Tuesday, February 24, 2009

RCU Crowns Gymball Champions

I meant to post this last week, but got distracted.

Dick's Sporting Goods ran away with the regular season Championship by 7 points.

Mexiquense wins the Gymball Cup competition.


More details at the RCU website.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Membership Has Its Rewards

One of the most interesting things to come out of last week's press conference is that Rocket City United has introduced Club Memberships for the 2009 season. Similar club memberships are a big part of many of the most successful European clubs. The likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and even the new Seattle Sounders FC offer similar memberships in their clubs for fans .

This is a great idea. It allows RCU fans to interact directly with team and management and provides a means to help the club achieve whatever goals the fans think are important.


So, what does the RCU club membership entail? All members receive:

20% Off all merchandise including tickets
Member Events:private viewing parties, Season Kick-off Party
Club Membership Card with discounts @select retailers
Club Window Decal
Annual Club Meeting
Club Member Hospitality Tent @Home Games
Pre- and Post-Game Interview in Club Tent
Three Elected Reprentatives on RCU Advisory Board
Friday Club Lunch @The Scence Lounge Monaco Pictures April-July

Sounds pretty cool to me.


Find out more here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

HASL Underway Tonight

The Spring 09 season of the Huntsville Adult Soccer League kicks off tonight (weather permitting). Some changes have been made to the League structure.


The rumored Fourth Division will not begin play this season. However, the Third Division has been expanded to 8 teams.




Fall 08 Premier Division Champions Law Dogs



Here is the breakdown of the divisional make up this season.


Premier

Digium

Foot Clan

Law Dogs

Majestic SC

Red Fury

Turtles


First

Blue Lasers

Continental

Schurke

TOC

Trailhead

Wolde


Second

Challengers

Chivas

Chivas USA

FC International

Madness

ManChestHair United


Third

Adtran

Arsenal FC

Earmuffs

En Fuego

Injured Reserve

Misfits

Outcasts

Ta Sety Warriors



Also, the Goal limit rule has been lifted. In the past, 5 goals were the maximum a team could count toward the goals for/goals against/goal differential during any game. Beginning with play tonight, the official score is counted toward the goal tallies.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend Warriors Wrap Up

Two new champions were crowned, a little bit of money was raised for a good cause, and a good time was had by all at the 2nd Annual Weekend Warrior 7 a side tournament.

video
Jacob Noffke discusses this year's event.


The Open Division trophy was lifted the Penetrators, after a skillful 4:3 display over Schurke.

Open Division Champion Penetrators


Good Call who travelled to Huntsville from Indiana prevailed 4:3 in PKs over Majestic in a contentious battle for the Rec Division title ended knotted at 4 goals a piece.

Good Call seals the win on the final PK.

Rec Division Champions Good Call

Here's some action from a game on Saturday.

video
Mexiquense scores on the counter attack after a "fresh air" side-scissor attempt by the A-Team.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's gotta be the shoes

I've played soccer for 30 years, and along the way I've noticed some universal truths. One of them is that each team will have at least one player who is what I will term a "shoe snob". You know, the guy who buys 3 pairs at one time and sends them all back cause one stud is mispositioned or shows up to the game with the latest edition of the Force Frame TF III Dominator in electric pink from some company no one has ever heard of. I admit, there have been times when I've been that guy.

Well, I have great news for those types. Both Nike and Adidas have released websites for players to customize shoes to fit and form. Nike has come out with NikeID while Adidas has it's own miAdididas.


To give you an idea of what you can do, I created some samples. Now, before you say to yourself, "What is this dude thinking?", please note that I am not responsible for the color scheme. The team I play for has the most… um… interesting color scheme going. Light blue and burgundy/maroon, with black, yellow and green trim.

With that in mind, here are my best attempts at shoes that would fit the team's color scheme.


Nike Air Legend II

Hmm, the silver makes it look space-agey. Is that a word?

Nike Talaria IV

This may be my favorite. Pretty simple and the colors might actually match the uniform.

