Match Preview: MOBA Open 2018 Season with Clásico vs. Tormenta FC
At long last, the 2018 PDL season is underway. A few clubs have already begun play over the last week, but the Deep South Division kicks off its debut season on May 12th when Peachtree City MOBA host South Georgia Tormenta FC in the final Peachtree City hosted Clásico before Tormenta turn professional. The matches between these two clubs over the last two seasons have always been exciting (if not a little violent), with yellow cards flying in both stadiums. Tormenta lead the all-time series between the two clubs 2-2-1, including wins in the last two matchups, but there is no reason to believe that MOBA can't turn those fortunes around and get into the win column early on.
Last season's matchups between these two sides told the story of MOBA's season, as a 1-1 draw in Statesboro in May showed some early signs of hope, but 6-3 and 2-0 home defeats in July capped off what was a forgettable season for the yellow and black. Things look to be a lot different now, however, as Omar Jarun has officially taken over as full-time manager of the PDL team, and that professional influence has drawn a wealth of talent to the suburbs. Early in training, players like forward Dean Foster and defender Jerry Wiltshire have shown their potential and could very easily be in the eighteen for Saturday. Regardless of how much talent fills out the roster, how that talent works together and gels on the pitch is going to be crucial this season, and, under the leadership of Jarun and assistant Nicholas Addlery, one cannot help but have high hopes for the matches ahead.
As for the opponents, Tormenta FC's season has already begun, as they defeated Myrtle Beach Mutiny 2-1 in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 10th. Rooby Dalusma scored the opener early in the second half for Myrtle Beach, but Jad Arslan was back to his old tricks in the seventy-sixth minute, scoring the equalizer for Tormenta before Jordan Walshaw scored the winning goal in the eighty-second. As great as it is for the franchise to win their first ever Open Cup match, the quick two-day turn around from Myrtle Beach to Peachtree City is bound to cause some issues, as heavy legs could set in earlier than usual for South Georgia. Focus on the match against Charleston Battery on the 16th could also steal some effort away from the matter at hand on Saturday, which could prove the difference come match time. That is not to say that Tormenta will just throw the match away, however, as Darin Van Tassell and Co. have always brought in a very well rounded groups of players who can be very dangerous, so MOBA cannot just overlook their in-state rivals.
Keys to Success:
- Get Off to a Fast Start: Tormenta FC are a very talented and well-coached team. If the match begins to drag on, there is always the threat of a man like Jad Arslan stealing the show and opening the floodgates. Stay fast, stay calm, and find a way to put the ball in the back of the net early.
- Keep Your Shape: One of Tormenta's strengths last season was their ability to pick teams apart when they get in a hurry, which showed as they scored five unanswered goals in Peachtree City last season. It will be crucial for MOBA to stay strong in the back and keep their line, as the talent in the back four could prove the difference on Saturday.
Kickoff for Peachtree City MOBA vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC is scheduled for May 12th at 7:30 PM at the MOBA Soccer Academy in Peachtree City. Tickets for the match are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets.