Match Preview: MOBA Look to Remain Unbeaten Against SC United
In their third season of Premier Development League play, Peachtree City MOBA have gotten off to a very solid start with back-to-back 2-2 draws against South Georgia Tormenta FC and Birmingham Hammers. While they may not be the greatest results, both matches have shown Peachtree City's vast improvement since last season under new manager Omar Jarun. Everything seems to be clicking for the Yellow and Black early on, and if the small mistakes can get worked out, this club could be unstoppable.
In both of their first two matches this season, the Peachtree City defense has been phenomenal. Led by captain Jerry Wiltshire, the size and speed of the back four has really been unmatched to this point. Tormenta scored their first goal off a brilliant run from Nick Wells that committed too many defenders by the end of it, and Wells found Cadu Cusatis is the box for what looked to be a simple goal. Their second came off a penalty that was conceded from a strange handball in the box following a very frantic run of play. Birmingham, on the other hand, scored both of their goals when a ball in the box just bounced around too much and eventually found its way into the back of the net. Take away those small errors, and the MOBA defense has been outstanding. Their ability to keep their shape and defend against sequences that seem unstoppable has been top-class, and one can only assume they will get even better as the season progresses, especially as goalkeeper Jack Hudson continues to grow. The midfield for MOBA has been brilliant, as well, as Guyana International Brandon Beresford and Buford-native Luke Biasi have led a possession-dominating central midfield. The attacking situation has been strong, too, all things considered, as forward Dean Foster has two goals and one assist through the first two matches, and forward Jerren Nixon Jr. scored in his Peachtree City debut as a halftime sub against Birmingham. Ultimately, both results came down to one small thing that cost MOBA two points. Going forward, if they can get a little more consistency in their possession and learn how to close matches strong, MOBA could very easily be seeing some 2-0 or 3-0 victories.
Tuesday's match marks SC United's season opener, and the Bantams, who made the playoffs back in 2016, will be looking to start the season off right following a disappointing 2017. Of the four clubs that MOBA have played in both of the last two seasons, SC United are the only club MOBA are yet to get a result against. In the five meetings between the two teams, the Bantams have won all five, outscoring Peachtree City 13-5. Despite the history between the two sides, MOBA are a completely different team this season, with an almost completely different roster that is packed full of talent. United, on the other hand, do not know for sure what their team is going to look like in 2018, with Tuesday being their first test of the season. What used to be a walk-over matchup for SC United, the Bantams can't take Peachtree City lightly anymore, and MOBA should be full of confidence that this could be the year they finally get the best of the Bantams.
Keys to Success:
- Fluid Play From Front to Back: In order to finally get in the win column in 2018, Peachtree City are going to need to keep fluidity in their passing for the full ninety minutes. They have had stretches in both games where they moved the ball brilliantly, but they will need more of that if they hope to top a very well-coached SC United side. It all starts with Wiltshire and Hudson in the back, and it needs to carry forward all the way to whoever starts up front.
- Don't Lose Your Head: Both of the 2-2 draws have been blown 2-1 second half leads, so at some point this MOBA team is going to have to learn to close out games strong. For ninety-two minutes on Saturday, MOBA had the best of Birmingham all over the pitch, but the match lasted ninety-four, and that is what cost them. From whistle to whistle, everybody needs to be all in on getting the three points, and with six substitutions at Jarun's disposal, heavy legs should not be too much of an issue.
Kickoff for Peachtree City MOBA vs. SC United Bantams is scheduled for May 22nd at 7:30 PM at the MOBA Soccer Academy in Peachtree City. Tickets for the match are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets.