Today is the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin. We start the season with two names already marked off the list (See you in 2026, Arthur and Bertha!), For the first time since 2015 (and the last time for the foreseeable future), we do not have any new names on the roster. The National Hurricane Center issued its first regularly scheduled Tropical Weather Outlook this morning. As usual, it includes the list of names for this season along with their pronunciations. As usual, I have my notes on the past iterations of these names.

This year’s list was first used in 1984.  Nine original names have been retired, which is the average (1981, with 11, holds the record for the most). As is the case for half of the lists, the name beginning with the letter I has been replaced twice. There are five names original to the list that remain yet been used.

Arthur – With only one exception, the name has been associated with only a tropical storm.  The 1984 edition was a weak tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles. The 1990 version was stronger and crossed into the Caribbean.  In 1996, the storm named Arthur made landfall in North Carolina before curving back to sea. In 2002, the cyclone formed east of North Carolina and headed to Newfoundland. The 2008 version formed from the remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Alma (and made landfall in Belize. In 2014, there was finally a Hurricane Arthur. It made landfall in North Carolina on July 4. 2020’s Arthur developed over the Gulf Stream and made a close brush with the Outer Banks.

Bertha – For Americans, this might be the most notorious name on the list.  While the 1984 edition was a weak tropical storm at sea, 1990‘s Bertha was a category one hurricane that made landfall in Nova Scotia. In 1996, it was a major hurricane that made landfall in North Carolina as a category one (Particularly memorable for me as my father and I drove around the periphery of it post-landfall as we traveled from Tallahassee to Chesapeake, VA. A downed limb on US 17, east of the Great Dismal Swamp, caused a tire blow-out and quite the soaking for us when we changed the tire in the dark.) 2002‘s Bertha was a weak tropical storm that made landfall in southeast Louisiana while the 2008 iteration was the longest-lived and eastern-most forming July tropical cyclone on record. 2014‘s Hurricane Bertha was more forgettable (though in extratropical life, the storm did have a substantial effect on Europe). 2020 Bertha will be remembered for its quick and rather unexpected formation. At 12:50 AM on May 27, the Tropical Weather Outlook projected a 30% chance of tropical cyclone formation and that probability went up to 70% with a 7:25 AM forecast. The National Hurricane Center initiated advisories just over an hour later for the one day storm.

Big Bertha

Big Bertha

Cristobal – Replaced Cesar after 1996.  The 2002 edition was a weak tropical storm at sea, while 2008‘s formed east of North Carolina and traveled northeast. In 2014, Cristobal produced heavy rains over some Caribbean islands but was otherwise un-notable.

Dolly – Replaced Diana after 1990. The inaugural edition made landfall in Mexico as a category 1 hurricane in 1996. In 2002, it was a  tropical storm at sea, while in 2008 it was a landfalling hurricane once again; this time on the Yucatan Peninsula and  south Texas. The 2014 version was a short-lived Bay of Campeche storm.

Edouard – In 1984, the storm had a quick life and death in the Bay of Campeche. In 1990, it was a tropical storm that meandered around the Azores. It was the strongest hurricane (category four) of the 1996 season and threatened New England before curving away. The 2002 edition made landfall in Ormond Beach, Florida as a tropical storm while 2008‘s struck Texas. The 2014 version remained at sea but marked the first time NOAA used unmanned aircraft systems to collect data in a hurriane.

Fay – Replaced Fran after 1996.  The tropical storm of 2002 hit near Matagorda, Texas. In 2008, the storm crossed over Hispanola and Cuba before making four landfalls in Florida (at Key West, Naples, Flagler Beach, and Carabelle). The 2014 hurricane made landfall on Bermuda at category one strength.

Fay liked Florida

Fay liked Florida

Gonzalo – Made its debut in October of 2014 and affected a number of the Leeward Islands as well as Bermuda, where it made landfall just six days after Fay.

Hanna – Replaced Hortense after 1996. In 2002, it was a tropical storm with landfalls at the mouth of the Mississippi River and the Alabama/Mississippi border. The 2008 hurricane  made landfall near the North Carolina/South Carolina border and worsened flooding in Haiti, which had already been affected by Fay and Gustav. Were it not for the latter, the name Hanna likely would have been retired. The 2014 version was a strange affair. The preceding tropical depression formed out of the remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Trudy in the Bay of Campeche and travelled east. It degenerated to a remnant low before coming back to life east of the Nicaragua/Honduras border and became a tropical storm just before making landfall in Nicaragua.

Isaias – This name was added to the list after the 2008 season to replace Ike, which had replaced Isidore after 2002. It was not used in the 2014 season so it still has has a chance to join Igor and Irma on the list of ‘I’ storms that were retired after just one appearance.

