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Analysis & player ratings: Union 0-1 DC

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Zero points never looked so good.

While the Union failed to emerge victorious in the one place that matters most, the scoreboard, they trumped visiting DC United in every other statistical category. In his first match since taking over for Peter Nowak, John Hackworth saw his side complete 90 more passes than their opponents, controlling the match and creating quality chances. Some midweek chatter may focus on the lack of a finishing touch from front men Jack McInerney, Josue Martinez and Antoine Hoppenot, but it would take the harshest critic not to see the promise in the trio that entered the match with only one MLS start in 2012 between them.

A pipeline of service

Playing against the potent three-headed attack of Chris Pontius, Maicon Santos and Dwayne DeRosario, the Union elected to fight fire with fire, countering with their own three-forward alignment of McInerney, Martinez and Freddy Adu. In his first managerial move, before a ball was kicked, Hackworth dispensed with Nowak’s reactionary tactics in favor of imposing an aggressive, attacking style on the game, regardless of what Ben Olsen had planned for United.

And it worked.

McInerney stretched the defense with more smart runs than Union fans have seen all year, and Martinez provided quick, darting dribbling moves. DC centerbacks Brandon McDonald and Dejan Jakovic had more than enough to think about as the speedy Union attackers ran riot against a defense built for power, not speed.

That pressure allowed Adu to tuck underneath, finding pockets of space from where he could launch crosses and through balls. Michael Farfan, protected by the workman-like performances of Brian Carroll and Michael Lahoud, also found plenty of open real estate to set the platform for many Union attacks.

DC had no answer for a Union team that has rarely attacked so confidently and with numbers. By keeping their foot firmly on the attacking pedal, United was offered no respite and sank deeper and deeper into their own half.

Defense on a high line

It’s a chicken vs. egg argument. Did the Union’s relentless pressure and possession allow the defense to work from higher up the pitch? Or did the aggressive stance of the back four pin United deep in their own territory? Truth is, it doesn’t really matter considering how well it worked.

With Amobi Okugo sliding into the back line, Sheanon Williams was freed up to return to the right flank, the position where he had made himself an indispensable starter in 2011. Williams responded by putting in the performance of a player relieved to be back in his comfort zone. He bombed forward, was sharp in his passing and defended his wing stoutly. With Williams on the prowl, DC left back Daniel Woolard was forced to split his attentions between Adu and the speedy fullback, ultimately failing to adequately close down either.

The opposite flank yielded a similar story for the Union. Gabe Farfan worked closely with his brother to pick apart the lumbering Robbie Russell, creating space up the wing for the fullback to exploit and room for Michael Farfan to float into the center of the pitch.

A plan for consistency

It took John Hackworth one match to put the correct eleven players on the pitch. One.

Of all his selections, only Amobi Okugo was deployed out of position, a move necessitated by the unbalanced roster the new Union manager inherited. Even the decision to give Okugo a shot a center back has proved an upgrade, because it stabilizes the backline by facilitating Sheanon Williams’ return to fullback.

What’s more, the formation, lineup and style of play all reflect the manner in which the team is constructed. The Union are built to play quickly and, more importantly, on the deck. Thunderous headers and brute strength will never be in the cards for Hackworth’s men, and Saturday’s match was a reflection that yes, the new coach acknowledges that fact. The Union will score goals by racing behind defenses, latching onto low cutback crosses, and attacking diagonal balls from their midfield creators.

When it came time to introduce fresh legs in an effort to find a match-winner, the changes did not disrupt the formation. Instead, they served to build on the success the Union were having in attack. Better finishing is all that kept the moves pay off immediately.

It is hard not to be confident and optimistic about the future of the Union under John Hackworth. If the young players continue to see minutes and the Union continue to impose themselves on matches, rather than the other way round, the future that was so gray and cloudy only a week ago seems instantly bright.

Still, it is hard not to cast a backwards eye to the outgoing Peter Nowak. His lack of faith in players, bullheaded self-belief and inability to construct even the simplest of tactical plans remains baffling. While it is true that Hackworth is enjoying the honeymoon period received by all new coaches, it’s not as if he is an outsider. He knows these players as well as anyone. Seeing how he chose to deploy the side in his first game at the helm, it must have been hard for him to sit on his hands and watch the direction the team had taken under Nowak.

