Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Shots 11/21/2008

Mike has his weekly Former Wizards update and some More on MLS roster changes. I can not see how going from 18 senior and 10 development players to 20 senior and 4 development will help the league in the long run. More money to sign senior players? That is good but is bad for developing players for the future.

Reduce the dilution of the talent pool for expansion? If we need to stop the dilution now, then what are we going to do when they expand 3 more teams by 2011. I hope MLS officials can explain it if that is what happens.

Wizards sign Jewsbury and Arnaud to extensions – good news. Vermes long term plans are coming together.

Hillcrest Road is all a Twitter. He also has a Coldplay update with photos taken by the Wzards players themselves.

The Science of Soccer Online blog has a bunch of interesting (to me) articles. The author is a Professor of Exercise Science at Virginia Tech. A couple of recent articles that female soccer players may be most interested in: Fatigue increases ACL risk and Can shoe orthotics reduce ACL risk. I need to go back and read some more.

Albert Pujols joins St Louis Soccer – Gotta be good for their bid. Not sure if that will impress other team owners but getting press like that in the non-soccer media always helps.

Speaking of bids, thee is an Expansion update from Goff. It seems that the expansion board is meeting today to get presentations from some of the potential ownership groups. I talked to one of the board members yesterday and let him know my preference.

My picks would be St. Louis and Portland to get the next two spots.

Local Colleges in their tournaments

The 48-team field for the 2008 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship was announced on Monday. The Kangaroos will take on Tulsa in the first in the first round of the tournament today. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla.
The Kangaroos finished the regular season with a 10-6-3 record and a 3-3 record in league play. Senior Brian Harris claimed Summit League Offensive Player of the Year honors as he led UMKC with 12 goals on the season, tying the single-season goal scoring record. Junior Bryan Perez added 10 goals on the campaign, as the Blue-and-Gold struck for 38 tallies on the year.
Sophomore Ken Cooper registered five clean sheets on the season, posting a 10-5-2 record with a 1.21 goals-against average, receiving Summit League Tournament MVP honors after registering 16 saves over 220 minutes, allowing just one goal.
Here is the UMKC release: UMKC Kangaroos go to the NCAA Tournament
See all of the teams in the NCAA soccer bracket

Park University - Go Pirates!!!
The No. 10 ranked Park University men’s soccer team will take on Baker University this Saturday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.
With an 11-3-3 overall record, Park received the No. 6 seed in the tournament and will travel to Baldwin City, Kan. to take on the No. 21 ranked Wildcats at Emil S. Liston Stadium. Park was one of only five teams to receive an at-large bid into the tournament.
Park faced six teams that have qualified for the national tournament and went a respectable 3-3-1 against those teams. Baker faced three national tournament team and finished 1-1-1 against those squads.
Park University Men's Soccer Qualifies for NAIA National Tournament First Round is the official version. See the NAIA soccer bracket for all of the teams.

Coach Onalfo Interview 11-19-2008

I talked with Coach by phone on Wednesday. I have to say thanks to Coach for taking the time and for calling back when we could not connect the first time. This was recorded over a speaker phone but I think it came out okay.

Part 1
What Coach was most proud of this year(team and himself).

Coach at one of the weekly press conferences...

Part 2
Next year, Off season plans, expansion draft

Coach after a practice. All the coaches scrimmaged the non-starters that week.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Trails project gets MDFB approval

Here is the offical word from the Wizards press release:

The Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) approved today tax credits toward The Trails development in Southeast Kansas City, a project proposed by local real estate company LANE4 Property Group that would include a soccer-specific stadium for the Kansas City Wizards.

"We are very appreciative of the Board coming to this conclusion," Robb Heineman, CEO of Wizards ownership group OnGoal, said. "Our goal would be to start demolition as soon as possible. Obviously our economic situation is improved in a new stadium, so we have every incentive to move the project forward."

In listening to the meeting and talking with Cliff Illig afterwards, there is still work to be done. The State TIF Board still needs to do some work/approval. It does sond like that is not a huge concern though.

From the conversation, it sounds like demolition will start early next year (January).

Robb Heineman and Cliff Illig all smiles after MDFB approval...

The board sounded supportive in general. There was only one question and that was about a labor dollar figure. After some brief scrambling, the Lane 4/Three Trails people with Robb and Cliff were able to answer to the boards satisfaction.

Items I heard that I found interesting:
Certain amount of office space was to anchor a Fortune 500 company on the Missouri side
The Board worked through setting phases with the developers to insure proper progress
There are clauses to pull back State money if phases are not met

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Missouri 1 - 1 Illinois Womens NCAA soccer

Here is the official word: The No. 10 University of Missouri soccer team ended its season in a penalty kick shootout to the Illinois Fighting Illini 4-3 after a 1-1 game after two overtimes in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Walton Stadium. The Tigers ended their year with a record-breaking 16-5-2 record while the Illini improve to 12-8-2 on the year.

Here is my version: What a game!!! Players were flying all over the field.

The first half was relatively even. The Tigers controlled the ball a bit more and had more build up but the Illini had more dangerous opportunities.

In the second half, Illinois started well and had a bit of an advantage. In the 56th minute Chichi Nweke slid one past the Tiger keeper. From that point on, the Tiger’s turned up the pressure. Shot after shot went just wide, just high, just off the post or into the Illini keeper.

In the 74th minute, some smart passing and a good run into space put Mallory Stipetich in alone with Alexandra Kapicka, The Illinois goalie. Stipetich was able to force the keeper one way and then put the ball down the middle. Alysha Bonnick and Michelle Collins contributed the assists. Here is the Missouri goal...

Through the rest of the second half numerous opportunities came the Tigers way but again they kept going just past goal. Illinois countered when possible and weathered the storm. Regulation time ended tied at one.

At half time the shorts were relatively even with Illinois up 6 – 5 but in the second half the Tigers out shot Illinois 15 - 4 and that trend continued in the double overtime where Missouri added 6 to Illini’s 1 for a total shot advantage of 28-11. The Corner kicks favored Mizzou as well, 12 to 2.

As it so often does, it came down to the shootout from the penalty spot. Both teams put one over the crossbar to keep it even going in to the 5th round. The Illinois player placed the ball nicely out of reach of the Tiger keeper, but the Illinois keeper guessed correctly and blocked the Tiger shooters to win. Illinois moves on in the tournament and The Big 12 Champion Tigers stay home to reflect on a great season.

It was a hard fought and often physical game as both teams showed they really wanted the win. While the Tigers were not lucky, a little better shooting and they would not have needed any luck at all.

Looking forward to next year Missouri…
Good luck Illini…

The rest of the photos can be found in: MU vs ILL Gallery

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jimmy Conrad Interview 11/12/2008 Part 3 and 4

The last of the season ending player interviews... (I am working on some more, stay tuned)

Captain Kansas City talks about what they need to do for next year, getting players off the "scrap heap"...

Conrad on the attack, which happily he did well this year...

This year vs last years success, team identity, what he is proud of...

Jimmy being interviewed on a warmer day...

Jimmy Conrad Interview 11/12/2008 Part 1 and 2

In part 1, Jimmy is asked about the off season, to talk about this year, how far the team came, playing with Claudio Lopez, playing at Community America Ballpark, having the Cauldron so close...

Jimmy being Jimmy at the interview...

In part 2, Jimmy gives his predictions for MLS cup, how the season ended, how games turn on 1 or 2 plays...

There is a lot of love on this team...