A-League mid-season report: Adelaide United

-

Although they started the season inconsistently, Adelaide United have hit their stride and reached the halfway mark on a six-game winning streak. 

A gripping match with top of the table Central Coast Mariners ultimately brought an end to the Reds’ winning run, however they’ll be happy with their season to date.

Mid-season summary

Coming off a season where they missed the finals, the Reds have improved drastically under head coach Carl Veart. 

Adelaide currently sit in second place on the A-League ladder despite losing several elite players to injury.

Tomi Juric, Michael Jakobsen, Mohammed Toure and Ryan Strain have all missed multiple games across the campaign.

Fortunately for United, younger stars like Kusini Yengi, George Timotheou and Josh Cavallo have served as excellent replacements for their injured teammates.

Embed from Getty Images

Considering the squad’s outstanding depth, the Reds are emerging as one of the league’s biggest title threats. 

 

Area of excellence

Attacking proficiency. 

Although they have been without star strikers, Juric and Toure for many games this season, Adelaide have still been excellent in front of goals. 

Along with the emergence of Yengi, Craig Goodwin’s arrival has lifted the Reds in attack. 

The Adelaide fan favourite has scored four goals and given off four assists since returning from Saudi Arabia. 

Embed from Getty Images

At the moment, United are equal second for the most goals scored by a team this season with 25. 

They also have the league’s second-highest shot conversion rate (21%) and only trail behind Perth Glory at 25%.

If Adelaide can continue their offensive dominance, teams will struggle to contain United’s rapid forwards for the remainder of the campaign. 

 

Area of improvement

Passing. 

While the Reds have been clinical in front of goal, they have not been as efficient passing the ball. 

As it stands, Adelaide’s 79% pass completion rating ranks them tenth among other sides. 

Including the low completion rating, the Reds sit eighth in completed passes with 5,700.

Despite these stats, the recent signing of Spanish maestro Juande might improve United’s ball distribution heading into the second half of the season. 

Embed from Getty Images

Adelaide is already playing outstanding football, but an improved passing game could elevate their game to the next level.  

 

Mid-season MVP

Stefan Mauk.

A home-town hero, Mauk’s first season as United’s captain has been remarkable. 

Even though he has missed two games, Mauk has hit the back of the net six times and is the A-League’s highest-scoring midfielder. 

Embed from Getty Images

Along with his attacking prowess, the skipper’s ruthless pursuit of the ball and ability to dispossess opponents in midfield helps his side control the middle of the park. 

Based on his ability and leadership qualities, Mauk has the potential to guide the Reds to their first championship in five years if he can build on his superb form. 

 

Rising star

Kusini Yengi.  

Although it was less than ideal for the Reds to lose Juric and Toure to injuries, Yengi has taken the opportunity to join the starting 11 with both hands. 

Since breaking onto the scene, he has scored three goals for the Reds and collected an assist. 

Embed from Getty Images

The young forward’s combination of strength and speed is difficult for defenders to close down, giving Adelaide the x-factor they need in the final third.  

Whether he continues to be a starter or comes off the bench when the other strikers return, Yengi’s lethal skillset gives United the attacking depth they need to contend for a title.  

Grade 

A

 

Outlook

Under the guidance of Veart, the Reds have positioned themselves to challenge for an A-League Premiership for the first time since 2016. 

Focusing on local talent has helped the side build a warm club culture and bond with their fans. 

Due to this sense of unity, Adelaide has become a juggernaut at home this season, winning five of their six games at Coopers Stadium. 

While they are still a young side, if United can improve their passing and maintain an excellent record at Coopers, the A-League Championship is well within their reach. 

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Corica unhappy with Sydney giving away points

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica says he is frustrated with his team’s inability to see out games after his team conceded two late...

Bulls need to focus on themselves says Milicic

Macarthur FC boss Ante Milicic says his team needs to focus on themselves for the remainder of the season. The month of April was the...
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.
Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required