Things on campus kicked fully into gear this past weekend with most teams playing a pair of games either in tournaments or non-conference schedule. Let's take a look at how the Dallas guys did.
I finally got a chance to see Woodberry in action as Maryland's game vs UCLA on Friday night was streamed live on ESPN3.com...I came away with very good impressions. Woodberry has certainly bulked up a little bit, though likely could use a bit more muscle but his play is very good. I'd say his best asset is he reads the game very, very well. He's paired next to two freshman on the back line(one of those being Ambrose) and multiple times his solid reading of the game covered up for others mistakes.
He's very good in the air and his passing out of the back is at least acceptable. It's only one performance and I need to see more, but Woodberry looks to be a guy that can come in and compete for playing time in 2013 both at center back and outside back.
Ambrose, Woodberry and Maryland drew 2-2 with UCLA on Friday before crushing Cal 6-0 on Sunday...both started and have started all three matches this season for the Terps. Maryland travels to Boston College for their ACC opener on Friday night.
Baladez had six combined shots in the two matches but obviously no goals. I was lucky enough to catch about half of the Northwestern game and I have to say that I don't see much point to Baladez remaining at USC past this season. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but his teammates were just not good enough in supplying any sort of service to Bradlee who was double-teamed most of the match. The gameplan is pretty clear defending against the Gamecocks which is force the ball wide to players who don't really seem to have enough quality to send good service into Baladez.
The situation for every player in college is different. I think some players are benefited more by staying in college even when they're good enough to come out if they're getting good, competitive games on a good team. A guy like London Woodberry comes to mind. For Baladez, however, there's not a lot of point to staying in college if the games go like they do against Northwestern.
Our boy Danny Garcia notched his third assist of the season, sending in what the UNC website called a perfect cross to senior forward Martin Murphy for the game-winning goal against West Virginia. I've tried to find video of the goal, but can't. Okwuono started and played 90 minutes in the shutout.
Garcia and Okwuono also started the 2-1 victory over Boston University...it's amazing to me that Garcia basically earned a starting spot after one game of his college career and has three assists in three games. Special kid...
UNC plays Virginia Tech on Saturday night in a match that will be streamed on ESPN3.com