In the opening match of their New Castle County Indoor Soccer League 2006/2007 season, Jade Tree United beat Meet the Soccers 6-12 away at the PAL 2 facility.
The first half started off with JTU on the wrong foot. Within seconds of the whistle, MTS scored with a dead on strike. Shades of seasons past surely entered into the Jade Tree player’s minds.
Thankfully, JTU quickly recovered and returned with a rocket shot from Mike Hoffman, who had just recovered from a thigh injury, which had potentially ruled him out for the season.
MTS’s fought back and went up again before JTU’s new signing, the American born Cuban U-17 International Ryan Mann, hit back at MTS, settling things up once again and showing he would fit well into the JTU squad.
MTS and JTU would return fire throughout the first half, with Victor Alvarez and Alex Milne sinking balls into the net to keep JTU level with MTS at 4-4 heading into half time.
Jade Tree started the second half in the same formation as the first. It proved to make sense to Manager Darren Walters, who effectively made his team feel assured of success. Having had a halftime chat with the lads, the entire JTU team was pushed forward, making the defense support JTU’s offensive position.
Fine playing from Defender Mike Leyva produced a stunning shot that left MTS’s â€˜keeper grasping at air.
Mike Hoffman picked up his hat trick with two successive goals from deep left field that found the high wide right of MTS’s net.
Defenders Jim Brooks and Al Agra both had sincere chances on target as well, but both were unlucky as their strikes hit the woodwork.
Ryan Mann continued to do well in his first appearance for JTU, as he scored on a throw in he received from Darren Walters and was instrumental in sliding Victor Alvarez a pass that he converted nicely.
A loose pass by an MTS full-back was intercepted by Casey Gallucio who teed up Alex Milne with a beautifully executed pass, netting yet another for JTU.
Mike Hoffman continued to handle the ball well, netting 2 more goals and ensuring Jade Tree’s first win of the season.
MTS did get two shots late in the half, but it was not enough to save them.
One of the many keys to JTU’s success was goalkeeper Brian Olden’s excellent work in keeping MTS’s chances from being converted. Olden was injured towards the middle of last season and is only now back to the squad. His form does not look to have diminished and in him Jade Tree have a formidable goalie should he continue to stay healthy.
Jade Tree United is currently set to meet DS Wilson Excavators on December 14th.