The Hydra (2-2-1) take on the Western Mass. Pioneers (1-2-1) Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium without leading scorer Alencar Junior.
Junior was given a red card in the 43rd minute of Sunday’s game vs. the GPS Portland Phoenix and will not play Wednesday night. He has scored all four of the Hydra’s goals this season.
“It’s not all about one player,” Worcester head coach Elvis Comrie said. “Everyone has to step up, everyone has to develop a mindset that if he’s given an opportunity, to not be afraid to shoot on goal.”
Junior has taken 19 shots this season, and the person with the next most has only taken seven shots (Michael Soboff). Comrie said that any player on the team, regardless of how new he might be to the team, can step up in place of Junior.
“There’s 11 players that play the game, so any given player has the capability of scoring a goal,” Comrie said. “It’s just being at the right place at the right time.”
Forwards Charlie Rugg and Thomas McNamara made their team debuts on Sunday. Without Junior in the lineup, players like them and Eboy Badgie may see added time on the field.
Offense, to Comrie, is going to be key, but one of the bigger aspects of the game is controlling the ball.
“The most important thing is we play good football, we try to keep possession of the ball and dictate the tempo of the game, and we’ll create our chances,” he said. “Then it’s a question if we execute or not.”
Comrie said that the Hydra turned the ball over a lot in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to GPS Portland, which led to the Phoenix controlling the game and preventing the Hydra from getting on the board. Worcester only took one shot in the second half.
“We want to keep things compact, make sure they have a better understanding of what we’re supposed to do,” Comrie said. “We’ll defend first and manufacture our opportunities based on what is given to us and what we develop and what we create on our own.”
The Hydra played their last game without Colin Murphy, Taylor Washington and Russell Guidici and are still in the process of gelling new players into the lineup.
“The players that are here today are going to play because we’ll be missing quite a few to work commitments,” Comrie said, “and so like anything else we’ll get back to the basic fundamentals in terms of the defensive shape that we want to apply and we want to integrate and expedite the learning curve as quickly as possible for the new players.”