Indiana Soccer Halloween Costume Contest
Indiana Soccer Halloween Costume Contest avatar

Courtesy of ISA

Courtesy of ISA

Join Indiana Soccer’s 3rd Annual Costume Contest!

This year’s costume contest is for yourself and your pets!  Enter to win awesome prizes, just post a photo of you wearing your costume to the Indiana Soccer Facebook Halloween Costume Contest.

If you would like for your pet to participate, post a separate photo of your pet wearing its costume and they could win a special prize as well!  The photos with the most likes within their category will win.

Rules:  You need to post the costume photos and the pet’s costume photos separately, no later than November 7th, 2014.

The earliest you post it, the more likes you can get, so do not wait until the last moment. Use #INSoccerHalloween on your photos! You can ‘like’ your favorite costumes by November 10th, 2014 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be announced on November 11th, 2014!

Click on the following link to post your and your pet photo: Halloween Costume Contest. For the original post, please visit the Indiana Soccer Association website.

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

NJ Youth Soccer National Championship & State Cup Championship Finals
NJ Youth Soccer National Championship & State Cup Championship Finals avatar

NJ YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL CHAMPIONS SERIES AND STATE CUP CHAMPIONS TO BE CROWNED OCTOBER 26

logo

NEW JERSEY (October 21, 2014) ―The NJ Youth Soccer National Championship Series and State Cup championships will be held at the Marlboro Soccer Complex on Saturday, October 25 (semi-finals) and Sunday, October 26 (finals).

The tournament began in early September with hundreds of teams throughout the U11 to U14 age groups. There are two levels of competition.  First, there is the NJ Youth Soccer State Cup championship, where winners will advance to the regional and, if successful, the national stages of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup.  Second, there is the National Championship Series where the winners in each age group will go on to compete at the regional and, if successful, the US Youth Soccer National Championships held in Tulsa, OK in July 2015.

For schedules and more information, visit njyouthsoccer.com.

About NJ Youth Soccer Association: New Jersey Youth Soccer, a 501(c) (3) organization affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, is comprised of more than 150,000 players from 5 to 19-years-old; 40,000+ coaches; and thousands of volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition and the spirit of good sportsmanship. The association features recreational, travel soccer programs at multiple skill levels; Olympic Development Programs (ODP); tournaments including the National Championship series; coach and referee training and certification programs; and TOPSoccer, a program for children with special needs. The New Jersey U.S. Youth Soccer ODP provides training and competitive programs for players of the highest caliber for the purpose of increasing the success of the U.S. National Teams.

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

MLS Will Compete With EPL for Talent
MLS Will Compete With EPL for Talent avatar

Following on the heels of last week’s Jurgen Klinsmann/Don Garber feud, Garber’s assistant, Dan Courtemanche is in the news for his interview with BBC Sport.

1) MLS Will Compete With EPL for Talent

In an interview that took place before the Klinsmann-Garber squabble, Courtemanche, MLS Senior Vice President, told BBC Sports just that. Channeling Commissioner Garber, the VP said, “one of our goals is to be one of the top leagues in the world by 2022.”

Courtemanche went on to say, “we also want to have world class stars – whether they are from the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America.”

Will the MLS one day be able to attract players like Ronaldo.(Getty Images)

Will the MLS one day be able to attract players like Ronaldo.(Getty Images)

And Courtemanche is aiming to avoid the retirement league tag that MLS is sometimes dogged by. “If you want to be among those top leagues you need to be signing players in the prime of their career.”

Courtemanche is also confident the the world’s biggest sporting event is destined to return to the U.S. for for the first time since 1994.

“We believe the World Cup will come back to the U.S. at some point. Wouldn’t it be great to have it here in 2026, if not 2030?”

2) Raul to Cosmos

Raul will (Getty Images)

Raul is set to join the Cosmos.(Getty Images)

No, the Cosmos are not an MLS team, but the NASL club stepped into the spotlight this week by signing the former Spain and Real Madrid superstar.

There is no indication that MLS were outbid for the Spain’s second all time leading scorer, who at 37 last played for Qatari side Al-Sadd.

This move is somewhat reminiscent of the old NASL, which made a habit of signing big name stars, often on their last legs.

Where this signing may differ is that in addition to his playing duties, Raul will also run the Cosmos Youth Academy.

3) Lee Nguyen for MVP?

Why not? Unlike the preceding items on this week’s Big – 5, this piece does not concern big name players coming to America.

To the contrary, Nguyen’s signing with the New England Revolution in 2012 barely caused a ripple in the either the news cycle, or the Revs salary cap.

Nguyen had played in the Netherlands, Denmark and even Vietnam, and after he was cut by Vancouver, the former Indiana Hoosier was in need of a career boost.

Lee Nguyen (ISI Photos)

Lee Nguyen has had an outstanding season in the MLS. (ISI Photos)

The boost has been mutual, with the attack minded midfielder thriving from the start, before breaking out in a big way in 2014.

Nguyen was honored as MLS Player of the Week for his two goal performance in New England’s 2-1 win Thursday night in Houston. That gives Nguyen 18 for the season, more than any other American, and an impressive eight of those goals have been game winners.

