Forward Madison FC is stuck at the bottom of the USL League One table, but the Flamingos have a huge opportunity to move up when they take on FC Tucson this Saturday (7 p.m. at Breese Stevens Field; tickets here). FMFC will have had eight days of rest in between games and no midweek match for the first time since April. Meanwhile, Tucson has to contend with a Wednesday game in Orlando.
To prepare, we've taken a look through the USL League One Match Center from FC Tucson's last game, a 0-0 draw against Richmond Kickers, to find three things you can watch for.
FC Tucson's plan of attack hasn't changed much over its past three games. In that time, FCT has depended heavily on crossing the ball, having out-crossed opponents 73-27.
Tucson will likely stick to the same plan against the Flamingos, getting down the wings and hoofing balls into the 18-yard box. In particular, FCT relies on its fullbacks to do much of the work; right back Luke Hauswirth created three chances last week against Richmond.
This map of FC Tucson's unsuccessful passes from inside its own half during last week's game shows another aspect of how FMFC's opponent will attack on Saturday. Tucson plays in a direct style, attempting lots of long balls forward instead of making short passes up the pitch. As this chart shows, many of those attempts come to nothing. Ones that work, though, can cut out the entire midfield.
If there's anyone who can make FC Tucson tick against Forward Madison, it's going to be Jamael Cox. The veteran midfielder often assumes a playmaking role, providing creativity when Tucson takes possession. He often takes risks to set up teammates, but it's paid off so far; Cox has created 11 chances this season, the most of anyone on his team.
Forward Madison FC’s inaugural season is here! The team will play its next home game on June 15 vs FC Tucson. Get tickets to see Forward Madison’s inaugural season at: https://www.forwardmadisonfc.com/tickets.