Despite opening the season with two victories, the players and coaches at Örebro say they know they can do better.
by Chipp Reid
It wasn’t the pretty kind of win Örebro wants to give its fans, but a win is a win.
U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya scored the lone goal of the match as Örebro knocked off newcomers Syrianska 1-0 in its home opener April 8 at the Behrn Arena. Bedoya, a New Jersey native and Boston University product, struck at the 62-minute mark in a match which Örebro dominated but could not turn into goals.
“We can be a lot better,” said OSK goalkeeper John Alvbåge. “We came close a lot of times, but we had problems creating true scoring chances. It felt like everyone was waiting for someone to score but when we did, it was worth the wait.”
Despite problems with its new offensive line, which features three new starters in Andreas Haddad, Valdet Rama and Markus Astvald, Örebro has come out the gate hot, winning its first two matches of the season by 1-0 scores. A victory April 9 came as Bedoya scored on a half-volley from 16 yards, blasting the ball past Syrianska and Jamaica national goalkeeper Dwayne Miller. After the game, the American gushed, saying he thought OSK was “the best team in Sweden.”
“We did not play particularly well against Gӧteborg or today against Syrianska attack-wise,” he said. “Once we get all the team playing 100 percent and we get our attacking game in sync, I think we’re the best team in Sweden and have a great chance to win a goal medal."
However, Alvbåge and head coach Sixten Boström were a bit more objective.
“As long as they stand up to their talk,” Boström said. “If you want to be the top team you have to have the best player in every position. You can’t have fourth- and fifth- and sixth- best players and still talk about a championship.”
Alvbåge wasn’t quite so circumspect in his opinions. The two wins are good, he said, but he said he knows Örebro can play a better brand of football than it displayed against Gӧteborg in its season opener or Syrianska in its home opener.
“When we came in from the wing, we were dangerous, but we can still do much better,” Alvbåge said. “Of course, if we did everything perfect then we would have nothing to do in practice.”
Örebro has 10 days to train before its next match. Boström said the team would spend much of that time working with its new front line, which features three new starters.
“Our main issue is that it takes a while before all the players get into the system. We scored a lot in preseason,” Boström said. “Now we have some time to work with them. They were much better against Syrianska than against Gӧteborg. It’s not really that big of a problem because the two teams we have met so far in the league, they were concentrating on defense because they know how we play. They dropped down with their whole teams.”
Boström also said he was pleased with how his players reacted to their season-opening winning streak.
“Even though we win, the players are not so satisfied,” he said. “They know we can do better. It’s a very positive thing—then they’re more concerned about how we play than in just the results. We know we can do a lot better.”