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Pregame report: Ginga Atlanta vs Charleston United

calendario 29.01.2021
by: Salvador Torres
  • United States
Pregame report: Ginga Atlanta vs Charleston United

This Saturdays UPSL national playoffs round of 16 matchup will be an exciting one between topped ranked Ginga Atlanta and mid-Atlantic south champion Charelston United to see who moves to the quarterfinals. Here is a pregame report. 

Ginga Atlanta 
Stats: There is plenty of reasons why Ginga is ranked #1 in the league and, frankly, the hottest team in the nation; simply put, the numbers speak for themselves. The peach state team's record during the regular season ended in perfection with winning 14 out of their 14 games. In the Georgia division, they made the state playoffs and passed the semifinals and finals with a 3-2 win and a 1-0 win to be crowned Georgia champions. Their form has recently continued in the national round of 32 with a dominating win over AFC 615 with a 4-0 victory. In total, they are on a 17 game winning streak and scored 74 goals and only allowed 12 to this point. 

Playing style: Based on their last match and under the assumption Ginga has played their soccer like this since the beginning of the season, the Atlanta team look like the better team. The team is very technical; they love getting touches on the ball from defenders to wingers and have passing patterns with a Brazilian rhythm. Mentally, they are not complacent when they are ahead. From their last game in the playoffs vs. another undefeated team like AFC 615, the Atlanta team would be ahead 4-0 by the 70th minute, and yet, the team never changed their tempo nor decided to lay back and play defense to run out the clock. They would build up the play from the back, beat a midfielder on a 1-2, or bait and run them and find a supporting player already on the run. 

Along with being technical, they love having possession of the ball and do what they can to keep it. In the game vs. AFC, Ginga defenders, as mentioned earlier, would play the ball on their feet and pass on the ground, even under pressure, as they would calmly find an open player even if there are two strikers in front of them. This attitude and mental focus are why they are ranked first and explains how they managed to score nearly 75 goals in less than 20 games.   

Charleston United 
Stats: On the flip side, the South Carolina team numbers say a different story than their opponents for tomorrow's game. Their record in the mid-Atlantic south division was 5-2-3, placing 3rd in the standings. In the divisional playoffs, they won in the semifinals 1-0 and the finals with the same scoreline vs. 1st place Soda City, who recorded no loss before the match. In the national playoffs round of 32, they beat Moros FC 2-1 in a tough back and forth match. Nonetheless, to this point, they have scored 32 goals (from all games, including playoffs) and allowed 20 (from all games, including playoffs). They are currently on a three-game winning streak and hope to continue it, pushing forward in the playoffs. 

Playing style: Basing their playing style off their last match vs. Moros FC's, there wasn't much to take away. It was one of those tough matches where both teams were grinding to find a breakthrough opportunity, but it was back and forth. The South Carolina team wasn't dominant or had the upper hand, but they took advantage of Moros FC's error for the first goal and made a counter-attack after stopping a counterattack for getting their second goal.

Prediction and Opinion  
Based on the info above and assuming both teams play the same or similar style for Saturday's match, all arrows point to Ginga to win the match. The fact that they beat AFC and continued playing the same way for 90 minutes after being up by four goes to show you that Ginga is hungry for more, and it would be a surprise to see them reach the final four. One concern they would face vs. Charleston would be their bigger and more physical style of winning 50/50 balls since most of the team, including some defenders, aren't as big as the Charleston players. 

On the other hand, Charleston is the underdogs in this matchup and has to have a good plan of learning how not to let Ginga score first and shut down a heavy possession style of play. A plan involving their player's physique is one advantage they have since Ginga has mostly smaller players.  

A scoreline of 3-1 or 2-0 in favor of Ginga or a scoreline where they have an insurance goal seems likely. However, this is soccer, and anything can happen, and even Charleston can prove people wrong and could pull off an upset! 

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