07 July 2009

From PDL to EPL: Anton Peterlin signs with Everton Football Club

Ok, so maybe this is one of those true rare Cinderalla stories. Anton Peterlin spent his last season playing in the top flight of – brace for it – US Amateur football!

Yes, I said amateur. Peterlin spent his pitch time for the Ventura County Fusion in southern California. Fusion play in the PDL’s Southwest division and for those still learning about the layers of football in America, the Premier Development League is the nation’s 4th tier of soccer, behind MLS, USL Div 1, and USL Div 2.

In other words, Peterlin was a college kid playing amateur ball a few weeks ago and now, he’ll be training alongside the likes of Arteta, Wolcott, Jagielka, Cahill, and our own Tim Howard.

The interesting thing to me about this move is that it proves that there is no pecking order you have to climb. If you’re showing the skill and have the right coaching (preferably connected coaching), then in football you can leap frog right in to potential stardom. Of course, just because you sign with Everton doesn’t mean you’ll be starting at Goodison Park come August, but nonetheless, you’ll be a helluva lot closer than the rest of us!

By the way, if any EPL sides are looking to sign a 37 year old midfielder, my men’s amateur team plays on Sunday nights in Kennesaw.

Here’s to keeping the dream alive!

Gooch Goes with AC Milan

Who better to take Paolo Maldini's place in central defense at A.C. Milan than America's own Oguchi Onyewu!

Read the full article from Yank's Abroad here.

14 May 2009

Goal.com's MLS Player Of Week 8 is former Silverback, Macoumba Kandji

Reprinted From Goal.com:
Macoumba Kandji has won Goal.com's Major League Soccer player of the week for round eight.

The Senegalese striker dominated the New York Red Bulls' 4-1 drubbing of the San Jose Earthquakes. He won the free kick for the first goal, assisted the next two, and scored the last. All of this, of course, happened in the first half.

“It's Kandji. Really, it's not close,”
said MLS columnist Kyle McCarthy. New York signed Kandji on loan midway through last season, but the 6'4 striker hardly played a part in the Red Bulls' run to the MLS Cup. That didn't deter the club from purchasing the striker outright and partnering him with Juan Pablo Angel in the 2009 season.

“The 23-year-old's performance shows such incredible promise, it will be exciting to see how he develops with the Red Bulls,”
said Bay Area correspondent Jennifer Dawson.
That development might not be too far off. In seven starts he has two goals and three assists.
“His imposing play built on blistering pace and overwhelming power has started manifesting itself in goals for New York,”
said associate editor Zac Lee Rigg.
“Against San Jose he was nearly unplayable. More performances like that is just the tonic Juan Carlos Osorio needs for peaceful nights' rest.”

Teammate Jorge Rojas come in at second place in the voting. The Venezuelan playmaker was deployed on the left side of the midfield against San Jose, but didn't let that keep him from chances at goal. Rojas scored the first free kick and found himself in the right place to tap in a Kandji cross for the second.
“In search of a much needed victory, Rojas was the spark plug to New York's success on the night, contributing two goals, and causing San Jose trouble all through the night,”
said D.C. correspondent Steven Streff.

05 May 2009

Man Utd. Is Through to the Champions League Final in Emphatic Fashion

It was always going to be an uphill battle for Arsenal, coming in to the second leg – even at The Emirates - a goal down.

And as Arsen Wenger aptly pointed out in the post match interview, the game was over in 11 minutes really as Park and Ronaldo notched one a piece for the Red Devils.

But for my money, the moment of the match was goal three. Pay attention to this one kids, Manchester United’s counter attack goal against Arsenal was among the best you’ll ever see.

Speed, passing to the correct foot in stride, quick touches, and solid finish – Ronaldo, Park, and Rooney combined to cover at least 80 yards in under 10 seconds for a positively picture perfect counter attacking goal.

Observe and learn:

What the hell was Joey Barton thinking?

My guess is, like many thinks related to Joey Barton, is that he wasn’t thinking.

His reckless lunging tackle which sent Xabi Alonso out of the match and earned him a straight red card was the epitome of unprofessional. No, wait. The tackle was the epitome of short sighted and dangerous football, his “what did I do wrong” reaction afterward was unprofessional.

To be sure, Alan Shearer was furious with the Magpies troublemaker, and the BBC reported that the two exchanged pleasantries in the locker room post match.

