Match Preview: Peachtree City Look for First Win Against Birmingham Hammers
After opening last season with a 6-1 loss away at Nashville, Peachtree City went on a seven-match winless run that included five straight losses. Things look a lot different in the early part of 2018, however, as a 2-2 home draw with Tormenta FC last weekend marked the first time MOBA have gotten any points from the opening match of the season. With Mississippi Brilla and Memphis City also drawing 2-2 that night, Peachtree City find themselves in a four-way tie for first in the division, and they have an opportunity to take sole possession of the top spot on Saturday when they host Birmingham Hammers.
The match against Tormenta got off to a very exciting start, as the opening twenty minutes saw a number of chances for both sides, but it was the visitors who got on the board first, as Cadu Casatis scored on twenty-six minutes, but on the ensuing kickoff, MOBA's Chris Davis made a gorgeous fifty yard run down the sideline before taking a foul inside the eighteen. Dean Foster buried his first-ever goal with the Yellow and Black with a emphatic penalty that Pablo Jarra had no chance to save. Following the break, MOBA jumped into the lead when a defensive clearance fell to the feet of Foster, who quickly made a run to the end-line before shooting across the frame of goal and into the bottom corner. MOBA held the lead for thirteen minutes before a handball in the box conceded a penalty to Tormenta, and Manolo Sanchez scored to bring things level at two. The final whistle blew, and while a draw is not the perfect result, it is a stepping stone for the future, especially considering the result of the Brilla-Memphis match. Some history was made in the season opener, as well, as MOBA keeper Jack Hudson set the club record for saves in a single match with ten on the night. Following Foster's two-goal performance, he was named to the Top Drawer Soccer PDL Southern Conference Team of the Week. Overall, the defense stood very solid for the full ninety minutes, something that could very easily be contributed to the coaching of Omar Jarun, while the offense showed some signs of life and could continue to grow over the next few matches.
Birmingham got off to a disappointing start to the season on Wednesday, as inclement weather resulted in their match with Memphis getting postponed. Having a match under their belt would have made their trip to Peachtree City a lot easier, as they would have had an idea of how their team looks and what might need to change, but instead, their match with MOBA will be their first of the season, and that could prove the difference. Last season as members of the NPSL, Birmingham had a rough go of things, as they finished 1-9-2 with a -23 goal difference, last in their division and 9th in the conference. The season prior they finished 2-7-1 with a -9 goal difference, last in the conference. The Hammers will be desperate to get off to a strong start in their third season, so the danger is always there that this may be the year they get the ball rolling, but the same could be said for Peachtree City, who already have that first point.
Keys to Success:
- Feed Foster: After just the first match, Dean Foster has already shown the talent that he possesses, and it will be important to get the ball to him in the final third, as he has the dribbling and shooting ability to put the ball into the net. Foster is not the only scoring option MOBA have out on the pitch, but he should be a danger up front for this Birmingham defense.
- Possession: Last time out against South Georgia, MOBA conceded twenty-five total shots. While Jack Hudson was phenomenal in goal that night, that cannot be the case every match. It will be crucial to dominate the possession for the full ninety minutes, and MOBA have the players to do that. If they can, scoring goals and keep the opposition from doing so should be no problem.
Kickoff for Peachtree City MOBA vs. Birmingham Hammers is scheduled for May 19th at 7:30 PM at the MOBA Soccer Academy in Peachtree City. Tickets for the match are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets. Hopefully the rain will pass before kickoff.