A fun fact about the group of writers we have here at Cityofchampions is we’re all avid soccer fans, (some more than others, get it together Trev). Anyway Trev and myself support Fenway Sports Group’s own Liverpool, new writer Jack supports Manchester United, (first blog up soon should be a good one), and other new writer Kevin, if he ever starts, is your typical Arsenal fan, pessimistic and suicidal. As we all go to different schools all over now that we’re in college, soccer is something that keeps us close and allows us to always be in contact, whether that be chatting about potential transfers or bickering over whatever, it’s good for the relationships. Alright back to the game, Liverpool kicked off their 2019 preseason playing Tranmere Rovers, a league one side, the third division of English soccer. Liverpool, being reigning Champions League winners, a fact I don’t let the others live down, were expected to win and quite heavily. Successfully doing so Liverpool won 6-0 and allotted plenty of game time for the younger kids of the youth academy. With most of Liverpool’s main squad either on vacation or playing in their respective countries tournament it allowed the youngsters to take up most of the squad. Which is always a plus seeing the hopeful future Liverpool first teamers competing to land a spot on the Liverpool US tour with the big guns.
Overall I only have a few points to touch on in the game mostly because 22 different players touched the pitch and it would be just too much to talk about over the first preseason game. From the 1′ all the way to the 90th’, the Liverpool squad played a completely professional game full of one or two touch build up play and completely outclassed the Tranmere side. I have 3 players that I want to touch on apart from the obvious ones of Fabinho, Milner, and Divock Origi. Quickly, Milner dominated the midfield in the first half, Fabinho dominated the midfield in the second half and Origi scored a wonderful goal by bringing down a Joel Matip through ball sublimely and tucking it under the Tranmere goalie. Onto the 3 who most impressed me, Rhian Brewster, Adam Lewis and Ki-Jana Hoever.
Brewster came into this preseason with a chip on his shoulder after being involved in the Liverpool squad who won the Champions League, and more importantly came in with something to prove. Brewster is Liverpool’s golden boy, hoping to catch the eye of manager Jurgen Klopp in order to field some first team minutes. After coming back from a horrific ankle injury that kept him out 13 months and had him contemplating quitting football all together, Brewster played his first competitive game and scored a brace, (2 goals). Although playing in the number 10 spot at center forward, he was not shy to make his presence known on the wings, running off the defender’s shoulders. I was incredibly impressed by not only his finishing but his hold up play and build up play as well. I hope to see more Rhian Brewster for years to come.
Adam Lewis was a name I had not heard of before tuning into this game. But God Damn did he remind me of Andy Robertson at the left back position. Obviously the kid is young and is not ready for Premier League football like Brewster, but you can tell who this kid studies in his free time. Everything he did reminded my of Robbo, the way he moved, the way he pressed and the way he did not stop running for the entire 45 minutes that he was on. Not to mention the countless dangerous balls he played into the box. He could be one to watch for Jurgen Klopp’s future left back position.
And finally Ki-Jana Hoever. If you watched Liverpool last year you would know that Hoever was the youngest ever play to be capped by Liverpool when he came on very early for a limping Dejan Loveren in an FA cup match against Wolverhampton. Yes the same match that saw Liverpool eliminated. In that game you could tell the obvious naivety of the young Dutch international, and how could you blame him he was only 16 at the time playing against full grown men. From what I could tell, Hoever remembered that too and felt he maybe had to grow up a little bit. And grow up he did, had to be measuring in at 6’3, 6’4 and looked physically big too. Although he grew up he didn’t lose his pace, as he was flying up and down that right wing even leading to a wonderful solo assist. His touches and long passes were extraordinary today and I hope to one day see the Great Wall of Holland, between him and Sepp Van Den Berg, command the defense.
Hope to see you Sunday as Liverpool play Bradford City in another friendly, Catch Ya Then!