Associate Producer Jay Riddle’s “Five Things I Learned” For The Week of 7/5/17

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The team that SDH Daily Associate Producer Jay Riddle goes to see (along with 45,000 others) is not a bad team right now…

We think they’ll do okay…

But, when Jay’s voice holds out, he comes on the show and lets us all know what he has learned over the span of a week…

Here’s his transcript for this week’s #5TIL

WED 7/5/17
Associate Producer & Member of the Church of Josef Martinez

1. We can get a clean sheet on the road. In fact, our re-match against a Colmbus team that had only lost a couple at home before our arrival last Saturday showed we can mix up our play style when needed, and that we don’t have to stick to Tata’s favored philosophy for all 90 minutes to be successful. Even Darren Eales tweeted his pleasure at Kann’s long ball assist, an example of when we didn’t play out of the back, with a tongue in cheek reference to our new “Hoofball” tactics — a reference to the extreme opposite of our typical style of soccer often used to ridicule a number of clubs in England.

2. VAR is frustrating, but still needed; just not in the middle of an MLS season. The Chile / Germany Confederations cup final and the match for third place between Portugal and Mexico became platforms for showing the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of VAR. While it’s clear to me that video replay when used only in key decisions that could influence the results of the match are necessary, it’s also just as clear that in the end, and just like the NFL, it can’t fix bad refereeing. In the end, I do believe FIFA will eventually work out the flaws, and if they assemble VAR and refereeing teams that are from the same countries or regions it will improve the trust between referees on the pitch and the ones in the booth, which will help speed up the process and reduce stoppage time for each call. However, I don’t see that process improving quickly enough to warrant introducing VAR to MLS mid-season, and I think it will ultimately put the spotlight on the already inconsistent level of play calling by our league’s referees.

3. Alan Green is growing on me. The veteran BBC brosdcaster and Sony Academy Award Winner for Sports Broadcaster Of The Year has clearly fallen head over heals for Atlanta United, and despite his unorthodox player name pronunciations at times, he continues to settle in and improve his chemistry with Dan Gargan with every additional match. Despite being from across the pond, his relaxed style of play calling shows he’s done his homework as his comfort level and knowledge of MLS are beginning to shine through. I’ll always miss Kevin Egan of beinSports, but I’m glad to call Alan Green one our own.

4. Josef Martinez is Atlanta’s own soccer Jesus. And if anyone has seen the Jesus Martinez two pole banner in the marches and the supporters section, they may need to make it even bigger after his performance last night. That’s because Jason Foster at JogaBonitaUSA on Twitter states that in addition to Josef Martinez’ 2 goals, he had a saved header that led to Carmona goal, 5 shots, with 4 of them on target, and a 100% … REPEAT, a 100% passer rating with 22 of 22 passes completed. He may not have jumped into any fire this time, but keep an eye on his feet the next time they hit a puddle.

And last, but not least:

5. The Soccer Tour came to Atlanta. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Bernasconi from Fort Lauderdale at the pre-match tailgate. If you don’t know who Steven is, he’s the founder and curator of TheSoccerTour.com which is a site dedicated to documenting his 8 month, 20,000 mile journey across North America to meet and interact with people closely involved with soccer. And that means hitting up every MLS city for a match. We were lucky enough to get him on the Soccer Down Here live Facebook broadcast from The Faction tailgate yesterday, and I encourage everyone to visit the Soccer Down Here Facebook page to check out his interview by Jason Longshore. Steven tagged along with our tifo squad yesterday, roamed the tailgate, and filmed the march into the stadium. You can catch some of his great behind the scenes footage of our prematch setup of the tifo and supporters section banners before the match on his Snapchat account at TheSoccerTour (one word) as well as follow him on Twitter and Instagram, also at TheSoccerTour.

Let us know what you learned…

Reach out to us on the media that is social on Twitter @SoccerDownHere, Facebook at “Soccer Down Here- Atlanta United” or any other way you like…

Jason is @Longshoe on Twitter and Jon is @osgnelson

Thanks for being a pat of Soccer Down Here, y’all!

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