5.18 match preview dl
North Texas SC/Jack Wallace

North Texas SC vs Lansing Ignite FC Match Preview | 5.18.19

FRISCO—North Texas SC travels to Michigan to face Lansing Ignite FC on Saturday at Cooley Law School stadium at 6 PM CT in its second away match of the season. Eric Quill and co. will be looking to maintain their perfect start by adding a sixth win in as many games and extending their lead at the top of the USL League One table. This match—like all USL League One games—will be streamed on ESPN+.

Current Form
North Texas enjoyed its most dominant performance of the season last Saturday winning 4-1 against Orlando City B with all four goals being scored in a mesmerizing 20-minute period. The three-goal margin of victory was the club’s largest ever and included four separate goal-scorers who got their first-ever professional goals: Tanner Tessmann, Johan Gomez, Arturo Rodriguez and Ronaldo Damus. With North Texas’ recent offensive breakout and its league-best defensive record, the club will look to capitalize on its excellent form by adding to its lead at the top of USL League One on Saturday.

The Opponent
Lansing Ignite FC started its season in fine form winning two of its first three games and scoring seven goals over the same span. However, the Ignite has experienced a rough run of games since then with two draws and two losses in its last four. Lansing also recently tasted defeat in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to USL Championship side Indy Eleven who played down a man for a majority of the game due to a red card in the 21st minute.

The Matchup
To all fans’ delight, there’s a good chance this matchup will produce a lot of goals. Having scored 10 and conceded 12 so far, Lansing Ignite games have involved more goals than any other team in USL League One. If North Texas is able to replicate last game’s potency in front of goal, then Saturday’s match should be a high-scoring affair. Although Eric Quill’s team handled its first away trip with aplomb getting a 1-0 win in Greenville at the start of the month, this weekend’s journey to Lansing has a few more variables involved. For one, the flight to Lansing is significantly longer than the previous one to Greenville. But more importantly, the Ignite play at Cooley Law School stadium, a baseball stadium that is temporarily converted into a soccer field for USL matches. Being that the field is far from regulation size, North Texas may have to adjust its tactics that have been so effective over its first five games to fit the new field dimensions.

Players to Watch
Arturo Rodriguez is North Texas’ player to watch for Saturday’s game. The attacking midfielder is fresh off his second USL League One Team of the Week inclusion for a standout performance last weekend in which he scored his first professional goal and provided two assists. It was also the first time that he and his younger brother, David, started a professional game together. In the absence of top goal-scorer Ricard Pepi, Arturo Rodriguez has been the creative spark for North Texas going forward and he’ll need to be at his best against if they’re to take all three points home to Frisco.

Xavier Gomez is the player to watch for Lansing Ignite. The 24-year-old playmaker has one goal and one assist in his six games and is a key link between Lansing’s midfield and forward line. Gomez leads his team with nine chances created and is tied for second in attempted shots. Should Lansing break through North Texas’ league-leading defense, there’s a good chance Xavier Gomez will be involved.

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