FanPost

Wilmington 4-3 Pittsburgh. Lovitz shines

I went to the game tonight in Pittsburgh to watch our guys. All three started. Manny still looked pretty weak (he looks about 5 years younger than everyone else). He was pushed off the ball too easily, and he didn't do much offensively. He was playing just off the lone striker in a kind of DeRo-to-Gilberto role. I thought he was more of an Osorio-style playmaker, but he spent most of the time chasing the ball and applying pressure. He was subbed midway through the second half. Meh.

Q impressed early on, making three outstanding saves in the first half. He dove to stop an open-netter early on, and knocked a good free-kick off the crossbar and over. In the second half, his weaknesses came to light. He's not the strongest presence when crosses come in (I can't remember him making one clean catch). On one play, he was nudged while jumping for the ball and he stayed on the ground moaning. No foul. Pittsburgh grabbed the ball and scored. Q chased the ref all the way to midfield to argue his case and got a yellow card. He also showed his temper towards the end of the game when things got heated. He needs to mature, so hopefully Wilmington will help with that.

I was clearly most impressed with Lovitz. He scored an immaculate free-kick goal (could've used that in the TFC game today, eh?), he got an assist off a perfect free kick, and he made a great run, which drew the penalty for the game-winning goal. He took all corners and free-kicks for Wilmington, and that's clearly the right move. He seems like a significant upgrade on Bekker in this department. He's a lefty, and he curls the ball in with pace. Both goals off free kicks came from the right side with Lovitz whipping them in. It's an option that TFC really doesn't have right now. Aside from that, he seemed a little lazy out there. He was playing as a winger, constantly switching sides, but he didn't track back much. He has a lot to work on, but the upside is there. It was also nice to see him interact with Manny. They seem to have bonded quite a bit; maybe we'll see it carry over to the first team one day.

As far as the game itself, it was very entertaining. The level of play was decent. Lots of goals. There was a big crowd in Pittsburgh and the fans were great. It was 4-3 for Wilmington into the dying seconds of stoppage time when Pittsburgh thought they'd tied it. The big screen lit up, everyone went wild, and then (after a solid two minutes, a near-brawl, and a red card for a Pittsburgh player) people began to notice that the lineswoman had her flag raised for offisde. Good stuff.

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