Saturday, October 15th, 2022; 9:00 p.m. CT
Location: Kino North Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Follow @ForwardMSNFC on Twitter for live match updates
Forward Madison FC will conclude its 2022 season with a match against FC Tucson on Saturday, October 15th at 9:00 pm CT. This Flamingos match will take place in Tucson, Arizona at Kino North Stadium. So far this year, Forward Madison is 1-1-0 against Tucson, with the most recent match being a 2-1 FMFC win. In that win, Nazeem Bartman and Abdou Mbacke-Thiam both tallied goals to push the ‘Mingos to a victory.
The Flamingos will wrap up their year in Tucson, following a 0-1 loss to the Richmond Kickers at home on Saturday. As for Tucson, they’ll return home to take on FMFC after losing 2-1 to the Hailstorm on Saturday.
Coaches and USL League One 2022 Records:
FC Tucson (8-7-14)
Head Coach: Jon Pearlman
Forward Madison FC (7-11-11)
Head Coach: Matt Glaeser
Key Players to Watch:
Eric Leonard: Leonard has been arguably one of the best defenders on the team all year. The Illinois native leads his squad in clearances (94), blocks (18), interceptions (46), and minutes played (2,363). The 27-year-old will look to conclude his fourth season in the Pink and Blue on a high note in Tucson on Saturday.
Jeremiah Streng: The Finnish striker has been Forward Madison’s leading striker from a statistical point of view for a majority of the season. Streng has dominated offensively as he leads the ‘Mingos in shots (42), shots on target (18), and goals (7). The 20-year-old had a couple of quality chances that he couldn’t punch in on Saturday, so expect Streng to continue to be aggressive, this time against FC Tucson’s backline.
Mikey Maldonado: The 24-year-old has been a key piece in the middle of the field all season. Maldonado has contributed a lot offensively while still making his presence felt on the defensive end of the pitch. The San Antonio native has created the most chances on the team (43) and figures to see another key role against a shaky Tucson defense on Saturday.
Key Match Up:
Forward Madison Attack vs. FC Tucson Defense
The key match up for this contest is the Forward Madison FC attack of Jeremiah Streng, Abdou Mbacke-Thiam, Nazeem Bartman, Mikey Maldonado and Matheus Cassini versus the FC Tucson backline of Kaelon Fox, Jacob Crull, Luca Mastrantonio, Tyler Moss, and Carlos Merancio. This matchup should be a close one as the squads have kept their matches close all season. So far this season, Forward Madison’s had the slight advantage in this matchup as the FMFC attack has scored three goals compared to Tucson’s two goals scored on the year against FMFC.
The last match between these squads was won by the Flamingos. In the match, Forward Madison had a stellar offensive game. The squad logged a number of set pieces including six corner kicks, and scored two goals on 14 total shots (four shots on target). The FMFC attack showed out in the last match as Maldonado recorded an assist on a Bartman goal in the 29th minute. Later in the game, Mbacke-Thiam scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Bartman. FMFC midfielders and strikers all contributed to help the ‘Mingos pull ahead and steal the match from FC Tucson. If the Flamingos want to defeat Tucson again, they’ll need offense. The Forward Madison attack hasn’t scored in the last three matches and they’re struggling to record chances. If FMFC hopes to end the season on a high note offensively, they’ll need the midfielders to help create chances for the strikers against Tucson.
The other side of this matchup features a shaky FC Tucson defense. Tucson’s defense has struggled recently, as they’ve allowed two goals to each of their last three opponents. Tucson has allowed the third most goals in the league (43) and they have the second-lowest number of clean sheets (5). Luca Mastrantonio along with their goal Carlos Merancio have been the best defenders on the Tucson squad. Mastrantonio has the fourth most clearances in the league (111) and the fourth most passes (1,606), while Tucson’s goalie Merancio has the second-most saves in the league (83). Tucson will need Merancio and Mastrantonio to play strongly if they hope to win this head-to-head matchup against the Forward Madison attack.
Keys to the Match:
- Log Shots on Target – In the last three Forward Madison matches, the Flamingos’ attack has struggled, as they’ve only logged three shots on target. In the last match against Tucson, the FMFC attack tallied four shots on target and 14 total shots. Expect coach Matt Glaeser to have his attack ready to take advantage of a Tucson defense that has struggled this season.
- Dominate Possession – In the most recent match against Tucson, Forward Madison struggled to control possession, as Tucson controlled 54% of the possession. Although Tucson controlled possession, FMFC still managed to get their offense going. If Forward Madison can dominate the possession early and maintain control of possession throughout the game, the ‘Mingos should have no problems taking down a Tucson squad that’s struggled to get their offense going without possession.
Forward Madison FC travels to Arizona, following their 0-1 loss to the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, October 8th. FC Tucson returns home to take on FMFC, after falling 2-1 to the Hailstorm on October 8th.