Round 1: San Ramon Dynamos (0-7) JASA RWC
San Ramon Dynamos (0-7) JASA RWC
San Ramon Dynamos FC was set up in a 4-4-2 as it kicked off its very first USOC match as hosts to UPSL conference foe JASA RWC. According to the match commentary on MyCujoo, the home side was already at a disadvantage as it had a couple late scratches and was playing against a well-prepared club from across the bay in Redwood City. The height disparity was evident and it was no surprise that JASA’s coach looked to take advantage—he sent his wingers and fullbacks deep into the corners, looking to send in crosses from the onset—when that didn’t work, they’d play in along the touchline and pass back into the center, looking to cause havoc.
Rightback Matt Mitchell- a former Dynamos player -was now lacing his boots up for JASA, and was playing so far forward at times it seemed like he was a fifth midfielder. This overload helped JASA penetrate through every lane conceivable, putting shots on goal and off the woodwork early on. The Dynamos suffered an injury early in the half when defender Douglas went down with an apparent knee injury—he was on the sideline for at least five minutes receiving treatment before a change was made. As soon as the Dynamos’ new defender was on the pitch, JASA broke through again, but this time for its first goal courtesy of Emanuel Vazquez with the assist from James Huffer.
Minutes later, Matt Mitchell connected with Ryan Masch to put JASA ahead by two after some sloppy play—San Ramon suffered a second injury before the half and was forced to use a second substitution at the break. Down two goals to nil and down two players, the Dynamos made a formation change at the half to a more attacking 4-3-3 and I imagine they intended to put a little pressure on JASA, but it didn’t work out well for them. JASA made it 3-0 within moments of second half kickoff. JASA unlocked the Dynamos’ defense with a couple of passes and what seemed like a clever backheel by Huffer to release Vazquez into the open for another run onto goal.
San Ramon continued to press using the attackers, but the midfielders gave JASA gaps to play out of and it really provided the away team an impetus to attack rather than hold onto the ball. Dynamos’ goalkeeper Martin made some impressive saves, but was under constant pressure and ended up making some critical mistakes in the second half—he wasn’t helped by his defense, who simply could not clear the ball. They gave up a fourth goal in about the 70th minute after a long throw into the mixer and a few pings allowed Alexander Herra to put one away.
Showing heavy legs toward the last ten minutes of the match, JASA broke through the Dynamos again with a 2-on-3, then with another deft flick-through by Ryan Masch, Ugo Uche maneuvered around Martin and JASA was up 5-0. Shortly after that, JASA punished San Ramon’s sophomoric set-piece with precision distribution from keeper Alejandro Escobedo and two-touches up the left flank. Ugo Uche was in on goal and lured Martin out of the six-yard box just before calmly centering the ball for James Huffer to put it away at point-blank range.
Despite being up by 6 goals to none, JASA remained aggressive and it smothered any build-up San Ramon attempted. Conversely, the Dynamos had all but given up; under no pressure, the left fullback for JASA brought the ball forward 40 yards then made an advancing pass of another 40 yards, after one-touch into space by Huffer, JASA’s Ugo Uche was 1-on-1 with the Dynamos’ Martin and easily moved past him for the seventh goal. These two sides meet again next week in UPSL Western Conference play.