Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Breaking down Pasargad's 7-2 win over Nomads

Breaking down Pasargad's 7-2 win over Nomads
by rick olivares pic by mark dimalanta/interaksyon

May 16, 2013
Emperador Stadium

Basic formation:

Soriano    Taher    Amirkhizan    Muncada

Nelson    Blanchard    Toure    Yaogo

Hajimehdi    Mbata

De Rama    Clottey

Arroyo    Borrill     Lozano   Infante

Llorente    Magassa    Williams    Fogg


Nomads was quickly put in a hole when PSG right winger Michael Nelson scored off an error by Nomads second keeper Jay Avellana.

With both sides struggling to impose control on the game, Nelson raced forward with defender Rufi Llorente tracking him. Nelson’s teammates were running in line with him and that had the other Nomads defenders marking them. When he got inside the box, Nelson knew the moment for sending a cross had passed and he elected to shoot.

He fired one straightaway to Avellana. Any other time, a keeper would have easily corralled the ball as he was squared for the grab but Avellana didn’t get a good grip on the ball as it skirted over his arms and past him for an unlikely goal. Just like that and with only five minutes gone by, Nomads was down, 1-nil.

The early goal gave Pasargad confidence while it rattled Nomads that struggled to mount a proper attack.

With PSG in control, they switched formations:


Soriano    Taher    Muncada


Nelson    Blanchard    Toure    Yaogo

Hajimehdi    Mbata

Key factors that led to Pasargad’s win:
Their defense. Jaham Taher is one of the better defenders in the UFL. His ability to cover a lot of ground and dribble that ball in and around trouble.

Emil Muncada stood his ground at left back. In the 32nd minute, Selu Lozano made a great move in the right wing to elude two defenders to make a forward pass to Joseph Clottey on the right forward line. Clottey was able to race down the flank but Muncada’s great defensive posture forced him outward to the touchline where he couldn’t make a cross. Muncada eventually stripped him of the ball to end the threat.

And for much of the game, they pressed Nomads that really confounded their offense.

Amirkhizan in a stopper role. He is another good player with good ball skills. He would feed the ball to Belinga Blanchard whose outstanding dribbling ability gave Nomads problems. Previously, Hamed Hajimehdi played the role of distributor in the middle. Blanchard’s addition to PSG’s ranks has given the Essi Sedigh-coached side two playmakers in the middle.

Witness the second PSG goal in the 42nd minute where Blanchard’s perfectly-timed throughball found Emmanuel Mbata who skirted his defenders to fire past Avellana who had no chance.

Two minutes later, PSG scored a third goal that just broke the back of Nomads – when Mbata returned the favor with a throughball to Hajimehdi who danced around his defenders and Avellana for a boot towards an empty net.

Nomads held them to one goal but conceded two right before the end of the first half.

They have good playmakers
PSG with Hajimehdi, Amirkhizan, and Blanchard leading the way can be difficult to defeat when they make quick passes instead of dribbling that ball.

Sometimes, they get too excited when they push the ball up that they hold on to the ball a little too long when they should have made the pass.

What contributed to Nomads’ loss?
On two several occasions, Nomads’ harried midfielders would sent a high ball to forward Aaron De Rama. Surprisingly, he headed or passed the ball back to a teammate who would lose it to the pressing defense of PSG.

At the half, I wonder to Jeff Blake why instead of turning or putting the ball in play, De Rama and Nomads insisted on that tactic.

I have always wondered why Phil Connolly comes off the bench when he should be starting. I felt bad for Steven Borrill who was really working hard to get the ball forward. But the lack of a creative force in the middle was hurting.

Infante and Arroyo are superb on the wings but they need the ball in the hands of someone who can pick out targets, pass, and run and hold at the same time. Mikko Mabanag can do that but he should release those passes more and be a lot quicker with his runs.

Nomads started the second half with Mickael Cardoso and Nicolas Hacker in the game with Camille Cremet coming in the 53rd minute. And this worked! Cremet’s daring and foraging up front gave PSG some early problems.

Here’s how Nomads played in the first 15 minutes of the second half:

De Rama      Connolly


Lozano    Cardoso

With Cremet and Lozano pulling the strings in the middle, Cardoso would run up the right flank unmarked. He would be able to launch those crosses to Connolly (who got a header that went wide) and to De Rama.

I thought that the first 15 minutes of the second half, PSG looked vulnerable. Amirkhizan fouled Cardoso in a dangerous area but De Rama’s free kick was wanting.

Ric Padilla’s poor pass to Soriano on his right was taken away by De Rama but Luis Infante couldn’t finish. 

Magassa stole the ball from Mbata and Nomads went on the counter. In the 60th minute a highball landed inside the box of PSG and right in front of Infante who turned and fired for a goal. Three-one, still PSG. But this showed there was fight in Nomads and the halftime changes were working.

But in the ultimate no cheer offense of PSG, Blanchard, in the very next minute of play, dribbled right through several defenders before firing to his right. Avellana guessed right but was a second too late, as PSG quickly dampened the confidence of Nomads with a goal on the re-set for a 4-1 lead.

That swung the momentum back PSG’s way. And more surprisingly, it was as if PSG was the one down by a huge margin and they never stopped pressing.

After that goal, we saw the entry of Connolly into the game for Clottey and the tougher Englishman gave Nomads presence up front. But six minutes later, Jalsor Soriano lined up a strike from 40 yards that at first looked like a long ball to Mbata only it drifted towards the goal and found a hole in the first post for a score. Soriano’s unlikely long bomb gave PSG a 5-1 lead.

Amirkhizan would also put his long range artillery on display when he fired another one from long distance for a 6-1 lead in the 74th minute.

Cardoso pulled back one when he fired a shot that was eerily reminiscent of Michael Nelson’s score against Avellana in the opening minutes. That made it, 6-2, PSG as Nomads’ coaching staff exhorted the lads to end strong.

But Mbata was the one who ended the game strong for PSG when he scored his second goal of the night with a solo sortie up front and an insurmountable, 7-2 lead.

And Nomads lost its second consecutive match and their seventh in the last eight matches to drop to seventh place in the standings with one point about Green Archers. PSG improved to 4-2-8.

Notes: The match was played with each team’s second-string keepers. PSG is without Reza Ataei who was sent back home to Iran for attitude problems while Nomads’ starting keeper Friso Klok was unavailable due to work.

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