Oakland County is only one point behind Kings Hammer FC coming into today’s Father’s Day matchup at Xavier’s Corcoran Field. The 4 p.m. tilt puts two of the top of the Great Lakes Division sides up against one another. Both teams are going to be looking to come away with three points as the second half of the season begins.
OCFC is coming in fresh off of a win against Dayton. Oakland County Sits at 4-2-2, and Kings Hammer comes into the matchup at 4-1-3. In their last matchup, Kings Hammer came away with a 1-0 victory over Oakland County on the road at Clawson Stadium. Defender Melker Anshelm scored the lone brace in that match.
Counter Attacks and Set Pieces
There’s been some fan discussion about Kings Hammer needing to push to produce more chances offensively. It is extremely dangerous on the counter-attack and does a good job creating free-kick opportunities by drawing fouls in the offensive third.
If Kings Hammer can get itself some early set-piece opportunities, it will put a lot of pressure on the Oakland County defense to make stops. While Kings Hammer didn’t put a lot of shots up against Oakland County in their first match, we should expect them to try and generate more offense in this matchup against Oakland County.
NOTABLE PLAYERS ON THE OCFC ROSTER
Nash Popovic- RW: The Michigan Wolverine was the 2019 Big Ten offensive player of the year. Popovic was a unanimous selection for the award and led the Big Ten in points (23), points per game (1.35), goals (10) and goals per game (0.59). In OCFC’s opener, Popovic accounted for two of its three goals. Popovic was shut down by KHFC in their first matchup and only played 65 of the 90 minutes.
Jaylen Shannon- CB: Shannon joins OCFC from Western Michigan University. The Saint Joseph, Michigan, native was an Academic All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2019. Shannon started all 10 matches for Western Michigan this spring, totaling 850 minutes played. He played all 90 minutes against KHFC in their first matchup and has a total of 540 Minutes this USL Two season with one goal. That goal was scored against Dayton on Friday.
Eric Cotton- GK: Cotton has an impressive resume and played well in the first match against KHFC. Currently attending Pacific University, Cotton has stints at Western Michigan and the Portland Timbers U.S. Soccer Development Academy team and was a state finalist in 2014 in Washington and a state champion in 2015 in Oregon. Cotton had a 1.84 goals-against average and a save percentage of 58.5% in 2021. Cotton made three saves in the first matchup.
Kings Hammer LockDown Goalkeeping
KHFC has one of the best defenses in the league. The only team to give up fewer goals in the division this season is Flint City. There are very few teams that are successful with goalkeeper by committee, but it has been working for goalkeeper coach Jamie Starr at Kings Hammer FC.
The Kings Hammer goalkeepers have been very good this season. Jared Brown has 18 saves, and Scott Williams has 13. The goals against averages are also very good: Brown 1.20 and Williams 0.67. Each keeper has two clean sheets.
Williams played the first game against Oakland County. He earned the clean sheet in that match, but Brown has been playing well. KHFC coach Paul Nicholson has a hard choice to make on who to start in this weekend’s matchup. The good news — both keepers are playing well, and it should go well either way.
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