In FC Cincinnati’s 2-0 loss to Colorado on Saturday, Alvaro Barreal didn't shy down to the goaltending of William Yarbrough.
It started in the 34th minute. Barreal secured a pass from Luciano Acosta, kicked it once in front of him and then fired a shot off his left foot. The ball caught air as it curved its way towards the goal, until it was blocked.
Then again, in the 51st minute, Barreal made his way up to scoring position with time to think before Colorado defenders bombarded his view of the goal. He took the shot for himself, but the Colorado defense made the block.
Finally, in the 89th minute, Barreal headed a ball towards the crossbar in a final attempt to avoid a shut out on FCC's home field. Fans held their breath, until Yarbrough ricocheted this one over the goal.
Those kind of opportunities are the ones head coach Jaap Stam has continuously looked back on in his teams' recent struggles.
“Alvaro got into positions where he could’ve scored goals, around the post and around the crossbar. He had that one chance, he got inside, had two shots and that’s the moment in the rebound maybe instead of taking it himself, on the left side, I think it was Brenner, was open wide,” Stam said on Monday at Mercy Health Training Center. “It’s just a simple tap in front of him and then maybe Brenner could have finished it off and it’s a goal.”
“These are things that the players in motion think ‘OK, I get the opportunity myself I need to react quick.' Can you then still have the composure to instead of take it yourself, to play it to somebody else who maybe is in a better position?" Stam continued. "That can make a difference."
Barreal tallied a FCC career-high six shots against Colorado. On the season, he leads the team in shots (14), shots on target (5) and went down in history for scoring the first ever FCC goal in TQL Stadium on May 16.
“I didn’t really play to the standard that I thought I could play,” Barreal said of his performance on Saturday. “Of those six (shots), I thought I could have scored at least one or two goals...It wasn’t up to what I know I can do.”
But it wasn't just Barreal who was finding shots with no ending. Colorado's defense shut down 22 FCC shots and Yarbrough stopped the seven that were on target.
“It’s harder obviously, the Colorado defense played with a line of five at the back and they closed it off very well,” Barreal said. “We didn’t do as well finishing as we know we can so hopefully moving forward in the future we can take advantage of those opportunities and get those goals.”
Barreal has started in six of his seven game appearances this season for FC Cincinnati. Stam said he sees Barreal getting more comfortable but he also has some things, such as game-time decision making, that he would like to see change in the 20-year-old.
“Alvaro is getting more and more comfortable in what he needs to do,” Stam said. “He’s getting more and more effective, he’s getting a bigger impact and there’s still certain things that I want him to do different.”
Barreal and FCC will travel to Chicago on Tuesday after training. They will play Chicago Fire FC on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Barreal is looking to close the unifinished business the team left on Saturday.
“I didn’t play up to that standard but I think it goes back to finishing,” Barreal said. “The attack wasn’t so lucky on that and on Wednesday focusing on that thing (finishing) will get us to a good spot.”