Nike Total90

Hmm, the ugly black and red plastic on the front just doesn't do it for me.


Adidas F50 TUNiT

I like the muted color scheme here, but I'm not a fan of the wrap around stripes.


Adidas Predator Power Swerve

This is the Beckham shoe. The yellow may be a bit overPOWERing for my SWERVE.


Adidas adiPURE TRX FG

Brown is the only base color available for this model. While I'm not in love with it, I do like the burgundy that wasn't available in the other Adidas models, and my professional graphic artist wife thinks this would work the best with our kits.



After all that, I don't know that I'll take the plunge. I'm a Puma guy with a foot that tends to be a little too wide for both Adidas and Nike. I would definitely have to try on each of the styles for size before I'd send them $100-200 to custom build the shoes.


What's your verdict? Can you come up with some sweet designs. Feel free to share.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

RCU Presser at Monaco

I was terribly sick yesterday, but an overwhelming sense of curiosity got me out of bed and into a sweatshirt and jeans and over to Monaco Pictures for the Rocket City United press conference. Here's a brief rundown of the event...
RCU owner and GM, Andy Zorovich, opened with a nice introduction in which he announced the following...

  • There will be 5 teams in the NPSL Southeastern conference with two teams located in Atlanta, one in Birmingham, Chatanooga, and Huntsville each.
  • League will run from May to July
  • RCU will play all home games at John Hunt Park in Huntsville
  • RCU will take place in US Open Cup qualifying
  • RCU is in talks to play several international friendlies: talks with Mexican U20 National team, Pumas and Monterrey of MFF, and Comunicaciones of Guatemela
  • RCU will continue it's player developement relationship with Hoffenheim (currently first in the Bundesliga)
  • Looking to set up similar relationships with Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United

This was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony with local dignitaries. Then, two players and the coach were introduced for a Q and A session.

From left to right, Rafa Barbosa (player), Greg Petersen (Technical Director), Derek Pirtle (player).

This was followed by FREE BEER from team sponsor and local brewery Olde Towne and a viewing of the USA v Mexico match. I didn't stick around for those because my bed was calling, although, I would have loved the free beer. Next time... sigh...

I also took some video from the event, but I'm still feeling like crud. So, I'll have to save them for later along with some other interesting tid-bits from RCU.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Local College Star Let Go by MLS Team

Fourth round draft pick and Alabama A and M alum, Fhuthi Bhembe was release by Real Salt Lake yesterday. The Swazilander was the 5th leading scorer (14 goals) in Division I last year, but could not latch on with the Western Conference Finalists.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

USA v Mexico and other games on TV

Tomorrow is the start of the 4th quadrennial Concacaf Hexagonal. Here’s a nifty listing of stats from the previous 3 hex-es.


As for the big US-Mex match-up, I don’t feel that great about the US chances. I’m hearing a lot of smack talk from US fans and media and, honestly, I don’t feel it’s justified. I’m truly worried about overconfidence in the team. Let’s face it. With the exception of Tim Howard, most of the European contingent of the US roster has not been lighting it up across the pond. Most of them have a hard time getting off the bench. And the MLS portion of the roster hasn’t played a meaningful match in several months.


Sure, the Mexicans have had some poor results as of late, but this is a derby /classico match-up, and these types of game usually come down to who wants it more. Let’s hope Bob has the boys in the right frame of mind and body to prove my worries wrong.


BTW, there are some other great international match-ups around the world in the next few days. You can catch these on TV.


Today

Brazil v Italy (Friendly) , FSC and FSE @ 1:30 PM


Tomorrow

Japan v Australia (World Cup Qualifier), FSC @ 4:00 AM

Iran v South Korea (World Cup Qualifier), FSC @ 10:00 AM

Germany v Norway (Friendly), GolTV @ 1:30 PM

France v Argentina (Friendly), ESPN2 @ 1:55 PM

USA v Mexico (World Cup Qualifier), ESPN2 and Univision, 6:00 PM

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Soccer on Huntsville TV

How do you watch your soccer on TV? If you are a Knology customer, you won’t we watching Fox Soccer Channel. Jacob from Southern Soccer has the scoop. And if you are a DISH Network customer, you aren’t watching GolTV. DISH dropped the channel back in August.

