Game 1 (UW-Milwaukee) line-up: Ari Soloman, Alfredo Esteves, Terry Alvino, Derek Smith, Kevin Friedland, Brian Farber, Freddy Juarez, Lencho Skibba, Craig Mallace, Leo Gibson, Rodrigo Hildago
subs:Geoffey Meyer, Dale Weiler, Alejandro de la Mora
Game 2 (Drake) line-up: Joe Warren, Alejandro de la Mora, Brian Pederson, Evan McNeley, Moussa Toure, Godfrey Tenoff, Kyle Zenoni, Sasha Gotsmanov, Ansu Toure, Aaron Paye, Geoffrey Meyer
subs: don't know, I got fed up being cold and left at halftime of the second game.
Game 1 notes:
Thunder won 3-1 and didn't have much trouble in handling UW-Milwaukee.
Terry Alvino played as a central back in the first half and when De la Mora came on Alfredo moved in to the center.
Craig Mallace looked solid on the wings. His crosses created opportunities infront of the net. He also appears to be able to send in a well placed corner.
Rodrigo Hidalgo played up top on his own as a target striker and was able to hold his ground against the Milwaukee central defenders. He scored his goal off a low driven Craig Mallace cross that the keeper was only able to deflect and Rodrigo was there to toe poke it into the net with a defender on his shoulder. He set up the second goal by trapping a cross from Farber in the box and then left it off for Skibba to shoot.
Lencho Skibba played in the the center of the field with Freddy. He provided all the solid muck racking play you expect from a defensive midfielder and his goal was a thing of beauty. With Hidalgo tapping the ball to him Lencho sent a chip, to the top far post of the net. It was high enough to beat the leaping Milwaukee keeper but dipped low enough to get under the crossbar. A goal worthy of his celebratory flip.
The first team played in what appeared to be a 4-4-1-1 with Leo Gibson coming back many times to help out in the middle of the park and getting the offense going. While the second team played with one defensive midfielder (Zenoni) and Sasha Gotsmonav played as an attacking midfielder.
Editors Note: The Thunder lost the second game 2-1. Regular contributor Paul Demko add's the following notes to that game.
Demko: The first Drake goal came off a bungled clearance by Joe Warren. He cleared the ball straight off a striker and it rebounded back into the net. Oops.
Mousa Toure and De La Mora were playing the outside back positions. Both were raring to race up the flanks. Warren was constantly yelling at them to not go forward at the same time. De La Mora was super aggressive in his defending and got burned several times, but used speed to make up for it.
Godfrey was playing on the right midfield flank. He looked poised as ever and exeucuted several nifty touches in tight space.
This team has a lot of size and speed.