No way you say? Could The Golden Boy be returning from Minnesota already? Seems like I just left, right? Well due to a final orthodontic appt for Ava it meant that a quick visit was on the cards, and it just so happened that a Crown game magically found its way onto the schedule so here we are, back blogging for the first time since the move. Plus, I did hear that there were a few readers suffering from withdrawal, especially a certain Jarrell and I am not one to let the fan(s) down. Let’s start with a little update from our time up north so far. It has been a whirlwind few months, but it seems like it is starting to slow down. Here’s a…recap of sorts you could say.
After dropping the bombshell that my family would be leaving Texas and moving up north to Minnesota I decided that the Crown blog needed one final edition to summarize my time on a team that had been a big part of my soccer life in Texas, not to mention in my personal/social life too. So while many of you have heard some of these stories at after parties or in one of my Meet Crown: 5 Questions articles, I think putting it all in one spot will allow me to have a token to look back on when I am old and sat in front of a fireplace on a cold Minnesota winter night. Let’s start back where it all began, a balmy day back in November 2011…
Two final games to tell you about that will wrap up the Summer I season. But there is something you need to know first, this Tuesday/Wednesday double header came at a terrible time roster wise for Crown as half the full timers were away this week and subs were few and far between. Both games we pretty much had the bare minimum, injuries and vacations have hit us hard recently. Now I have set us up for failure let me tell you how epic that failure was…
Crown v Fugitives FC:
Shortest recap ever…we lost 17-0, no really, I’m not kidding, it was the worst game by far in Crown’s lengthy history, and if we didn’t have to play the very next night I think we would all have been content to steer clear of BlueSky for a few weeks. Yep, it is time to order these babies:
Seems like it has been a long time since Crown played, that’s what one Bye week will do, let’s just hope it did not have too much of an effect on this aging bunch…yes, still feeling sorry for myself. Two games in this edition, the first versus JFHF FC, the team that Crown got their only win against in the first round of games, then a matchup with DW Energy FC which is always a tough one. Let’s get started as I have no other funny stories to tell you as I told the boys the best one at the after party already…🤜💥😎…bet that emoji code has got a few intrigued.
It’s that time again, two more recaps for your reading pleasure, and this time we show some skin!…don’t get too excited, it’s Rob’s not Jeremy’s. Crown has started off the new D1 season fairly well with a dominant opening win followed by a hard fought tie, but now two more tough matchups were on deck against M-I and then the defending champion Fugitives FC. Ok, you have waited long enough for the nudity, but first a quick explanation. Rob was playing in an O40 league on the Monday before our game and was crunched by a couple of defenders, but definitely not because he was holding the ball too long 😜, and he felt a couple of pops in his knee. He was able to walk away from the incident and finish the game but the next day it looked like this:
Ok, we’re back again with a few tweaks as there have been some unforeseen changes recently for your favorite O30 team. When the new season schedule was released Crown had been placed back up in D1 without being even asked and then was told it was take a season off or play up, nice huh? Never ones to disappoint the vote was unanimous to continue on playing as none of us want or need two months off to get fat and lose our “touch”. We are sour but are not going to dwell. A couple of roster moves to inform you of, first with John out injured, Brian comes in to cover for the season. And secondly, let’s all welcome a new face to the Crown ranks in Brad, he has a strong pedigree but let’s see if he can handle the mandatory two burgers afterwards? On to the recaps.
After a pretty successful regular season with Crown finishing in 1st place, it was time for the Playoff Championship against 2nd placed TNFC. Both meetings in the regular season were close games with a tie and a slim Crown win so a tight game was expected. Crown Player of the Season Simon was interviewed prior to the game by ironically, himself, and had this motivational quote to get his teammates amped up for their first Final in quite some time:
“If we outscore them we will totally win this game”
Crown finished up the regular season portion of the Spring season with a pair of very vital games as they took on the two teams just below them in the standings who were fighting for the two spots in the Playoff Championship. There were a lot of possible permutations of how things could play out but needless to say Crown would know specifically what they had to do once the first result was known. Would they choke? Or would they come through? Here are the recaps.
Crown v TNFC:
Crown began the game very well and scored a pair of tic-tac-toe goals in the opening moments of the first half with Mark and Tim polishing off the nice team moves. And there was more from Crown to come as Simon took a pass from Shawn and finished in the corner to make it 3-0 (with his visiting Pops watching, bonus 👍). Rob was then the next on the board as he tried to make amends for last week by scoring a nice solo effort and Crown held a commanding 4-0 lead at halftime. But the saying goes, ‘It was a tale of two halves’ as TNFC clawed their way back with a pair of goals as Crown were guilty of some sloppy play all over the field. Mark (2) eased the pressure to make it 5-2 but TNFC had Crown pinned in their defensive zone for much of the remainder of the second half. But they were not able to capitalize on their opportunities and when Mark (3) scored late Crown took the important victory which took them to the verge of a spot in the Championship with a game left to play. It was not pretty in that second half and the final score flattered Crown a little but the job was done regardless.
Two more games to get you caught up on before we enter the home stretch of the season, 2nd Division has been fun and competitive and as you can see from the stats much more balanced with everyone getting involved. We are not ruling out returning to BlueSky but Southlake Stampede will still be our next destination. Ok, right to it then.
Crown v Red Condors:
There were a few core players missing for this one as Captain Keller, Mark and Eddie were unavailable so Josh returned as a sub along with PJ and Chris in net. The Condors began the game down a player so Crown went on the attack early with the man advantage knowing it could be short lived. Tim and Micah opened up a 2-0 lead as they set each other up, before Simon upped it to 3-0 with a fortuitous block of a keeper’s clearance that went straight into the net…totally meant that I mean. The Condors had a few more players arrive and grabbed a goal back to make it 3-1 as their goalie made a rush and roofed one…huh? But Crown were undeterred as the game progressed scoring repeatedly, and while the final outcome was not in question in the waning moments, the POTG sure was as 4 players were sitting on a pair of goals, Tim, Josh, Micah and, drumroll………………..Keith! In the last minute Simon was in alone on the keeper and many thoughts flashed through his mind, including if he scored then there would five players tied and how would the POTG be decided? So he unselfishly faked and dropped a sitter for Tim to complete his hat trick, and we all know what that means. Oh, and Crown prevailed 10-3 btw.
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: