Match Preview: MOBA, SC United Meet in Season Finale
Two and a half months, thirteen matches, and we are finally at the conclusion. While the season may not have gone quite as Peachtree City had hoped, MOBA can still finish on a high note and equal last season's record with a win on Saturday. The task will not be an easy one, but this MOBA side is motivated to give the fans something positive going into the offseason.
Following a 3-9-2 season last year that featured just one home win, MOBA were expecting to get themselves into the title conversation in their second year. With only a handful of players returning and a bunch of new talent, the season held a lot of promise, and that promise escalated after the three-match pre-season in which MOBA won all three matches over their NPSL neighbors Georgia Revolution FC and fifth-division side East Point Pumas by an aggregate score of 14-3. The season immediately took a turn for the worst, however, as MOBA got run out of Nashville in the season opener by a score of 6-1. That loss kicked off a seven-match winless streak that included a five-match losing stretch. Things looked bleak for Peachtree City as they took their second trip to Nashville, but this time it was MOBA who got the upper hand. After Todd Fidler and Matthew Wooling opened the scoring with two first half goals, Nashville's Martim Galvao and Fletcher Ekern scored twice to bring things even. With a draw seeming imminent, Nashville's Joe Kerriage received a second yellow card and was sent off in the eighty-third minute. Salomon Lorenzano then stepped to take the free kick, and he placed it perfectly for Michael Brezovsky to head it over the keeper and into the corner of the net, and MOBA stole their first win of the season. MOBA followed that performance up with a 1-1-1 showing in their next three, including a dramatic 2-1 home victory of Tri-Cities and a draw against Mississippi Brilla FC that saw Todd Fidler equalize deep into second half stoppage time. Things seemed to finally be going MOBA's way, but back-to-back home losses against Tormenta FC 6-3 and 2-0, respectively, sees MOBA now sitting at 2-9-2 with one match remaining. MOBA will be craving one last victory to close the year, but SC United looks to come back and steal a final three points in Peachtree City.
The Bantams season has not gone to plan to say the least, as the 2016 playoff team hoped to have similar success in 2017. Despite a strong start that put SC United in a playoff position, some second half slippage has doomed the Bantams chances. Going 3-3-4 in their last ten including two shocking 4-0 home losses to Tormenta FC, SC United now find themselves in sixth place at 5-4-4. The Bantams offense has not been a massive problem during the year, as their sixteen goals have been split fairly well between halves. It's the defense that has been an issue. In thirteen matches, the Bantams have conceded twenty-one goals, with seventeen coming in the final forty-five minutes. That has been detrimental, as even when they have a lead, the defense allows the opposition back into matches, more often then not resulting in a loss or tie.
Keys to Victory
- First Half Scoring: Through thirteen matches, MOBA have scored just three goals in the first half, two of which were in the same game. That lack of early offense has allowed just one goal to be enough for other teams to secure victory against Peachtree City, and they will need to fix that if they want a final three points.
- Clean Sheet: Despite the defense not being the worst in the league, MOBA are still without a clean sheet on the season. In fact, MOBA have allowed at least one goal in the first half of every match during the campaign. Who will start in goal still remains in question, as none of the three keepers for MOBA have been overly spectacular, but whoever gets the final nod will need to find a way to lead the defense and keep the ball out of his net.
Kickoff for Saturday's match is scheduled for 7:30 PM, and tickets will be available at the gate and online at MOBASoccer.com/tickets. With any luck, any inclement weather will hold off for after the final whistle, and we should have a great night for the season finale. At halftime of the match, there will be a ceremony honoring the 2017 #MOBAProud Man of the Year presented by On Target Gun Club. An award honoring a player's on and off the field team pride, the honor has been voted on by fans over the last ten days, and the winner will be announced during halftime.