Christos FC: Underdogs? Maybe to everyone else

christos

Christos FC: Underdogs, at least to everyone else.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Cinderella story of Christos FC, and their outstanding run in the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup which came to an end last night after an outstanding effort by the team in a 4-1 defeat to DC United.

If you haven’t heard about Christos or last night’s match by now, here are a couple of the typical headlines:

This amateur soccer team, headquartered in a liquor store, never practices and rarely loses

Liquor Store Soccer Team Scores First Against D.C. United

A team based in a liquor store that never practices scored a stunning goal on DC United

Fear The Beer: The Christos FC Story  

No Practice, No Problem For Christos FC Ahead Of Match Against D.C. United

How a Maryland amateur soccer team sponsored by a liquor store got its shot at DC United

And so on.

The stories that we’ve read all talk about the amateur trophies, the liquor store sponsorship, and the GoFundMe page that Christos had to setup in order to raise funds for travel arrangements. And while someone over at Adidas, who recently provided Christos with brand new lime green kits, and others who closely follow soccer in the DMV area understand that Christos is more than just a “pub team” or “a group of guys who will be back at their full time jobs on Wednesday”, there’s no doubt that the story lines write themselves.

What has seemed to fall through the cracks during the past couple of months of Christosmania is the actual quality of the players on this Christos team, who held their own against DC United for the first 70 minutes on Tuesday night in Germantown, before falling victim to the brutal heat and MLS-quality subs that DC United were able to bring off of the bench in Lloyd Sam and Ian Harkes.

Pete Craingi III, Christos’ captain and main danger man throughout the season, has a profile on the MLS website. Why? Because he was invited to the 2014 MLS Combine after a successful career at UMBC. These days Pete is usually spotted at the major youth soccer tourneys and matches, recruiting for UMBC. They have a pretty solid freshman class coming in next season made up of a few guys who can play a little.

If you see what we did there, “a few guys who can play a little”, hopefully you’re picking up on a theme.

This team has thrived on everyone else’s perception, some of it self-inflicted, as the humble underdogs, or in the words of Washington Post’s well-respected local sports journalist Dan Steinberg….”the beer league guys”.

The stories absolutely write themselves, there’s no doubt about that. And just as a note, Steinberg embraced the story and wrote a really cool piece on Washington Post about how “sometimes sports are good”.

Christos “the beer league team” was even featured on two different versions of ESPN Sportscenter last night, once by soccer buff and regular Sportscenter host Max Bretos (who else remembers the days of Max Bretos on Fox Soccer Channel?):

And once again by DMV’er and University of Maryland alumni member Scott Van Pelt:


The story was even on the front page of ESPN at one point!

Others who have gotten in on the story/clicks/views of the little pub team that could include:

Chicago Tribune: Christos FC continues storybook run in U.S. Open Cup, beats FC United

Sports Illustrated: Watch: Amateur team named after a liquor store scores on D.C. United

Denver Post: This amateur soccer team, headquartered in a liquor store, will take on D.C. United in U.S. Open Cup

and so on, you get the point.

Local Pub Team Does Good. We Get It. But Why Does Christos Embrace It?

We mentioned earlier that some, if not a lot, of the “beer league guys” persona is self-inflicted, liquor store sponsorship excluded. When your team is warming up against an MLS team in US Open Cup wearing #alldaysoff shirts:


It’s both hilarious, and genius. Find me someone who doesn’t love free publicity, and I’ll raise with someone who hates the sound of Morgan Freeman’s voice. Christos loves adding fuel to the media fire, but we don’t get the impression that the primary main objective is creating publicity.

While it may be true that the Christos don’t train together on a regular basis, and have full-time jobs that they had to be back at this morning at 7:30 am:


Everyone in that Christos camp, and everyone in the DMV area who is aware of their quality, knows that these guys are more than just your average “pub team”. This is a group of guys who, I believe, add fuel to the media fire for one main reason: the internal “let’s go show them” mentality which every great team possesses.

Write your stories. Do your interviews. Tweet your thoughts. We’ll happily answer your questions, ride the wave, and we’ll do something good with it…. like help donate 300 tee shirts to the crowd at Maryland Soccerplex last night, or look into starting youth soccer programs next season for kids who can’t afford higher-level club programs….and then we’ll go show you we can play.

And yes, this a group of guys who know how to play the game, both on and off the field.

