Friday, February 25, 2011

Comets Face Vipers in Crucial Game

Calvin posing with Comets players Vahid Assadpour and Geison Moura

Comets Host Omaha:
The Missouri Comets face the Omaha Vipers in a key matchup tonight with serious playoff implications tonight. The Comets can pull within one game of the Vipers for the third and final playoff spot.

The Vipers remaining schedule is tough. After the game tonight at Missouri, they have to play a home and home series against the second place Milwaukee Wave. Omaha has not played well since releasing their top scorer Chile Farias and their number one goalie Jose Bontti.

Missouri does not have it easy, but they do have two games against last place Chicago and the final game against Baltimore. A win would tie the series between Missouri and Omaha.

Mascot Game:
There will be a mascot game at halftime of the Comets game tonight. While the exact teams remain to be seen, they have put together quite a lineup of mascots and characters. The mascots must all love playing some soccer.

Calvin (Comets)
Dingo the Dog
Sizzle (T-Bones)
KC Wolf & Little Wolf (Chiefs)
Dexter (T Rex Kansas City restaurant)
Mongo Man
Hometown Bee
Chick Fil A Cows (Father, Mother, Brother & Sister)
Big Jay (KU)
Dollar Dog (Citizens Bank)
Willy Wolf (Great Wolf Lodge)
Scoopy the Cone (Culvers)
Coco Parrot (Coco Key)
Putty (Paradise Park)
Mac (Mavericks)
Twinkie the Kid
Fresh Freddy (Hostess)
Sauce (Famous Dave’s)
Sly the Fox (KCFX)
Funny Monkey (Funny 102.5)
Gator (Blue Springs Football)
Darth Vader
There will also be about a dozen other Star Wars characters, including Storm Troopers and Jedi Knights.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Super F Champions Cup National Futsal Tournament 2011

Over the weekend, the Super F Champions Cup National Futsal Tournament was played around Kansas City. I did not get to see as many games as I wanted each day and on Sunday I was only able to catch the last three championship games. They were good games and some interesting stories as well.

Boys U15 Championship Game - Team Elite vs Kaw Valley Force Jambars Red

The first thing anyone noticed when Team Elite walked on the floor was that they did not look like a lot of the other teams. They had yellow shirts with hand stenciled numbers and that was the only thing that matched. They wore different shorts and socks and had a bit of the Bad News Bears look to them.

Looking back through the bracket, both teams records were 2-1 coming into the final. Team Elite's previous loss was to the same Kaw Valley team they were about to play. Once they started the game, Team Elite did not look worried. They got out to an early lead and slowly wore down their opponents. As the game went on Team Elite got better and better, making great plays offensively and defensively. Their goalie made big saves when needed.

Team Elite won 11 - 3

I talked with Coach Aaron Shillcutt after the game. The team was put together a week earlier by the Coach's son. they had no practices together and some of the players did not even know their team mates names. It's incredible that they could throw a team together and not only win, but dominate the final game.

Coach Aaron Shillcutt

Team Elite, strangers to friends to champions...

Boys U16 Super Group Championship Game - DCFA Sao Paulo vs BV Boca Jrs. White

This was another good game. Teams were well matched. DCFA (Denison Cabral Futsal Academy) won 6 - 2 adding goals including a PK late to put it away. I was going to interview their coach as well but their fans were so loud it was pointless.

My daughter managed to get this video of the PK. I would have some photos of their game but their fans could not resist jumping in front of people watching.

High School Boys Championship Game - Sporting KC Juniors USA vs Central Fall Warriors

Sporting KC Juniors filed two teams (the U16's split up), The undefeated Sporting KC Juniors USA beat the Sporting KC Juniors Portugal team in a close (8-6) semi final game to advance to the Championship.

Central Fall Warriors (Explosion FC) defeated the Cleveland Super F18s 8-3 to advance to the Championship game and face the one team that had beat them. In fact the Sporting KC Juniors was the only team that had seriously challenged them up to that point.

In the final game, both teams played well through the first half keeping the score close. Central Falls Warriors started losing their organization in the second half and Kansas City punished them for it. In the end, Sporting KC won 8 - 1.

