It was great to be back in Avaya, if only to watch a friendly with the U-18s. Here are some thoughts:
Love the academy. They held their own in the first half while playing the Quakes starters. The goalie (on the U-16 squad starting for the U-18s!) looks like a future gem for the team; lets hope his development continues! Second half was literally “men versus boys” in which the Quakes dominated.
Mark Sherrod looks fierce. In warm-ups, he was hitting every shot on frame and getting them past both Meredith and Tarbell. Top corner, low inside-posts, headers to the far-post, everything was going in. It’s no mistake he made so many during his time on the pitch.
Quincy looked off. Every shot he took in warm-ups was either high or wide, including some from 6-yards out. This was a huge problem last year (shots on frame), in which he had one of the lowest shots-on-frames percentage (33%) in the league for forwards. He needs to work on finishing; keep an eye on that this season.
Jahn continued to be Jahn. You would think he would be creating space and scoring against the U-18s, but an assist was all he could muster. He will probably be in Sacramento this season in favor of Sherrod, Quincy, and Barrett. Tough to see after what he did off the bench two years ago.
Midfield played well. Controlled the pace of the game, dominated possession, created scoring chances. Want to see Tommy get his shot.
Defense was never really challenged, but Goodson looked good as a target for corner kicks.
The New Kits
I did a lot of interviews (pod will be posted this week, along with results for Pre-Season poll) and the results were mixed. Some really liked them, others not so much. Personally I like them, but my wife pointed out the players need to wear white socks with red trim if they are going to wear a white kit with red trim jersey and shorts. #FashionFauxPas (Got that, Front Office??)
I like the new home kits. Sometimes sponsors can take up too much space on the jersey; not the case with Sutter Health. On the home kits, the Sutter Health is a good size: not too big, but big enough. I like the alignment of the logo as one complete line. The away kits look good with a larger logo on the side and Sutter Health stacked. Good job on both kits.
I’m excited for the new season. I can’t wait for Dawkins and Imperiale to get to the team and see how they do during pre-season friendlies. I also think this team can really make a deep playoff run this year. Avaya still feels like a “new home” since last season was so short. It should be a great 2016!