Match Recap: Peachtree City Lose to Tri-Cities 2-0
Informality Warning: This article contains content that breaks every rule of modern journalism.
Absolutely no excuses. My job as a journalist is to give you the truth and the story of what happened. I, normally, don't speak in the first person or remove my bias towards Peachtree City MOBA when I write, but following the showing on June 16th, 2018 against Tri-Cities Otters, I feel it is justified. Following what I thought was a promising start at 2-1-2, hopes that MOBA will even sniff the playoffs are quickly being shattered. Following back-to-back wins, it is becoming obvious why those wins happened. Memphis City FC are without question the worst team in the division, if not in the entire Southern Conference. It is shocking that they were able to draw with Mississippi Brilla FC early in the season with the little talent that they have, but they have done nothing but lose since. Peachtree City took advantage of a downtrodden, broken Memphis side that did not adjust to the shift from NPSL to PDL like Birmingham has, as they were able to squeak out a 4-3 win before tearing them apart two days later with a final score of 3-0. Heading down to Statesboro on Wednesday, clearly the expectation was that they would walk out with an easy three points, but that was far from the truth, as Tormenta got the best of MOBA in every facet of the game, defeating them 2-0. As humbling as that should have been, Saturday's match against Tri-Cities was a test of how resilient this Peachtree City is, and I will be honest: they did not look good.
Coming out of the gate, the Otters were all over Peachtree City, as the defense was on the back foot for the entire first half. Tri-Cities were able to capitalize on an early lapse in attention, as Guillermo Segovia buried a goal of the week candidate after dancing through the MOBA defense like it was rehearsed. Tri-Cities continued to threaten for the remaining forty-two minutes of the first half with MOBA being little more than a ten-man pest that filled up the field. If it weren't for the solid play of goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic, it very easily could have been 3-0 or 4-0 before halftime. Coming out of the locker room after the break, MOBA looked to have fixed a lot of issues, as they were pressing and holding a lot of possession before a thirty-minute lightning delay did its dirty magic. After the delay, the match got completely flipped on its head, and MOBA fell apart quickly. Just eleven minutes after the restart, Segovia scored his second goal of the match, and Peachtree City started making a ton of desperate mistakes. A very solid outing for Dziedzic in goal proved to mean nothing, as a world of issues and problems doomed MOBA to a second straight 2-0 loss. So now the million dollar question: Why did it happen, and how does it get fixed?
Well, to answer the first question, it would be best for you to just go back and watch the match yourself, but as a lot of people don't have time for that, I'll do my best to recap. The biggest glaring issue on Saturday was this: nobody seemed to be on the same page. From the defenders to the forwards, nobody everybody but Dziedzic looked awful. The ball movement was all over the place, passes were being given straight to the defense, and nobody seemed to have any real energy. For this match, Peachtree were running a 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1 depending on the scenario, with Dean Foster as the lone striker for the entire match. Against one of the worst defensive clubs in the division, this formation should have worked wonders, as Kai Bennett and Chris Davis should have been able to push higher up and play more like wide forwards with Morgan Hackworth and Shawn Sanon playing a more centralized, holding midfield role, but that was just the issue. That didn't happen. Instead, Bennett and Davis left ten yards between Foster and them at any given time, allowing the Otters' defense to focus both center backs on Foster, completely removing him altogether. There was no support on any of his runs, leading to errant passes out wide to Davis and Bennett which almost never found their target. In the back, the shape was all over the place, with Jerry Wiltshire and Artur De Luca consistently wandering out to the wide area, leaving nobody in the middle to stop Segovia. It is truly a shame that a performance like that would come on a night like that, as Dziedzic played phenomenal, picking up a potential save of the week candidate off of an early free kick.
As to how you fix it, there are a number of different answers to that question. The most reasonable answer centralizes around using these next two matches against Memphis at home as practice. Jarun has to take control of this team and figure out these problems for himself, because ultimately it is his team and his responsibility. Use these upcoming games to put together an eighteen that can win, and if that means taking off your best solo player in exchange for somebody who will play through a team, then so be it. Everything is falling apart quickly for Peachtree City, and it needs to get reversed immediately. Brilla and Tormenta are running away with the division, and MOBA are quickly getting left in the dust. Half of the season remains to turn this ship around, and step one starts in training this week. We shall see how Omar Jarun and Peachtree City respond.