A-League Women mid-season report card: Adelaide United

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As we reach the midway point of the A-League Women season, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly for Adelaide United.

Semester summary: Adelaide United came into this season with high expectations after narrowly missing out on a maiden finals berth last season. 

And so far, United has been the definition of “middle of the road.” 

The Reds find themselves in the middle of the table in sixth place with two wins and two losses. 

They’ve had big wins (4-2 vs Perth Glory) and they’ve had big losses (5-1 vs Melbourne Victory).  

It’s been a mixed bag so far this season. But the positives are they find themselves only one game out of finals contention, but on the flip side they’re only one game out of the bottom three. 

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Areas of excellence: Finishing 

When put in a position to score, Adelaide has found the back of the net more times than not. 

No game highlights this more than their four goals from seven shots on target against Glory, and Chelsie Dawber has been the spearhead of this attacking efficiency. 

Dawber currently sits in third place on the top-scorers table with three goals from her four games. Whilst Emily Condon has two goals to her name, primarily due to her set-piece skills. 

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Areas in need of improvement: Defence, defence, defence 

With no clean sheets to their name and conceding on average 2.75 goals per game, Adrian Stenta’s defence must be sewed up. 

United’s defensive woes have made every game this season tough. Even when they put four past Perth, they were still in a dog fight for the majority of the second half when the match was tied at 2-2.  

The Reds defence must be tightened up, otherwise displays such as their 5-1 defeat to Victory and their 3-1 defeat to City may become a recurring theme.  

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Top student: Emily Condon 

In her ninth season with the club, Condon has taken her game to another level this season. 

Condon is undeniably one of the most talented midfielders in the competition, yet she is criminally underrated. 

Condon can do it all, she can play with both feet, she’s always composed and she has two goals (one being a candidate for goal of the season) and an assist to her name in four appearances. 

Condon is an integral part of this United team and will have to be one of the focal points going forward. 

Needs improvement: Nanako Sasaki 

Sasaki was a new signing for the Reds this season to provide composure and balance to their midfield. 

Sasaki has shown her ability when she has the ball and has displayed high levels of composure, exactly what she was brought in to do. However, as a defensive midfielder she lacks presence in her own half which has added to United’s woes at the back this season. 

If Sasaki can add some more defensive awareness to her game, it will go a long way in helping Adelaide reach new heights this season. 

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Grade: C+ 

Outlook: They’re middle of the road.  

The Reds are in touching distance of both ends of the table, but the main thing is that they are still in the finals hunt.  

A tightened-up defence will propel this team straight into the top four and gift them their maiden finals campaign. 

The world is at the Reds’ feet, it’s now time for them to take it and run.

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta 

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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