Match Preview: Greenville Triumph at Chattanooga Red Wolves
Chattanooga, TN - The Triumph hit the road to face a surging Chattanooga squad in a top of the table matchup in the newly-opened CHI Memorial Stadium.
Greenville notched a 2-0 victory last Sunday to cool off a hot Forward Madison club on a streak of four straight wins before coming to Legacy Early College. Chattanooga is putting together a streak of their own heading into the Saturday afternoon match -- three-straight wins and five-straight unbeaten weeks, highlighted by handing Union Omaha their first loss of the season in a 2-0 win on Tuesday.
The two sides met on August 15th at Legacy Early College with the Triumph delivering a 1-0 victory off the foot of Aussie striker, Lachlan McLean. With 22 points earned through ten games played, Greenville hangs onto a four-point lead over Chattanooga which means, despite the result this weekend, Greenville will spend yet another week at the top spot.
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SCOUTING THE WOLVES
Last week, Greenville met the red-hot Flamingos, who were on a four-game win streak before the Triumph handed them a 2-0 defeat. This week, it's a Red Wolves side riding a five-game unbeaten streak and a three-game win streak. Last time the two sides met, we said it would be the hardest test yet for the Triumph side. And at the time, we weren't wrong. Chattanooga disrupted Greenville in a way other teams could not through a successful high-press approach. The Triumph found a late second-half goal to win 1-0 at Legacy.
With a sense of revenge on the mind, and an impressive 4-1 record at their newly opened CHI Memorial Stadium, Chattanooga will yet again present a tough task for the league-leaders. Greg Hurst has slowed down a bit, netting only one goal in the month since these two sides originally faced off, but the Red Wolves have done an excellent job spreading the wealth in the time being. Five different Chattanooga players have multiple entries in the goal column, and with Marky Hernandez controlling the distribution, any player can be found in a dangerous position.
what to watch for
Hernandez On The Ball: Marky Hernandez is two games back from missing a few matches due to injury. And he's back in a big way leading Chattanooga to a 2-1 victory over Richmond and a 2-0 victory over Omaha. Hernandez is the energy behind Chattanooga's attack. He can easily become a handful for any backline as he loves to take on defenders and has the ability to drop passes into dangerous pockets of space. In his last three appearances, Hernandez has two goals and three assists. The 1v1 matchups on the flanks will be very important in determining Chattanooga's success.
Top Offense, Top Defense: Coming into Saturday's match, Greenville reigns as the league's best defense while Chattanooga packs a punch offensively. They lead the league with 17 goals (11 in their last five) and 15 tallied assists. Those 17 goals have come off the foot of seven different Red Wolves players. Shutting down top offenses is nothing new to the Greenville defense who implement an "11 defend, 11 attack" mentality. To this point in the season, Greenville is the only team to keep Chattanooga off the scoresheet. That was over a month ago, and the Red Wolves attack has gotten much more dynamic since then. It will take an entire team effort to keep Jimmy Obleda's attacking side at bay -- forwards making play predictable, midfielders applying tight pressure on the ball, defenders moving together as a unit.
Transition: On the flip side, transition for both sides will be important. Whether Chattanooga decides to high press or sit in on Greenville matters not. If they high press, Greenville will look to break lines of pressure through their dominant midfield players like Aaron Walker. If they sit in, Greenville will attack with patient purpose. If Chattanooga does decide to let the Triumph play in front of them and anticipate mistakes, the league-leaders will have to be cognizant of the quick transition to follow and put pressure on the ball immediately to delay the long ball to Hurst or Dieterich.
NEws and notes
Team of the Week: Three Triumph players were named to League One's Team of the Week (Week 9) after a 2-0 victory over Forward Madison last Sunday. Defender Cesar Murillo made three interceptions and five clearances and won 12 of 17 duels while also completing 24 of 32 passes. Man of the Match Aaron Walker had one assist and completed 24 of 28 passes overall. The midfielder made six recoveries and won 2 of 2 tackles. Rounding it out was Lachlan McLean who scored for the second consecutive contest.
Injury Report: The Triumph continue to be without defender Abdi Mohamed as he recovers from a foot injury, while defender Harri Hawkins (knee) and midfielder Carlos Gomez (shoulder) recover from surgeries. Midfielder Max Hemmings continues to participate in full training as he hears a return from his 2019 ACL injury.
Standings: For ten straight weeks, the Triumph have held the top spot in the league with 22 points through 10 games played. After beating Omaha, Chattanooga made the playoff cut this week with 18 points through 10 games played. Just below Chattanooga is the no-longer undefeated Omaha side with 16 points through just nine games played. No matter what the outcome is this weekend, Greenville will remain at the top spot for another week.
Club News: This week, the club signed former UCLA Bruin Matthew Powell. The versatile midfielder/defender will add more depth the the Greenville roster after the league-leaders suffered a handful of injuries to key players such as Abdi Mohamed and Carlos Gomez in recent weeks. You can read about Powell's collegiate career here. In case you missed it, the Triumph also signed former FIU player Andrew Booth last week which can be found. Last week, the Triumph also released a statement regarding societal issues and unity. You can read the club's statement.
Greenville will return home for a highly anticipated rematch against the defending 2019 League One Champions, North Texas Soccer Club, Friday, September 25th at 7:00 PM. The two sides have not shared a pitch since the Triumph's 1-0 loss in the 2019 League One Final. You can purchase tickets here.
MATCH WEEKEND DEALS
Coastal Crust: Come to Coastal Crust Pizza on Triumph match days and use code word "Triumph" to receive one glass of Impero Montepulciano, Impero Pinot Grigio Trebbiano or Peroni with the purchase of a pizza or pasta.
*One drink per one pizza/pasta. Kids pasta does not qualify. This is applicable to dine-in only. Customers cannot substitute for a different wine/beer.
Southern Culture Hospitality Group: Head to Habitap to watch Triumph matches on their big screen get half off your first beer by wearing your Triumph gear! Getting take-out? LTO Burger Bar is offering a match day curbside pick-up discount...get 10% off with online code "Triumph".
Item of the Week: All Triumph headwear is currently on sale! Click here to shop.
Clean Sheet. Clean Car: If the Triumph earn a clean sheet (meaning no goals allowed), you can get $3 off a Top Wash the day after at Fins Car Wash, no promo code required.
Tailgate Package: Download the Chick-fil-A app to earn special rewards the Monday after each match. Simply order food from the Pelham Road location, and put Together We Triumph in the special instructions box.
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United Soccer League One Stories from September 18, 2020
- Match Preview: Greenville Triumph at Chattanooga Red Wolves - Greenville Triumph SC
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- Kickers Home Match against Orlando Postponed - Richmond Kickers
- Orlando City B Match at Richmond Postponed - Orlando City B
- North Texas SC and Midfielder Oscar Romero Mutually Agree to Part Ways - North Texas SC
- Triumph Sign Former UCLA Standout Matt Powell for Stretch Run - Greenville Triumph SC
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