CHILL COMPLETE SWEEP
Silva adds to his goal totals
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
(Thunder Bay, Ontario) A 5-0 win over WSA Winnipeg on Friday gave Tony Colistro and the Thunder Bay Chill plenty of latitude on Saturday.
Already looking ahead to next weekend’s road trip to Denver for a pair of dates with the Real Colorado Foxes, Colistro, the Chill’s coach, injected new blood into his lineup on Saturday, and though it wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the season opener, it worked.
Sullivan Silva scored the only goal of the contest, converting a Jose Altamirano pass in the 64th minute to secure the 1-0 win at Fort William Stadium, the team’s temporary home with Chapples Park still too wet to play on.
Colistro said he’s still evaluating his roster, hence the wholesale lineup change, that included putting Karl Gouabe in net in place of nine-year veteran Stephen Paterson. Also getting starting nods were Bryce Ziada, Jordian Farahani, Dominic Roberts, Altimirano and Abraham Villon, who was tossed late in the game for collecting his second yellow card of the night.
“It was good to try get players in today,” Colistro said. “Next week we’re going to Colorado and we’re not going to go with a full squad, obviously. We’re probably only going to carry 16 or 17 players to that trip.
“So I did want to see a couple of players in an actual PDL game and was able to do that. I think it’s going to help me make my decision for next week.”
Winnipeg put themselves in an early hole when less than two minutes into the contest defender Omar Amador was given a red card for swatting Roberts on the head near the sidelines, leaving his team shorthanded for most of the contest.
It might have actually helped the Chill’s opponent, Colistro said.
“I think it’s kind of a misconception that when you go down a man it (actually) sometimes helps the team because they become tighter as a unit and they defend harder,” he said. “That’s the game plan that they were playing. I think it made them stronger when they lost a man.
“They were very well composed in the back and it took us awhile. We had some opportunities, but it took us awhile to get the goal.”
It was a full hour, to be exact – and then some.
In the 61st minute Villon was stopped by Winnipeg keeper Tyson Farago in tight. Fernando Alvarez grabbed the rebound, but fired it over the net. Two minutes later Altimirano had his shot stopped by Farago, with Silva’s header sailing out of play.
Missed opportunities were becoming a familiar sight at this point of the game.
“I felt like in the first half we were getting frustrated. We just wanted to go forward and we just kept forcing balls in. In the second half we were patient and finally got the goal and that’s what we needed to get the three points,” said Altimirano, a member of the San Diego State Aztecs who has spent time with the U.S. national under-20 squad.
That goal came a minute later, a pretty three-way passing play started by Alvarez and finished by Silva.
“(Alvarez) played me a great ball through and if was not for that ball, I would not have gotten the assist, so I think Fernando should get part of that assist too,” Altimirano said.
Winnipeg (1-2-3) changed tactics slightly after the goal was scored, and put more pressure on the Chill when Villon was sent off, but couldn’t penetrate deep enough to create real scoring chances and head back to the Manitoba capital having been shut out for the fifth time in six outings.
The Chill (2-0-0) jumped to fourth place in the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division, but hold at least two games in hand on the three teams they’re chasing – Colorado, Springfield and Des Moines.
Chill chatter: Forward Juan Velez’s nickname is the Magic Juan. His full name is Juan Velez Rodriguez … Silva is already in the top 10 in scoring with three goals while Velez, who was kept off the score sheet, is third in the league with three helpers.