Sequoyah huddle

Coach Manuel Orozco gathers his team during halftime of their latest game against McMinn County.

Our scrimmage against Bradley Central was a wakeup call to the team. The scoreline does not reflect what happened on the soccer field. We had a formidable opponent against Bradley Central. Bradley Central’s Coach, Miguel Armenta, did an excellent job preparing his team. We scored of two goals from Jose Almanza and one from Reymundo Lee. I told the players that I was disappointed with their effort. We were depending on individual players to make plays instead of cohesively moving the ball up the field. I told the players that this would serve as a wake up call and I would make changes tactically to reflect their poor performance.

Our first official game was a drastic improvement from our scrimmage against Bradley Central. I told the players to focus on making short passes and moving the ball up the field as quickly as possible. We ended the half with a 2-0 lead, goals by Jose Almanza and Reymundo Lee. The lead was a direct result of how we pressured the opponent and moved the ball up the field. The second half we started with the same intensity, but credit to the opponent, found a goal off a defensive mistake. We had the opportunity to take the lead to 3-1 off a penalty kick, but a horrible call from a referee cost us a goal. The rule is clear in that matter when a player “encroaches” during a penalty kick the kick must be retaken, but instead he just called a goal kick. The 3-1 would have put us comfortable position to finish out the game. Toward the end of the game, our fatigue started to wear us down and McMinn managed to score again. We played a really talented team that’s well coached and with a deep bench. I was not happy with the result, but definitely excited about the improvement I have seen on the field.

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