In this edition of Fighting Peaches, we spoke with Georgia State men’s soccer head coach Brett Surrency for an exclusive interview Sept. 8. Topics included the Panthers’ fall preseason camp, how the coronavirus pandemic impacted the offseason, preparing the 2020 schedule, the return of All-Sun Belt performers Aris Briggs, Matthew Fearnley, Ross Finnie and Paul Tyson as well as the building of the Georgia State program.
Atlanta United travels south to face hosting Inter Miami CF in Major League Soccer (MLS) play on Wednesday night at Inter Miami CF Stadium. The contest was previously scheduled for Aug. 26 but was postponed to both teams protesting social injustice and not participating in the match.
Miami (1-6-2, five points) earned a 0-0 scoreless draw in its last contest at home against Nashville SC Sept. 6. It was the third-consecutive contest Miami didn’t score a goal.
“Without a doubt not being able to score a goal was a big factor for us directly not only with the result but our confidence,” Miami manager Diego Alonso said following the contest. “I think if we’re able to score we gain more confidence, play better and win with points creating more chances.”
The Nashville match was also the team and MLS debut of French international and World Cup-winning midfielder Blaise Matuidi for Miami.
“I feel like he (Matuidi) had a great game despite having only a few training sessions with the team,” Alonso said. “He really showed his quality, his intelligence to help the team play better. I think with time he will adapt and help us take a step forward and grow.”
Atlanta (3-4-2, 11 points) drew 1-1 at Orlando City SC Sept. 5 in its last contest with a header goal by Adam Jahn in second half stoppage time earning the point.
“The first half we gave the ball way too many times in our own half and gave ourselves problems,” Atlanta interim manager Stephen Glass said. “We were down 1-0 at halftime but had the resolve to come back and push it in the second half which showed the belief in the group.”
Atlanta and Miami had a 0-0 scoreless draw in their last match Sept. 2.
“In terms of what we need to do better against Miami, the thing you saw in the second half against Orlando was the speed that we moved the ball and played like the game was on the line,” Glass said. “We need to start like that with a real determination and if we can get on top early, that’s what we’re looking for. We know Matuidi is a top-level player. He’s box-to-box, can handle the ball really well and has an energy when he presses the ball.”