Photo Credit: @theprojectfc
The San Francisco Deltas will embark on the busiest week in the history of their young club. In the span of just six days, the Deltas will play two NASL league matches and one US Open Cup match. This will be the first real look at the depth within the Deltas’ squad.
At this point in the season, the Deltas have had seven players start all six matches, so this will be an opportunity for some of the Deltas players who haven’t been featured much this season to get some playing time.
Bran Burke, Tyler Gibson, and Devon Sandoval each made their first starts of the season this past weekend in North Carolina. They have been three of Marc Dos Santos’ top options off the bench so far this season. Expect all three to play some major minutes this week, and most likely get another start.
Andrew Lubahn also made his début off the bench for the Deltas last week. I would expect to see him get more minutes this week and possibly start the mid-week game to give Kenny Teijsse a rest at the left back spot. Greg Jordan is another player who has only made one appearance for the Deltas thus far off the bench, and could get a start in the midfield in the mid-week game.
The Wednesday night Open Cup game will also be a good chance for Patrick Hopkins to make his début and possibly one of the teams’ two reserve goalkeepers, Steward Ceus and Alex Mangels. Ceus, the Haitian international, is the likelier of the two.
The Deltas also signed Canadian international, Maxim Tissot, this week after he was released from DC United. It is expected that he will be a part of the team as soon as Sunday and will be used next week. He is a player who the Deltas expect to use anywhere on the left side as he has an excellent left foot. It will be interesting to see where the Deltas choose to use him in his first match.
The Deltas begin their difficult week with a Sunday trip to Edmonton, currently 7th in the table with just four points from six games. This will be the Deltas first match-up with their current closest rivals in the League (that is, until next year with Orange County joining the League in 2018). It is also the Deltas first trip north of the border to Canada with four Canadian internationals on their roster.
They then return home to play in their first ever US Open Cup match just down the peninsula at Stanford University. They will face the Burlingame Dragons of the PDL, an affiliate of the San Jose Earthquakes. The Dragons knocked off historic El Farolito in a penalty shoot out in the 1st round of the Cup this past Wednesday to reach the 2nd round. The Dragons will also be coming into the match off of a busy week with both the rivalry match with SF City on Saturday and their own home opener on Sunday.
The Deltas then have a quick turn around with the Jacksonville Armada coming to town on a Friday night. They have already faced Jacksonville on the road this year, picking up a point in a scoreless draw. The Armada currently sits 2nd in the table, and they have yet to lose a match.
This week features some odd scheduling from the NASL as this is the only Sunday to Friday scheduling that the Deltas will face in the League all season. It is an interesting week to do this to say the least with the US Open Cup scheduled for this coming Wednesday night. One would think the League would want their clubs to be successful in the Open Cup. Cramming three games into six days will be a challenge for any club.
It will be interesting to see how Head Coach Marc Dos Santos rotates his squad for the upcoming week and if he sticks with his normal formation throughout. The Deltas made a tactical shift to more of a 4-4-2 this past weekend and it paid off. Look out for the possibility of Dos Santos using the formation again this week and possibly in the Open Cup.