Wednesday, April 27, 2011

RCU Shuts Out Nashville Metros In Preseason Finale

Rocket City United used some flukey goals and a solid defensive effort to beat their regional rival Nashville Metros 3:0 Monday night in Pulaski, TN.   In their final preseason match of the year, RCU started quickly when they were awarded a penalty after ten minutes.  Jacob Letsholo setpped up a slotted the PK home.  Just sixty seconds after the PK, RCU scored the first of two fortuitous goals on the night.  A shot from Ryan Maxwell took a beneficial deflection off of forward Bradley Sanford and eluded the Nashville goalkeeper for the early 2:0 lead.

Nashville dominated possession in the remainder of the half in an attempt to get back into the match.   The Metros got several good looks at goal but were denied each time by RCU goalkeeper James "Jaffa" Colman.  It looked like the breakthrough had finally come when the PDL team were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute.  However, the resultant spot kick clattered off the left post.

In the second half, RCU's "bend but don't break" defensive efforts were impressive as the Metros grew increasingly frustrated with their impotence in the attacking third.  When they did crack the code of RCU's back four, second half sub Jeffrey Preston was up to the task in the goal.  As the half wore on without a goal, the Metros expressed their frustration with physical play.

RCU didn't seem rattled by the rough tactics as a good spell of possession and some more good fortune led to the final goal of the match.  After several trips around the RCU back four, a good diagonal ball found Brian Hadley in the penalty area.  Hadley's controlling touch fell to Bradley Sanford.  Sanford's scuffed shot took on a spin that sent the ball skyward and the Metros goalkeeper reeling.  When the ball came down, the disoriented netminder lost his bearings and pawed the ball into his own net for the 3:0 final score.

RCU now has two weeks of training with an public intra-squad "Red and Black" scrimmage in Athens on Saturday before the NPSL season opener in Knoxville on May 7.

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