Crown (Spring 2018) Game 3/4 Recap

Ok we have another pair of games to get through this time around, one against a team that Crown had never played or even seen before, and the other against a very familiar foe from years past. Let’s just say that some things never change…they call that foreshadowing. Here we go then.

Crown v TNFC:

With a few players running late Crown began this game with no subs and found themselves down 2-0 early before Simon got Crown on the board followed by PJ and it was 2-2. But TNFC were a solid, hustling team and replied with a pair of their own to get the lead back up to 4-2 before Tim finished off Simon’s post effort to cut it back to 4-3. Crown then had their first big complaint as a TNFC defender had a pretty clear (or so every thought) slide tackle to block a goal bound shot but no call from either ref and Crown found themselves down by one at the half. Rob finally arrived and went right to work by scoring the tying goal early in the second half, but once again TNFC answered to take the lead 5-4. PJ (2) got Crown back on level terms again and finally they actually took the lead with Rob (2) making up for missing the first half. Crown had some chances to finish the game off but were made to pay for the missed opportunities when TNFC caught a break as a deflected shot gave Chris, making his Crown debut in net, no chance. Speaking of Chris, it has to be noted that he made a pair of huge saves in the second half to ensure Crown got something from this game. And should it have been the full 3 points? Probably as in the final seconds Tim beat his defender and the keeper only to have another slide tackle stop his game winner to which again there was no call, the ref actually had the whistle in his mouth and took 4 or 5 steps towards the play but apparently had no air in his lungs. And so a back and forth game ended 6-6 with some controversy but the good thing was it was not with our opponents, they were just a good competitive bunch. Afterwards though I was thinking it has been awhile since we suggested that BlueSky help out their referees with some visual aids, no, nothing like video review or the high tech googles from last time…maybe we go old school and all chip in for a pair of these to be kept in the booth: read more

Manchester Utd – Chelsea Recap

Manchester Utd v Chelsea…Mourinho v Conte, Matic v Kanté, Lukaku v Morata, Hazard v Sánchez, the list goes on an on in what is one of the more interesting rivalries in the Premier League these days. Both of these  teams find themselves entrenched in a tight top 4 battle, outside of Manchester City of course, so if either could pull off the win and get the full 3 points then it would put them in a more favorable position. For Utd there was the added fact that their other fierce rival Liverpool had won the day before and had moved ahead into 2nd place, a fact I am sure Mourinho reminded the players of. Both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial returned to the starting lineup for this one in an eleven that looked like this: read more

Champions League: Sevilla – Manchester Utd Recap

Manchester Utd traveled to Spain to take on Sevilla in the first game of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup on Wednesday. So far Premier League teams have fared quite well in the knockout portion of the competition and Utd were looking to follow in their footsteps and grab a stranglehold with a solid road performance. Sevilla, currently sitting in 5th place in La Liga, would be no pushover however as they are a team who knows how to play on the European stage. José Mourinho was able to once again call on the services of Paul Pogba after he overcame his recent illness and was able to make the trip, but he had to be content starting from the bench as the lineup looked as follows: read more

Meet Crown: 5 Questions with Phil

Ok it’s time for another installment of Meet Crown, and this time around the individual in the hot seat actually requested to be in it…Phil “Young Gun” Wells. The circumstances of this interview are not exactly ideal as Phil is looking at another surgery and accompanying long stretch on the DL but that will be addressed in his 5 Questions. While Phil’s time with Crown has not been all that lengthy due to only becoming eligible within the last couple of years, he certainly made an instant impact…but I will stop spoiling things and start asking questions, let’s get into The Curious Case of Philip Wells. read more

