Archive for November, 2010

By Kim DeRaedt

Move over Ronaldinho:  Buck teeth are no match for elephant tusks!


Animals can play like people, and people can act like animals.  One of the bitterest rivalries in all of soccer features Scottish sides Rangers and Celtic.  The most notable riot between the two occurred on January 2, 1971.  Dubbed the “Ibrox Disaster”, chaos broke out when Celtic scored a late goal only to be followed up by an even more spectacular finish from Rangers in the final minute.  An angry stampede of Celtic fans charged for the gates.  A stairway collapsed killing 66 and injuring 175 fans. 

A fan whose skills for some reason were not appreciated…

Grow up!
N
obody Enjoys Soccer’s Wrongdoers
Some fans don’t realize they aren’t players; Some fans (and players) don’t realize soccer isn’t exempt from the rules of society.  From North to South, East to West incidents of referee abuse are becoming way too common.

North:  A 42-year-old South Dakota man needs to be careful who he strikes next time.  The man struck a referee during a U-11 girls’ game.  The referee just so happened to be the town’s major, and the man was sentenced to a year in jail in addition to anger management courses and a year’s ban from all youth sports outings.   

East:  Woah, soccer mom!  Keep your hands on the wheel.  A Virginia soccer mom slapped and scratched a 15-year-old volunteer referee’s face during a U-9 soccer match. 

South:  Zidane has emigrated from France to Florida.  An angry coach attacked a U-12 referee near the concession stand and head butted him, breaking the referee’s nose.

West:  A Palm Springs, California, referee was ganged up on by four men and stabbed in an alleged revenge act against him for a game he’d officiated a month prior.  One of the assailants was sought for attempted murder, although it was believed he had fled to Mexico and sought refuge with friends and family. 

For a look at shameful referee/official attacks from across the realm of sports:  http://www.naso.org/sportsmanship/badsports.html

Galveston Pirate SC will look to defend its turf when Regals FC comes to town this Saturday in the most-anticpated match of the SPSL season to date.

By Kim DeRaedt

Galveston Pirate SC and the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) have been in play since the beginning of October.  For two months, Pirate SC has shared the waters with Regals FC as both clubs have kept their distance while sailing atop the league standings.  Come spring, however, the championship will be up for grabs.  Everybody knows a Pirate isn’t about to share its ship, “champion”ship that is. 

Pirate SC must defend its territory starting now.  It cannot let the enemy escape unscathed when Regals FC casts its anchor at Courville Stadium this Saturday.  The visitors have gotten the best of the Galveston gang in each of the teams’ first three meetings.  Regals FC has prevailed over Pirate SC 3-1, 5-1 and 2-1 respectively in the teams’ two friendly games and Houston Cup matchup dating back to July. 

There was hardly anything friendly about these early duels nor would “rivalry” be a sufficient term to sum up these two clubs’ detest for each other.  Of the 60 SPSL games scheduled for this season, Galveston coach Brendan Keyes believes this is “the one”.

“This will be the most intense game of the year,” Keyes said.  “We’ve had this game circled on our calendar and have been waiting for five months.  It’s the game everyone wants to play in.  All of my players are working extra hard to keep their spots. ” Find out more!

Sometimes it seems like we all speak a different language. Other times, we realize soccer players aren't admired for their intellect.

By Kim DeRaedt

Say “soccer” seven times fast
Chinese: 足球
Czech: fotbal
Dutch: voetbal
German: fußball
Greek: ποδόσφαιρο
Italian: calcio
Japanese:  サッカー

Three wise men
“We lost because we didn’t win.”- Ronaldo
“We didn’t underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought.” – Sir Bobby Robson
“My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about seven.” – David Beckham

Funny Four
The Devil was constantly challenging St Peter to a game of soccer, but St Peter refused, until one day while walking around heaven he discovered that quite a number of international soccer players had entered the ‘pearly gates’.
“I think I’ll arrange to play that soccer game,” said St Peter to the Devil. “We have a great number of international soccer stars in heaven at the moment from which to select a winning team.”
“You’ll lose, you’ll lose!” taunted the Devil. “What makes you so sure we’ll lose?” enquired St Peter. “Because,” laughed the Devil, “we have all the referees down here.”

Is your goalkeeper getting any better?’
Not really. Last Saturday he let in five goals in the first ten minutes. He was so fed up when he failed to stop the fifth that he put his head in his hands – and dropped it!’

At one point during a soccer match, the coach said to one of his young players, “Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?” The little boy nodded in the affirmative. “Do you understand that what matters is how we play together as a team?” The little boy nodded yes.
“So,” the coach continued, “When offside is given, or a foul is not seen, you don’t argue or swear or attack the referee. Do you understand all that?” Again the little boy nodded.
“Good,” said the coach, “Now go over there and explain it to your mother.”

What runs around a soccer field but can’t play?
A fence

Check out www.soccerjokes.com for more one-liners, referee jabs, and team punches mostly from the English game.

With a strong offense showing like today, Regals FC and leading scorer Erick Cruz (second left) will see plenty more trophies where that come from.

By Kim DeRaedt

With three teams tied for first place in the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) standings and a tight race for the top goal scorer nod, Regals FC and forward Erick Cruz used Saturday’s 5-1 victory against Club America Academy to set themselves apart as sole leaders. 

The lone post-Thanksgiving matchup pitted undefeated Regals FC against winless Club America Academy in the first inner-city rivalry.  The Houston showdown lasted 90 minutes, but it was a crucial nine-minute stint in the game’s early going that determined each team’s fate. 

Having tallied 27 goals through its first four SPSL matches, Regals FC has no trouble scoring.  That means when Club America Academy gifted the home side a goal in the sixth minute, it only set the stage for a disastrous fallout for the visiting South siders. 

Erick Cruz put Regals FC on the board after pouncing on a distribution error by goalkeeper Giovanni Naiemaraz.  Not one to settle for an easy day’s work, Cruz darted down the right sideline and delivered a pinpoint cross to Enrique Gonzalez in the 10th minute.  Gonzalez executed a perfect header and directed the ball to the lower left corner of the net for the 2-0 advantage.  Excited by the feeling, Gonzalez shouldered the responsibility to pay it forward, this time by assisting Osama Buazza only a minute later.  Buazza’s low driven shot to the right corner escaped Naiemaraz’s outstretched arm and extended the lead to 3-0.  There’s nothing like kicking a team while it’s down.  Regals FC notched its fourth goal in the 15th minute when Luis Licerio’s well-weighted pass left Cruz with an easy finish to the left side.  The goal was Cruz’s eighth so far this season, which puts him one above Galveston Pirate SC standout Roy Hernandez in the goal scoring title chase for the time being. Find out more!

Forget Dynamo Academy. Regals FC now has a new Houston rival, Club America Academy.

By Kim DeRaedt

A matchup between the winless and the unbeaten normally wouldn’t spark much interest; however, toss in a city rivalry and the game suddenly shifts from a sleeper to a thriller.  Prior to the start of the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) season, Houston was deprived of a heated elite-level soccer rivalry.  That will all change on Saturday.

Maya Park will be the battleground as Houston’s North and South Pole SPSL clubs clash for the first time.  North side Regals FC will look to further spread its holiday cheer by securing a fifth-straight league victory.  Meanwhile, South side Club America Academy hopes to play Scrooge and snatch its first victory from its heavily-favored foes. 

If you think Club America Academy is merely dreaming in a deep post-Thanksgiving slumber, think again.  The newly-formed franchise has already proven that it can compete with the league’s best.  In its opening match, the team’s young guns stood toe-to-toe with Galveston Pirate SC before falling 1-0 on a late-game goal.  The club next held Tulsa Lobos FC to a 0-0 halftime nail-biter prior to surrendering two second-half tallies. 

It seems only a matter of time before Club America breaks through and turns the table on the SPSL powerhouses.  Coach Thiago Costa Reis remains both patient and confident with his team’s progress. Find out more!

Schooled! A lesson in MATH

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Schooled!

They say the best players wear number 10. Lionel Messi has certainly been working to support this adage as he takes over Ronaldino's number at Real Madrid.

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s soccer by the numbers.  Facts, stats, and records that don’t make the media cut…

 Basic
–20 hexagon panels + 12 pentagon panels = 32 panels on a soccer ball
–Circumference of a soccer ball= dπ
27.161 in.=8.65 in.*π
–4 out of 5 soccer balls are produced in Pakistan
–1-0:  The top score line in EPL games over the last five seasons (11.1%)
–A player covering 10 km/game (6.2 mi.) runs the length of an NBA court (94 ft.) roughly 350 times.

