Friday, July 22, 2011

Dayton Pregame Post

Saturday evening the Charleston Battery travel to Ohio to face the Dayton Dutch Lions in their final meeting this season.  Charleston have only five remaining games in the regular season.  The Battery have taken the Lion's share of points in the two matches prior to this weekend's fixture and will look to do so again tomorrow night.  Dayton have virtually no hope of a playoff spot and will be playing for pride only.  Although they are the weakest team in the league standings wise, they should not be taken for granted.

Dutch Lions FC are affiliated with the world renowned Twente FC in Holland's Eredivisie.  Their style of play reflects this influence and they approach the game in a much different way than the other teams in USL.  In our previous encounters, the Lions have fielded a stubborn defense and this match should be no exception.  Jesper Leerdam, the Dayton GK is unusual goalie if ever there was one.  He is more than comfortable on the ball and is used strategically much like a defensive sweeper.  When the Dutch Lions maintain possession they are a force to be reckoned with.  The passing game is a vital element of their philosophy.  They like to settle on the ball and slowly buildup their attacking opportunities with pass after pass.

Here are a few keys to winning the game for Charleston:

1.  Make the most of our speed.  The Dayton back line can be slow to react.  Long crosses and early through balls will give Dane Kelley and Seedy Bah the opportunities to grab the goals and the result we need.

2.  Possess the ball.  If we can control the pace of the game, it will deny the Lions the chance to play their style of football.  If we dominate possession, it will be difficult for them to get an offense going.

3.  Exploit their unusual style.  If we pressure the goalie and keep a high front line, striking opportunities are bound to come.

I'm certain we have what it takes to come away with a win.  We're in good form and want to finish the season on a strong note.  This will certainly be our easiest game remaining in the regular season and we want to take all three points.

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