Florida Roots preparing for match number five this weekend

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Florida Roots are getting set for their fifth match of the regular season, with that match on the road at Tallahassee Saturday. The team, under the guidance of new coach Richard Kinniburgh, have split their first two matches. They opened with this win over Tallahassee, then suffered losses to Jacksonville and Pensacola. The match against Jacksonville particulary though, a 4-1 loss back on May 11th.

They did rebound in their last match with a 2-1 win at Mobile, again evening the team mark at two and two. Wednesday night we spoke with coach K about his team’s performance one third through the schedule.

”So it’s been an interesting four games.” coach Kinniburgh told us. “I’ve seen the team almost at its best. I’ve also seen the ugly side. And it’s just getting that ratio because we certainly seem to be better in first halves than we have been in the second halves. That’s said, the last game, I wasn’t there, but the guys did incredibly well coming back from 1-1 to win 2-1, with a second half goal. Which obviously not only made me happy for the result, but made me happy for the kind of evolution I’m trying to put behind us.”

Ahead of that one, Coach says his team is trying to keep the initiative they had in game one.

“This is week is very much about trying to keep the opposition thinking, so I’ve put a great deal of thought and I was lucky to have the weekend away, get a bit of headspace to think about how we need to take this foundation and build on top of it, and we are really into the start of that phase of the season. Tallahassee gave us a credible game, but it was at least for the first half, us at our best.”

The team saying they look a little more cohesive this season.

“I really want to praise the recruitment side,” said Coach Kinniburgh. “I think that, to get the foundation right, because Florida Roots is all about having local talent pushed to the forefront and enjoying that success at playing at the elite level. By having that combination with the right imported players really allows them the platform to excel.”

The difference is seen in the first third of the season simply by the team’s record, but from within, the players feel it too.

“Just everything this season is just a lot better than last season,” said two-year starter, Ben Lebdaoui. “You can feel it in the practices and especially in the games, just the culture, the attitude, the mentality of the team, everything has just gotten a level higher, and it’s looking really good so far.”

That match at Tallahassee Saturday night set for 7 o’clock eastern time.

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