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Las Blancas’ First Steps Were Rough

Some takeaways from Tacon’s loss, and some encouraging things that loom

The Captains: Sara Ezquerro, Aurelie Kaci, Malena Ortiz, Thaisa Moreno
Twitter: @CD_Tacon

Saturday’s game against Barcelona was… painful, to say the least. A 9-1 score was not what anyone expected to see. (To be honest, I was expecting it to be 5-1 at the most.) That being said, there were a lot of firsts for the team.

The most obvious first of the day was that it was CD Tacon’s first ever game in the first division. As we all know from past seasons, the team was founded in 2014, just won promotion this past season and was quickly bought by Real Madrid. While I am thrilled to have this team, we are light years behind our competitors and fiercest men’s team rivals. As Om pointed out in his tactical review of the game, we face a rival that has been around since the 80s – which was the inception of the women’s division of football in Spain. This is not going to be an overnight success story. (And if you look close enough, even overnight success stories aren’t actually overnight successes.) We have work to do.

Not only was it our first game as a team, but it was the first game for our most recent signing – Chioma Ubogagu. She is a striker who comes to us from Orlando Pride out of the US’s NWSL. She has played for the Houston Dash (NWSL), as well as Arsenal and the Brisbane Roar in Australia. She reads the ball well and tends to aim for goals that are low and to the far side of the net. Chioma (prounced Chee-oma, for those who may be wondering) is also able to jump back and defend when needed, which is probably why David Aznar had her start as an outside midfielder this game. I was a bit surprised to see her start for the sole reason that she had just come to the team that same week. Notably, neither Thaisa nor Daiane, who signed this off season and played for all of our preseason matches, were in the 18 for Saturday.

It was a first for goals as well! Unfortunately, we had our first own goal (the third goal of the shelling) in the first half of the game. Center back Lucía Suarez just made the wrong move when she intercepted the ball from Barcelona’s Caroline Graham Hansen. Now that we have that first out of the way, I hope we don’t repeat it this season. The other first for goals? Our first goal in the first division! And the first goal of Real Madrid Women’s existence! Sofia Jakobsson scrambled to get the ball and delivered a lovely cross to Jessica Martinez who put it in off a diving header. Barcelona’s keeper didn’t even budge as the ball soared into the back of the net.

Positives aside, there were errors made and David Aznar has plenty to address between now and our next match. Some of you expressed frustration with what you saw on Saturday, and I get it. When you are used to a team that has never been relegated, watching a team that has just been promoted is incredibly tough. We are only ninety minutes into what will be a long season of David facing Goliath and it is important to remember to remain patient. They still have a lot to learn about each other, and about their opponents, and they still need our support. These are our players and they’ve done a lot to get where they are now.

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