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The Knighted Front: Austin escapes New Mexico’s storm in a 2-2 draw

Holding a 2-1 lead, New Mexico was unable to stop Austin’s late rally and neither club could break the draw.

New Mexico United won their last two matches against Sacramento (2-1) and El Paso (3-0). This moved the club’s position up in the table standings to the fifth position. Austin Bold was currently holding the fourth position. Saturday, Austin and New Mexico played each other to a 2-2 draw in front of 14,327 in attendance at the The Lab.

Sword and Shield (New Mexico United: 8-5-9)

Chris Wehan led the club in chances throughout the night. Chance creation is an interesting topic now with the introduction of new goal scorers. Daniel Bruce was used primarily to create chances back when the club was playing in the Open Cup matches. Bruce has notched a goal in 2 out of the last 3 matches. Kenny Akamatsu is also looking for his first goal in USL Championship play. Chance creation is still very important for the club to convert into scores. The club just has more scorers now than it had before.

We saw more creativity from the club on Saturday. In this match, we saw many balls served into open spaces and many 2 to 3 men runs with a leading cross body pass set out for the surefire target. The team still lacks movement from time to time. Another thing to really pay attention to is when the club wins the ball up high, they are slow into a transition to send numbers up. The attempt to pad the score line is often a failure. We need to see where the next ball is played after a quick pass. Kevaughn Frater often times receives the pass and then deflects it into a box where the player is going to be next. We need to see more of this creativity on the pitch.

Defending the set piece is the new topic up for discussion within Technical Director and Head Coach Troy Lesesne’s camp. It was well known that Austin Bold serves the cross into the box. Each of Bold’s scores by Amobi Okugo were set up by a free kick. I expect more tactical discussion about how the club addresses this in upcoming matches.

King’s Court

Daniel Bruce: Bruce rocketed the shot past Austin’s goalkeeper at the 6-minute mark. The buildup: Chris Wehan took the dribble off of a throw-in by Santi Moar. Wehan hit Bruce with a crossbody pass as he was approaching the corner of the box.

Kevaughn Frater: Frater scores off of a pass from Santi Moar. Moar creates the chance from the right channel. Frater was standings in front of the box and shoots to the ribbing of the net.

Chris Wehan: – Wehan is credited with creating 4 chances and 1 assist (Bruce goal) on the evening, He was close to scoring a goal himself, which would have given him at least 1 goal in each of the past three matches.

Ethan Sampson: Sampson really contributed in this match. He’s credited with 3 Tackles, 1 Clearance, 1 Interceptions, and 1 Blocked Shot. Sampson went on some runs and almost set up some chances as well.

Listen Up!: Chris Wehan & Technical Director/Head Coach Troy Lesesne

On the team’s performance on the night:

Coach Lesesne: “You know I actually thought we had some good moments in the first half. But, you know we didn’t really establish a rhythm and tempo in the first half for long periods of time. In the second half, we did that and yea they sat back a little bit but at the same we went and got on it. We got into our shape like we always talk about and I thought we were dangerous. I would have liked to be a little bit more dangerous particularly in the last 15 to 20 minutes and get a few more opportunities at goal. But on the whole, (I am) very happy with the way we moved the ball and dictated the way the game was played in the second half.”

On playing at Providence Park, the preparations that go into that match.

Wehan: “The first part is that you’re going to play on turf, which is difficult in itself. It’s a really cool stadium. I don’t think they really get as many fans as when the first team is playing there. It will be a cool atmosphere and it little bit bigger field. Nothing too unusual about it other than a lot more seats in the stadium it will just be the same thing then. We will prepare for how Portland plays and it shouldn’t be too much of a difference.”

On how the team will train for their upcoming match against Portland Timbers 2 (T2)?

Coach Lesesne: “They had a long 7 days here, so they’ll get a couple of days off, which I am really happy for them to get away a little bit. Going into Portland, we’ll do our homework and see what they are going to bring. They have a number of first team games and the Open Cup as well. So that will play on what roster they use for the second team. But we just want to continue to fine tune what we do in possession and out of possession and just make sure we have our style in the game that we implement in the game versus T2.”

Next Battle (Timbers2: 7-7-7)

Portland Timbers 2 match this past Saturday against El Paso was postponed due to the tragic events that had occurred in El Paso hours earlier. Portland’s last match was 10 days ago against at home against LA Galaxy II. Timbers 2 lost the match 2-1. Timbers 2 have a road match against Colorado Switchbacks FC on Wednesday.

Seth will do a full preview on Portland Timbers 2 in the coming days. In the meantime, here are the facts on Timbers 2 ahead of Wednesday’s match against Switchbacks FC.

  • Last 5 Record: 0 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw
  • Overal Record: 7-7-7, Home: 3-3-4, Away: 4-4-3
  • Previous Results: New Mexico’s Kevaughn Frater equalizes at 93″ to bring score line to 3-3 draw. Frater also earned a Hat Trick in that match.
  • Dairon Asprilla is Timbers 2 leading goal scorer with 7 goals. He has appeared in 7 matches this season.
  • Eryk Williamson is Timbers 2 leading assist leader with 7 assists. He has appeared in 13 matches this season.
  • Todd Wharton and Eryk Williamson are Timbers 2 top leading chance creators with 29 (Wharton) and 26 (Williamson) respectively.

Details:

  • New Mexico United at Portland Timbers 2
  • Sunday, August 11 at Providence Park at 6 pm PT

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