Film Study: Matt Moore’s physical dodging

By Adam Lamberti | Jun 29, 2022

When Matt Moore fell to the Archers in the first round of this year’s college draft, it seemed to be a no-brainer. His versatile skill set would allow him to be played in a multitude of ways alongside Tom Schreiber, Grant Ament, and the rest of the offense. Not to mention, his championship pedigree could help the Archers get over the hump and raise the crown in 2022 after disappointing playoff exits the past few seasons.

So it shouldn't be a huge shock that through four games, Moore is third on the Archers in points with 13, only behind perennial All-Stars Will Manny and Schreiber. After not registering a point in his season debut starting at attack, Moore has found his role coming out of the box with the Archers, scoring three goals in each of the next three games. 

But it’s the way that Moore’s doing it that's so impressive. While Moore can beat defenders with elite feet and slippery dodging, he’s also bullying veteran short-stick defensive midfielders like he did in college. And these aren’t any normal SSDM’s - the defenders in the clips below are 2021 George Boiardi Hard Hat SSDM of the Year Danny Logan (Atlas LC) and second-team All-Pro Zach Goodrich (Cannons LC).

Like against Utah in 2021, when Moore would get a short-stick matchup in college, he dodged at his own pace and muscled his way to the middle of the field and shot through the contact. In 2022, he’s doing the same thing, only this time it’s against the reigning SSDM of the year. 

He can also do it from the other side of the field. When Moore starts sweeping to his right hand, watch out. Not only can he just run right by you and score down the alley - he can pull-up and shoot through you, a seemingly impossible move to defend for SSDM’s.

Moore’s ability to create his own shot was why the Archers valued Moore so highly in the draft - they shot only 25.6% on unassisted shots in 2021. With Moore’s eight of nine goals being unassisted this season, that number has vaulted to 34.3%, highest in the league. We knew Moore had the athleticism to separate from defenders with quick bursts, but if he’s already figuring out how to out-physical All-Pro short-stick defensive midfielders on dodges as well, it’s just a matter of time before he’s a repeat All-Pro himself.