Fortunately for those who support the Union, if match number one against DC United is any indication, he has the right idea and a locker room of players eager to follow him.

John Hackworth’s post-game press conference
Player reaction and interviews
Player Ratings

Zac MacMath – 5

Did not have a whole lot to do given his defense’s stellar play. Got caught in no man’s land on the goal as he was forced to respect the potential header. Could have come sooner to challenge for the ball, but with so many bodies around him and the quality of the service, it is hard to single MacMath out for too much blame.

Sheanon Williams – 7

Looked glad to be home on the right flank and stretched his legs more over the 90 minutes than he has in months. Attacked his wing with the fervor Union fans are used to seeing and got himself into dangerous spots up the touchline. For the first time in a long time, Williams combined well with Adu on the right, with the Union playmaker looking to spring Williams up the wing and at other times, use his runs as successful decoys, pulling Woolard out of position and creating space to attack. Williams’ 53 completed passes were the most of any Union player, giving insight into how active he was, pinning back DC as he launched wave after wave of attack from the fullback position.

Carlos Valdes – 7

Got caught out on the back post for the DC goal, but considering how many players failed to get a head or hand on the ball, it’s hard to take Valdes to task. His battle with Pontius all night was one of the main attractions of the match. Other than the 60-second spell where Salazar incorrectly awarded the free kick that led to the goal and the goal itself, Valdes got the better of the fight. Had a massive game when it came to covering the space behind Gabe Farfan and showed smart angles of running to always nip in for the tackle at the right moment.

Amobi Okugo – 7

Put on a clinic of two-touch play out of the back in his first MLS start at center back. With Valdes dribbling and probing with his passing, Okugo was happy to keep the ball moving at top speed, relaunching the attack one touch after receiving the ball. His ability to settle at centerback is of the most importance because it allows Williams to return to the fullback channel, improving the Union at two positions. Odd to see him in the wall for DC’s goal rather than mixing it up in the box, because he, along with Valdes, were among the few who consistently challenged for and won balls in the air. Did well to close down Maicon Santos and Dwayne DeRosario, but as he matures in defense will need to continue to improve his man marking, shutting opposing attackers down before they get the ball, not after they receive it and are far more dangerous.

Gabriel Farfan – 7 

Week in and week out, puts in the type of hard-nosed, aggressive display that makes coaches happy. Add to that the skills of lifetime midfielder and Gabe Farfan’s stock is quickly rising as a success story at left back. Was made even more comfortable with his brother spending much of the game on the left flank where the pair could play off each other, building up the wing. His quality on the ball was another factor that helped the Union in their effort to maintain possession considering he was deployed high enough up the pitch to be be constantly among the midfielders.

Brian Carroll – 6 

Anchored the center of the pitch for the Union, eliminating the opportunity for DC counterattacks and keeping the ball moving quickly and efficiently through the midfield. Where Carroll has looked uncertain and blunt in a more creative role earlier in the season, the great number of players the Union threw into the attack allowed him to do the job he does best, winning balls in the midfield and offloading to the nearest playmaker.

Michael Lahoud – 7

His best performance in a Union shirt. Lahoud joined Brian Carroll in sweeping up the midfield. Feasting on scraps and 50-50 balls, Lahoud did the simple things well, setting up the established playmakers with the time and space they need to create. Continues to impress with his motor as he never tires, despite covering enormous amounts of ground in the Union’s three-man midfield. Hackworth will have a tough decision when Gabriel Gomez regains full fitness and is available for selection.

Michael Farfan – 5.5

Not the sharpest night for Farfan, despite getting a tremendous amount of work in the center of midfield. Moved the ball quickly and precisely when the Union possessed in midfield, but the radar was on the fritz all night going forward, as his delivery into the box was not as crisp as the PPL Park faithful have come to expect. He picked his spots well though, finding space for himself and working with his teammates to keep the ball moving in tight spaces, ensuring that DC United was always chasing the game. His measured curler in the first half wasn’t far away. With his vision and ability to strike from difference, there is a feeling that he can create something dangerous at any moment.

