BIRMINGHAM – In the second match of the inaugural season, Birmingham Legion FC fell 1-0 to Ottawa Fury FC at BBVA Compass Field.
Ottawa turned a slight advantage in possession in the first half into four total shots, one which found the back of the net off the foot of forward Carl Haworth in the 16th minute. The Fury FC captain latched onto a through ball played in by midfielder Wal Fall and put it top corner, just skipping in off the underside of the bar after Legion FC keeper Matt VanOekel got his fingertips to it.
“We came out really flat…and we made some adjustments,” said Legion FC head coach Tommy Soehn. “I told the guys to be more courageous, and I think we played very tentative in the first half.”
Along with the formation change, and playing much more aggressively, Soehn made a couple early second half substitutions that seemed to boost the Legion FC attack. The adjustments helped push Legion FC to taking 11 more shots, including nine from inside the opponent 18-yard box, winning the possession battle, and attempting 16 open-play crosses in the second half.
“I see signs of being a young group, but it’s also time now that we start learning some lessons,” said Soehn. “I think in the second half we were much better, but in the end we still can’t get that first goal. I think once we get that one the flood gates will open.”
Legion FC has a two-week break before heading out on the first road trip in Louisville against the two-time defending USL Cup winners, Louisville City FC, Saturday, March 30.