Archive for January, 2011

"Officer, I swear I didn't tweet it!"

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s like taking candy from a baby.  In other words, it sure is difficult to feel sorry for these players who were slapped with fines after utterly foolish comments and behaviors.

Players violated club/league policy etc. received/paid fine but not in way would’ve thought

Po-Po poooolice!
Simply stated:  What were these guys thinking?
Not only are blowout games boring for the fans, but Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald shows us that players feel the same way too.  McDonald was subbed out at halftime with his team up 5-0 over Manchester City.  We friends and family in town, he did what any Englishman would want to do:  He hit up the bar five minutes away
to watch his own game. 
http://withleather.uproxx.com/2010/04/soccer-player-fined-for-beer-break
Players in Brazil know all too much about fines and not exactly millionaires, most try to avoid them.  So when Botafogo midfielder Somalia realized he was going to be late to training and fined, he made up a story about his own kidnapping and relayed to Rio de Janeiro police that he had been held captive for two hours.  However, video camera footage and self-contradicting statements revealed his fib.  Poor guy!  No wonder he lied.  Botafogo players are typically docked 40% of their pay for tardiness.  On top of that, Somalia now faced legal woes for falsely reporting a crime.  (They say you can now hear his alarm clock 2 miles away!  Just kidding.) 
http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5999591/botafogo-midfielder-somalia-faked-kidnapping-avoid-fine-police-say 

A tweet is worth a thousand troubles
“And they call him one of the best referees.  That’s a joke.” (Plus, he posted a link of a doctored picture of the referee, Howard Webb.) 
Guilty party:  Ryan Babel, Liverpool 
Fine:  $16,000
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/9363567.stm
“Apologize to all of you.  I showed up late.  Made a big mistake.  I’m very very sorry.”
Guilty party:  Jozy Altidore, Hull City
Unsympathetic manager:  Phil Brown, who thought Altidore’s tardiness to the team’s match against Portsmouth was “information that stays in house.  The reason he wasn’t on the bench was our business.”
http://www.caughtoffside.com/2009/10/27/us-soccer-player-jozy-altidore-fined-for-using-twitter-to-apologize-for-arriving-late-to-premier-league-match/

“Naz so free dumb”
(Get it?^)
Perhaps Sparta Prague midfielder Pavel Horvath should read up on both history and cultural quirks if he wants to avoid another faux pas and $9,000 fine in the Czech Republic.  Horvath was hit was the punishment after he twice saluted fans with his right arm outstretched seconds before the conclusion of the team’s match against Viktoria Zizkov.  A disciplinary committee deemed Horvath was “giving Nazi salutes.”
http://www.theroar.com.au/2007/09/07/czech-soccer-player-fined-for-giving-nazi-salute/
DC United President Kevin Payne was docked $5,000 for speaking his mind, or maybe for telling the cold honest truth, to The Washington Post.  Payne said, “We don’t want to play like Colorado or New England, which most of the season sat with eight or nine guys behind the ball. How many people go to watch Colorado or New England play? That’s a problem for our league. We can’t play like we’re a team desperately trying to remain in 14th place in the Premiership. Our market isn’t there yet. They want to see something that is entertaining, and DC United has always had a way of playing. Given a choice, we would rather attack than cynically defend.”
The crime:  Clearly, Payne’s comments were “detrimental to the public image of the League.”
http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2009/10/payne-fined-by-league.html

“But officer…” nothing.  Soccer’s “green” ticket makes a red card seem pleasant. 
Advice:  Keep the infractions on the field!  Refs aren’t so bad after all.

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With the game in first-place bragging rights up in the air, Regals FC pulled through in the second half to claim the prize.

By Kim DeRaedt

Regals FC slept through much of the first half of its game on Saturday but fortunately, the team woke up hungry just in time for the second half of play.  With a Snap, Crackle, and Pop—Regals FC put itself back on top of the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) standings with a 2-1 victory over Galveston Pirate SC. 

The match didn’t start out so satisfying for Regals FC, however, as the team stared at an empty offensive bowl early on.  Indeed, it was visiting Pirate SC that chowed down on the attacking end right after the opening whistle.  Justin Santibanez clinched the momentum for Galveston by firing two shots in the first 90 seconds.  Santibanez’s speed continued to plague the Regals FC defense as the striker amassed his team-high six shots but couldn’t funnel any on frame.

Nevertheless, it would be Santibanez’s speed and not his shooting ability that would set up Pirate SC’s golden chance of the afternoon.  Midway through the first half, Santibanez raced down the left flank and cut into the box where Regals FC defender Robert Hernandez was left with no option but to take him down as he sped by.  Jonathan Yanez stepped up to the spot and tucked a mid-height penalty shot into the right side of the net as goalkeeper Marcos Sanchez fell to his left. 

Short-handed Galveston found itself up 1-0 on the road against Regals FC in the 29th minute.  Clearly, the team had a rough road ahead to seal the three points.  Luckily, goalkeeper Eloy Aguirre was alert and agile to pounce on Cesar Silva’s point blank shot and preserve Galveston’s lead just minutes later.  Aguirre’s aggressive play prevented Regals FC from completing much of its offensive ploy, while Osama Buazza’s few efforts to connect off the cross with Enrique Gonzalez failed to produce a threat on target. Find out more!

This may look like a friendly meeting, but once the whistle sounds, there will be no mercy in the fight for first place.

By Kim DeRaedt

Nothing stings like a defeat.  Nothing reeks like being beaten by a rival.  With that said, nothing stirs a team’s drive and wets its appetite like the chance for good old-fashioned revenge. 

“Next time” is the traditional upbeat battle cry of so many troops wounded in action.  Next time is what Corpus Christi Fuel vowed when it fell to Texas Lonestrikers 4-1 on Oct. 16, and the mantra Regals FC recited after Galveston Pirate SC knocked the squad off its feet in a 2-0 defeat on Dec. 4.  Regals FC has waited patiently, and for the Fuel, it has indeed been forever, but next time will finally befall for both clubs this Saturday in Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) play. 

Even though the phase is often used and abused, one almost has to believe that these two squads mean business, and in reality, next time will look nothing like the last time each of these matchups transpired. 

Corpus Christi was edged by the Lonestrikers in Nacogdoches in what would be game two of an eight-game losing skid for the fledgling Fuel.  That game was before the team’s parts came together, before its motor was up and running, and before it started winning.  Like an unoccupied car rolling down a rural hill, the Fuel is rolling to victory and gaining speed, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone who will stop them.  With the team’s college “boys of summer” back in the lineup, the Fuel flattened Galveston Pirate SC 2-1 in Galveston on Dec. 18 and bulldozed Club America by the same score in its next and previous match.  Like the teased little sibling who has now grown bigger and stronger than his brothers, Fuel coach Patrick Esqueda and his men hope to get the last laugh at their former bullies this time around. Find out more!

NetKix: Our dirty little surfing habits

Posted: January 27, 2011 in NetKix

Television isn't the most soccer-friendly source in America, but there's nothing that can't be rescued from the depths of the Internet.

By Kim DeRaedt

Most soccer fans would confess their guilt of spending hours on the Internet viewing only the most pertinent and informative content of course.  But just what deep dark corners do soccer enthusiasts crawl to when they open their Internet browsers?

What to watch for:  Notice ESPN Soccernet’s dominance in both the USA and New Zealand’s market share.  UEFA tops Major League Soccer in USA popularity.  There is one team on the USA’s list, an English club nonetheless.  Meanwhile, five teams made the British ranking. New Zealand is divided into seven football federations:  Auckland and United Soccer 1 are two of these.  There is little on New Zealand’s list that links to a specific European league, club, or competition. 

Top 10 hits, a hemispheric snapshot 

USA
1.  ESPN Soccernet, 15.93%
2.  Fox Sports Soccer, 7.50%
3.  Soccer.com, 5.66%
4.  Goal.com, 5.04%
5.  UEFA.com, 3.77&
6.  Major League Soccer, 3.59%
7.  Manchester United, 3.48%
8.  Yahoo Sports World Soccer, 3.44%
9.  Big Soccer, 2.96%
10. FIFA.com, 2.89%

British
1. Liverpool FC, 5.04%
2. Manchester United, 4.29%
3. TEAMtalk Football, 3.34%
4. FootyMad.com, 2.35%
5. Arsenal FC, 2.10%
6. Footy Mad, 1.71%
7. Full Time, 1.70%
8. Leeds United, 1.65%
9. Premier League, 1.49%
10. Rangers, 1.27%

