leaning on have you play CDM but first I have to see how the formation works out and also how Denilson will do. But when I take him out you will probably switch to CDM vs Bogota, with Anthony and Eric in front of you. As far as how you're playing, you're doing a great job and I love seeing you battle for the ball.
Kyle - Your forward runs are perfect. Couldn't be better honestly. I just really need you to come back to get the ball when the forward run isn't there. Come back as if you're an attacking midfielder. I know you are the only striker vs Bogota, but I will want you to do that. If the forward penetrating pass isn't an option for the midfielders, then just come back to play possession with them until our guys can go forward. We don't need to play so direct. We need to get the ball to your feet and you need to give it back. I know I haven't been doing stats, but you definitely haven't been as active completing passes as you have been in the past. I just need to see us getting up the field as a team. For example, looking at the Bogota line up if we had the ball on the right with Danny, he should have Rausch, Clouse, Anthony, and Kyle as teammates to play possession with. That could potentially be a 5 versus 3 or 4. So if we moved the ball in that situation one of two things will happen. Either we will be forced to swing the ball around to the other side OR we will make a forward pass. So if you are involved in that possession play, my point is that you will eventually get the ball back since our goal is to go forward... but at the right time.
Mike - The best play you had versus Indian Hills was passing it back one touch towards the end of the game. For a while now you've been trying to control the ball far too often. I do have to congratulate you on controlling the ball well, because you really have come a long way. However, you are losing the ball after you control it. The pass is either coming too late or it's not even happening. The give and go attempt from Joey was absolutely brilliant, but you didn't even attempt to give it back. Instead you tried to control the ball and lost it after controlling it. Mike, there isn't a single good team that will allow you to take a touch and stop the ball in front of you and then allow you to look around to make a decision. The reason for that is because you usually receive the ball in the attacking third since you're a striker. That's where the most pressure occurs. You have to take a touch into space or pass the ball quickly. If you even tried to turn and dribble right away that would be awesome. If you lost the ball by doing that well then at least you tried to do something with the ball. But to try to stop the ball right in front of you with a defender behind you is going to be very difficult when you don't know what to do next. Some things to keep in mind when you're in the game. And I do love how you have been coming back a lot to help. Your defensive work rate is excellent and it's something I'm definitely looking for in a striker. On top of that you have been controlling the ball well and you have shown that you are capable of moving the ball well. It just has to become a habit.