Cavalier FC – Match Report Vs. Violette AC (15/05/2022)

Cavalier fell 3-2 to Violette in the Caribbean Club Championship action. The Jamaican side’s starting lineup featured plenty of young talent, with every single starter being 23 or younger. But the excitement of this was undercut by their very negative tactics, lining up in a sort of 3-4-3 formation. Cavalier struggled to string passes together and Violette controlled most of the play. Nevertheless, a few Cavalier players showed some potential. 

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher 
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher 
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level 
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level 
  • C – Average for level, re-watch 
  • D – Below average in this match

Christopher Pearson

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Jamaican 
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 01/01/2003
  • Current Club: Cavalier FC
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder 
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Christopher Pearson showed some strong technical skills in this match but struggled a little bit with the physical side of the game. He played in a fairly fluid role, starting on the left side of a front three and at various times popping up on the right, as an out and out striker, and as a deeper-lying playmaker.

He got off to a very strong start with a great pass in behind to Ronaldo Webster to give Cavalier an early lead. He also showed some great deliveries from set-pieces. He was able to weigh his corner and free-kick deliveries very well and created some decent chances for his teammates. He showed some good dribbling, on multiple occasions, and he was able to turn past players in tight spaces on a couple of occasions. But Pearson ran into trouble with the physical side of the game. He is very tall so you would not necessarily expect him to have a hard time in physical battles but he got muscled off the ball a lot. He also looked a bit awkward when trying to change direction, and didn’t seem to be that fast. The combination of these things meant when the ball was bouncing or not played perfectly to his feet (which was usually the case because Cavalier really struggled to get passing moves going) he had a hard time getting the ball under control.

I also thought he could have done a better job of making himself available to receive the ball with his off-the-ball movement. With the ball, Pearson was always trying to play a killer ball, which was a bit of a double-edged sword. It lead to Cavalier’s first goal but there were also sometimes when he tried to force things too much. I think that was partly down to Cavalier not having many attacking opportunities, leading to a bit of frustration for their attacking players. 

Rating A2

Pearson’s game is a bit rough around the edges but he showed some good play in difficult circumstances. He would probably benefit from getting to play with more technical players. But I am a bit concerned about his ability to handle the physical side of the game, I think that might hold him back from reaching really high levels of the game. 

Dwayne Atkinson

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 20/05/2002
  • Current club: Cavalier 
  • Position: Striker 
  • Secondary position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Dwayne Atkinson started as the center-forward for Cavalier but he swapped positions with the other members of the front three quite a bit. Atkinson did a lot of thankless work in this match. Cavalier were sitting deep, struggling to build out of the back, and as such Atkinson was mostly doing defensive work. To his credit, he defended very well. He made quite a lot of defensive interventions and won the ball back quite a lot. He defended quite intelligently, it seemed like when he pressured the ball he was always forcing opponents into bad positions and not just blindly chasing the ball.

He also showed a little bit of skill with the ball at his feet. He was able to round the Violette keeper with a burst of pace, and he pulled off a nice nutmeg. He created a few chances as well. He hooked a dangerous cross into the box that his teammate fired over the bar, and he played a nice through ball into the box that nobody was able to do anything with. But he really struggled to pass out of tight spaces, often getting the weight of his pass wrong or just missing his target altogether. His first touch was also not the best. A few times he lost the ball because he could not get the ball to sit down in time and he was swamped by Violette defenders. This meant that he really struggled in central areas of the pitch. Atkinson is not a very big guy but he managed to stand up to physical confrontations reasonably well. He is also reasonably quick. 

Rating: A2

Atkinson created a couple of decent chances for teammates in a game where his team could hardly string a passing move together. He has a little bit of skill and some decent physical traits. But I think his poor passing and below-average first touch will hold him back. The higher level he plays at is a lot more likely to be the USL than it is MLS or Liga MX.

Ronaldo Webster

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 04/06/2001
  • Current Club: Cavalier 
  • Position: Centre Midfielder 
  • Secondary Position: Left Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Ronaldo Webster’s exact position in this match was a bit hard to nail down. He started out in a sort of box-to-box midfielder role but then seemed to end up as a left-winger. Truly, he was not that involved in this match, despite scoring two goals. Cavalier did not have a lot of the ball and when they did they often bypassed the midfield. But despite this Webster managed two goals and a couple of other dangerous moments.

Webster showed good pace on both of his goals. On the first, he was able to get in behind the Violette defence. On the second goal, he played an outlet pass to Kenroy Campbell and then sprinted half of the field to get in the box and head home his second of the game. He got into the box quite a lot and showed good movement to get free. Aside from his goals he also had two chances that were set up by Atkinson, one of which was cleared off the line and one of which he volleyed over the bar. He also had a couple of other decent outlet passes and some good dribbles.

But it was not all sunshine and rainbows. As I mentioned, he did not see a lot of the ball. To a certain extent, this can be blamed on Cavalier’s poor play as a team but some of the blame also has to fall on Webster for not getting more involved in the game. His delivery on crosses was also not the best. Often overhit or just aimlessly lumped into the box. 

Rating: A2

I am a little skeptical of Webster’s long-term potential because he is not that productive in domestic football but this was a pretty decent performance overall. I don’t think he’ll go super far. He suffers from not being that involved in the play and not having a clear best position. But he’s got a bit of skill and someone can definitely find a use for a midfielder that can regularly turn in performances like this. I don’t think he will ever play for one of the top teams in North America but a decent career in USL or Central America is doable for him.  

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