Over the years, I’ve found that the best deal for me is DirecTV. Now, as my wife can attest, I watch a lot of soccer. So, here’s my breakdown of packages, channels, and leagues you can watch on DirecTV.

Leagues/Competitions: Networks

American NPSL (Rocket City United): MYWAMY (Channel 6 on DirecTV)
American MLS: ABC, ESPN2, FSC, FSE, HDTV, MLS DK, RSNs,
English EPL: FSC, FSE, RSNs, Setanta*
Italian Serie A: FSC, FSE, GolTV
Spanish La Liga: GolTV
German Bundesliga: GolTV
Argentine League: FSC, FSE
Brazilian Pulista Championship: GolTV
Australian A League: FSC
French Le Championnat: Setanta*
Mexican MFL: FSE
UEFA Champions League: ESPN2, Setanta*
UEFA Cup: FSC, Setanta*
Copa Libertadores: FSE
Concacaf Champions Cup: FSC, FSE
World Cup/Friendlies: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNClassic, FSC, FSE, GolTV , Setanta*
American USL: FSC
NCAA Soccer: CBS CS, FSC, ESPNU, RSNs

To catch all of this soccer action here are the packages you need.

DirecTV Premier Package: Includes ABC (WAAY), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, and MYNetworkTV (MYWAMY).

DirecTV Sports Pack Package: Includes the major Soccer related channels like Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports Espanol and GolTV. Also includes the regional sports networks (RSNs) and others channels that show the occasional Soccer match or two (ESPNU, CBS College Sports, etc.)

*Setanta: This is a channel that DirecTV offers that is not included in the Sports Pack. You must pay an extra $15 a month. It broadcasts EPL matches, French league, English 1st division, and extra Champions League matches. I personally don’t think it is worth the extra money, but I suppose if I followed a certain team in one of those competitions, I might reconsider.

MLS Direct Kick: This is the best deal around. For a once a year fee of $70, you get all of the MLS matches not shown on ABC, ESPN2 or FSC, including play-off games. That’s about 115 games a year. This is how I watch my beloved DC United.

So, as you can see, there is plenty of soccer to be seen, if you know where to get it.

Red, I'm seeing Red!

Those aren’t just lyrics to a song by the harDCore punk band, Minor Threat. A recent study published in Science magazine indicates that the color red “enhances performance on detail oriented tasks” and “these effects occur outside of individuals’ consciousness”.

So, that’s why US Soccer wants everyone to wear red when they watch the USMNT play. Don’t forget to pack plenty of red gear when traveling up Nashville to catch the US take on T&T on April Fools day. It may backfire though, 'cause T&T's primary jersey color is also red.

Read more about it here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's Do Lunch

I’ve been playing pick up soccer 5 times a week with a great group of guys. The best part is that it’s during my lunch hour. Almost every weekday, no matter the weather, a group of 6 to 20 guys and gals get together to kick it around. We meet on the Intergraph campus near the Fitness Center at around 11:30 AM and play until about 12:40. There a wide range of skill levels, but always a good time. Here are a few vids of yesterday’s game.

video
First person soccer. Reminds me of the recent Nike commercial.

video
Nice build up by the boys in white.

video
Corner kick and goal by yours truly.

video
Ott cooly finishing.

If you’re interested in joining us, there is a group site set up here, where you can join the email list and respond to the daily poll to indicate if you’re going to play that day.