Cody Albrecht, University of Maryland and DeMatha, does some private and group training on the side.

Phil Saunders, former UMBC GK, coaches in the area and very involved in the game.

Mamadou Kansaye, former UMBC captain, coaches at Ellicott City Soccer Club and scored a great free kick against DC United last night.

We know Christos is more than an average pub league team, we’ve seen the trophies and some of us have had to play against their teams in Over-30 ball. But what gets you more fired up and motivated on the field than when EVERYONE, opponents included, is under-estimating you before the game even starts?

Beer league bros to you, underrated to us. Speaking of underrated, aka the title of this piece…

The 6.

The position of CDM, aka the 6. Most of the time, the guy who makes everything look simple and does the dirty work which almost always goes unnoticed. Many will say that defensive midfielders, as a position, are no longer underrated with the emergence of guys like N’Golo Kante, Ander Herrera, or Naby Keita at Red Bulls Leipzig.

When you have a good 6 who can protect the back line, who can read the game quickly enough to be in position to cut off passing lanes, and who doesn’t give away possession, whatever you get offensively can sometimes be the cherry on the top.

Chrstos went 4-2-3-1 last night:

starting xi

With 2 guys, Kaoru Forbess and Mamadou Kansaye, in front of the back line.

20 minutes in, watching via DC United live feed, it seemed like Forbess had a license to get forward more offensively, with Kansaye dropping deeper whenever DCU were in possession. There were 3 or 4 times when Kansaye was able to read the build-up and break up DC United attacks, yet the announcer didn’t really mention his name much.

Pete Carringi, Cody Albrecht, Phil Saunders, seemingly every other Christos player is mentioned by now at least once. And to the DC United announcer, if you’re reading this, no shade thrown your way, great job last night. We’re just trying to set some context here.

Then comes a foul at the top of the box, free kick Christos. Announcer mentions DCU goalkeeper’s name, and then, after previously referring to him as “Christos FC”, Mamadou Kansaye, who actually called his shot (see interview below) scores a free kick goal, somehow managing to get the ball up and over the wall from such a short distance.

It’s what everyone wanted to see, after reading all of the stories. The beer guys scored.

The neon green shirts flocking to the corner flag to celebrate.

People running from the bench area in full sprint to join them.

Want to see the “Beer league guys THAT!” face?

this guy

You’ve probably seen at least 3 different live videos from the goal by now, and that’s because almost everyone in attendance last night was holding up their phones, hoping to capture that one brilliant moment of passion that every soccer player, coach, and fan lives for.

Did they lose 4-1? Sure. But that one moment, the moment when the “beer league guys” scored against DC United, that’s what was on full National display last night in Germantown at Maryland Soccerplex, during a time when many in our country are looking for a feel-good story.

You Said Something About the 6 Guy?

He Can “Play a Little”

Once again, just setting some more context here. I’m in the process of completing my ‘D’ Coaching License, and met Mamadou (below, in Chelsea jacket) for the first time during the course.

mamadou

Some really quality guys who love the game and are fun to be around, including a great instructor in Rob Ryerson, and an up-and-coming DC United Academy youth coach in Jason Boxx.

I’d never seen Mamadou play at UMBC. Heard he was a good player, but when we started playing during field demos that weekend and he told me he was a 6, I didn’t actually believe him at first. Shorter guy, skinnier frame, quick…he looks like a winger at first.

Then he steals the ball from you, smiles, and goes about his business and you’re like…”oh, okay, he’s a 6″.

Since becoming friends with Mamadou, a few things that I’ve learned about him: A very good coach with a great understanding of the game. Very generous with his time when it comes to teaching others, with a sincere desire to see others succeed.

But I’ve only known the guy for a few months. What do some others have to say about him?

Long-time UMBC assistant Anthony Adams, who coached Mamadou at UMBC, gave us a detailed description of what it was like working with Mamadou that left me with the impression that not many have asked him about such an integral part of the “beer league guys'” success:

Mamadou is one of the smartest soccer players I have ever had the privilege of coaching. He is also a general on the field that holds every player accountable. Along with his high character and integrity as a person, I can’t say enough positive things about him.”