Josue Martinez – 5.5 

For his speed and artistry on the ball, Martinez is still very raw when it comes to playing a team game. He drifted out of the action for long spells on Saturday. When he did find work, he was quick to accelerate and asked a lot of questions of the DC defense. Martinez delayed too long when he was played in alone with Hamid, allowing the DC keeper time to get off his line and smother the attempt. His finishing and sharpness will come with more minutes, although if Hackworth elects to reintroduce Pajoy into the starting lineup after serving his suspension, Martinez will likely be the player dropped to the bench in favor of the Colombian.

Jack McInerney – 7

Opened the game like a man possessed, as he was keen to make a good impression in his first start of 2012. Where he had looked energetic, but out of control in earlier appearances, McInerney was focused and caused problems throughout the first half, pulling the defense out of position and getting behind the backline with refreshing regularity. Will need to turn chances into goals to declare himself as a deserving starter for the long haul, but given the duration of time he spent in the wilderness under Peter Nowak, it was a positive step for McInerney, who did more than enough to retain his spot when Sporting Kansas City visits PPL Park in a week’s time. As the match wore on, he did well to drop into midfield, joining in the build-up play and putting Hoppenot and Hoffman into space.

Freddy Adu – 5.5

There is no doubting Freddy Adu’s quality when it comes to sliding in a precisely weighted through ball. The problem is that he spends too much time trying to do things other than exactly that. The elaborate dribbling maneuvers, the mazy runs, the chipped deliveries — they’re all unnecessary from a player like Adu, who is so gifted at threading that lethal pass through a defense. For each picture perfect, table-setting service, Union fans are forced to endure numerous poor turnovers, audacious shot attempts and general showboating. Were it not for his immense talent, it would be easy to dismiss Adu. But considering how good he can be when he’s focused on being the Union’s creative fulcrum, Union fans will continue to tear at their hair until Adu finds the consistent focus required to control a game with his passing.


Antoine Hoppenot – 7

Fast earning a reputation as a sparkplug off the bench, Hoppenot combined his well-regarded speed with excellent strength on the ball. Carrying defenders on his back and never backing out of a tackle, he brought much needed life to a Union side looking for a breakthrough. He will wish he had found the net rather than the near post, especially with McInerney in perfect position for an easy tap-in. Despite having only 26 minutes of playing time to his name before the match, Hoppenot carried himself with confidence and focus. Will have plenty of opportunities to find the elusive goal.

Chandler Hoffman – 5.5

Where Hoppenot’s game is about nonstop running, physicality and pressure, Hoffman looks a more calculated, refined forward. Whether its running the right angles or shaping his body to receive the ball, it is clear he has spent significant time working to develop the right habits. The next step for the Union’s first round draft pick needs to be increasing the speed of his play, thinking less and reacting more. Then he will become a true threat.

Jorge Perlaza – N/A

Despite having 8 minutes and change to try and swing the result in favor of his new club, Perlaza failed to touch the ball.

Geiger Counter

Ricardo Salazar – 4

Another in a line of confrontational, belligerent officials, much like the man for whom this rating was named. Salazar likes to be in the spotlight and made sure that he was on Saturday night. With United on a rare counterattack, Chris Pontius drove the ball directly at Carlos Valdes, who went to ground for the tackle. Leading with his right foot, Valdes toed the ball away from Pontius, who went to ground over his sliding leg.

Salazar blew the call. Watching the replay over and over, Valdes would be hard-pressed to put in a better tackle. And so, a United team that had done very little in attack for the first 77 minutes of the match was gifted an opportunity, and they took advantage.

On the earlier flash point with Dejan Jakovic’s two-footed tackle on Jack McInerney, Salazar was correct to only show a yellow card to the DC centerback. The tackle was aggressive, and the studs of both boots were showing. However, they were directed not at McInerney, but at the ball to his right. Two inches in a different direction, and its a clear red. As it stood, Salazar got the call correct.

Preferred lineup for Saturday’s match vs. Sporting Kansas City


This group of players deserve another match to come good and score some goals. No changes.

Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan; Michael Lahoud, Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan; Josue Martinez, Jack McInerney, Freddy Adu


  1. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    The single biggest decision of this Union season will be on saturday, and it is whether or not Pajoy starts. If he does, it is a disappointing sign that atleast one spot in the 11 is still unfairly given to a player who deserves it only because of his paycheck and perceived presence as Le Touxs replacement.
    However, not starting Pajoy would be a wonderful sign that we truly are on the right path and that Hackworth has all the right ideas.

