It was a rare midweek match in the NASL, and boy both sides didn’t disappoint. The match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, with five goals being scored in the second half alone. The Railhawks were led by goals from Brian Shriver and two goals from Nick Zimmerman, as the Strikers had three different goals scorers with Lance Liang, Walter Restrepo, and substitute Mark Anderson.
Carolina did well with their pressuring the Strikers’ back line during the first half, it was difficult for the Florida side to get some fluidity with their attack. The Railhawks were rewarded with getting the ball in dangerous positions and creating chances. The Strikers started gaining momentum while the Railhawks midfield begun to tire down and they were able to come back from 3-1 down to get the draw.
Zack Schilawski (Fwd):
Carolina’s new signing and he did well in his 80 minutes of action. Holding the ball well, pressuring and harassing Striker defenders and linking up with his midfielders. I think he did more in the first half then I saw Jason Garey do in this whole season (Garey has been coming off from an injury which might be a reason for his poor start). When the ball gets to his foot, he has decent vision to play a first-time pass to players like Shriver or Zimmerman coming into the attack. Obviously he doesn’t have the match fitness yet, towards the end of the game his passes weren’t connecting as well. It could have been tired feet but he should have been rewarded with a goal from all the energy he used during the match.
Nick Zimmerman (LM):
Had a two goal performance. He was very active during this game, his passing was decent and he put himself in positions to score which is why he scored two goals tonight. Not a left-footed player, he had a chance in the first half with his left-foot that if he had it on his right, he would have scored. Decent speed, good moves to get around players. Would rather cut inside into his right foot, rather than getting around the corner. Good performance by a very good player.
Brian Shriver (RM):
Quick player with decent technical ability. Scored himself a goal and got an assist against his former club. His pace was neutralized by Lance Liang but was decent when on the ball. He is an opportunistic goal-scorer, for his goal the ball popped out in space and he ran on to it and struck it to the far post of the goalkeeper. Shriver doesn’t have a ton of moves but his quickness helps him glide around players, strength isn’t his strong point.
Walter Restrepo (ACM):
He is a roaming play-maker for the Strikers’ side. It took him a while to get into the game, he only saw the ball occasionally in the first half. In the second half, either he didn’t do enough running in the first half or he has tons of fitness because he was more productive in the second half. He scored a goal and got himself an assist. The Railhawk midfielders tired down and Restrepo found more space to operate. He has quick and nifty feet, decent pace, his a slender player who gets pushed off the ball. Tends to dive to get calls, he did so in the first half and the referee was tired of it and gave him a yellow in the second. Walter is a very good technical player but does his game translate well in the MLS? I don’t know, I think his knowledge of the game helps him
but unsure if he can handle the strength of the first-division game. He is
a young player, only 23.
Lance Liang (LWB):
The one and only reason why I am highlighting this player is because of his spectacular free-kick. Other than that, his touch was atrocious. His first touch of the ball was a clearance and his clearance went straight up in the air instead of going forward. There were a lot of his touches that were shaky, the Railhawk supporter’s group on the
far side was ribbing him every time he got the ball. He’s a very athletic player that is very fast and can jump. Decent defending on Shriver while defending 1v1. Don’t know about his defensive awareness, on the Railhawks second goal which Shriver got the ball in tons of space, Lance was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t like this player, raw in his football, pacy but apparently has a good FK (or was that a flash in the pan).
Toni Stahl (CB):
Solid defender that is good with his distribution out the back, didn’t get flustered when the pressure turned up. Tall center-back who is good in the air. Doesn’t have enough pace but makes up for that with his cleverness. A very good mid-range passer, Stahl can by-pass the midfield with a low pass and find his forward’s feet. Good positional sense, got into good positions to clear crosses from dangerous areas. I didn’t notice his 1v1 defending, the Railhawks tried to pass into the attack rather than trying to beat him off the dribble often.