Every A-League round, we hand out our FTBL awards for the brilliant, bad and bizarre moments each week. In round 18, a defender showed of his attacking capabilities, one team continued to struggle in front of goal, whilst another can't seem to catch a break.
The Flying Fullback Award
Scott Galloway is in some form for runaway leaders Melbourne City at the moment.
It was a wonderful week for the right-back, who set up two Jamie Maclaren strikes on Wednesday against Perth before netting the winner against the Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
That's was outstanding from Scott Galloway.— Dean Rosario (@DeanRosario) May 9, 2021
The ex-Adelaide man is starting to emulate the form that made him such a favourite of German Marco Kurz at the Reds. He seems to understand what Patrick Kisnorbo expects from his fullbacks.
City's style under Frenchman Erick Mombaerts last season featured the use of inverted fullbacks. Kisnorbo has continued to get significant attacking output from those areas, giving them extra attacking weapons in their hunt for a maiden Premier's Plate.
Galloway is amongst their most in-form players right now. He has taken the opportunity with both hands since Nathaniel Atkinson's injury ruled him out for an extended period.
The Out Of Ideas Award
On Friday night, Adelaide United's encounter against Wellington Phoenix was like watching a replay of their previous game against Western UNited, as they once again failed to threaten their opponents in a 0-0 draw.
Whether opponents are finding a way to stifle Carl Veart's 4-3-3 formation, or the Reds are just out of touch, they seem out of ideas at the moment and have only scored once in their last three games.
This barren run in front of goal has culminated in one win in their last five, with a finals spot now looking far more uncertain than it did a month ago.
The form of attackers Craig Goodwin and Ben Halloran has dropped off significantly, whilst a minor injury has curtailed Kusini Yengi's breakout campaign in recent weeks.
Veart cost us points AGAIN!!! Carrying Juric is costing us points!!— Homee (@Stalag_19) May 7, 2021
Veart needs to change something, whether through personnel or systematically. United are slowly morphing into a dull, slow possession for possession sakes side that poses no real attacking threat.
The When The Chips Are Down Award
Oh, Newcastle, everything was looking so good on Saturday against Sydney until a catastrophic moment of shambolic defending cost you a first win in eleven.
Craig Deans looked on his way to guiding his side to an unlikely win, with a Roy O'Donovan penalty putting them ahead.
However, another bizarre moment defensively saw the Sky Blues gifted an equaliser after Connor O'Toole's clearance ricocheted off Nigel Boogaard for an own goal.
You can't spell Boogaard without OG— Tim K (@tim_j_k) May 8, 2021
The moment summed up the Jets campaign, as they have had good periods in most of their games and played some excellent football.
However, poor finishing and individual errors in defence have cost them the chance to play finals football yet again. The wooden spoon is looking like a real consolation prize right now.
The What's That All About? Award
One of the significant shocks from Perth’s team against Melbourne Victory on Sunday was that Neil Kilkenny was out of the squad entirely.
Hang on. Neil Kilkenny hasn't been selected for the game tomorrow? Wow. Big call.— 𝙅𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙨🇦🇺 (@SznFornaroli) May 8, 2021
The decision sparks a talking point of whether he was being rested or Garcia had dropped the 36-year-old.
You could say he was being rested, given Victory aren’t as strong a side as top-six chasers Western United and Western Sydney, who they face next.
However, to keep your finals hopes alive in a must-win game, you would start a player who is so integral to the way you function as a team?
That would seem the most logical way of looking at it unless the Glory coach was trying to send a message to his star midfielder.
Kilkenny has seemed too slow in possession in recent weeks, often slowing things down too much for the Glory, harming their ability to pose a threat in behind.
Whether by age or performance, he had lost the same energy and desire to win the ball back that made him arguably Perth’s most important when Popovic was in charge.
Garcia’s team selection for Wednesday’s clash against Western United will give us a more definitive answer of where he sits on the midfielder.
Glory face another do or die clash, this time against a direct rival pursuing a place in the top-six.
Garcia even said after the game that Kilkenny's omission and the subsequent inclusion of Luke Bodnar and Callum Timmins in midfield was a part of "looking at options for us going forward".
If Kilkenny doesn’t feature this week, you can be pretty confident he wasn’t rested on Sunday - or that Popa has been on phone as he puts together his Melbourne Victory squad for next season.