  2. Excellent analysis, Eli. JackMac languished under Nowak and took one game to show his talent (other than the free kick he should have one timed). We have a good team. Hackworth is a good coach that will develop talent.

  3. Philly Cheese says:

    Good overall analysis. Might disagree with the 7 for Valdes, as he has reputation for being aggressive with tackles, which may have factored in to yellow card. He also needs to manage the set piece defense better. There should not have been unmarked attackers on the free kick which lead to goal in front of him. Set piece defense going back to Costa Rica scrub games continues to be an issue. Fully concur that the pressure to reinsert Pajoy would not be the right decision in game two of the Hackworth era. Hoffman, Jack Mac, Hoppenot, and Martinez all need opportunity to see if energetic attack can translate into finishing for a couple of additional games. Are Pajoy and Gomez willing to be team players? The next few weeks will tell the story.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      I agree that he needs to keep improving on his leadership and managing the backline better, but on the goal Williams and Garfan were both on their marks in the box, they just weren’t big enough to contend with DC’s McDonald and Co.

      • The Black Hand says:

        MacMath needed to challenge the ball, on the goal. He sat back and let the ball through.

      • There was one specific instance I can recall – about the 11th minute mark – where Martinez made a nice run to get the ball, and Valdes was literally right next to him, almost in the way, then proceeded to follow Martinez. I love Valdes work rate and his tenacity in the back, but I can’t stand his aimless wandering into the attacking third. I may very well be the only one that feels that way, but with all the attacking talent Hackworth employed, and the unlikelihood of someone providing a cross that Valdes can head in, it seems like he’s just in the way up there. We weren’t punished in this game, but if he does that during a game where we’re not dominating it forces someone else to cover for him, and no one is better in the back than him.

      • I agree, i love valdes but find myself pulling my hair and screaming “what is he doing all the way up ther?” But have to say if thats my only complaint i’ll take it

  4. A reasonably precise but inaccurate set of ratings. They lost the match ∴ the ratings are too high.

    Adu seemed to be saving all his strength for the last 10 minutes. He simply did not run hard enough off the ball. Very disappointing. The beer guy in my section was working harder.

    Josue did not look fast from where I was sitting.

    • My post reads too harsh. Sorry. I think the article represents a good analysis overall. As for next week, it is tempting to see what this lineup would do against SKC. Eventually, I think Gomez is a good player when fit, and since the team is in this ridiculous situation of having only one center back, my suggestion would be to play Gomez and Carroll in front of Valdes. Move Amobi to midfield. Sit Freddy. Yes, that’s 3 in the back. I know. Crazy. But Gomez & Carroll have been good defensive midfielders. Call it 3-5-2 or 5-3-2, doesn’t matter. Not ev

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        I’m not the smartest soccer follower (yet!), but doesn’t 3 in the back usually refer to 3 CBs? Unless you want Garfan and Williams to slot inside (and we already saw how potent their abilities at fullback are), I don’t think 3 in the back in in the cards for this team anymore.
        As for the Gomez problem, I wouldn’t mind sitting Lahoud for Gomez.

      • 3 in the back means 3 CBs, or at least 3 men who act like center backs. Wigan. Napoli. I’d like to see the U buy an actual center back to play next to Valdes. I’d also like to see them buy a left back. Until they do, leave Garfan and Williams on the flanks, and have Carroll and Gomez cover the middle in front of Valdes; playing deep. Carroll dropped back on Saturday when Amobi moved forward late in the game. Gomez is 6 feet tall. It’s just a little mind game I play with myself. Because on the other hand, the guys on Saturday only gave up one goal, so they did OK, that formation worked, defensively. But D.C. really played flat for most of the match.

    • From where I saw sitting – Section 109 – he was tearing up the left side during the first half. Saw a couple slow reactions to passes where the defender would seem to have him beat, only to have Josue beat him to the ball by a step. Kid’s got quickness.

  5. Anyone else think Hoppenot’s interview was really funny?

  6. I think Carroll should be rated at least as high as lahoud if not a half a point above. De Ro was quite all night and BC (his shadow) was the reason why. My way of rating carroll is if I don’t say his name for the whole game chances are its because his man was completely ineffective the whole game. It is when he is at his best. Few touches and great positioning.