I sat and talked with Explosion FC Director and Founder Juilius Summerville through much of the match and it was very evident how proud he was of how this team had done. He told me enough background that I had to talk to their coach. It turns out these kids are from Central Falls Rhode Island. An area noted for how bad their schools are. These kids did not come from well to do areas, they had to scrimp and fund raise like crazy just to get to Kansas City. They could not even afford to bring all of their players.

These kids came to play and play they did. They showed great heart and I wish them well. Hopefully their schools will be improved, they deserve better.

Central Falls Coach Carl Africo talks about his team

Sporting KC scores from close range

Sporting KC and Central Falls Warriors pose together..

Sporting KC Juniors...

Podcast: Byline 2 Backpost 2/19/2011

The latest podcast is now available.

We discuss all the MLS News, Open Cup format, Hall of Fame Nominees, Sporting Kansas City players, the Missouri Comets and more...

Get it from iTunes



We now have music on the podcast as well thanks to The Vandon Arms, a great band out of Iowa. Their latest album is The Sent Off EP and contains several soccer related songs. You can hear their music here or check them out on their Facebook page. We will feature more of their songs on future podcasts.

The song used in the beginning and between segments is My Football Team's Got Me Drinkin and the song to close out the podcast is Football Night

The new jersey of Kevin Ellis...

Lucas Rodriguez blocking a shot in the last Missouri Comets game...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comets 9 - 7 Chicago Riot - 2/20/11

Byron Alvarez celebrates a goal with fans

The Comets added a rare win at home when they made a comeback in the fourth quarter. The first half was low scoring with the only scoring was both teams getting 2 point goals in the first quarter.

The second half was a little more action packed with five goals and twelve cards issued with Chicago drawing all but two of those cards.

The Comets trailed going into the fourth and the Riot scored another power play goal to go up 7-2. The Comets were awarded a penalty kick when Assadpour was pulled down/tripped in front of the goal. Byron Alvarez took the penalty and put it past Riot keeper Jeffy Richey.

The Riot ended up with a pair of two minute penalties when they received a too many men on the field penalty and then Riot head coach Jeff Kraft was carded when he came on the field to argue with the officials.

Chicago almost escaped being down two men but Vahid Assadpour scored a three point goal with two seconds left on the power play. Alvarez scored again off a restart to give the Comets the lead for the first time of the game.

The win moved Missouri into 4th place and keeps the playoff hopes alive for the Comets. The Omaha Vipers are in third place and 1 1/2 games ahead of the the Comets in the standings for the final playoff spot. The Comets next home again is against the Vipers and will be crucial if they hope to make the post season.

Byron Alvarez

Danny Waltman

Nate Houser bringing the ball up out of the back...

Vahid Assadpour's shot being blocked...

Kei Kamara Interview 2/17/11

Quick interview with Kei Kamara after fitness training last week.

Kei at preseason training...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Roger Espinoza interview - 2/17

Talked with Roger after his workout last Friday...

Roger after the World Cup with his Honduras jersey and flag...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coach Keith Tozer Clinic - interview

Coach Tozer directing drills during the clinic...

Keith Tozer, Head Coach for the US Futsal team and the Milwaukee Wave was in town to give a clinic prior to the start of the National Futsal Tournament Friday evening. For two hours he rapidly covered techniques, drills and tactics using Sporting Kansas City Juniors U-16 players to demonstrate each concept.

It was one of (if not) the best clinics I have attended. Coach Tozer's knowledge and ability to convey that knowledge to the kids in the demo and the crowd that came to watch and learn was extremely impressive.

As he ran through each drill, he built upon each previous lesson until he had kids confidently running complex drills at the end. Tozer gave variations on each tactic. He explained how to defend those tactics and then how to break those defenses.

While it was a Futsal clinic and each lesson was Futsal focused, he would also explain the benafits for outdoor players from the drills.

It was a great glimpse into why the US Futsal team has done so well over the years and why Milwaukee is always one of the best teams in MISL.

A quick talk with Coach Tozer...

Coach Tozer talking with the crowd...

Several Indoor and Futsal greats were in attendance