Published on April 13th, 2017 | by Ryan Voyles0
Down on the Farm: Calistri scores, Dekovic sees time in Tulsa’ 2-1 loss to Sacramento
After last week’s break, it’s time to head back down to the Oil Capital of the country to check in on the Chicago Fire’s three loanees down in Tulsa. But first, a brief rundown on Saturday’s match for the few readers who may actually care how the Tulsa Roughnecks are doing this season.
Saturday night was one of the more entertaining matches one can watch in the USL, as both sides played high, up-tempo styles that made minutes of the game come off more like an old high school sprinting match rather than a soccer match. But Sacramento Republic turned out to be too much for the Roughnecks, as two goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half would prove to be too much for a late Roughneck rally to overcome.
Now that we got that taken care of, let’s talk some Fire youngsters!
Joey Calistri Continues to Thrive in Tulsa
While not as dominant as he has been the past two matches, Calistri’s performance Saturday night once again showed that the Northwestern product could be a huge asset for the Fire this season. After scoring one goal and adding one assist in his first two games, Calistri put Tulsa on the scoreboard once again with a fantastic finish that words cannot really do justice to (a shame considering my whole career is based on describing things with words).
— Tulsa Roughnecks FC (@RoughnecksFC) April 12, 2017
For those unable to watch the clip, the goal came after Calistri found himself in perfect position in the box to receive a deflected shot off the goal post. After settling the ball with his chest, Calistri immediately struck the ball in air with his right foot, placing a perfect shot to the far post past a helpless Sacramento defense.
Calistri was not as much of a focal point of the offense for most of the match, with the attack going through the opposite side of the field, but the 23-year-old midfielder has shown a knack for putting himself in an excellent position to succeed with field awareness and the ability to make timely runs that can embarrass unassuming defenders. If the Fire decides they need more depth this season, don’t be surprised to see Calistri get the first nod if he keeps up his current form.
Slow Start in First Test for Matej Dekovic
It took an injury to Bradley Bourgeois for Dekovic to finally see his first real action with Tulsa, as he came on in the 54th minute as an injury replacement. After watching Dekovic’s performance the final 36 minutes, it comes as no surprise that he has only seen two minutes of action before Saturday’s match. The 23-year-old defender did not record any clearances and he completed only 67.6 percent of his passes out of the back. He was also caught trailing on the play that turned into Sacramento’s second goal of the match. Was pretty invisible for final 15 minutes of match once Tulsa put on the all-out offensive blitz.
London Calling for Fernandez
After playing a full 90 in Tulsa’s first two matches, Colin Fernandez missed Saturday’s game after being called up to the U.S. U20 National Team camp in London. He was coming off an especially efficient match, having completed 83 percent of his 37 passes against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. In two matches he’s completed 83.8 percent of his passes and has created two quality chances with some heads up long passes. A spot in the starting XI is essentially guaranteed for Fernandez with the way he’s played so far this season.
Thanks to Tulsa being off this weekend, this feature will also be taking the week off. We’ll see you in two weeks, y’all!