Despite an edge in shots and possession, Birmingham was reduced to ten men around the hour mark and lost 2-0
BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 23, 2022) – After six weeks of games on the road, Birmingham Legion FC’s homecoming to Protective Stadium was spoiled on Saturday night in a 2-0 loss versus FC Tulsa.
The Birmingham offense had numerous chances in the first half – registering 14 shots to Tulsa’s five — but could not find the back of the net. Legion FC held the majority of possession (59.3%) and controlled the pace, but Tulsa managed to score in the 16th minute to give the visitors an early lead. Tulsa’s Sean McFarlane fed a ball just outside the box to Lebo Moloto who buried it on the first touch.
“I thought that when we attacked, we were all out of shape,” said Legion FC Assistant Coach Khano Smith. Our attacking shape wasn’t good. When we lost the ball, we always looked compromised, and when we looked like we were in trouble, it was always emergency defending. So that’s something we can control and something we have to look at in the video and get it right for Wednesday, because it’s a quick turnaround.”
The referee had a good workout this game pulling nine yellow cards and a red. To the surprise of the fans at home after seeing the replay on the videoboard, Ryan James received a second yellow card in the 59th minute that sent him off and changed the pace of the match.
“We can’t control the referees unfortunately,” said Smith. “People can make their own judgments about what they saw tonight. I know what my feelings are. I’m going to keep them to myself because I need to be able to be involved on Wednesday.”
Former Legion forward and Alabama native JJ Williams scored in the dying moments of the match for FC Tulsa, putting away a close-range finish on a breakaway as the Three Sparks stretched to score a last-minute goal.
“Losing in general and losing at home is obviously disappointing,” said Smith. “You know, no matter what kind of run we’re on, we obviously want to put on a good show for the people that support us, our fans, our friends and families. We obviously want to show how good of a team we are at home. We’ve showed it on the road, and we want to show the people that have been there for us and supported us since the beginning how good of a team we are. They deserve to see that type of play.”
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 4-3-3 – #1 Matt VanOekel; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Phanuel Kavita ©, #7 Ryan James; #20 Zach Herivaux, #6 Anderson Asiedu, #19 Enzo Martinez; #10 Prosper Kasim, #99 Juan Agudelo, #11 Marlon Santos
TUL – 3-4-3 – #31 Austin Wormell; #22 Bradley Bourgeois, #12 Matheus Silva, #4 Ronald Rodriguez; #66 Noah Powder, #8 Petar Cuic, #44 Eric Bird, #11 Seth McFarlane; #30 Lebo Moloto, #9 Brian Brown, #10 Rodrigo da Costa
Another quick turnaround for Legion FC sees the team return to Protective Stadium on Wednesday night to battle Loudoun United at 7:00pm. Gates will open at 6:00pm for ‘White Claw Wednesday’ so ticketed fans can come in early and enjoy discounted $4 Miller Lites, $6 White Claws, and $6 canned TrimTab beers in the South Plaza area underneath the videoboard until the 15th minute of the game. Join in on the fun by grabbing your tickets HERE!
For team updates, news and more, follow @bhmlegion on social media, sign up for Legion FC’s Newsletter, or visit bhmlegion.com. The Legion FC app is also available for download via Apple or Android. For gameday reminders, sync the Legion FC 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.