FA Cup: Huddersfield – Manchester Utd Recap

Manchester Utd took on Huddersfield in their 5th Round FA Cup matchup on Saturday looking to book a spot in the Quarter-Finals. A few key players were missing for this one as David De Gea and Antonio Valencia were given a rest and Paul Pogba came down with an illness. But there was a welcome sign on the bench as Eric Bailly returned to the roster from his injury layoff, he will surely become a vital member of the backline with the Champions League on the horizon. It was also another chance for Alexis Sánchez to try to build an understanding with Romelu Lukaku as both were named in a starting eleven that looked as follows: read more

Newcastle – Manchester Utd Recap

Manchester Utd took on Newcastle on Sunday at St. James’ Park needing a win to keep in some kind of range of Manchester City after their rival’s 5-1 thrashing of Leicester the day before led by four goals from Sergio Aguero. José Mourinho has taken some criticism for his management of Paul Pogba’s position recently as the arrival of Alexis Sánchez seems to have pushed Pogba back deeper to help accommodate the front attacking options. When Pogba has been allowed the freedom to get advanced he has been a force this season so it came as a bit of a surprise to see the starting lineup announced and looking like he was partnering Matic once again: read more

Crown (Spring 2018) Game 1/2 Recap

As I mentioned in the last blog, Crown will be starting a new chapter when they move to Southlake Stampede in a couple of months, but in the meantime it was decided that a season in the Intermediate division at BlueSky would keep us busy. This was supposed to be the return of our young superstar Phil, but in an unfortunate turn he has injured his knee which will require surgery so that will have to wait yet another year 😱😱😱😢😢😢. Phil has requested to fight the doldrums associated with this latest setback by being featured in the next Meet Crown:5 Questions article, so watch for that in the upcoming weeks. Before we get to the recap of the season opener let’s get a little housekeeping out of the way. While there are rumors of Pistol making a comeback soon, Eddie continues in net this season, so the only roster change is Micah coming in to fill Phil’s void for a session. Ok, here we go, recap time. read more

Flashback Friday: “Potatoes, Eh?”

After graduating University and joining the workforce, albeit still at the University, I eventually also graduated from playing intramural soccer to playing in a more serious outdoor league. London, Ontario, Canada has an extensive soccer community with many different cultures represented as there are a variety of clubs around including the Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, German, Scottish, Irish, English, etc. And while you would think I would end up with the Brits, it turned out to be a team called Napoli FC. This team had a core of players with Italian roots but was filled out with a broad mix of the countries listed above. This was by far the best outdoor team I have ever played on and over the years before I moved to Texas we won everything there was to win in the London Ontario Soccer League or LOSL, including winning the triple (League, Playoffs, and Tournament) on multiple occasions. This is a little story from one of those seasons as Napoli attempted to finish off the triple by winning the Fall weekend tournament. And what does Potatoes have to do with this?, you will have to read on… read more

Manchester Utd – Huddersfield Recap

Coming off a disappointing loss at Wembley to Tottenham midweek, Manchester Utd had a chance to put that memory behind them as they hosted Huddersfield at Old Trafford on Saturday. A win was made all that more important as Manchester City had dropped points earlier in the day so this was a chance to cut into that seemingly insurmountable lead at the top of the Premier League. There was a pretty big surprise when the starting eleven was announced as superstar Paul Pogba had to be happy with a spot on the bench after his on field words with Mourinho last game. The saying, “No one player is bigger than the club” comes to mind, let’s hope it gets sorted out sooner than later. Here was the lineup with Martial and Rashford also on a star-studded bench: read more

Tottenham – Manchester Utd Recap

Wembley Stadium was the site of a big midweek Premier League matchup on Wednesday as Spurs hosted Manchester Utd in a clash of top 4 hopefuls. Utd have had a good start to 2018 and have also been boosted by the addition of Alexis Sánchez who was in line to make his PL debut for the Red Devils. The injury issues that have plagued Utd for the last few months have eased considerably recently so José Mourinho had almost a full complement of players to choose from for this important game. There has been a lot of talk about how Sánchez would fit into the front line and all was revealed in the announcement of the starting lineup that looked as follows: read more