Analyze This

I've said it earlier. You will find no in-depth analysis here, simply because I'm not a very good writer. However, my buddy, Didi, writes the most detailed and interesting soccer analysis columns out there. You can find his Soccer Column blog here. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weekend Warriors 7s Tournament

It's not to late to enter a team in the Weekend Warriors 7-Aside tournament over at John Hunt Park on Valentines Day weekend. BTW, maybe they should change the name of this year's tournament to Weekend Warriors' Wives Rock Tournament. You gotta give it up for any wife who allows their man to kick a ball around all weekend, especially on Valentines day. If that's not love...

I played in this one last year, and had a great time. I like the 7-aside format, and the organizer, Jacob, sets it up nicely.

Here's the particulars.

When: Feb 14th & 15th 2009
Where: John Hunt Soccer Complex
Format: 7-Aside, No Offsides, Free Subs, Max 13 Players, At least 3 games
Divisions Include the following:
Open - Most competitive Division
Recreation - Just out to have fun
Over-30 - All players over the age 30
Cost: $225 By Feb 7th

More info can be found here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saturdays on the couch

My friend John posted this soccer related post on his Not-a-Lemming blog.

Some great stuff about the difference between watching football and watching futbol. Enjoy!


RCU Press Conference and USA-Mexico Viewing Party

Next Wednesday, February 4th at 4:30PM, Rocket City United will hold a press conference at Monaco Pictures at Bridgestreet to announce its 2009 schedule, home game location, new jersey design and ticket packages. There will also be a Q and A with RCU Technical Director, Greg Petersen and several players.


I will be attending and it will be good to hear what Greg has to say. I'll bring my mini-video recorder and will try to get some one on one time with some of the RCU staff and players.


After the press conference, RCU will host a viewing party of the USA v Mexico World Cup Qualifier in the Lounges at Monaco. It should be a fun time.

Referees Needed !!! 2009 Spring Season

My friend Darrell has asked me to post this. Please consider joining the "dark side".


“There’s more to soccer than just playing the game or coaching the game. There is more than watching your favorite professional team on TV or live. There is a dark side of soccer. A side that involves wearing dark clothes, i.e. black pants, black shoes, and sometimes black shirts and black hats. This side of soccer is often overlooked or dismissed and almost always unappreciated. I’m talking about soccer refereeing, which is a sort of a sport in itself. Imagine, if you will, having to be athletic, be able to run fast, make quick decisions, but be calm and composed at the same time. This is also a sport in which you get paid to participate. It is actually one heck of a challenge.”


“High School season starts next week and there is a need for referees in North Alabama. It’s easy to become a high school referee. See the announcement at http://www.nasoa.org/, browse the high school specific info at http://www.nasoa.org/index_files/Page516.htm and also glance at the general info about soccer refereeing at http://www.nasoa.org/becomereferee.htm. After becoming a high school referee there are other possible soccer venues for you, e.g. USSF (youth and adult), College, Futsal (new in this area), NFPL (professional), and more.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

HASL Spring 09

The Huntsville Adult Soccer League will begin play of their Spring '09 season on February 18th. This season HASL will feature an additional division for a total of 4 divisions of 6 teams. According to their website, they are still looking for a few teams to fill out the fourth division. So, go to www.hasl.org and let them know if your team is interested.

World Cup Qualifier in Nashville

On April 1st, the US Men's National Team will host Trinidad and Tobago at LP Field in Nashville. This is the closest to Huntsville that the USMNT will come, now that the stadium in Birmingham is covered in turf. So, get your US jerseys on your back and get ready to chant U-S-A, U-S-A! Cause tickets go on sale Friday.

Welcome

Welcome to the Perfectly Weighted Through Blog.

PWT-blog was started to discuss the Huntsville soccer experience; from where the good pickup games may be, to playing in the local amateur leagues, following our local professionally run NPSL team, Rocket City United, and even watching our favorite first division professional leagues including MLS, MFL, EPL, BundesLiga, La Liga, Serie A, etc.

I'm not a writer or reporter. So, don't expect feature length articles or any in-depth analysis. I'm doing this for fun, and will try to post a few times a week. That said, if you have any nuggets you'd like to share about soccer in Huntsville, let me know and I just might break some news.