W-League mid-season report: Adelaide United

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Having never made a W-League finals series, Adelaide United are on the brink of history at the halfway mark of the 2020/21 campaign. 

Midseason summary:  Before having their three-game win streak snapped last weekend, the Reds were on a roll and playing like genuine final contenders. 

Currently sitting fourth on the W-League ladder, Adelaide remains in a finals spot but must regain the momentum they previously had if they want to secure their first post-season appearance. 

Area of strength: Defending under pressure. 

Since their opening game of the season, Adelaide has only conceded three goals in four games. 

Considering the amount of pressure the United back-four has been under this campaign, this is a very formidable defensive record. 

Although many teams have specifically targeted her side of the ground this season, full-back Isabel Hodgson has stood tall, winning 87.5 per cent of her tackle attempts and intercepting 15 passes. 

When the opposition has gotten past Hodgson on occasion, her fellow starting defenders – Maruschka Waldus, Matilda McNamara and Charlotte Grant – regularly stop them in their tracks. 

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Area for improvement: Finishing.

The Reds are creating many goal scoring opportunities this season but have struggled to convert them. 

Star playmakers, Maria Jose Rojas and Emily Condon, have distributed seven key passes each in the opening five games.

While they have generated chances for their teammates, only one of those key passes resulted in a goal. 

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Other than Condon (87.5 per cent), several of the team’s attackers have a shooting accuracy below 50 per cent. 

Going forward, United must put away solid chances more often if they want to break their finals drought. 

Mid-season MVP: Dylan Holmes.

Is there anything the Reds skipper can not do? Holmes has been exceptional across the entire pitch the season and consistently leads by example. 

Up until this year, Holmes had never scored in the W-League but following a spectacular brace against Melbourne City, people began noticing that she has improved in all areas of her game. 

If Holmes can continue her great run of form, Adelaide will be difficult to stop during the second half of their campaign.

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Best rising talent: Charlotte Grant.

One of the W-League’s brightest youngsters, Grant has become a mainstay in United’s starting 11 this season.

The young fullback’s energy and determination to win the ball have helped Adelaide maintain a solid defensive record. 

Considering how much she has improved over her time in the W-League, do not be surprised if Grant goes on to make the Matildas 2023 World Cup squad.  

Grade: B+

Outlook: If Adelaide can convert more of their goal scoring chances and continue their stellar defensive effort, the Reds will be in a great position to make their first finals series.

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.