Wednesday, September 21st, 2022; 9:30 p.m. CT
Location: Breese Stevens Field, Madison, WI
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Forward Madison FC travels West for a match against Central Valley Fuego FC on Wednesday, September 21st at 9:30 pm CT. The match will take place at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California. The last time the Flamingos took on Central Valley Fuego, on May 28th, the squads tied 1-1. Jeremiah Streng scored the only Forward Madison goal in that match off a free kick in the 82nd minute.
The Flamingos will play Central Valley Fuego for the third and final time this season Wednesday, following their 2-1 loss to North Carolina FC on Saturday, September 17th. In that match against NCFC, Nazeem Bartman scored a late 1-1 equalizer, thanks to an assist from Matheus Cassini. Looking ahead, the ‘Mingos will return home to take on South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday, September 24th at 7:00 pm CT.
Central Valley welcomes Forward Madison to California following a 3-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence on September 17th. Next up for the Fuego, they’ll head to Richmond, to battle the Kickers on Saturday, September 24th.
Coaches and USL League One 2022 Records:
Central Valley Fuego FC (8-6-10)
Head Coach: Martín Vásquez
Forward Madison FC (7-11-8)
Head Coach: Matt Glaeser
Key Players to Watch:
Matheus Cassini: After he subbed into the last ‘Mingos match in the 46th minute, Cassini’s presence was immediately apparent. The Brazilian midfielder took a clearance all the way down the field and made a brilliant pass to Nazeem Bartman who managed to tie up the match. Cassini currently leads the squad in assists (5), and ranks second on the club in shots (35) and chances created (30). Expect the 26-year-old to play a key role continuing to create chances by driving through the Fuego defense.
Jeremiah Streng: The Finnish striker has been the leading goal scorer for the ‘Mingos for a majority of the season now. Streng ranks 10th in the USL League One in goals (7) and 6th in the league in shots (38). Although he saw a smaller role against NCFC, the 20-year-old should be able to bounce back against a Central Valley Fuego squad that’s allowed the fifth most goals in the league (36).
Mitch Osmond: Osmond has easily been one of the best passers in the league all season. The Australian defender leads the league in passes (1,582) and accurate passes per 90 mins (59.1). The Flamingos will need to continue to pass the ball effectively in order to control possession and take down the Fuego. Expect Osmond to play an important role on the backline once again Wednesday.
Key Match Up:
Forward Madison FC Goalie vs. Central Valley Fuego FC Strikers
The key match up for this contest is the Forward Madison FC goalkeeper of Raiko Arozarena, versus the Central Valley Fuego FC strikers of Christian Chaney, Jose Villarreal, and Ronald Alexis Cerritos Castañeda. The last two matches between these squads ended up being defensive battles. This match should be different as the ‘Mingos have a new goalkeeper in the net and the Fuego strikers have been relatively inconsistent recently. Arozarena joined Forward Madison in the middle of July and has been one of the most dominant goalies in the league since he started sporting the Pink and Blue. The Cuban goalie has played in 12 games so far since joining the ‘Mingos and he already has 4 clean sheets, 29 saves, and a save percentage of 65.9. The ‘Mingos started the season having allowed 23 goals in 15 games before Arozarena joined the squad. Since Arozarena’s been on the squad, the team has allowed 15 goals in 12 games. Expect the 25-year-old goalie to continue to make big saves in net for Forward Madison, especially against Fuego, who possesses one of the lowest shot conversion rates in the league (13%).
On the other end of this match is a Central Valley Fuego squad who has struggled offensively. Fuego has the second-lowest number of goals scored in the league (28) while they have the fifth most shots recorded in the league (305). Fuego’s attack has been led by Christian Chaney and Victor Falck, who are tied for the lead in goals on their squad (6). Central Valley’s attack has been inconsistent as of late, so it really should be a close matchup. If FMFC hopes to defeat the Fuego, they’ll need to shut out their strikers and limit the number of chances created by Central Valley strikers.
Keys to the Match:
- Control Possession – Forward Madison managed to control possession in the first match against the Fuego (58 to 42), in which the squad lost 1-0. If the Flamingos are able to control possession yet again, they should be able to hold off a Central Valley squad that relies on controlling possession. Expect coach Matt Glaeser to prepare his team for a close, gritty match that will ultimately come down to who ends up controlling a majority of the possession.
- Record Shots on Target – In that first match against Central Valley, Forward Madison logged 12 shots, with zero of the shots being on target. The ‘Mingos will need to do a better job of recording set pieces so that the squad can log plenty of shots on goal on Wednesday. Expect Coach Glaeser to have his team aggressive on the offensive end of the pitch.
Previous and Next Match:
Forward Madison FC heads to Chukchansi Park following a close 2-1 loss to North Carolina FC. Next up on the USL League One schedule, the Flamingos return home to take on South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday, September 24th.
Central Valley Fuego FC battles against the Flamingos following a 3-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence. After taking on Forward Madison, the Fuego will head East for a match against the Richmond Kickers on September 24th.