This past week was the first week of the season that Forward Madison played two matches, a Wednesday night showdown in Omaha and again on Sunday evening at “home” against Orlando City B. But before we jump into that we have some USL League One honors to mention from last week.
For Week 5, Don Smart was named USL League One Player of the Week. This was due to his standout performance in Forward’s Week 5 win against South Georgia Tormenta, getting one goal and two assists in the match. Midfielder Paulo Júnior and Defender Josiah Trimmingham were also named to Week 5’s Team of the Week for their performance in that match as well.
Forward Madison’s match week started early last week with the team facing off against Union Omaha on Wednesday night at Werner Park. Forward Madison would strike first against the expansion Omaha side on the road on Wednesday night. The St. Paul native Michael Vang, playing in only his second pro match, sent a beautiful floating free kick into the box that Eric Leonard headed in for his first ever professional goal.
The Owls would however strike back in the 28th minute to even the score. Connor Tobin made an errant tackle that sent Union Omaha up to the penalty spot.
Here's the tackle that led to that penalty... pic.twitter.com/xLLgrxN8AG— Forward Madison FC (@ForwardMSNFC) August 20, 2020
Union Omaha would send up Sebastian Contreras to the spot to take the kick. Contreras drilled the shot past goalkeeper Philipp Marceta to not only even the score but also give Union their first ever PK goal.
At the end of Wednesday night that’s where the score would end 1-1 and Madison would head back from Nebraska with just one point, but their first road point of the season.
You can view the full highlights of Madison at Omaha below.
But the ‘Mingos would be back at it again on Sunday evening at their “home away from home”, Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI, this time for a clash with Orlando City’s second team, Orlando City B. Three players would make their first professional starts on Sunday for the Flamingos. Eli Lockaby along with Chicago Fire loanees Alex Monis and 16 year old goalkeeper Chris Brady would make starts against OCB.
The first goal would be eerily similar to the opener on Wednesday night as Michael Vang would once again send a set piece, this time a corner, into the box where it was finished off with a header. This one was scored by Elijah Lockaby to give Madison the early 1-0 lead less than 20 minutes in. Unfortunately the camera feed cut out so it’s not on the ESPN+ stream or highlights, so there is no GIF.
OCB would level up the score at 1-1 when Michael Halliday sent a cross into the box where Mason Lamb headed it into the bottom corner in the 37th minute.
Forward Madison would score again less than 10 minutes into the second half, yet again off set piece kick from Vang. While initially thought to be from Paulo Jr it was officially credited as an own goal to Orlando’s Juan Pablo Monticelli.
After a lightning delay saw the teams have to leave the field Madison would come back and score one more time to put the nail in the casket. And was this a thing of beauty. Don Smart took a through ball then sends in a cross which then sees NoahFuson at the near post dive like a rocket to attempt to head the ball but it bounces past him and Brandon Eaton taps the ball into an empty half of a goal to put Madison up 3-1.
And end-to-end beauty from Brandon Eaton! ⚽️— Forward Madison FC (@ForwardMSNFC) August 24, 2020
He started the play with a through ball, then finished it with his head! What a way to seal the result! pic.twitter.com/U46E7VDgXU
You can view the full highlights from Madison vs Orlando below.
Four points in two games has absolutely helped Madison this past week. The Flamingos made the jump from 7th to 4th in the USL League One standings. So in just three weeks and four matches they have moved from 10th Place (Week 4) to 4th Place (Week 6) and are now in real contention for a spot in the USL League One Championship. Greenville has stayed on top with a 5-0-1 record and 16 points, Richmond has also jumped Omaha now with the teams switching 2nd and 3rd places. New England Revolution II remain at the bottom with only two points in four matches.
Forward Madison FC will be back in action this Sunday evening against against defending USL League One Champs, North Texas SC at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI. You can catch the matches live there, or on TVW in the Madison, WI area and on ESPN+. Stay with E Pluribus Loonum all season long for ‘Mingo Mondays each and every week.