Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ogen Outlaws at BYU Cougars: July 4th

Last night my family and I went to take in the Ogden Outlaws – BYU Cougars game, and watch the fireworks afterward. It was a hard fought game, though the Cougars (who have come to expect to beat the Outlaws) have to be disappointed with their play and the result. With the fireworks show after the game, and then yardwork that needed to be done this morning, I haven’t been able to get to my write-up until now. I was glad to see Drew from the Deseret News was able to get his story done, and Kim Christenson got her press release out on time … sometimes it’s nice not to be tied to a deadline though.

As I watched the teams warm up the Cougars looked more composed, though that’s probably just my bias showing through. I asked BYU coach Chad Sackett about two of his players suiting up for the RSL reserve game earlier that day—forward Zack DeFrancis suited up as a midfielder but did not play, while midfielder Richie Bindrup suited up and played about 30 minutes as a left back. Coach Sackett said:

Well, it’s better for us that Zack didn’t play and I think Richie could play three games a day if he wanted to. But really, anytime these guys can get that kind of exposure, well, that’s why we’re here. Originally, we thought the game would be yesterday but that’s the way things work out sometimes.

I was also able to catch Bindrup to ask him about the difference between an MLS reserve match and a PDL match. He said:

They play at a faster pace, and everyone is more involved. I came in as a left back, but I was able to get up into the attack. The biggest difference is that they just finish their chances. It’s like we played last year.

During the first half of the game, BYU controlled long stretches of possession, earning several corner kicks (and having one goal called back on an offside). Ogden seemed to play a prettier game though with more one touch exchanges moving the ball down the field compared to BYU’s over reliance on long distributions to start attacks.

BYU opened the scoring in the 51st minute, when Richie Bindrup scored on a free kick earned by Zack DeFrancis. Ogden answered with 2 goals in an 8 minute stretch, the first by Flynn Stewart (set up by a free kick taken by Matt Broadhead) and the second on a Matt Broadhead free kick.

As you’d expect in a game where all the goals came from free kicks, it was pretty chippy out on the field with 18 fouls and 6 cautions. I don’t think either side was really happy with the officiating though, as the crew seemed to lose control of the game a couple of times. Zach DeFrancis said that, “It’s always a physical game, this is out big rivalry. Both sides are probably unhappy with some of the calls, and we both started to lose our composure.”

Zach also said that while the team had talked about getting knocked off their game plan saying, “We’ll be working on it.”

After the game, I caught up with coaches Sackett and Chris Watkins to follow up on the RSL Reserve game. Coach Watkins said that the whole team looked tired after running soccer camps all week in addition to Richie playing earlier, and that being tired certainly affected them. Coach Sackett said that he didn’t think Richie and Zack’s involvement in the earlier game affected the outcome of this one because: “There was a whole team out there, not just the two of them.”

Coach Watkins also said: “We’re not a very good team right now. ... In the next several games.” He seems resigned to missing out on the playoffs this year, when asked about his plans for the rest of the season, he responded that “during the next couple of games, we’ll focus on getting some of the young guys in to get them experience.”

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