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No Daylight for Sol in Home Opener, Colorado Pride Steals Win on the Road

Match 3, Post-Match Edition: Colorado Pride FC put the match out of reach in the 86’ winning 2-0 in FT.

By Chris Walker | June 8, 2019 | seekandstrikecollective@gmail.com

Friday evening on Ben Rios Field at St. Pius High School, Albuquerque Sol FC hosted visiting Colorado Switchbacks Pride FC in Sol FC’s first homestand of the USL League Two regular season. Sol FC showcased their defensive hold early on disrupting a dynamic attacking Pride FC front. This aspect of their game has come together quickly considering the team has only been together for a month. The match was scoreless until Pride FC scored header made from of a corner kick at 54’. Sol FC kept the match in reach despite being in a deficit but, a quick 1v1 duel up against Sol FC goalkeeper Anthony Munoz left a sitter deep into the box played on for the final strike at 86’ putting Pride FC out front 2-nil.

Sol FC kept their shape most of this match. Formation-wise, they set up in a 4-2-3-1 and showed flexibility transitioning into a 4-4-2. These looks, defensively, allowed Sol FC to impede run-through attacks attempted by Pride FC, as well as, disrupt chances created by Pride FC midfielders to get the ball out to the forwards. As defensive play was solid, Sol FC couldn’t advance out of their half. “I think guys didn’t play with enough energy off of the ball. So, when we did win the ball, we were pretty stagnant,” Sol FC Head Coach Steve Kraemer said. “As a Coach, you don’t know why some players aren’t running around like they normally do. Our practices this week were good so it’s a little surprising that we weren’t able to move the ball,” Kraemer added.

Sol FC was not able to win the ball up high in Pride FC’s half of the pitch. However, Sol FC did show pressure to Colorado and force turnovers. Sol FC’s poor pass quality kept them on their heels most of the first half. “We didn’t like the way we were pressing; we were letting them out of the back too easy into the midfield. We changed that,” Kraemer said. Sol FC made some adjustments into the second half, which led to the forward progression of the ball. Sol FC managed to keep the ball in the attacking side through a few possessions and while some shots were on target, no goals were conceded by Pride FC’s goalkeeper. Pride FC’s first goal came in after a sequence of plays that would result in a free kick being awarded to them. That shot deflected off a Sol FC player, which set up the corner kick and a header to put the ball into the back of the net.

Pride FC found some new life through their substitutions. Pride FC players began to find openings in the Sol FC backline by playing the ball on in the air and as soon as it touched down they stretched in behind, which is how the game opened up for them. Sol FC made some substitutions that appeared to give the team new life at stretches. Several opportunities were missed to send the ball out to the wings and it only took a matter of seconds for Pride FC defenders to mark Sol FC players that had found open space. “I thought our forward runs were pretty below average today,” Kraemer said. “Then you get down a goal and you start chasing the game. The game opens up and gets spread out and they had a couple of pacey players that put us under a little bit more pressure than they had the first half. We just didn’t cope well with it,” Kraemer concluded.

Up Next: Colorado Pride FC conclude their road series against Albuquerque Sol FC on Sunday at 11:00 AM on Ben Rios Field at St. Pius High School.

Chris Walker is a writer for Seek & Strike Collective covering NM United, Albuquerque Sol FC, and Albuquerque FC. Follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation. @_ChrisWalker505

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