New England are in second place in the East with one game left, and Nguyen has been a big part of that. During his time playing in Vietnam, the Vietnamese-American was approached to play for his parents home country.

Nguyen was still eligible for Vietnam despite having earned three senior caps for the U.S. back in 2007. Nguyen didn’t bite, and now he looks like a solid bet to be invited to the U.S. MNT January camp. Will he head to that camp as the MLS MVP?

4) MLS in the CCL

CONCACAF Champions League play resumes over the next two days, with five MLS teams taking the field as group play wraps up.

Only the New York Red Bulls are eliminated, so we can expect their Wednesday night home game versus Montreal to be an intimate affair.

D.C. United have already made it through to the next round.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

D.C. United have already made it through to the next round.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The Impact have already advanced out of the group stages, allowing the Canadian side to at least somewhat salvage a 2014 season that does not include an MLS playoff berth.

DC United are the other MLS side already through, while both Portland and Sporting KC can advance with either a win or a draw.

5) Vancouver or Portland Playoff Bound?

With only one more regular season game to be played, just one playoff position remains up for grabs. The Vancouver Whitecaps are clinging to a one point lead over the Portland Timbers for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Vancouver will make the playoffs if they win their game.(Getty Images)

Vancouver will make the playoffs if they win their game.(Getty Images)

Vancouver host the disappointing Colorado Rapids Saturday night at 10 pm Eastern. Portland will kick off at third place FC Dallas at 8:30. Just one year ago Caleb Porter’s team won the Supporters Shield, now they need help just to qualify for the post-season.

Western rivals Seattle and L.A. will battle for the Supporters Shield Saturday afternoon in Seattle. The teams are level on 61 points after the Sounders came back from two goals down to tie the Galaxy 2-2, last Sunday at Los Angeles.

Several other games have implications on playoff seeding, with teams particularly anxious to avoid the 4/5 play in game.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U.S. WNT Secure Semi-final spot with Big Win over Haiti
U.S. WNT Secure Semi-final spot with Big Win over Haiti avatar

The U.S. WNT cruised to a 6-0 win over Haiti to finish atop Group A and advanced to the semi-final of the CONCACAF Championship in Washington, D.C. at RFK Stadium.

The U.S. relied on another four-goal second half performance, just as they did in Friday night’s 5-0 win over Guatemala.

Lloyd has been lethal from the midfield.(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Lloyd had one goal disallowed..(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Carli Lloyd had a goal correctly disallowed for offside while Abby Wambach had an angled shot saved well by Haitian goalkeeper Geralda Saintilus. The U.S., however, would not be denied by the officials or Haitian defense in the ninth minute.

An optimistic cross by Meghan Klingenberg was punched away by Saintilus while under pressure from Wambach. The clearance fell straight to Lloyd, who controlled with her chest and volleyed into the empty net.

Thirty minutes later, the U.S. were celebrating again as Wambach scored an insurance goal to put the WNT up 2-0. Christen Press floated a dangerous ball over the top which went off the boot of Haitian defender Roselord Borgella and onto the head of Wambach, who had the easy task of putting it on goal.

The second half not only brought more goals, but, perhaps, the goal of the tournament thus far. A cross from substitute Heather O’Reilly was cleared, but only as far as Meghan Klingenberg, who hit a half-volley from 30 yards beautifully into the back of the net.

Wambach(ISI Photos/Abby Wambach)

Wambach continues to prove that she is a danger in front of goal.(ISI Photos/Abby Wambach)

Wambach scored her second and the U.S. WNT’s fourth a few minutes later. A ball was only half-cleared by the Haitian defense and when Lloyd headed it back into danger, Wambach volleyed the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

Wambach was replaced by Sydney Leroux shortly after the goal. Leroux did not waste any time influencing the game as her cross into the box found its way to Press, who slotted the ball through a wave of defenders into the net in the 65th minute.

Leroux narrowly missed out on a spectacular diving header and was inches away from getting a goal of her own, only to see her shot come off the post.

There would be another goal in the 82nd minute as Morgan Brian, on for Tobin Heath, timed her run to perfection to put away Press’ cutback.

The clinical second half from the U.S. left them in first place in Group A with nine points, who progress to the semi-finals with Trinidad and Tobago, who finished second after defeating Guatemala 2-1 in the earlier game.

The U.S. will play the second place team from Group B on Friday in Chester, Pennsylvania at PPL Park. If they win their next game, likely against Jamaica or Mexico, they will qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Canada.