Adams, who has coached at UMBC for 21 years and is as respected of a soccer coach as you will find, goes on about a player that he obviously holds in such high regard:

“After Levi created the free kick and Mamadou scored, it was a huge rush of emotions for me in all aspects. As a former coach of Mamadou, at the club and college level, and in my 18-year history with Christos FC…to be up against D.C. United in that setting, on that stage, it was just incredible. I couldn’t be happier for those players and the Christos FC organization.” –Anthony Adams

Someone else who knows a little bit about Mamadou’s quality: former Borrusia Dortmund player and DMV’er abroad Joe Gyau. Through his time playing overseas, and at Youth National Team camps, Joe is a guy who has been around hundreds of players, but was more than happy to talk about his close friend and former teammate:

(laughs) Yeah me and Mamadou go way back! We played together and won State Cup and Regionals together during our youth days with Potomac. Great player, very intelligent on the field. One of the smoothest natural lefties I know. –Joe Gyau

The Day After, How Does it Feel to Score Against DC United and Get on SportScenter?

Hear it from the man himself.

mamadou1

I spoke to Mamadou earlier today, asked him a few questions and it’s obvious from his responses that the moment itself hasn’t really phased him.

Me: “Hey man, congrats on the performance last night. Your goal was on SportsCenter, your phone has probably been blowing up all day, and you can probably barely walk. What’s the craziest thing to happen to you since last night’s goal?”

Mamadou: (laughs) You’re right, I can barely walk. My legs are killing me! It was a great game, and I thought we played really well as a team up until late in the second half. DC United, bringing on subs like Sam and Harkes….who was great by the way, I really like his passing range and a very smart player….but they were just too much for us there at the end.

I was really happy to score the goal, but we were all hoping for a better result so I haven’t really been paying too much attention to Twitter or Facebook.

The craziest thing that happened was, after the game I said hello to a lot of the Christos fans, looked around but couldn’t find my mom anywhere! I called her, and said ‘mom where are you’?

She told me she left early to beat traffic! She was like ‘well you guys weren’t going to win, so why would I stick around?!’ (starts laughing)”

Me: “Haha she sounds like a tough mom to impress! What do you remember about the goal, and the celebration afterward? Christos players supposedly don’t practice, did you used to practice free kicks a ton?”

Mamadou: “I’ve been working on free kicks from that position for the past few weeks, actually. I’ve taken a ton of them. I told the guys before the game, ‘if we get a free kick from the left side of 18-yard box, nobody touch the ball. It’s all mine’, and (laughs) this might sound a little arrogant or whatever, but I told the guys before the game I would score from there!

Levi did great to win the free kick, and before I set it up he actually said to me “don’t forget, you said you’d score from here” so he added some extra pressure. I remember the ball going into the back of the net, and from that moment on I basically blacked out. It’s all still a blur!”

Me: “Great stuff man, and a great story! So in terms of memorable moments in your soccer career, this has to be up there, right? I mean, dude, you were on SportsCenter!”

Mamadou:  “I’ve been really fortunate to have some great soccer memories. This is up there, but isn’t number one”.

Me: “I gotta ask, what’s number one then?!”

Mamadou: (laughs) Meeting Zizou! I met Zinadene Zidane in 2009 at an Adidias Youth event in Denver, that guy was the best player ever! I’ll never forget meeting him”.

Me: “Okay, that’s really cool. But in terms of playing moments, what would trump scoring vs DC United in front of all of those people?!”

Mamadou: “My senior year at UMBC, we beat Maryland at Maryland. That’s number one for me. Yes, I’m happy about the goal, and being on SportsCenter is cool. But like my mom said, we lost, which is all I care about. Beating Maryland, at Maryland? That was special.”

Underdogs

It’s obvious after speaking with my buddy Mamadou that Momma Kansaye did a pretty good job, and that he is a great example of what made this Christos story so memorable, both on and off the field.

The mainstream media coverage and feel-good story about the “beer league team” that scored against DC United is one that everyone enjoys. But at the end of the day, this wasn’t a bunch of average guys who got lucky, “drank regularly”, never trained and rolled out of bed one morning to beat professional teams. This was a group of guys who have played all of their lives, believed in themselves, stayed together as a team, did what they had to do, and made the DMV proud.

Underdogs?

Maybe to you.

DMV US Soccer Development Academy Recap 9/19-9/20

USDAAll three DMV-area US Academy teams endured long road trips up North this weekend, facing off against tough opponents in the Northeast conference.

DC United traveled to New York to take on BW Gottschee and Albertson SC,  while Bethesda-Olney and Baltimore Armour both took weekend trips to Connecticut to square off against Oakwood Soccer Club and Beachside SC.

