The Break Curve: Can Forward Madison stop the 3-5-2?

Forward Madison must reclaim their dominance at Breese Stevens with a victory over Richmond.

Next Foe: Richmond Kickers, 6-9-4

It’s been two weeks since Richmond Kickers and Forward Madison have played each other. It’s been two weeks of Forward Madison not breaking into the scoreline. The Mingos recently played Greenville for the second time this year and the match ended in a 0-0 draw (again).

Forward are looking for a win and they must avenge their loss against Richmond to pull through.

Most of the emphasis of Richmond’s latest streak has been placed upon their new formation. The strength of their formation is how well their 5 midfielders disrupt any ball movement going from an opponent's defending half into their attacking half. This formation kept Forward Madison from developing a strong ground game and allowed Richmond to disrupt and force turnovers easily. It allowed Joe Gallardo to break for balls played out long and led to the eventual goal scored by Daniel Jackson.

Both teams played to a draw last weekend. Forward Madison and Greenville both had goals waived off due to offsides calls. Richmond went up 2-0 early in the first half and Toronto FC II held them scoreless from the 24-minute mark and managed to equalize in the 87-minute mark to split points in the match.

The 3-5-2 was stopped and even scored on. Toronto was in a 4-3-3, which is the same formation Forward Madison played Richmond in. Richmond got out ahead going on runs with Daniel Jackson in the same fashion that he had against the Mingos.

Toronto FC II made some adjustments against the formation. Forward Madison’s study of Richmond’s latest game will fell the story.

Mingo Mech: Attacking the 3-5-2

Forward Madison could honestly come out in a 4-3-3 after watching the film from the Toronto FC II match. I will go with their alternate formation, the 4-1-4-1.

The Kickers will be without center back Wahab Ackwei due to yellow card accumulation. This could play to Forward Madison’s advantage as they send Oliver White up to his replacement.

If White can get in the backline, he can create chances for Paulo Junior, Josiel Nuñez, J.C. Banks, and Don Smart. This will, of course, pull in some of the midfielders to attempt to close down on them. The Kickers will also be without midfielder Matthew Buldoc due to yellow card accumulation.

Richmond Head Coach David Bulow has kept his lineup the same for four weeks now. So missing Ackwei and Buldoc could cause Bulow to transition out of a 3-5-2 if Forward Madison can score on them early on. It makes the middle of the formation seem very weak without them in place.

Forward Madison’s backline must keep Gallardo and Jackson marked the whole match and keep a good containment on them. If they manage to slip by, they’ll be on their way toward Forward Madison’s goal for the score.

Stopping Gallardo and Jackson is the key to keeping Richmond out of the scoreline.

Keys to the match

Daniel Jackson has scored all three of Richmond’s goals in the past 2 weeks.

Joe Gallardo will create chances for Jackson if he’s running tandem with him.

Richmond’s Formation: If Bulow goes with the 3-5-2, pay attention to the backline throughout the match. Does it shift to 4? If so, he could be going back to the 4-2-3-1 at times.

Forward Madison Formation: If Head Coach Daryl Shore sends Forward Madison out in the 4-1-4-1, also pay attention to how he uses the backline to counter Gallardo and Jackson.

Don Smart and Paulo Júnior will collaborate on chance creation and scoring goals. You will see cross passes and curling shots from this pairing.


Forward Madison at Richmond Kickers

Saturday, August 24 at Breese Stevens Field, 7pm

A Light Preview: Match #24 vs. Portland Timbers 2

Las Vegas Lights FC return to Cashman Field tonight to face T2.

A huge water balloons. A Cashman Field debut. Crucial points at stake. There will be all of that and more tonight as Las Vegas Lights FC are back in Sin City and will host Portland Timbers 2.

Looking at the Lights (7-10-6)

If we weren't before, we are now definitely to the point where the Lights desperately need to win matches. After two straight wins in June, the club has only won one match in their last seven outings. They sit five points below the playoff line, the final position is held by Timbers 2, and there are only 11 matches left in the campaign.

Fito Zelaya will make his debut in Las Vegas after playing last week on loan with the Lights at Orange County. The target man was left isolated up top vs. OC and he worked hard in the shutout loss. This week, the club added 22-year-old Cristian Martinez on loan from Chicago Fire, but there isn't any strong indication he will be able to feature tonight.

Two players that will likely play major roles tonight are Irvin Parra and Preston Tabort Etaka. They were both suspended the last match and they are at their best playing at Cashman Field. The attacking duo, combining with either Jose Villarreal or Fito, will need to boost a slumping Lights attack as the club was shut out in two of their three matches in California.

Previous meeting vs. T2: L, 3-1

Who you should know: Portland Timbers 2 (8-8-8)

Todd Wharton: The T2 captain is a star distributor in the midfield. He has a club-high 943 passes and has completed 86%. He's matched his season total of five goals from last season with RGVFC. He has 30 chances created.

Foster Langsdorf: A 2018 Homegrown signing of the first team, Langsdorf has six goals in 20 matches. He has 121 aerial duels this season, most on the team.

Eryk Williamson: In just 15 appearances, he has three goals and seven assists for T2.

The Deets

Saturday, 7:30 PM, at Cashman Field

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Portland Timbers 2

There will be a massive water balloon fight at halftime of the match. It shall be wet, wild, and potentially world record-breaking.