    On another note jac mac, hoffman, hoppenot and martinez need to shoot first ask questions later when they are in and closely around the box. We are not spain who have the positioning and presence on the ball to hold off on a good scoring oppurtunity time and again so that a 100% chance will open off a fabulous run. If they are in the box have a go.

    One last thing. I coach little ones(4-6) in soccer and the one thing that translates and I found myself screaming is if your team mate has the ball in the box or near goal get up and support him. Twice we had a great through ball taken out wide with no one running to the box. its simple- go to the goal cause rebounds and crosses happen.

  7. The Black Hand says:

    Good analysis. A bit high, but I like seeing the larger numbers. The back line looked decent. I like Amobi in the middle, far more than Shaenon. William’s is a strong outside back. His runs down the wing were very nice to see, however, we need a target in the middle (Pajoy) for the crosses to the area. Yeah, I said it…Pajoy. This past effort, from the club, showed a lot of work down the wings. Dangerous balls were lofted into the area. Unfortunately, they proved to be futile, due to the vertically challenged McInerney and Martinez not being able to challenge. Our two starting frontmen did show a lot of hustle and made some very nicely timed runs. However, neither possesses a “finisher’s” instinct. Every striker, that made the pitch, had a good look at goal. Hoppenot was the only one who took advantage, narrowly missing space at the near post. Martinez had a nice chance,(in all alone), but his shot selection was quite poor. Jack Mac showed no finishing ability. That said, this last match was the best I have seen from him…ever. Overall, I saw a lot of improvement. There was smart ball movement and we played as a unit. If we pick up where we left off, I could see Pajoy being able to get on the end of some of those crosses into the box…maybe. A key transfer is a must. We need to look for a “true” finisher, with size, or a strong central defender…or both. We have some cash. Let’s spend it!

    • Philly Cheese says:

      If Pajoy could handle ball at his feet as well as in the air, it might be worth the risk…..in two or three weeks……if young guns don’t start coming through with goals and not just energy and ball movement.

      • I have to say i’m torn, on one hand i want to see what the kids can do if they get a few games to gel, on the other i want to see if pajoy just looked bad because he was gettin no service under the novak “plan” or if he just isnt’t what we want him to be

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      I would personally throw Pajoy to the wolves and let these young strikers play out the next month. If finishing/height is still an issue, we can look for a striker in the transfer window.
      I just see no need for Pajoy. He has looked horrible – he hasnt earned a second chance in any way – and is old(er) and makes a lot of money. Can we trade him away?

      • I doubt Pajoy’s trade-stock is all that high and, unfortunately, I could see him – and Lopez for that matter – having a guaranteed contract for at least a year seeing as how highly touted they were by the Union propaganda machine when they were signed. I doubt many teams are looking to buy them from us or swap anything more than a container of orange slices for them. You know, the current iteration of Juan Diego Gonzalez …

      • The Black Hand says:

        Like him or not, Pajoy is the closest we have to a finisher. If they continue attacking from the wings, with nicely played service to the area, I think Pajoy could prove to be of some value.

      • Pajoy is the only thing that we have that is close to a finisher? I strongly disagree with that. Look at jac macs stats for when he played on regular basis (as a sub) in 2010. He had the highest goals per minute played for the club. Give the kid a chance with regular starts and he will out score pajoy.

      • The Black Hand says:

        It’s tough to draw comparisons from years passed.

      • It is enough to tell me that ha can finish when given the chance to play on a regular basis.

  8. The Union did have a lot of chances, but not many (if any) especially choice chances. This is because, despite their surfeit of speed and ball control in the DC area, they were completely physically dominated by Jakovic, McDonald, Robbie Russell, and Hamid when necessary. I honestly didn’t see the deftness of touch of quick decisionmaking that would lead me to the kind of optimism above. It’s a drastic improvement, but a poor result is a poor result, and reading the analysis, it sounds like we should have won 3:0, but were unlucky. I don’t think that’s the case. There should be optimism because there appears to be a way forward, but I don’t think we should expect a “night and day” improvement. The first half against the Red Bulls was very similar.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      Martinez had a break away. Hoppenot hit the post from close range and McInerney got in behind on no fewer than three occasions.