Baltimore Armour

Baltimore ArmourBaltimore Armour vs Beachside

Baltimore Armour’s u17/18 side took on Beachside SC on Saturday at University of Bridgeport. They were able to get on the board against a competitive team, but the home team prevailed in a 3-1 victory. Goal scorer for Baltimore Armour u17/18 has not yet been reported.

Also in action on Saturday was the Baltimore Armour u15/16 side, coming off of a victory last week against division opponents Bethesda-Olney.

After allowing 2 first half goals to Beachside, and an early goal in the second half, Armour was down 3-0 early, but continued to fight. They were able to make it 3-1 after defender Ben Detweiler saw his deflected volley find the back of the net. A few minutes later, Matthew Bailey was able to put a left-footed shot in the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game. Armour continued to pressure Beachside’s goal throughout the second half, but were unable to find the tying goal despite a hard-fought effort.

Baltimore Armour vs Oakwood Soccer Club

On Sunday, Armour continued their journey up North to Portland, CT to square off against Oakwood Soccer Club at Oakwood’s beautiful soccer complex.

Baltimore Armour u17/18’s were up first, putting in a hard-fought effort but unable to produce a result despite pressuring the Oakwood goal throughout the game. The match finished 1-0 in favor of the home team.

Up next, Baltimore Armour u15/16’s tried to keep the momentum going after nearly coming back from a 3-0 deficit the day before. Armour was able to get on the scoreboard in the first half, thanks to an excellent finish from Olufela “Fela” Osifeso who collected a flick-on from Baltimore Armour striker Brady O’Connor, dribbled around the goalkeeper, and finished the goal from a tough angle. Armour were able to preserve their 1-0 heading into halftime, despite a number of efforts from Oakwood striker Kamer Nuhiu nearly finding the goal. A second half which can only be described as complete insanity would follow in one of the craziest halves of soccer that you could imagine in a USSDA match.

Baltimore Armour striker Brady O’Connor hit the post early in the first half, unlucky not to give his team a 2-0 lead. Oakwood was able tie the match soon thereafter, with Oakwood striker Kamer Nuhiu, who was very impressive throughout the match, finding the back of the net five minutes into the second half to make it 1-1.

However, Baltimore Armour was able to shift the lead back in favor of the visitors, thanks to Olufela “Fela” Osifeso following up a rebound and finding the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Kamer Nuhiu wasn’t finished however, as he was able to find another goal eleven minutes later, tying it up at 2-2 with 24 minutes left in the match. Game on.

Nuhiu was then somehow able to find 2 more goals in the second half, in the 66th and 68th minutes, to take his goal tally in the match to four and putting his team up 4-2. A resilient Baltimore Armour side, coached by head coach Frank Assaro, continued to battle. Matthew Bailey found Armour’s third goal after a spectacular volley from 25 yards out found the back of the net in the 69th minute, and it was sure to be an intense final 10 minutes of the match with the score being 4-3.

Armour conceded a fifth goal two minutes later, when Simon Becher scored for Oakwood. However, Armour continued to battle, and made the game 5-4 in the 79th minute thanks to Kamso Onwumechili getting on the end of a ball bouncing in the box and finishing for Armour. It was 5-4 heading into extra time, but the Baltimore Armour u15/16 side weren’t able to equalize and were left with a long bus ride home after a roller coaster of a match.

Next weekend, Baltimore Armour travels to Pennsylvania to take on PA Classics on Saturday.

Bethesda-Olney

Bethesda OlneyBethesda-Olney vs Oakwood Soccer Club

Bethesda-Olney u17/18’s came into their matchup vs Oakwood with a perfect 2-0 record so far this season, after defeating Baltimore Armour the week before and Everton FC Westchester in Week 1. The visitors were able to keep their perfect record in tact on Saturday, after defeating the home team 1-0 at Oakwood’s soccer complex in Portland, CT. Bethesda-Olney’s goal was scored by Justin Lobe.

Up next was Bethesda-Olney’s u15/16 side, taking on a tough Oakwood u15/16 side who only lost to New England Revolution’s u15/16 team in week 1 by one goal in a 1-0 defeat. The home team prevailed this time out, with Oakwood winning the match 2-0.

