There were plenty of questions heading into the second week of the Greenville Triumph’s first home stand but the team came ready to answer each and every one. The league’s most veteran team traveled from Tennessee in an early season test at Legacy Field on Saturday, but the Triumph reigned supreme at the end of the night. What were the takeaways from the match? Let’s dive in.
What Looked Good:
- The High Press – Coming into this match, I expected Coach Harkes to have the team play a bit more defensively than they did against Lansing. Without the services of Cole Seiler, I was concerned for the team defensively. This is why Harkes gets the big bucks and I am still just a fan. The Triumph maintained nearly 60% possession for the match and had 6 of 11 players with their average position at midfield or higher.
- Counter-Attack Defense – This has been a big area of concern over the first two weeks and was a worry against a team which emphasizes counter-attacking play. Evan Lee stepped up in a big way with Seiler out, but it was the play of Kevin Politz, who slid into a more central role this week, that impressed me the most on the counter-attacks.
- The Attacking Midfield – All three men (Bermudez, Gomez, and Ward) really impressed me this week. Christopher Bermudez seems to be developing quickly in this system and has remedied some of the holding onto the ball too long issues I mentioned earlier this season. Carlos Gomez had a big assist in this match, a goal which he could take much of the credit for, and had a goal early in the match that was, in my opinion, wrongly disallowed for offside. But perhaps the biggest surprise in this match was first time starter Travis Ward. More on that below.
What Needs Improvement:
- Team Depth – This is something I have mentioned in previous weeks, but the Triumph have the smallest roster in the league at the moment with only 19 players officially announced. I asked Coach Harkes if he has plans to add to the roster after Saturday’s match and here’s what he had to say:
“I know my own plans. We’ll be adding players. It’s important. We, first off, believe in the guys we have. When it makes sense, not just from an extra body, but from a character and tactical standpoint of adding the right guy, we’ll pull the trigger on that for sure.”
CASHINHO’s Man of the Match:
Having only seen Travis Ward in brief substitution appearances this season, I would not have thought he would get this honor in his first start. When he started on the right, forcing Bermudez to the left, I was not convinced that was the right move.
Boy was I wrong.
Ward was a physical presence on the right side and created offensive attacks through his dribbling and physicality. While not quite as fast and shifty as a Bermudez or Robinson, he definitely gives Coach Harkes a different look on that wing. This could have major implications throughout the season as the team prepares to take on a variety of different opponents.
The Triumph welcome the Richmond Kickers to Legacy Field on Saturday April 20 at 7:00 pm. Stay tuned to GVLSoccer.com for a preview of that match-up later this week.
Greenville Triumph SC – 1
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC – 0
Greenville Triumph SC – Jake Keegan – 74′