      The Union COULD have won 3-0 and would have been good value for it, in my opinion.

      • You point out the exact issue with the team right now. We have vets who can score but aren’t getting in position to do so and young ones who can get in position all night but due to the half second of indecision don’t get the opportunity they should have or try to pass to a marked man or sometimes no one.
        This is coaching plain and simple. lets hope that hackworth can get them up and running.

        Obviously they know how to score and know where the back of the net is but they are too young to have swagger which ALL goal scorers must have.

        Just look at dempseys face in every goal celebration he never looks suprised. Everytime we score its like we won the powerball from the look on our faces.

        Believe/Know its gonna go in and it will, wish and hope it in only gets the woodwork.

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        You are not wrong, but since this is Jacks first start (and Martinezs’ too?) and they both got into dangerous positions and should have scored – which is more than we can say about the slop that Pajoy showed – I am going to hold off on throwing them into the “cant hit the side of the barn” bin after one game.
        We clearly should be putting away some of these chances, but as far as I am concerned this is the first game in a new season so I want to give these players 2 or 3 games to show what they really are.
        And based on what we saw from one game, Id bet on goals being banged in rather than not.

      • Disagree. This would have been a *very* fortunate 3:0. These were not the spectacular chances you’re making them out to be. Hoppenot’s shot to the post was a poor decision, and not really that close. (I get it, it’s the post, but looking at the angle and where Hamid was, that was not a terrific shot with McInerney open.) McInerney never had a clear shot (could have had a nice one had Hoppenot made that pass.) Martinez’s was the closest. Did Hamid have to make a single “plus” save all night? Nope. In fact, the Union put only one more shot on frame than United did. And although we’d like to be “union-centric”, I think United also had a lot to do with our shot selection. Especially in the second half, they played solid defense.

        Also, IMO, the grade for Hoppenot is too high. He made poor decisions and had trouble staying onside. Sure, there was “energy,” but I’m not sure that merits the grade relative to the other players. I can’t be too critical of the guy because he’s so young, but the expectations shouldn’t be raised unduly because of this performance.

  9. I’m okay with all the ratings except for Marfan. I don’t ever recall him playing as badly as he did Saturday. He simply gifted the ball to DC on numerous occasions. Not like him usually. As for the Union’s approach to the game, I was just ecstatic to see entertaining soccer from this team for a change. A loss hurts but a loss without any belief that another result was possible hurts even more. I’m still cautiously optimistic but mor optimistic than I was before Saturday.

    • I saw this too. Marfan was sharp holding the ball in possession but his passes were way off. We also need to start shooting a bit more from distance because this cast of midgets won’t be knocking in too many crosses with their heads.

  10. Marfan rating to high. I love the guy, but it was a poor game for him. If he has a normal game for him, we score at least 1 goal.

    Can’t give a striker off the bench, that doesn’t score a goal or an assist a 7. I’d go with a 6.5, but he has to get on the score sheet somehow to garner a rating of 7+ in 20+ minutes….

    Overall good ratings, I think Okugo has great potential at CB. That is where I play him in FIFA 12 months before this game ever happened!

  11. 2010 – jac mac – 350 minutes – 3 goals
    2012 – pajoy – 974 minutes – 3 goals

    Somebody prove to me that this pajoy guys is such a great finisher

  12. I saw Martinez wandering, usually late to get back onside, and I saw many giveaways in the center of the field. Bad passing that is sent to the wrong foot is something that might, at some point, disappear with some type of stability in the lineup, but what are they working on during the week? The lineup is always going to be a bit flexible, but there MUST be some time when these guys play together during training. Anticipation of how a teammate will move is something that will only come with a decision to actually keep a unit together for more than forty five minutes at a time, and must be kept going through the week.

  13. Give Adu more credit. Who do you think set up Hoppenot and Jack? While admittedly his crosses were off that night I don’t fault him for trying, since they’ve been deadly in the past. His possession and vision are also much better than what we’ve seen in the past. Offensively his game has the most intent & purpose on the pitch.

    In contrast Jack needs to have more of an idea of what he’s going to do with the ball before he receives it behind the defense. Otherwise he will never be a true striker. I’m much more impressed with Hoppenot’s instincts.

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