Bethesda-Olney vs Beachside SC

On Sunday, Bethesda-Olney were in Bridgeport, CT to take on Beachside SC before a long journey back to Maryland on Sunday night.

Bethesda-Olney u17/18’s were up first, looking to keep their perfect record in tact. However, they ran into a Beachside team who were able to produce a 3-0 victory and improve their record to 2-1 on the season. Bethesda-Olney’s u17/18 side are 3-1 heading into next weekend’s away matchup vs NJCSA.

In u15/16 action, Bethesda-Olney looked to rebound from 2 straight losses to Oakwood and Baltimore Armour, respectively, and were able to do so after securing an impressive 3-0 away victory versus a quality Beachside opponent. Goals were scored by Jerry Zouantcha, Alex Debayo-Doherty, and Gabe Segal. Bethesda-Olney u15/16’s will travel to NJ next weekend to take on NJCSA.

DC United

DC United AcademyDC United vs BW Gottschee Academy

With the other two DMV-area Academy clubs traveling to Connecticut this weekend, DC United had a Northern road trip of their own this past weekend when they took the road to New York to take on BW Gottschee and Albertson SC, respectively.

DC United u17/18’s were coming into Saturday’s matchup with BW Gottschee- who is historically competitive at every age level- with a perfect 2-0 record after beating NJCSA in week 1, and earning an impressive 5-0 away victory in their last match.

Heading into halftime scoreless, DC United u17/18’s took a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Gerson Umana. However, the home BW Gottschee continued to battle and were able to secure two second-half goals, handing DC United their first loss of the season.

DC United’s u15/16 side, who allowed 5 goals in the week prior in a 5-1 defeat to New York Red Bulls, also dropped to the home BW Gottschee side by a score of 1-0.

DC United vs Albertson SC

Both DC United Academy clubs were looking to rebound from losses on Sunday, when they took on Albertson SC at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

The DC United u17/18 side were up first, and managed to improve their record to 3-1 after defeating the home Albertson SC side 2-0. Miles Robinson scored in the first minute of the match, and Jose Carranza scored DC United’s second goal in the first half to secure the 2-0 victory.

In u15/16 action, DC United made short work of Albertson SC thanks to Colin Brezniak, who netted a brace within 20 minutes of the match. Alexis Cerritos scored in the second half, as did Casimir Zekoua, to secure a 4-0 victory for the DC United u15/16 side who travel to Pennsylvania next weekend to take on PDA.

USSDA Atlantic Division Standings

U17/18

U17/18 Atlantic standings

DC United are currently in third place in the U17/18 Atlantic Standings, followed by Bethesda-Olney who are in fourth. Baltimore Armour u17/18 are in last, with a lot of time to improve.

U15/16

U15/16 Academy Standings Atlantic

In the u15/16 tables, DC United are in fourth place through 4 matches, Bethesda-Olney in 6th place, and Baltimore Armour in 8th.

Congratulations to all of the local DMV Academy teams, and keep up the good work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Academy Recap April 18 and 19, 2015

Another weekend in the books for the local DMV 2015 Spring Academy season, a weekend which saw hot temperatures on AND off of pitches as local Academy clubs continue to fight for points which are coming harder and harder to come by.

Baltimore Bays Chelsea vs DC United

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On Saturday, Baltimore Bays’ u13/14, u15/16, and u17/18 teams squared off against DC United at Hammond High School in Columbia.

First up was u17/18 action, with DC United taking control early in the match. DC United and future University of Maryland Terp Eryk Williamson got an earl goal in the 9th minute, and 2 minutes later Stephane Kouama put United up 2-0. Williamson added his second goal of the game, and 18th of the season, in the 23rd minute as DC United went into halftime with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Things got worse for the Bays when defender Gregory Andreou was sent off for a second yellow card, and the floodgates opened. DC United were able to cruise to a 9-0 victory thanks to braces by Jorge Calix (goals in the 73rd and 88th minutes), Lucas Mendes (53rd and 69th minutes), and Daniel Reeves (56th and 66th minutes).

In u15/16 action, the temperature heated up on the field during a match which was a lot closer than the 5-0 scoreline reflected.

DC United forward Raheem Lawal got DC United off to an early 1-0 victory, and the Bays conceded a second early goal in the 9th minute when Carson Jeffris put the visitors up 2-0. However the Bays continued to fight back and saw a goal disallowed on a questionable offsides call right before the half, when Matt Bailey followed in his own shot for a goal off of a corner kick.

