John Miglarese paced the sideline with his arms crossed in front of his chest. Beyond an occasional hair stroke, the head coach’s arms stayed in place.
He looked frustrated, knowing there wasn't much he could do to stop the damage that was taking place 40 yards away. It wasn’t like his team wasn’t trying or that his opponent was superior.
Instead, it was just one of those nights for Miglarese and Tormenta FC where nothing went their way, resulting in a 2-1 loss, their second straight in the young USL League One season.
Shots from Marco Micaletto hit the side of the net. Calls never seemed to go the home team’s way. A volley from Fort Lauderdale CF sailed over goalkeeper Pablo Jara’s head for a goal.
“The reality is that we came out very flat and laggy in the first half,” Miglarese said. “I think you can see the compressed schedule, limited roster caught up with us in the first half. We struggled to get going.”
The first true chance for either squad came in the 11th minute. Tormenta fouled a Fort Lauderdale player just outside the box. Sami Guediri sent the ball to the net, but it was deflected.
Tormenta’s strategy in the first half seemed to be waiting for the home run pass over the top. Micaletto or Devyn Jambga would chip the ball forward and hope for a teammate to beat his defender.
That never happened.
“We looked very tired, however we have to be able to persevere,” Miglarase said.
Fort Lauderdale and Tormenta exchanged yellow cards, but no real opportunities arose, even after a few free kicks within range.
The lone goal of the first half came just before half.
Tormenta was pressed up and was looking for a call as one of their players fell to the turf. Instead of waiting around for a call that would never come, Fort Lauderdale played the advantage and weaved down the field where 16-year-old Edison Azcona maneuvered the ball past Jara.
“1-nil down when I came on and we needed some energy. That’s what I look to bring,” Tormenta midfielder Mikie Rowe said. “Halftime it was a case of getting more bodies forward and just getting after them.”
The home team came out much more aggressive and sharper in the second half, with smarter shots and more of them.
But the theme of an off night continued with balls hitting the cross or a player being just offsides.
In the 76th minute, Fort Lauderdale’s Ricky Lopez-Espin sent a volley from midfield into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
“(We) came out in the second half much improved and we had chances,” Miglarese said. “Credit to (Fort Lauderdale) they had a shot from 50 yards out and hats off.”
In stoppage time, Tormenta finally broke through via a Rowe cross, making it the fourth straight year Rowe has scored for Tormenta.
More chances came in stoppage time, but Dylan Castanheira kept any scores from getting in.
Now, Tormenta finds itself in fourth place in the USL League One standings. They’ll head to Madison, Wisconsin Friday night, looking to put the past two matches behind them.
“Luckily I got my first goal of the season, but unfortunately it doesn’t mean much tonight because we didn't get anything out of the game,” Rowe said. “I love playing here. I’ve been here four years and I want to see us go up the table.”