Last night OCB played on the road at FNB Stadium against the Harrisburg City Islanders and came up short, 2 - 1. All the goals came in the first half, where Harrisburg City was the better club. In the second half it seemed like OCB was stronger, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.
- Bryan Rochez' PK - The former MLS DP delievered a great PK, striking the ball with power and pace while getting the goaltender to guess the wrong way. The PK was awarded when Harrisburg's Liam Doyle took down OCB's Michael Ambrose as the latter was trying to chase down a ball at the end line just outside the Harrisburg six-yard box.
- Mark Ridgers - Ridgers had a six-save night, and should have had a seventh if not for the interference of his teammate on the own goal.
- Kyle McFadden's Own Goal - There's a good kind of help and there's a bad kind of help. And unfortunately in the 16th minute of the match, Kyle McFadden was guilty of giving Mark Ridgers the bad kind. Players need to have a little better field awareness of where their keeper is. If McFadden had refrained from trying to reach a toe out to intercept the shot from Harrisburg's Jose Barril, Ridgers was in perfect position to have saved the shot cleanly. Perhaps this is an issue of team communications on the field, but knowing when you need to help your keeper and when you need to stay out of his or her way is vital for any player.
- Slow Start - The first half was somewhat back-and-forth, but it seemed like there were a lot more minutes that the OCB jerseys were in the defensive end trying to stop attacks from Harrisburg. It was clear that Harrisburg was playing a much more possession-oriented game with short, crisp passes to build up patient attacks, while OCB tried for much longer-range, lower-percentage passes that kept getting intercepted and brought back the other way. The sloppiness and impatience showed by the MLS side on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls seemed to be on display again in Pennsylvania from the USL side. Another indication of the poor start for OCB was that Ridgers registered five of his saves in the first half, showing clearly that Harrisburg was creating more opportunities in the first 45 minutes. Coach Pulis was much more pleased with the team's performance in the second half of the match, but conceding two goals early proved a mountain that was a little too high to climb to get a result in the match.
- The NHL on Grass - I know there are a certain segment of the fan base who like to see hard fouls and takedowns in soccer, but I'm one of the fans who say that taking out another player means you don't have enough skill to cleanly play the ball. The two teams combined for nine yellow cards on the night, including a red card ejection to Harrisburg's Bobby Warshaw in the 80th minute. Harrison Heath, Tyler Turner, Marius Obekop, and Devron Garcia all picked up yellow cards for OCB. And the card issued to Turner in the 32nd minute led to the free kick that allowed Harrisburg to score the winning goal in the 33rd.
What about you? What are your thoughts on last night's OCB match? Are you an OCB season ticket holder or a member of Harbor City Hooligans? Would you like to share your thoughts about every OCB match throughout the season? If so, be sure to contact me and let me know. Because of geography and other commitments I don't have season tickets to OCB and would love to have someone help me give the USL side some better coverage!