Things got worse for the Bays in the second half when Olufela “Fela” Osifeso appeared to be fouled in the box for a penalty, but the referee decided to swallow his whistle instead of pointing to the spot.

DC United went up 3-0 in the 53rd minute through a goal by Luis Rodriguez-Luna, and a second half brace by SahrFelix Sandy saw the visiting DC United rebound from their 1-0 defeat last week to Philadelphia Untion with a 5-0 victory.

In u14/15 action, DC United defeated the Bays in a 7-0 victory. Goals were scored by Dan Benevides (2), Ryan Jones (2), Noah Nwosu (2), and Jonathan Godette.

Bethesda-Olney vs Everton FC Westchester

Elsewhere on Saturday, Bethesda Olney’s u17/18 and u15/16 teams squared off against visiting Everton FC Westchester at Richard Montgomery High School.

The u17/18’s were able to secure a 4-0 victory thanks to goals from Ibrahima Kouyata (2 goals), Stephen Harlan IV, and Alex La Noire.

In u15/16 action, Everton FC Westchester was able to escape with three points thanks to a first half goal from Shane Devine.

Bethesda-Olney’s u14/15 team defeated Lehigh Valley 1-0 thanks to a goal from William Tichy.

Baltimore Bays vs Everton FC Westchester

The Bays’ u15/16 and u17/18 teams played a double header this weekend, facing off against FC Westchester at Harford Community College on Sunday.

The Bays u17/18 team had their best showing of the Spring season, going up 1-0 early thanks to a goal from Randy Rowe. Everton FC Westchester leveled the scoring right before halftime thanks to a goal from Colin Furlong.

In the second half, Frank Assaro was able to get on the end of a set piece for a late goal (82nd minute) that put the Bays up 2-1, but the home team wasn’t able to hang on when Everton FC Westchester scored a late counter-attack goal through Simeon Okoro to escape with a draw.

In u15/16 action, the game remained scoreless through the first half. However, things livened up in the second half when Olufela “Fela” Osifeso put the Bays up 1-0 with an incredible individual effort and his first of the season.

Everton FC Westchester forward Dantae Greer, who came into the match with 13 goals on the season, was able to score the tying goal in the 48th minute. Greer also scored the game winner in the 63rd minute, taking his goal tally to an impressive 15 goals on the season as the Bays were unable to hold onto the second-half lead or earn any points in a 2-1 defeat.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Academy Recap

USDA

Another weekend is in the books for DMV area US Soccer Development Academy teams, with a few teams having the weekend off.

 

Baltimore Bays Chelsea

Baltimore Bays’ u14, u16, and u17/18 teams hosted visiting FC Delco teams at Troy Park in Elkridge on Sunday. The u17/18 team kicked things off, struggling to deal with an FC Delco side whose spirits were high after a win last weekend against Seacoast United. Delco was able to squeek by with a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by CJ Smolyn. Bays goalkeeper Chase Vosvick (Twitter) was sent off in the second half after a very questionable red card for a foul outside of the box.

Next up was the Bays’ u15/16 team, who was able to get a result at home against FC Delco’s u15/16 squad which was 1-1 coming into Sunday’s match. Matthew Bailey (Twitter) was able to get an early goal in the first half, with Brady O’Connor (Twitter) scoring the second first-half goal. In the second half, FC Delco had a player sent off and the Bays were able to close the game out against the short-handed FC Delco squad, with Bays Goalkeeper George Taylor (Twitter) securing the clean sheet.

The Bays’ u14 team had a tough day, dropping to FC Delco by a score of 10-1.

All three Bays teams will have a 2-week break, picking things back up on April 18th against DC United.

Bethesda-Olney

Bethesda-Olney’s u13/14, u15/16, and u17/18 teams all hosted PA Classics over the weekend, with all three squads playing the traveling PA Classics teams at Richard Montgomery High School on Saturday.

The u17/18 team kicked things off on Saturday, securing a 3-2 victory thanks to a hat trick by Sam Sergi (Twitter). Sergi got a first-half goal in the 31′, and scored the remainder of his hat trick in the second half in the 51st and 69th minute. His last goal proved the be the winner, after PA Classics scored two goals in the second half- Aaron Robinson and McKinley Curran netting in the 47th and 85th minutes, respectively.

