NASL’s Top 3 for GW3

Tommy Heinemann, Jimmy Maurer and an NASL veteran.

Tommy Heinemann

Remus Heinemann

Tommy Heinemann scored a brace during SF Deltas’ home win against North Carolina FC. Credit: SF Deltas

Two years ago, Heinemann was hot property. On the back of a 15-goal season with then-league runners up Ottawa Fury, Heinemann was sought-after by many NASL and USL clubs. Last season, partly due to the signing of Joe Cole, Heinemann found himself rarely playing 90′ at Rowdies, and often came on as a substitute. He ended his time at Rowdies with a meager 4 goals.

In the first two games of the SF Deltas’ 2017 season, Heinemann has played the entirety of the 180′ as well as managed to bag an excellent brace to help SF Deltas to their first league win of their existence.

Wolf-man/Teen-Wolf/Remus Lupin (I’m taking credit for the last one) Heinemann plays at the apex of the 4-3-3/diamond 4-4-2 hybrid employed by coach Marc dos Santos. Remus Heinemann TM took his two chances excellently and also managed to create a couple of chances for his teammates. For Deltas’ first goal, Heinemann dropped deep, evaded challenges and sprayed the ball to the right flank. He then ghosted into the box and tapped in the resultant cross.

His second goal was a work of art; Heinemann collects the ball from Pablo Dyego midway between the box and the halfway line. With his second touch, he nutmegs Edmonton’s CB  Connor Tobin. His third is a terrific left-footed finish into the goal. Definitely worth a watch.

Heinemann also excelled in his defensive duties – clearing two crosses from set pieces. No surprise that he  ended up being named NASL’s player of the week.

So while this game will be remembered for Dyego’s goal of the season contender, let’s not forget that the Tommy Lupin TM is back!

Jimmy Maurer

Miami FC were better overall

Jimmy Maurer made eight saves for NY Cosmos. Credit: NY Cosmos

After the game, I kept wondering how Cosmos managed to beat Miami FC. Twitter reminded me of the crucial role Maurer played in the win against a superior Miami FC side. This was a truly heroic performance by Jimmy Maurer. Maurer made 8 saves in the game, which is more than any other keeper in any game this season.

To give you an idea of how important Maurer has been to Cosmos’ 4 points this season, consider this statistic: Maurer has made 16 saves in the first 3 games of the season. In terms of saves made, his nearest competitor is NCFC’s Bryan Sylvestre with 9 saves.

The peak of his performance was around the 18′. First Maurer parried a cross sent across the box by Vincenzo Renella, and then recovered to make a fantastic diving save from Calvin Rezende. As the commentator remarked after the play, “…it was only going to be saved by Maurer.” True dat.

(Note: Ryan Richter’s cross for Cosmos’ first goal was fantastic. The bending cross from overlapping fullbacks is a dying art; as these days full backs tend hit crosses flat along the ground. The shape of that delivery is a must-see for any coach trying to teach their kids how to cross a ball accurately.)

Framinho

A fantastic performance from an experienced NASL veteran. Framinho played a massive part in deciding two games in GW3. Preventing three goals in the Miami v Cosmos game and two goals in the Jacksonville v Edmonton game. El Framinho was in playoff form. Occasionally, veterans can show early season fitness issues, and this proved to be true during both games, as Framinho only showed up for one half in each of those games.

NASL veteran

Framinho going through his warm ups. Credit: Procage

Unfortunately for Miami and Edmonton, it was during the half during which they trying to score on the well-traveled footballing legend.

The sign of a true footballer is his/her ability to use different parts of their body equally well; like Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Framinho falls into this category ; as he used his head and both appendages to prevent multiple goals in those games.

Ambidextrous, consistent, diligent and strong. Never change, Framinho.

 

You can find Nipun and SocTakes on twitter at NipunChopra7 and SocTakes.

 

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Nipun divides his time between his two great loves - neuroscience and soccer. You can find him discussing both of those, as well as regular updates (pupdates) on his wonderful doggo, Octavia on Twitter. Get in touch with feedback/story suggestions at @NipunChopra7 or nipun.chopra@SocTakes.com
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