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F

USA                            2          4          6
HAI                              0          0          0

USA – Carli Lloyd                                        9th minute
USA – Abby Wambach                                38
USA – Meghan Klingenberg                        57
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)          61
USA – Christen Press                                   65
USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press)         82

Lineups:
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 14-Christen Press, 20-Abby Wambach (2-Sydney Leroux, 62), 17-Tobin Heath  (7-Morgan Brian, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

HAI: 1-Geralda Saintilus; 4-Kencia Marseille (capt.), 6-Kimberly Boulos (8-Kensie Bobo,56), 9-Lindsay Zullo, 11-Woodlyne Robuste (10-Wisline Dolce, 60), 13-Marie Jean Pierre, 14-Samantha Brand, 15-Shanna Hudson (3-Generve Charles, 84), 17-Yvrose Gervil, 18-Roselord Borgella, 19-Clorene Rateau
Subs Not Used: 2-Natacha Cajuste, 5-Dieunise Jean Baptiste, 7-Manoucheka Pierre-Louis, 12-Cynthia Chery, 16-Sindy Jeune, 20-Schmid Charles
Head Coach: Shek Borkowski 

Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 20 / 1
Shots on Goal: 12 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 12 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 6 / 1

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U.S. Look to Top Group A
U.S. Look to Top Group A avatar

The U.S. finishes Group A in the CONCACAF Championship against Haiti on Monday at 7:30 PM in Washington, D.C. at RFK Stadium after a much-improved performance against Guatemala Friday night.

Tobin Heath put in a good performance against Guatemala. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Tobin Heath put in a good performance against Guatemala. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

The U.S. sits atop the Group A standing with six points, while Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago are tied with three a piece and Guatemala languishes pointless at the bottom of the table.

Friday saw the U.S. recover from their poor opening game to defeat Guatemala 5-0. A flurry of four goals in twenty second-half minutes helped put a narrow 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday behind them.

It was not all smiles, however, as Alex Morgan will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks after being stretchered off with an ankle injury before halftime. The American forward, who has 49 goals in 77 appearances for the red, white, and blue, suffered an injury to the same ankle that kept her sidelined for nearly eight months.

Despite the injury, Morgan is confident that it will not hold her back nearly as long. “It really doesn’t feel that bad,” Morgan told FOX. “After doctors assessed it and it didn’t swell up too much, I felt a little relieved.”

The U.S. did not seem to be affected on the field after Morgan was removed, as Tobin Heath scored two goals, Leroux played provider twice, and Rapinoe excelled in the number 10 role with a goal and an assist.

Megan Rapinoe has been outstanding for the U.S. in both games. (ISI Photos/ Bill Barrett)

Megan Rapinoe has been outstanding for the U.S. in both games. (ISI Photos/ Bill Barrett)

“Things opened up and we converted our chances this time,” Rapinoe explained. Rapinoe will want to put in another man-of-the-match performance against a Haitian team that sits tied for second after their opening day victory over Guatemala, which was followed by a 1-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. are 3-0 all-time versus Haiti, boasting a record of 23 goals scored, while not conceding a single goal. Since goal difference should play a major factor in who advances along with the U.S., expect a similar defensive approach to the game by Haiti.

While a point guarantees the U.S. first place in the group and a place in the semi-finals, they will want to win by a large margin to show a signal of intent to their rivals that they will definitely be more lethal when next summer’s World Cup rolls around.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U.S. WNT too strong for Guatemala
U.S. WNT too strong for Guatemala avatar

The U.S. WNT recovered from their lackluster performance Wednesday to dispatch Guatemala 5-0 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois Friday night.

The U.S. got off to a flying start when Tobin Heath tapped the ball in after Sydney Leroux got to Ali Krieger’s cross in the 7th minute.

Morgan went off with a left ankle injury which previously kept her sidelined for 7 months. (Getty Images)

Morgan went off with a left ankle injury but was interviewed after the match and seemed upbeat. (Getty Images)

Leroux and Alex Morgan both missed chances to add on to the lead, before Morgan was stretchered off with a left ankle injury. Morgan sprained the same ankle in October 2013 and rushed back, only to suffer a stress fracture which saw her sidelined until June of this year.

Christen Press, Morgan’s replacement, had a goal controversially disallowed shortly before halftime.

The U.S. finally found their shooting boots and goals began pouring in as Carli Lloyd headed in Leroux’s cross one minute into the second half.

Heath's inclusion was justified and she brought a different diminution to the U.S. (Getty Images)

Heath’s inclusion was justified and she brought a different diminution to the U.S. (Getty Images)

Rapinoe’s sixth corner of the game led to the third goal as it was redirected towards goal by Lloyd and was diverted into the goal via the backheel of Heath for her second on the night.

Barely a minute later, Guatemala was picking the ball out of the net yet again after a Rapinoe free kick was headed in by defender Whitney Engen, who beat Guatemala’s offside-trap in the 58th minute.

Rapinoe, who thrived in the number 10 role, got a goal for herself as Lloyd’s blocked shot found its way to Rapinoe, who from the edge of the box, fired in a rocket passed the Guatemalan goalkeeper.

Despite not scoring again, the U.S. dictated play and had a few more chances to extend their lead.

The result leaves the U.S. WNT atop the Group A standings with a result against Haiti on Monday securing their spot in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Championship.

Haiti, who lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the earlier match Friday, is tied for second with the Caribbean nation.

