So, I just got home from the game at Livestrong and I want to share some of my thoughts before they leave my head. First, overall, I loved the effort from Sporting in the 3-0 win. They really seemed to play hard at all times. In the first half the Lions did pretty well at keeping up with our effort, but in the second we out-hustled and out-played them to a very large degree. Even the players who I thought were off their game (I'm looking at you Soony... and the two Michaels) still hustled from start to finish. Another thought about the first half: Dayton seemed to counter attack much better than I expected until they got into the box and futzed around until they lost the chance. They really seemed to be uncomfortable once they were in shooting distance. Finally, to end with a thought that CincySporting has already mentioned. Dayton was fatigued, sluggish, and defeated in the second half. Both second half goals were made easier by poor form from the Dutch Lions.
Now, on to the players.First, I'm going to give my Man of the Match to CJ Sapong, but only by the narrowest of margins. He was in the right place at the right time on a consistent basis, and I loved his effort on every header, cross, and duel.
The man who narrowly missed out was Graham Zusi. His goal was beautiful kick to the corner of the net, and he did a good job of creating his own space to make that shot. This was one of the examples of Dayton being completely worn out, in that they barely bothered to challenge him or impede his progress toward the shot.
Jimmy Nielsen was the same great Jimmy, but he didn't see much action other than one very pretty save that I remember.
Soony Saad and Micheal Thomas looked like liabilities to me. Not completely useless, but incapable of crisp passing in such a way that a turnover seemed to loom at every kick.
Micheal Harrington looked less like a liability, but his lapses in judgement seemed to likely to cost a goal at points.
That's it for the starters, and other than Roger looking good in his short stay on the pitch, the subs really didn't seem to distinguish themselves one way or another. Except I never really like Teal's play very much, for some reason. But that is a post for another time.