FRISCO - It is not uncommon for coaches and players to say that if the ball rolls their way, their team can beat anyone. After the victory against Toronto on Sunday, that is more than just a saying for North Texas SC. The victory means that it has indeed defeated every other team in USL League one at least once.
North Texas started the season in red-hot form, turning out five straight wins. It was not until the eighth game that it was actually defeated. Its home form at the beginning of the year was just as impressive, as the Texans won seven on the trot, building a sizable lead at the top of the table at the process. It seemed the team was building up an unstoppable head of steam.
The team ran into a rough patch in the middle of the season. The offense began to struggle and went three games without scoring. During that stretch North Texas lost its first game at home, conceded four goals for the first time, and lost two consecutive games for the first time.
Recently, the games at Toyota Stadium have corrected the opinions of anyone who thought the team might have burned out. North Texas faced the best defense in USL League One and put five goals past South Georgia Tormenta FC in a 5-0 rout, a scoreline that was slightly generous to the visitors from Georgia. The next game was a milestone, as a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC II meant that in USL League One’s inaugural season, North Texas has defeated every other team in the league.
“I think that it is important. No matter who we play in the playoffs, the fact is that we have faced and defeated them,” said head coach Eric Quill. “It gives us confidence, and it gives the team confidence in our chances to go out and get a positive result.”
“Yeah, it gives us confidence,” center back and captain Brecc Evans agreed. “We knew what we were capable of it. We showed the rest of the league what we can do.” Evans was part of a defense that was central to North Texas’s success. In fact, North Texas has shutout eight of the nine teams in USL League one during at least one match. As a team, they are second in the league with 11 clean sheets.
Quill also believed there is an element of understanding when you defeat a team. “It gives you a sense of understanding and perspective on that opponent, and how things change. You understand how your personal matches up with theirs, and what they might do. You are prepared for that team after you play them.” That has been true all season, and only one team was able to defeat North Texas the second time the two teams played.
North Texas will be deservedly confident that no matter how the season plays out, every game is winnable.