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            1          4          5
GUA                            0          0          0

USA – Tobin Heath (Sydney Leroux)            7th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Sydney Leroux)   46
USA – Tobin Heath (Carli Lloyd)        57
USA – Whitney Engen (Megan Rapinoe)      58
USA – Megan Rapinoe           66

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg (8-Amy Rodriguez, 68), 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 2-Sydney Leroux, 13-Alex Morgan (14-Christen Press, 42), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 7-Morgan Brian, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston, 20-Abby Wambach
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

GUA: 12-Alicia Navas; 2-Daniela Andrade, 14-Coralia Monterroso, 5-Londy Barrios, 3-Marilyn Rivera; 10-Kimberly De León (7-Alida Argueta, 77), 15-Christian Recinos, 6-Gloria Aguilar, 4-Mia Espino; 8-María Monterroso (19-Diana Barrera, 77), 13-Aisha Solorzano (18-Kellin Mayen, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Yoselin Franco, 9-Ana Lucia Martínez, 11-Vilma López, 16-Cinthya Lopez, 17-Jennifer Barrios, 20-Melany Cayetano
Head Coach: Benjamin Monterroso                 

Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 21 / 0
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 11 / 0
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 7 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Sydney Leroux (caution)        49th minute

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

EPL Week 8 – Match Tickets outstrip the Cost of Living
EPL Week 8 – Match Tickets outstrip the Cost of Living avatar

English soccer tickets outstrip cost of living

The average price of the cheapest soccer tickets in England has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.

BBC Sport’s Price of Football study investigated how much fans were charged at 207 clubs across the country and found the average price of the cheapest ticket across England’s four professional divisions is $34.52, which constitutes an increase of 13% since 2011, compared to the cost of living that has only seen a 6.8% increase in England. The average price of the cheapest EPL season ticket has also increased 8.7% since 2012, from $792 to $817.24.

Arsenal's tickets are the most expensive the EPL. (Getty Images)

Arsenal’s tickets are the most expensive the EPL. (Getty Images)

The steep increases are surprising, especially given the recent record $4.98bn TV rights deal was expected to result in a fall in ticket prices. However, many clubs, especially EPL clubs, will point to the high demand for tickets. Indeed, despite the ticket price rises, Premier League attendances are on the increase. The average last season was 36,695.

It appears clubs are using the increases in revenue to attract and keep players—a study by Deloitte said Premier League clubs now spend 71p ($1.12) on wages for every £1 ($1.61) generated, the first time the 70p mark had been broken.

However, Justin King, former chief executive of UK supermarket Sainsbury’s, believes clubs need to ensure they are providing value for money to fans if they want to be sustainable.

“Any business that thinks it can simply rely upon the loyalty of its customers, regardless of how they treat them, in the end will fail. It’s an absolute fact,” he said.

“Therefore I would be asking clubs, ‘are your fans happier today than they were five years ago with the experience that they get, the value for money that they feel they’re getting?'”

The EPL certainly does not seem to be offering customer value when you compare it to the German Bundesliga, where big clubs Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke all charge less than $20 for their cheapest match-day ticket. Indeed, Borussia Dortmund, who have the average highest match day attendance in Europe, claim they are now attracting up to 1000 British fans to every home game.

Dortmund’s commercial director said some of the EPL club’s match-day revenues were impressive but insisted his club would not entertain the idea of charging such large amounts for tickets.

“If we were to ask for prices like this, we would lose the people,”

“The people are one of the most important assets for our club. We have to care for them.”

 

Linekar wants young stars at Euro U21

Former England striker and TV pundit Gary Linekar wants England’s young stars to feature at next summers European U21 Championship to gain experience.

Linekar, 53, tweeted: “Won’t happen, but I wish PL managers would support their young players’ international careers, not hinder them,”

Arsenal's starlet Oxlade-Chamberlain has come out and stated that he would play if selected. (Getty Images)

Arsenal’s starlet Oxlade-Chamberlain has come out and stated that he would play if selected. (Getty Images)

“All our star Under-21 players should go to the finals next summer if fit. Wonderful tournament experience. Other countries insist on it.”

“I get managers’ me, me, me attitude, but wouldn’t it be refreshing if, for once, they thought about the good of the national game?”

England U-21s secured their place in the Czech Republic with a 2-1 victory over Croatia on Tuesday to win the 4-2 on aggregate.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has voiced concerns about fatigue of young players, especially in the case Ross Barkely, who has just returned from a knee ligament injury.

“If the tournament was now it would be a good opportunity for him to get some playing time, but if it is at the end of a season where he has played consistently for 10 months then he needs to have a break,” Martinez said.

Barkley is one of several young players in the senior England team- along with Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Arsenal trio Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers – who England U-21 coach Gareth Southgate is reportedly keen to call up next summer.

However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels the experience has no real benefits.

“Once a guy has moved up to the full national team and you put him down [again to the Under-21s] he is never good,” he said.

“Apart from on the selfish front for us when a guy has played 50 games, it is better a guy has a good rest during the summer. But most of the time, when they move down, they are not completely at their highest quality.”