New Zealand
1.  FIFA.com, 15.24%
2.  ESPN Soccernet, 12.18%
3.  Sina 2010 World Cup South Africa, 5.77%
4.  Goal.com, 4.89%
5.  QQ 2010 World Cup South Africa, 3.45%
6.  Auckland Football Federation—Draws and Fixtures, 3.32%
7.  United Soccer 1, 2.08%
8.  Wellington Soccer Association, 2.08%
9.  Auckland Football Federation, 1.69%
10.  Football365.com, 1.65%

The proof lies in the facts:
USA:  http://www.epltalk.com/top-10-most-visited-soccer-websites/1948
British:  http://www.epltalk.com/top-10-football-websites/1856
New Zealand:  http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:SVhQjcqmeeYJ:www.iab.org.nz/images/uploads/Hitwise%2520Industry%2520Report%2520for%2520Sports%2520-%2520Soccer.pdf+top+10+soccer+websites+hitwise&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESinVGdKBXy2lI1BPfLnATuvfcm12-z2pykP1zR0vCIxxgeR2WmOMYUWg_hxEqXd3889B41d-767kORCBCXpMXKIWmuAB3X8ZbM7HkuqO0BkxLTNteu91owfINdYIN-gZh3sHM4E&sig=AHIEtbRAUqelPV-0FecIbbvzicBnzGVkfQ

Game on! Five SPSL teams will be in action this weekend, but who will play their cards right and who will be sent back to start?

By Kim DeRaedt 

Guess Who?:  Andrew.  That’s right, Andrew was the name that gave the Fuel the game when the squad hosted Club America Academy on Saturday.  Andrew Perez snapped in a header and Andrew Carassco converted a penalty kick to lift Corpus Christi to a 2-1 victory.

Operation:  The SPSL sends its thoughts and prayers out to Corpus Christi Fuel and teammate John Uros whom was transported off the field by ambulance during last Saturday’s match against Club America after suffering a broken collarbone.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Aggravation: Do you remember what you were doing on October 16th?  Me neither, so imagine how difficult it must be for Texas Lonestrikers to recall the wonderful rush and feeling of victory.  The Lonestrikers have roamed over three months without hunting down a win but will attempt to do so on Saturday against Corpus Christi Fuel, the same prey that they captured that long-ago October afternoon.Tic-tac-toe:  Can Corpus Christi make it three in a row?  After dropping its first eight matches, the Fuel has clinched a pair of well-deserved 2-1 victories.  The first and most famous was a 2-1 upset over Galveston Pirate SC on the road; the second, a more humble but equally decisive victory over Club America.  Will the third “X” fall in place against the Lonestrikers in Nacogdoches?

Phase 10:  Galveston Pirate SC’s #10 tallied 10 goals for the team in 2010.  In 2011, however, Roy Hernandez will don the Regals FC kit and sport the #11 jersey.  There’s nothing like opening the year against his former team and Regals FC’s bitter rival.  The showdown is slated for Saturday, 3 p.m., at Maya Park in Houston. 

Trouble:  Club America has to sense the danger approaching as the team kicks-off against Regals FC on Sunday.  Last time the two sides met, Regals FC walked away with a convincing 5-1 victory.  Through seven games, Regals FC has tallied four times as many goals as Club America (36 to 9). 

Uno:  FINALLY!  After this weekend’s games, one team will rise above the others in the point total column.  However temporary it may be, it will surely represent a stark contrast from the “sharing is caring” philosophy that the league’s leaders have adopted for much of the first half of the season.  Whether the top dog will be Regals FC or Galveston Pirate SC remains the question. 

Jenga!:  Corpus Christi beat Galveston whom defeated Regals FC whom crushed Corpus Christi once and barely squeaked by the second time.  Club America will play only its second game in seven weeks.  Regals FC will play its second game in two days.  Galveston will hit the road.  The Lonestrikers will look to avoid hitting rock bottom.  There will be a fight for first and a fight to avoid worst.  Who will make the right move?  How will things stack up?  Who will shake the table and what will happen when all of the pieces of these matches tumble down into league history?  It’s a weekend of SPSL action not to be missed, that’s for sure!

By Kim DeRaedt

Sometimes field conditions are a little bit sloppy.  Other times they are, well, take a look for yourself!

Just how powerful was Hurricane Ike?

Its remnants reached Winnetka, Illinois…

…and socked the Spartans of Michigan State.  Grounds crew, how did that work out for ya?

An equally brilliant solution straight out of Kamloops, British Columbia…

Instead of waiting for the water to come to the field, the alternative option is to seek the water at its source.  Singapore plays by land and sea…

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”—Charles Swindoll 
Take it from the kids.