Next up was the u15/16 team, who were also able to secure a victory with a 4-0 win versus PA Classics’ u15/16 team. Goalscorers were not yet reported on the USSDA website, match report can be found here.

And lastly, Bethesda Olney’s u13/14 team was able to earn a 2-1 victory against PA Classics’ u13/14 team, with goals scored by Alessandro Allen (3′) and Gabe Segal (43′).

Bethesda Olney’s three Academy teams will travel to PDA on Saturday, April 11th.

DC United

DC United were not in action in academy play this weekend. Their u17/18 team reportedly played against Baltimore Celtic in a friendly (3 30 minute periods), with Celtic coming out on top 2-1 thanks to goals by Tyler Gabarra and Connor Smith.

Weekend Roundup March 7th-8th 2015

soccer-field-snow

Mother nature did her best “stopper” impersonation in the week leading up to what was supposed to be an exciting opening weekend for MLS and US Development Academy teams, covering the Northeast in snow, sleet, and ice. And boy did she succeed, putting in a “MOTM” performance.

US Development Academy Roundup

USDA

March 7th and 8th

Many area teams were forced to cancel training sessions during the brutal winter week, struggling to find indoor practice venues and battling hazardous road conditions in the DMV. As a result, of the four area US Development Academy teams (DC United, Bethesda-Olney, Baltimore Bays Chelsea, and Richmond United), Richmond was the only team in action this weekend.

Richmond United

Richmond United U-13/14 hosted NJCSA on Saturday, coming out on top with a 4-1 win. Goals were scored by Ryland Maragh, Luke Mega, Miles Peay and Jacob Thomas. NJCSA’s Matthew Leon kept Richmond from earning the clean sheet. (official match report here)

Richmond United’s U-15/16 team had a double-header this weekend, facing off against NJCSA on Saturday and NY Red Bulls on Sunday, both games being held at home at Ukrop Park. Richmond was able to put up a 5-1 victory over NJCSA, led by a Julian Ngoh hat trick and a brace by Brandon Perdue. (official match report here)

However, Sunday proved to be a far more difficult task, with NY Red Bulls coming to town and earning a 3-0 victory. Red Bulls goals were scored by Omir Fernandez and Brian Saramago. (match report)

In U-17/18 action, Richmond United earned a 3-1 victory over NJCSA on Saturday. Goals were scored by Jesus Duran Reyes and Keenan O’Shea (who also saw red in the match, official match report here).

On Sunday, however, New York Red Bulls came to town and put up five goals in a 5-0 victory against Richmond United’s U-17/18 team, with goals from Wesley Wade (2), Juan Sebastian Sanchez, Gideos Metrikin, and Malcolm Dixon. (match report)

DC United

DC United’s US Development Academy Teams are scheduled to play in the following matches this upcoming weekend (March 14th and 15th, 2015):

DC United U15/16 at HOME vs PDA (Players Development Academy) U15/16Saturday, March 14th at 5:15pmPrince George’s Sport and Learning Complex

DC United U17/18 at HOME vs PDA (Players Development Academy)  U17/18 – Saturday, March 14th at 11:00am – Evergreen SportsPlex – Field 4 (Turf)

Bethesda-Olney

Bethesda-Olney’s US Development Academy Teams are scheduled to play in the following matches this upcoming weekend (March 14th and 15th, 2015):

Bethesda-Olney U13/14 HOME vs Soccer Association of Columba (SAC) U13/14Saturday March 14th at 2:30pmRichard Montgomery High School

Bethesda-Olney U15/16 AWAY vs New York Red Bulls U15/16 – Sunday March 15th at 2:30pmRed Bulls Training Facility

Bethesda-Olney U17/18 AWAY vs New York Red Bulls U15/16 – Sunday March 15th at 12:00pmRed Bulls Training Facility

Baltimore Bays Chelsea

Baltimore Bays Chelea’s US Development Academy teams are scheduled to play in the following matches this upcoming weekend (March 14th and 15th, 2015):

Baltimore Bays U13/14 AWAY vs Lehigh Valley United U-13/14 Saturday, March 14th at 1:00pm – Whitehall High School

Baltimore Bays U15/16 AWAY vs NJCSA U-15/16Sunday, March 15th at 2:30pm St. John Vianney High School

Baltimore Bays U17/18 AWAY vs NJCSA U-15/16 – Sunday, March 15th at 12:00pm – St. John Vianney High Schol

MLS Roundup

Opening Weekend Attendance

orlando sc crowd

Orlando City SC and New York City FC both made their MLS debuts this weekend, ending in a 1-1 draw. Goals were scored by Kaka and Mix Diskerud.