Week 7

Result

Anthony

Mabs

SATURDAY
Hull v Crystal Palace 2-0 2-1 3-2
Leicester v Burnley 2-2 3-0 4-1
Liverpool v West Brom 2-1 2-1 2-2
Sunderland v Stoke 3-1 0-0 2-2
Swansea v Newcastle 2-2 2-1 3-1
Aston Villa v Man City 0-2 1-3 1-3
SUNDAY
Man Utd v Everton 2-1 3-2 2-1
Chelsea v Arsenal 2-0 3-1 3-0
Tottenham v Southampton 1-0 1-1 2-1
West Ham v QPR 2-0 2-0 2-0

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. Getting the exact score correct earns THREE points.

Last week SIX correct results, including TWO perfect scores to give me a grand total of TEN-points. My Challenger Mabs got exactly the same scoring TEN-points, meaning I am still unbeaten so far this season.

Do you think you have what it takes to out predict me? If so, feel free to leave you predictions in the comment section below.

Week 8

Predictions

SATURDAY
Man City v Tottenham 3-0
Arsenal v Hull 2-0
Burnley v West Ham 2-2
Crystal Palace v Chelsea 0-2
Everton v Aston Villa 2-1
Newcastle v Leicester 2-1
Southampton v Sunderland 2-0
SUNDAY
QPR v Liverpool 0-1
Stoke v Swansea 1-1
MONDAY
West Brom v Man Utd 1-2

 

SATURDAY

Man City v Tottenham

Man City won 2-0 away at Aston Villa in their last game to maintain their chase of leaders Chelsea.  That win was their second on the trot and saw midfielder Yaya Toure bag his first goal, after a quiet start to the season.

City will have to start putting in convincing performances if they want any chance of catching Chelsea.(Getty Images)

City will have to start putting in convincing performances if they want any chance of catching Chelsea.(Getty Images)

Tottenham beat Southampton 1-0 at home to return to winning ways for the first time in four games.  A single goal from Christian Erikson was enough to see Spurs past the Saints and into sixth place in the EPL. However, the north Londoners still look shy up top and need to start scoring goals if they want to challenge for a Champions League spot.

Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala is set to miss out with a thigh injury, while Yaya Toure is likely to be rested as he is not due back from international duty until Friday.

Tottenham have injury concerns with Hugo Lloris and Nacer Chadli after both returned from international duty with injuries, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb also need to be assessed.

Manchester City won this game 6-0 last season and have a good recent record against Spurs—City have won six of their last seven league meetings with Tottenham, scoring 22 goals in the process.

I think Spurs will approach the game in the same way they did at Arsenal recently, keeping things tight and trying to hit on the counter. However, City have too much fire power for the Londoners and I expect them to win this fairly comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Arsenal v Hull

Arsenal lost 2-0 away to Chelsea in their last outing, but won’t be too down, as they played fairly well and could have gotten more out of the game on another day. That defeat was Arsenal’s first of the season, but the Gunners have drawn too many games this season and that is why they currently sit 8th in the EPL.

Steve Bruce reverted Hull to a 3-5-2 formation in their last game and it appeared to work a treat with the Tigers winning 2-0. That win helped Hull out of a mini rut—the Tigers had not won in their previous four games, with their last win coming in a 1-0 win over QPR in mid-September.

Arsenal may struggle at the back without Koscielny(Getty Images)

Arsenal may struggle at the back without Koscielny(Getty Images)

Arsenal look set to welcome back captain Mikel Arteta with the midfielder overcoming a calf strain. But they face defensive headaches with Calum Chambers suspended and Laurent Koscielny out with an Achilles injury, meaning left-back Nacho Monreal could deputize at center-back.

Mesut Ozil faces two months out with knee injury after he was diagnosed while on international duty, while Saturday’s game is too early for Theo Walcott who is recovering from a similar injury.

Hull’s only concern is newly signed midfielder Mohamed Diame, who played late on Wednesday for Senegal meaning he may start from the bench.

Hull did tremendously in their first season back in the EPL last campaign and have started the new campaign in a similar vein, however, the Tigers have lost their last 5 EPL games against Arsenal and while I expect them to put up a good fight I think Saturday’s game will be their sixth defeat.

Prediction: 2-0

 

Crystal Palace v Chelsea

An EPL week just doesn’t feel the same without a Derby match of some sorts and this week’s derby see south London v west London for bragging rights, as Crystal Palace host Chelsea.

Crystal Palace’s good run came to an end with a 2-0 loss away to Hull—that defeat was their first since 23 August and ended a run of four without a defeat. Many thought Palace would struggle when manager Tony Pulis left just before the start of the season, but if anything Palace look better, especially going forward.

Chelsea and Costa have taken the league by storm thus far. (Getty Images)

Chelsea and Costa have taken the league by storm thus far. (Getty Images)

EPL leaders Chelsea continued their fine start to the season with a solid 2-0 victory over rivals Arsenal. The Blues were not at their best and conceded possession to Arsenal for long periods, but they did enough to win the game and never really looked in trouble. The win was Chelsea’s sixth of the season and their draw at Man City is the only time they have dropped points this season.

Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann is ruled out with the knee injury he suffered at Hull with Adrian Mariappa expected to fill in.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is a doubt with a hamstring problem. Andre Schurrle is out with flu, while Didier Drogba, Ramires and John Mikel Obi are all nursing injuries.

Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win at Selhurst Park last season ended a 12-match winless run against Chelsea in the league dating back to 1990. The Eagles were good value for their win last season and will probably try to use the same in-your-face tactics again on Saturday. However, Chelsea is a much improved side from last season and I expect them to win this one.

Prediction: 0-2

 

SUNDAY

QPR v Liverpool

QPR’s poor start to the season continued with a 2-0 loss away to West Ham. The Hoops have lost five of their opening seven games this season—They did likewise in the 2012-13 and 1995-96 seasons, both of which ended in relegation.

Manager Harry Redknapp has complained his players lack fitness, but they seem to be lacking a lot more in desire. The Hoops have committed fewer fouls (60) and amassed fewer yellow cards (eight) than any other Premier Leagues side, which shows they are just too easy to play against.

Liverpool's Sterling made headlines due to his request not to start for England as he was suffering from fatigue. (Getty Images)

Liverpool’s Sterling made headlines due to his request not to start for England as he was suffering from fatigue. (Getty Images)

Liverpool returned to winning ways by edging out West Brom 2-1 at home. The Reds have really struggled up front this season and have looked one-dimensional since Daniel Sturridge got injured.

QPR remain without midfielders Joey Barton and Jordan Mutch, who both have hamstring problems. However, Niko Kranjcar could still feature despite breaking a toe in training, with the player reportedly prepared to have a pain-killing injection in order to play.

Liverpool look set to welcome back striker Daniel Sturridge after a six week absence, while midfielders Joe Allen and Emre Can are also fit again.

Liverpool have won nine out of 12 Premier League games against QPR (D1, L2), including five of their last six, so on paper this should be an easy Liverpool win. However, the Reds have not been the same free flowing attacking side they were last season and still seem shaky at the back—Liverpool has kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 matches in all competitions (including 13 Premier League games).

Nevertheless, I think Liverpool have the quality to just edge this one.

Prediction: 0-1

 

MONDAY

West Brom v Man Utd

West Brom took the game to Liverpool in their last outing and were unlucky to come away from Anfield with nothing. The Baggies have done well after a slow start to the season, with striker Saido Berahino being their outstanding performer—the England U-21 player has scored 5 goals in EPL games.

Falcao (L) looks to be finding his form. (Getty Images)

Falcao (L) looks to be finding his form. (Getty Images)

Manchester United recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a 2-1 victory over Everton. The Red Devils played tremendously in the first-half and could have put the game out of sight, but in the second-half they were poor and had to thank goalkeeper David De Gea, who saved a penalty and made a series of world-class saves at the death, for their victory. Di Maria was once again United’s outfield star man, while new signing Radamel Falcao also opened his United account.

West Brom have been playing positive stuff and will certainly fancy their chances against United’s fragile back-line. However, I think the Red Devils have so many class players in attack that they will probably just get their team out of jail in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

 

 

Posted in Blog | 3 Comments

2015 World Cup Qualifier: U.S. WNT vs. Guatemala Preview
2015 World Cup Qualifier: U.S. WNT vs. Guatemala Preview avatar

After a sub-par performance on Wednesday against Trinidad and Tobago in the opening game of the CONCACAF Championship, the U.S. WNT turns their attention to Friday night’s matchup vs. Guatemala at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Wambach expressed her disappointment with the teams performance against Trinidad and Tobago. (ISI Photos)

Wambach expressed her disappointment with the teams performance against Trinidad and Tobago. (ISI Photos)

The U.S. will try to improve upon their narrow 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City. While Abby Wambach scored the winner, she felt their performance left much to be desired.

“It was frustrating,” Wambach revealed. “We just couldn’t break them down. In this tournament, we knew that we were going to be up against teams bunkering back and making things difficult for us in the 18.”

The U.S. can expect more of the same against a Guatemala team that has conceded 22 goals across two games against the Americans.

Haiti players celebrate their goal midway through the second half of play. (Getty Images)

Haiti players celebrate their goal midway through the second half of play. (Getty Images)

Guatemala suffered an upset against 10-women Haiti in their first game, losing 1-0 after Haiti’s goalkeeper Cynthia Chery was sent off 17 minutes into the game.

With Wambach playing an unfamiliar #10 role in center-midfield and Sydney Leroux left on the bench, coach Jill Ellis is likely to change her lineup that, while not pretty, got the job done against Trinidad and Tobago.

“Right now, it’s about regrouping, getting ready and being happy that we have three points in the first match,” Ellis stated. “We created a lot of opportunities, but we should have done a better job finishing.”

The younger players will be the key to his style of play. (Getty Images)

Leroux (R) got five last time round against Guatemala. (Getty Images)

Leroux was a surprise exclusion from Wednesday’s match and history versus Guatemala warrants her inclusion in tomorrow’s game. The last meeting between the U.S. and Guatemala saw Leroux score five goals in a 13-0 blowout.

With frustration lingering and a convincing performance needed to boost confidence, expect a wider margin of victory against Guatemala tomorrow night to put them alone atop the Group A standings.