Intermediate
–90 min. – 22 min. = 68 min.  During World Cup 2010, the average actual playing time (APT) was 68 minutes in games where there was a winner/loser.  Matches ending in a draw averaged 67.2 minutes.  So much for 2-3 minutes of stoppage time added to each half. 
–Winners and losers in the 2010 World Cup both took shots at nearly the same frequency, every 2.5 min. and 2.8 min. of APT respectively.  However, winners took only 5.8 minutes to land a shot on goal, whereas losers managed a shot on goal every 10.2 minutes.    
–Spain’s Xavi covered the greatest distance over the course of World Cup 2010.  In seven matches, he covered 49.7 miles.  His top speed reached was 14.1 mph.
–Michael Bradley won the award for the most distance covered per match.  He averaged 8.0 miles per game, which equates to an 11:15 pace per mile over 90 minutes of play. 

Advanced
World Records
–Heading a soccer ball, doubles passing:  Kosovo’s Agim Agushi and Bujar Ajeti headed the ball between each other 11,111 times in 3:55:20 hours on November 9, 2003.
–Juggling a billiard ball with feet:  Paul Sahli from Switzerland kept a billiard ball up for 51:55 minutes on February 10, 2002. 
–Walking while keeping up a soccer ball:  Leave it to Brazilian Ricardo Silva Neves.  He covered 448 miles in June of 1992 and arrived in Brazil after traveling for a remarkable 12 days!

Countdown
5
—World Cup championships for Brazil, more than any other nation (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
4—MLS Cup titles for DC United, the league leaders (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004)
3—Domestic titles won by Inter Milan during the 1964-1965 season as the club became the world’s first   and Italy’s only club to-date to complete a domestic treble
2—Instances in which a European country was not represented in the World Cup final (1930, 1950)
1Only one team will be able to claim recognition as the SPSL’s inaugural champion.  Who will it be?! 

Resources for math nerds (incorporated within this post):
An excellent, in-depth blog dissecting soccer statistics and statistical trends:
http://soccerbythenumbers.blogspot.com/
More World Cup statistics than you could possibly want:  http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/statistics/index.html 
A step above soccer blogging, it’s soccer from a detailed journalistic perspective:
http://usa10kit.com/ 
A list of untouchable soccer juggling achievements:
http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/ball.html

With three teams still undefeated, it’s only a matter of time before someone rains on their parades.

Weather Watcher:  There are new photos, a new poll, and a contest (begging to be participated in).  Also, a video section has been added which will be updated weekly featuring a different theme.  Stay tuned for a new “Newspaper” tab coming this week, likely to highlight some of the best articles involving business, entertainment, health, etc. from the soccer online community.  As always, fresh posts will be up daily on SPSL FLASH!

Strike Back:  Last weekend, Tulsa Lobos FC ventured to Houston and took care of business against Club America Academy in much the same way as the squad did against Corpus Christi.  Tulsa sealed a 4-0 and 2-0 victory to become winners of four straight.      

Thunder Rolls:  Three teams seem to be playing unstoppable soccer.  Galveston Pirate SC, Regals FC, and Tulsa Lobos FC are sitting pretty with 4-0-0 records. 

Mostly Cloudy:  Texas Lonestrikers are the only team with both one (or more) win and loss.  The Lonestrikers are currently in the fourth slot with a 1-3-0 record, while every other team is either winless or undefeated. 

Slick Pavement:  Regals FC slid by a struggling Corpus Christi bunch with a 3-2 victory last Saturday.  The team narrowly escaped a late Fuel comeback to keep its unbeaten record intact. 

Whiteout:  Tulsa Lobos FC has blanked its opponents.  Goalkeeper Hector Zapata and his defense have registered 360 straight shutout minutes and counting. 

Storm Chasers:  Galveston Pirate SC’s Roy Hernandez leads the league in scoring with seven goals.  Right behind him are Erick Cruz (Regals FC), Luis Licerio (Regals FC), and Abed Elkour (Tulsa Lobos FC) with six goals on the season. 

Flash Forward:  Opposites attract when Regals FC (4-0-0) hosts Club America Academy (0-3-0) on Saturday, November 27, 3 p.m. at Maya Park.  The league’s highest scoring team will take on a young Club America squad in search of its first goal.  Club America, however, has proven that it can hang with the best.  It seems as if it’s only a matter of time before the team breaks through.  Might the beginning of a heated Houston rivalry be born?