Over 60,000 people attended the match, making it the 9th highest attended game in MLS history and the 2nd most successful opening match (in terms of attendance) since the Los Angeles Galaxy’s opening match back in 1996 at the Rose Bowl which saw just under 70,000 fans attend (official attendance: 69,225).

For more information on opening day MLS attendance numbers, check out Steven Goff’s Washington Post article MLS Draws a Record Crowd on Opening Weekend.

DC United

With a disappointing number of fans coming to DC United’s Home and season opener on Saturday at RFK Stadium (only 11,549 fans in attendance, an alarmingly low number for a franchise that finished 1st in the Eastern Conference last season, and which was once among the league’s elite teams in terms of supporters), the Black and Red were able to secure a 1-0 victory against a visiting Montreal Impact team which finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last season.

Jairo Arrieta, who DC United acquired from Orlando City SC after he was picked up in the 2014 MLS Expansion draft, opened his 2015 scoring account early, scoring the game’s loan goal in the 58th minute.

DC United will play again in two weeks, when they travel to New York to face the Red Bulls on March 22nd.

World Football Roundup

English Premier League

Harry Kane vs Tottenham

There was only one EPL match this weekend- Tottenham Hotspurs vs QPR. Harry Kane continued his impressing recent scoring form, bagging a brace for the visitors as they saw off QPR 2-1.

In FA Cup Action, Aston Villa beat West Brom 2-0 on Saturday in a match which saw fans raiding the pitch and the FA preparing to step in and investigate.

Reading and Bradford drew 0-0 on Saturday, as did Liverpool and Blackburn on Sunday (0-0).

Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira

Hopefully today’s marquee FA Cup matchup, Manchester United vs Arsenal, produces more action than this weekend’s rather boring scorelines.

La Liga

Lionel Messi vs Rayo Vallecano

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick on Sunday in Barcelona‘s 6-1 THRASHING of 10-man Rayo Vallecano. Luis Suarez scored a double, with Pique also getting in on the action. The win sees Barcelona take over LA Liga’s top spot, one point ahead of Real Madrid. For video highlights of the match visit Yahoo!’s recap here.

And be sure to check out Neymar’s reaction. The Brazilian was forced to serve a suspension over the weekend for yellow card accumulation.

Real Madrid dropped points against Althletic Bilbao this past weekend, losing to the 8th place LA Liga side 1-0. You can find a more in-depth match report here via BBC.

Real Madrid will prepare to face Schalke tomorrow in Champions League action, going into the match with a 2-0 aggregate lead.

Ronaldo

One interesting piece of news coming as a result of Real’s weekend loss, 32% of Real Madrid fans say Cristiano Ronaldo should be dropped! Maybe those fans were dropped on their heads at some point, but it still remains to be seen how Cristiano and Gareth Bale can co-exist, with Madridistas becomming more and more infatuated with Isco.

Bundesliga

Bayern Munich now have an 11 point lead in the Bundesliga, defeating Hannover 3-1 on Saturday. Muller was impressive throughout the match for Bayern Munich, who prepare to take on Shakhtar this week in Champions League action.

See Goal.com’s Bundesliga team of the week here.

Champions League Preview

This week’s Champions League Round of 16 matchups will see some World-Class clubs eliminated from the competition.

PSG travel to London to face Chelsea on Wednesday. The first leg finished 1-1, with Chelsea scoring the away goal.

Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg, and will settle things on the pitch in Munich on Wedsnesday.

Real Madrid will attempt to see off Schalke on Tuesday, with Real playing hosts after beating the Bundesliga side 2-0 in the first leg.

And finally, Tuesday will see Basel and Porto determine which side will move on and ultimately play the underdog of the Round of 8. The two clubs battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, with Porto grabbing the away goal.

Yanks Abroad

For a recap of how Americans playing in Europe and other parts of the world fared in this weekend’s action, check out Steven Goff’s Americans Abroad recap.

Also be sure to check in on Yanks Abroad for news relating to Americans playing the beautiful game overseas.

 

And finally, congratulations to Richie Williams and the US U-17 National Soccer team, who defeated Guatemala last week to win the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.