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

2015 MSYSA Girls State Cup
2015 MSYSA Girls State Cup avatar

Plymouth, Michigan (October 7, 2014) – The Michigan State Youth Soccer Association will be returning to the Ultimate Soccer Arenas on October 18-19, 2014 for the MSYSA Fall State Cup Semifinal and Final Matches.

The MSYSA State Cup is the first level of competition in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, and is home to the highest level of club soccer in the State of Michigan. Winners from the MSYSA State Cup will advance to the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships in Fox Cities, Wisconsin in June, 2015. Winners of the Regional Championships will advance to the National Championships held in Tulsa, OK in July, 2015.

Match Schedules Taking Place at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan Saturday, October 18, 2014

  • U14 Girls l 10:30am l Grand Rapids Crew Juniors vs. Michigan Jaguars Green & Michigan Hawks vs. PSG Gators Orange
  • U15 Girls I 3:30pm l Grand Rapids Crew Juniors vs. Alliance FC PRO & Michigan Rush Northville vs. PSG Michigan Gators Orange
  • U16 Girls l 6:00pm l Alliance FC Academy Black vs. WAZA FC East Jrs. & Michigan Hawks vs. Michigan Jaguars
  • U17 Girls l 1:00pm l WAZA FC East Jrs. Vs. Chill SBC & Michigan Jaguars vs. Grand Rapids Crew Juniors
  • U18 Girls l 8:00am l PSG Michigan Gators Orange vs. Michigan Hawks & Force FC vs. Grand Rapids Crew Juniors

Sunday, October 19, 2014

  • U14 Girls l 10:30am l Semifinal A Winner vs. Semifinal B Winner
  • U15 Girls l 3:30am l Semifinal A Winner vs. Semifinal B Winner
  • U16 Girls l 6:00pm l Semifinal A Winner vs. Semifinal B Winner
  • U17 Girls l 1:00am l Semifinal A Winner vs. Semifinal B Winner
  • U18 Girls l 8:00am l Semifinal A Winner vs. Semifinal B Winner

Be sure to follow the moments on the MSYSA Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Facebook: Michigan State Youth Soccer Association
Twitter: @MSYSASoccer, #MiMoment & #MiStateCup

About Michigan State Youth Soccer Association

The Michigan State Youth Soccer Association, Inc. (MSYSA) is a nonprofit organization that represents over 89,000 youth soccer players, 12,000+ coaches, and 8,000+ referees throughout Michigan. MSYSA consists of a vast number of leagues that register players (boys and girls) from ages 4 through 19 throughout the state. MSYSA is a member of the United States Youth Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation. For more information on MSYSA, visit www.michiganyouthsoccer.org.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Snack It Up Brings Healthy Foods to NHSA Youth Players
Snack It Up Brings Healthy Foods to NHSA Youth Players avatar

New Hampshire Soccer Association and Hannaford Supermarkets have teamed up to provide youth soccer players across the state with healthy snacks with the new Snack It Up program.

Thanks to Snack It Up, over 3,000 youth athletes will have access to affordable nutritious foods this fall. It will also provide 200 youth soccer coaches with discounts on produce to encourage healthy habits and better eating choices.

The Snack It Up program was created by Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of the ChildObesity180 at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. It’s a great way to help sports teams and other after-school programs clear out junk food and make way for healthier options.

“We are thrilled to participate in Snack It Up so that our coaches can help youth athletes fuel up on healthier snacks more affordably,” NHSA technical director Eric Redder told BusinessNH Magazine. “We work hard to teach our players to lead healthy, active lives, and this initiative helps build healthy habits on, and off, the field.”

For the full Business NH Magazine article please visit the NHSA website.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

SNHU Hold 1st Annual Score Against Breast Cancer Clinic
SNHU Hold 1st Annual Score Against Breast Cancer Clinic avatar

The Southern New Hampshire University women’s soccer team is holding a soccer skills clinic this month to benefit breast cancer in the first annul Score Against Breast Cancer event.

All soccer players ages 8-12 years old are invited to attend with all proceeds going towards the Catholic Medical Center for the fight against breast cancer.

Players will spend vital time honing their soccer skills and having a ball with the SNHU women’s soccer team.

After the camp, players can stay and support the ladies as they host the American International College game later in the evening.

Check out the clinic details below and for more information, please visit the NHSA website.

  • When: Saturday, October 25, 2014
  • Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Where: SNHU Larkin Field
  • Cost: $20 Pre-registration, $25 Day of Clinic

Payment Due: Day of Clinic (Cash or Check only)

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

MYSA Players Named to Region II Team
MYSA Players Named to Region II Team avatar

Courtesy of MYSA

Courtesy of MYSA

Several boy and girl Missouri soccer players were named to the Region II team earlier this month, and will advance to participate in various inter-regional competitions held throughout the U.S. this fall.

It took hard work and dedication to get this point, and each player was selected from the 14 State ODP Regional teams that competed in the Region II Showcase last summer.

Congratulations to these talented athletes on their outstanding accomplishments! You can view the original story on the Missouri Youth Soccer website.