The net result? Joey Barton has been released from Newcastle indefinitely and the club has no further comment. In other words, Joey…You’re Fired!

20 April 2009

Ohana FC Kekoas lose tough one to Express Masters

The rain gods were pleased with soccer yesterday and let matches be played all over the metro Atlanta area. Among the matches allowed was our men’s over 35 match. Unfortunately for us however, the attendance gods were not pleased and we started the match with 8 men against a fully loaded plus subs Express.

Fortunately two of our guys were in route so by the 10 minute mark, we were up to a whopping 10 men. Slight consolation seeing that you have 70 more minutes to play with a man down.

Nonetheless, we made a strong showing and kept the score close, with a final of 3-2 going to Express. We had our chances throughout the match – including a botched PK by yours truly. Actually, I hit the ball to toward the roof of the net, but too close to the keeper. The goalie did a good job of stretching to get two fingers on the ball and redirected it in to the cross bar.

We had two good goals by Isaac and John, and kept possession for a lot of the match, but at the end it wasn’t enough to overcome our manpower deficit. The really excellent news is that I think all 10 of us emerged with no pulled muscles! Well done.

17 April 2009

DC United scrap out the point against New England

I caught the last 40 minutes of the Friday night match between DCU and New England and it did not disappoint.

New England went up in the first half on a Shalrie Joseph header and looked like they would hang on to the 1-0 margin until the end in spite of some heavy DC United pressure.

Ben Olsen mixed it up with Wells Thompson after Wells helped Ben out of the touchline by a generous shoulder.

In a touch of payback, Ben beat Thomson to a nicely placed Jamie Moreno far post free kick to slot the point saver home in stoppage time.

13 April 2009

Three Types of Soccer Haters

From far too many discussions on message boards, I have determined that there are three types of "anti soccer fans", if it's possible to be an anti fan of anything. Here they are:

1. The Soccer Hater: this is your sports fan who understands the basic rules of soccer, but was most likely humiliated playing it as a kid. They will isolate one negative component of the game (e.g., diving or fan violence) and then extrapolate that to the entire sport. They are most likely to call the sport, “gay” or “unmanly,” which any one who has taken psychology 101 will attest, they are simply manifesting a response to their own ambiguous sexuality. They may also believe soccer to be communist or socialist. They will use the term “Euro trash” to describe all soccer players, not really knowing what they are describing. These are your typical soccer trolls. Semi-mainstream American sports media has a few: Jim Rome, Chuck Klosterman, Frank Deford, basically shock jock types preaching to their own collective choirs with no real thinking or analysis behind anything. They have an irrational fear of the sport as being “un-American,” without realizing that it’s the most popular participatory sport in the US by a couple of orders of magnitude. They are scared of soccer and its popularity so they lash out at it.

2. The Perplexed Soccer Observer: unlike the soccer hater, these fans simply don’t understand the game. Through no fault of their own, they have not been exposed to the game either as a player or observer which means they are most likely American. They look at final scores as an indication of match quality and equate high scores with good games. They don’t understand positions, creating and exploiting space, nuance of movement, omni-directional options, passing skill, trapping skill, vision, strength on the ball, shooting, heading, multi-step thinking, point of attack, and so on; therefore, when they flip the TV channel to a match, all they see is a ball being moved from one person to another with no purpose, when in fact, the purpose is always to create an opportunity. They will eventually grow to love the game like the rest of us.

3. The Soccer Agnostic: sports fans without an opinion. These people are extremely rare. They are probably big fans of cycling or bull riding; meaning they could care less about soccer, football, baseball, basketball, or hockey. They represent .0001% of the sporting world.

10 March 2009

Toffees to face Man Utd. in FA Cup Semis

Will Everton play the role of Manchester United trophy hunt spoiler?

It took a halftime verbal lashing to get Everton going, but after coming back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Middlesborough 2-1 over the weekend - Everton will now face hardware hungry Manchester United in the next round of the FA Cup.

According to the BBC, David Moyes is not happy about playing the match at Wembley however,
"It's great to be in the semis but I'd prefer the match was away from Wembley. I don't think anyone likes it. Wembley should only be used for the final."

The semi final match is scheduled for the weekend of 18 and 19 April, and accorind to the TheFA.com, further details will be available once confirmed.