Saturday Q&A: Steinberger, Suspension, Stadium

By Logan Alexander

Scott Cushnir (@jaguarmada) – Q: Forgot to ask this but did the club appeal Lowry’s suspension?

After the match in New York that Mark Lowry was sent off of the field, Lowry and Nathan Walter both were speaking of the incident and how they were going to for sure file an appeal. Obviously, if an appeal was won Lowry would have been available to be on the touchline against Indy Eleven. In fact it was Walter who coached the side to a 1-1 draw last Saturday evening. I asked the manager if they had lost the appeal and he replied that they did not even file one, as it would have been a waste of time and a one game suspension was no big deal. Lowry will return tonight to lead the side against New York Cosmos, in which he declared we would win 2-0.

Stewart Morris (@ear33wig) – Q: Hypothetical new owner decides to build a stadium too. Downtown or in the burbs? (Southside or other area)

If i’m being totally honest, I prefer playing in the suburbs, around the area of UNF. The location is central, there is a vibrant social aspect about the Town Center, and it is an easy place to access. Though, as we have seen in soccer culture in this country, teams that operate in suburbs or outside of their respective city have struggled. Chicago, Dallas, and New England are three examples from MLS that do not boast great attendances in the league.

FC Dallas operate out of Frisco, Texas which is about a 40 minute commute from downtown Dallas. Arguably the best team in MLS, Dallas have only averaged just shy of 16k fans a match. This number is 18th in the league and they struggle due to their location away from Dallas. Likewise, New England Revolution play in Foxborough, Massachusetts, a 55 minute trip from Boston and they only average 13.3k a match, last in the league. Lastly, Chicago Fire play their home matches 35 minutes from the city of Chicago and the average attendance in 2017 is 15.3k.

If you compare teams that play in the suburbs with teams that play in the metro area of their respective cities, metro clubs succeed far more, substantially. Orlando City consistently sell out and average 25k a match. Seattle average 43k. Atlanta average 49k. All three of these teams play in the heart of their city and are 4th, 2nd, and 1st in attendance in MLS this year.Even considering Indianapolis in the NASL and Cincinnati in the USL, these two are also examples of successful franchises within the structure and system.

I think Jacksonville would be better off building a stadium downtown. Attendance and getting people out to the ground is the most important aspect to any club. Playing in the metro area of the city makes a huge difference and would affect attendance positively and I think it would be more of a success for the Jacksonville soccer scene to operate downtown and close to the ties of the city.

Josh (@Duval_Doge) – Q: What happened to last season’s Steinberger?

I think the situation we are in is a pretty awkward one. Our two wingers are in fact attacking minded midfielders and they are the best options on the wing at the moment. Charles Eloundou has just returned to fitness and Danny Barrow/Jemal Johnson have not seen much game time action this year. With J.C. Banks scoring goals and Zach Steinberger also finding the net once against Edmonton, the team in hand is also riding in first place in the league. There is no need to change the system according to Mark Lowry, therefore the formation will stay the same.

Though I do not think that this favors Zach Steinberger’s best interests. The player came into the squad last year and made a mark with four goals and four assists at the tail end of last year’s season while playing attacking midfield. I think Steinberger is better suited playing CAM, and we won’t see the form of last year unless he returns to his primary position. Zach can play anywhere on the field but he is not as free and utilized while on the right wing, which has been a discouragement this year. I firmly believe it is just the position where he is being deployed that is holding him back this year. Like mentioned before, we are first place, and even though Steinberger isn’t as breakout as last year, he is still handling his business away from his comfort zone.

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