Rocket City Recap: Huntsville lose 12th straight, fall 1-0 to Toronto FC II

Another week, another Rocket City Recap that unfortunately takes on a disappointing tone. 12 straight losses, and even worse, zero goals in the last three games.

Earlier in the year, Huntsville’s saving grace was that even as the losses piled up, the performances were still there and the players looked like they’d turn the corner. But with every loss, and seemingly every major injury to add to the list, the Boys in Blue look increasingly hard to watch.

Shop MLS Jerseys at MLSStore.com

Izzy Johnston limped his way through this game. Maximus Ekk is done for the season with a torn ACL. the likes of Forster Ajago, Julian Gaines, Joey Skinner and Woobens Pacius are still out injured, where exactly is the silver lining right now?

Sure, those players bar Ekk could get healthy and Huntsville will inevitably start winning at least some games, but it’s not like it will probably be enough to make the playoffs.

As for the lineup, there were some interesting changes. The Isaiah Jones right back experiment seems to have ended, as he returned to midfield, and Jake Grekowicz started in goal also.

As far as the game, things, as they seem to frequently under Christophe Berra, started quietly. Adem Sipić had a sliver of a chance 5 minutes in, but put his effort well over.

Then, neither team had anything resembling a serious chance until free kicks from both sides were put just narrowly wide in the 33rd and 36th minutes. In the 41st minute, Ollie Wright picked up a frustration caused yellow card, which became important later.

However, just over two minutes later Huntsville had their best sight of goal in the opening period, with Adem Sipić lashing a first time effort at goal that wasn’t seen until late by the keeper, who did make the save.

The second half started even quieter, as neither team found a serious opportunity before the hour mark. In the 63rd minute, Xavier commit Cannon Scretchen dragged a shot just wide, which was nice to see. Scretchen is a player I’ve been high on since he was in the academy. He’s been on the fringes to start this season, but with injuries stacking up, he seems to be getting his opportunity now.

Then things shifted Toronto’s way. Huntsville never had another shot on target. In the 70th minute it took a big save from Grekowicz to keep scores level, and another 7 minutes later after a mistake in distribution.

Toronto finally broke the deadlock through Charles Sharp’s effort in the 85th minute, and truthfully it was deserved.

After getting subbed off, and deep into stoppage time, Ollie Wright was given a second yellow during a small dust up between the two sides. That is, frankly, incredibly concerning. Losing your 12th game in a row is obviously bad, and will destroy the confidence of even the best players, but that’s not acceptable.

This is a team with only a handful of players returning from last year, and for one of the veterans to get sent off like that is not a good message to the locker room. There’s only a couple players I can say played any better than slightly above average, not counting substitutes, and that’s Jake Grekowicz and Izzy Johnston. No one looked particularly bad, but there were no difference makers.

Huntsville, as mentioned, is now three games and 323 minutes without a goal. Earlier in the season we were talking about how they were creating chances and just not scoring. Now, chance creation has almost totally dried up.

I’m really not sure where this team goes from here. This team is not only performing genuinely badly, they’ve become almost unwatchable. I’m certain you could’ve slept through the first hour of this game and genuinely not missed anything notable. It was rough from start to finish, and I’m not sure I see it getting better anytime soon.

Author: Ronan Briscoeis a contributor for Broadway Sports, and a founding contributor at SoundwaveSoccer.com, where he covers Nashville SC, Huntsville City FC and Nashville's youth academy.

Leave a Reply