Thursday, September 16, 2010

UAH Score But Still Lose At Montevallo

At first glance the scoreline of yesterday's 3:2 loss to the University of Montevallo would tell you that UAH has finally broken through their scoring funk, but the circumstance of the UAH goals indicate that assumption is not necessarily true.  As UAH were outshot 24-6 (10-4 on goal) by the 13th ranked Falcons, the Chargers are clearly still searching for answers in the attacking third.

Montevallo's Stephen Beatty opened the game with poacher's goal, cleaning up a rebound from a Tyler Early save.  UAH then ended its goal drought from an unexpected source.  A Falcon defender sent a looping backpass over his keeper's head and into the net for an own goal, UAH's first goal of the season after 279 scoreless minutes.

Five minutes after the halftime break, the Charger's took their first lead of the season when sophomore forward Tony Stock converted from the penalty spot.  Eight minutes later, Beatty scored his second of the match to level the score.  The score remained locked at twos until the second overtime when Vance Curro pounced on a bounding ball in the penalty area and stroked home the winner.  It is the second straight double overtime loss for UAH in what has become a frustrating early season run.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Munro Named 2010 MVP for RCU

Rocket City United has announced that Alexi Munro has been named the team's Most Valuable Player.  Munro recorded two goals and one assist in helping his team to a 3-3-2 record and third place in the NPSL Southeast Region.

2010 RCU MVP Alexi Munro

Munro, a South African native, is hoping to earn a contract with a Premier Soccer League (South Africa's first division) team, and had nothing but good things to say about his times with RCU when I spoke to him after the season.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

College Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend brought more of the same from the local outfits.

A&M Swept Aside in Two Blow-outs

It was anything but classic for Alabama A&M team that has been a shadow of their former selves at the Evansville Classic tournament this past weekend.  The Bulldogs fell at the feet of University of Evansville 9:0 on Friday night.  In the second match yesterday afternoon, Abraham Kassaye provided the only bright spot with a 25 yard blast to keep A&M from the shutout in a 7:1 drubbing against Bradley University.

UAH Falls To Union 1:0 in OT on Own Goal

After a 251 minute drought, UAH had finally scored a goal as Tomoaki Matsuo rose to meet a well driven Jarred Muggleton free kick.  Matsuo nodded a looping header back across the goal and over the heavy footed Union University goalkeeper, but as the Chargers exclaimed with relief to cheer the long awaited goal, the celebrations were muted by the AR's flag snapping to attention.  No goal.  Offside.

In a match that was dominated by strong defending, neither the Chargers or Union was able to create many chances.  Union preferred spraying shots from distance while UAH attempted to attack without much midfield support.  Despite this, UAH had the better looks at goal.  In addition to the previously mentioned nullified goal from Matsuo, the Charger's lanky forward Tony Stock came closest to breaking the deadlock when he strode into the penalty area and lashed a vicious stroke that left the Union keeper hoping for intervention.  That intervention came in the way of the right post and the regulation time ended scoreless.

As the sun began setting the first overtime period passed without note and only 1:27 into the second a harmless cross passed across the UAH goalmouth.  Inexplicably, UAH defender Dylan Peppia dropped to the ground and attempted to head the ball clear, but only managed to direct it into his own net.  The mistake from the freshman ended the match in a decidedly frustrating fashion, another 1:0 loss for the Chargers.

The scoreless streak?  It's now 282 minutes without a goal.

Wallace State Cruises to Another 3:0 Win

To keep this post from becoming all "doom and gloom", I'd like to report that Wallace State Community College in Hanceville is having a stellar season.  WSCC defeated Hinds CC 3:0 behind two goals from Luis Helguera and solid goalkeeping from Huntsville's own Drew Hannan.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Trials of the Professional Referee

I'm a referee supporter.  These are guys who get no respect and are only noticed when they make mistakes.  It boggles my mind why someone would put themselves in the "line of fire" of the criticism that is hurled their way.  This criticism is often gloriously ignorant.  That is... Unless the criticism isn't wrongly placed. 

Remember the Hand of Gaul goal last fall?  In the video below, Martin Hansson, the Swedish referee who missed the blatant handling by Thierry Henry that sent France through to the World Cup, is followed by a film crew as he prepares to qualify for the World Cup.  Although subsequent evidence appeared that vindicated that Hansson could not have seen the infraction, Hansson faced criticism from the entire footballing world and a multitude of death threats. 

The video is about 30 minutes long, but it's well worth your time.  It's a fascinating look at what makes a high level ref tick and the multitude of pressures he feels.

Some good may have come from the awful mistake, however.  Along with several controversial calls in the World Cup, FIFA has finally recognized that something may have to change.  Debate about goal line technology and replays has been at an all-time high.  UEFA has even added two extra goal-line referees to have more eyes on the action.  Let's hope the authorities continue to provide help the the men in the middle.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

College Round-up

Huntsville Teams Both Start Season With Losses

Both Alabama A&M and UAH have gotten off to a rough start with two losses in their first two games.

A&M's final season started off in an inauspicious manner as the Bulldogs gave up 13 goals in a weekend tournament in Las Vegas, losing to UC-Riverside 5:0 and tournament host UNLV 8:1.  Abraham Kassaye tallied the team's only goal.

UAH seem to have a tough time scoring goals, as the Chargers fell on the road to Lincoln Memorial University 1:0.  The home opener yesterday was not much better when UAH was dropped 3:0 by Clayton State University.  In both games, UAH registered only a single shot on goal.

Ugh, it could be a long year for the local college teams.

Huntsville's PT Huang's Virgina Tech To Feature On FSC

Former Grissom High player and current VaTech redshirt freshman PT Haung may make his national television debut Friday night at 7PM during the NSCAA's Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel.  The game will feature the Hokies (0w-0d-2l) and South Florida (1w-2d-1l).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Huntsville Women's Soccer Picking Up Steam

Ladies, lace up your boots.  There has been a groundswell of interest in organizing women's soccer in Huntsville over the past year or so.   Now, you have a place of your own to play. 

Directions to Kiwanis Soccer Field from I-565:  Exit on to Jordan Lane (Exit # 17A). Take a right on Jordan Lane, Take a right at the second stop light on to Bob Wallace Avenue. Turn left at the first drive. There is a sign for the Botanical Gardens "Mulch Pile". Follow the drive up and to the left for the field.

Starting next week (September 9th) there will be a weekly women's pick-up game open to adult ladies at the Kiwanis Soccer Field on the corner of Bob Wallace and Jordan Lane from 6 to 8PM.  The hope is that enough interest will be generated to start a Women's league next spring.  

For more information, contact Suzy Permar at spermar11[at]gmail[dot]com.