2014 Thanksgiving Interregional Event
Boca Raton, FL: November 21st – 27th (1999s-2000s) & November 22nd – 28th (1997s – 1998s)

1997 Girls

  • Charlotte Kennedy – Webster Groves, MO (Lou Fusz SC)

1998 Girls

  • Kirsten Davis – Chesterfield, MO (Lou Fusz SC)

1999 Girls

  • Brionna Halverson – Boliver, MO (Futura FC)

2000 Girls

  • Layne Thompson – Lee’s Summit, MO (Sporting Blue Valley)

2014 Boys Interregional IMG Event
Sarasota, FL: December 18th – 21st, 2014

1997 Boys

  • Nick Hibbeler – Lake Waukomis, MO
  • Chidera Ude – Independence, MO (Raytown SC)
  • Jacob Shireman (Alternate) – Lee’s Summit, MO (Sporting Blue Valley)

2014 Boys Interregional Thanksgiving Event
Casa Grande, AZ: November 27th – December 1st, 2014

2000 Boys

  • Mason Visconti – Kansas City, MO (KC Legends)

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

MYSA is Hiring: Executive Director
MYSA is Hiring: Executive Director avatar

Missouri Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) is seeking a qualified Executive Director to lead the organization in support of our mission. MYSA is affiliated with United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

MYSA has nearly 31,000 plus players and coaches participating in our state, regional and national leagues and competitions. MYSA currently employs a Director of Coaching and two office staff personnel.

Missouri Youth Soccer Association has a Board of Directors that sets policy, approves new member application, determines member services, establishes events, approves contracts and appoints committee members, etc.

For more information, please view the original job post on the MYSA website.

Overview:

  • Administer Directives from the MYSA Board of Directors.
  • Creates and oversees the MYSA Business Plan as approved by the MYSA Board of Directors.
  • Implements policies as directed by the MYSA Board of Directors.
  • Administers programs and tournament event development.
  • Responsible for creating budget with finance committee.
  • Handles all legal matters, grievances, mediations, leagues issues, insurance issues and regional/national matters on behalf of MYSA
  • Serves as a point of contact or ex officio on all MYSA Board appointed committees.
  • Serves as a point of contact at Regional and National events and meetings.
  • Manages the MYSA State Office, employess and contract labor individuals.
Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U.S. WNT Scrape past Trinidad & Tobago
U.S. WNT Scrape past Trinidad & Tobago avatar

The U.S. WNT  opened their CONCACAF Championship and World Cup qualification with  a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday in front of a vocal crowd at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Wambach looked slow but showed her worth by scoring the goal. (Getty Images)

Wambach looked slow but showed her worth by scoring the goal. (Getty Images)

The U.S. WNT dominated proceedings throughout, but could only cash in on Abby Wambach’s header in the 55th minute.

Christen Press, Abby Wambach, and Megan Rapinoe were denied by in-form Trinidadian goalkeeper Kimika Forbes in the first half.

The U.S. finally broke through the Trinidad and Tobago defense when Alex Morgan dribbled around the goalkeeper and crossed the ball to Wambach, who had the easy task of heading the ball into the empty net.

Leroux did not start the match but came off the bench in the second half. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Leroux did not start the match but came off the bench in the second half. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

The goal brought Wambach level with Sydney Leroux for most goals in 2014 (eight) and extended her all-time record to 171 goals.

The U.S. looked to build upon their lead, but chances went begging as Carli Lloyd and Wambach missed opportunities to capitalize on their possession.

The Trinidad and Tobago team, who are looking to become the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, failed to take advantage of some slack defending by the U.S. defenders and some giveaways by Hope Solo.

Leroux came off the bench and had a chance late on to regain the lead as top goalscorer of 2014, but was denied by Kamika Forbes in a one-on-one chance.

Solo gets her third clean sheet in as many games to extend her record to 74 shutouts.

The U.S. are tied with Haiti at the top of Group A, who defeated Guatemala 1-0 in the earlier game Wednesday. Next up for the U.S. is Guatemala, who they play on Friday at 9 PM ET in Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois.

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          1          1
TRI                              0          0          0

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                      54th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 87), 14-Christen Press (2-Sydney Leroux, 61); 20-Abby Wambach (9-Heather O’Reilly, 77), 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Morgan Brian, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

TRI: 1-Kimika Forbes; 4-Rhea Belgrave, 5-Arin King, 15-Liana Hinds (18-Khadisha Debessette, 79), 16-Brianna Ryce; 20-Lauren Hutchinson, 9-Maylee Attin Johnson (capt.), 8-Patrice Superville (14-Karyn Forbes, 82), 10-Tasha St Louis (3-Mariah Shade, 46); 12-Ahkeela Mollon, 19-Kennya Cordner
Subs Not Used: 2-Ayanna Russell, 6-Khadidra Debessete, 7-Dernelle Mascall, 11-Janine Francois, 13-Anique Walker, 17-Tenesha Palmer
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 29 / 7
Shots on Goal: 9 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
TRI – Maylee Attin Johnson (caution)             16th minute

 

Posted in Blog | 1 Comment