The key to the New Orleans Jesters’ season this summer has been their ability to start matches fast and finish just as fast.
It’s a way of winning they hope will continue with Sunday’s international exhibition match against the Monterrey Rayados at Pan American Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Why the winning ways?
Rummel graduate Adamandios Toras said it’s the Jesters’ work ethic. Working hard every day at practice. Being there on time. Starting training off hard, from the first day. Treating it like a game situation.
“Everybody has brought that to the table, from our defense to our attackers,” Toras said. “Playing with a higher competition during training benefits everyone. It makes everyone a better player.”
The Jesters start the playoffs Friday versus Atlanta.
It’s not that the Jesters didn’t enjoy solid work habits in the past. It’s just that these habits have improved, with teammates pushing each other to succeed at an even higher level.
Such efforts have allowed the Jesters to stay undefeated this season at Pan American Stadium. Efforts from Reece Wilson to Phil Dean, the defense to goalie Andrew Tarbell have allowed the Jesters (6-2-2) to tie Chattanooga FC (6-1-2) with 20 points in the Southeast Conference of the National Premier Soccer League.
“The first 15 minutes (of the match) are very important for us to be successful on Sunday,” Toras said. “Our first tackle, our first pass, our shot all must be on target. We need to be consistent.”
The Jesters, though, are coming off one of their few setbacks of 2014.
On June 28, the Jesters lost 3-0 to Chattanooga FC in a match which would have placed them ahead in the race for the division title.
On May 31, the Jesters rallied twice from one-goal deficits to beat Chattanooga 3-2 at home.