Josephine –  In 1984, it was a category two hurricane at sea, while 1990‘s was a category one. The 1996 tropical storm tracked east across the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in an uninhabited part of Taylor County, Florida. The 2002 and 2008 versions were tropical storms at sea (though remnants of the latter did bring flooding to St Croix).

Kyle – Replaced Klaus after 1990. In 1996, it was a short-lived tropical storm off the coast of Central America. In 2002, it was a wayward hurricane that ultimately hit the Carolinas while curving to the northeast and subsequently absorbed by a cold front. The 2008 edition was also a hurricane and made landfall near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Laura – Replaced Lili after 2002.  It was a north Atlantic tropical storm in 2008.

Marco –  It was the only tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States (near Cedar Key, Florida) in 1990. It was a wayward hurricane in the Caribbean Sea in 1996. The 2008 version was a small tropical storm in the Bay of Campeche.

Nana –  1990 marked the first time that a storm name starting with the letter N made an appearance; it was a hurricane at sea. The 2008 version was a short-lived tropical storm at sea.

Omar – In 2008, it was a category four hurricane, which formed in the Caribbean Sea and moved to the northeast before eventually dissipating west of the Azores.

Paulette – Replaced Paloma after the 2008 season.

Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfrehave never been used. If the higher-end of some of the season forecasts are correct, we will see (at least) some of them for the first time in 2020.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Jacksonville Armada’s first league match. Here is a quick look at what happened next in the careers of the starting eleven as well as those of the “Co-Head” coaches.

Miguel Gallardo – The goalkeeper’s two seasons in Jacksonville marked the end of his (outdoor) playing career. He has since been a broadcaster and community ambassador for his former club, Orlando City.

Lucas Rodriguez – Transfermarkt does not show the Argentine midfielder playing for another club after leaving Jacksonville in 2015.

Lucas Trejo – The Argentine defender left Jacksonville after 2015 and had two stints in Venezula with top-flight squads Monagas SC and Deportivo Táchira and a stay with Colombia’s Atlético Huila in between. At the start of 2020, he signed with Acenso MX side Zacatepec.  His 70 league appearances with Monagas and 34 with Táchira exceed the number made with Jacksonville (24); one of only two players from the eleven to make more appearances with a single club after leaving Jacksonville than made in Jacksonville.

Fabricio Ortiz – Like his compatriots on the back line, he departed the river city in 2015. He played in Jordan and India before joining second-tier Ecuadorian side Atletico Porteño last year. Oriz is now with Club Sportivo y Biblioteca Atenas in a regional Argentine league.

Matt Bahner – The defender left Jacksonville after the 2016 season and spent two seasons with then USL side Cincinnati before moving to St. Louis FC for the 2019 season. He was one of four former Cinicnnati players on the squad that gained revenge on their old team in the 2019 US Open Cup. Bahner’s total number of appearances in league matches with his subsequent clubs (53) is slightly greater than that he made with Jacksonville (46).

Lucas Scaglia – Played under Eric Wynalda for the LA Wolves (UPSL) in 2017. Re-joined Wynalda with Las Vegas Lights (USL Championship) in 2019 but made only nine appearances before telling the team of his retirement in August.

Jaime Castrillon – Like so many of his teammates, the Colombian midfielder spent only one year in Jacksonville. He spent a season with Atlético Bucaramanga in his home country (top-flight) in 2016. In January of this year, Orlando SeaWolves (Major Arena Soccer League) announced his signing.

Angel “Bochy” Hoyos – The coach’s son had a brief stay with Venezuelan side Aragua FC in 2016. Transfrmarkt then shows him joining second tier Venezuelan side Libertador in 2018 and still with the club at this time.

Jemal Johnson – Jacksonville’s first goal scorer also scored the first goal in the history of his next club, Fresno FC, in 2018. In the course of 59 matches, he put the ball in the back of the net on 16 occasions. The club folded after the 2019 season with its last match being a 2-3 defeat to El Paso Locomotive in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the USL Championship playoffs, leaving Johnson 15 league appearances short of his total in Jacksonville.

Marcos Flores – Another player with only a one year stay in Jacksonville. He was with Curicó Unido (Chile) and Persib Bandung (Indonesia) in 2016 and Bali United (also Indonesia) in 2017 before settling in Australia with Adalaide City FC in 2019. His 26 appearances with Bali slightly exceeded the number he made with Armada FC (22). He has been active in his community running coaching clinics and the like through his organization Playmakers Trainers.

Alhassane Keita – Jacksonville’s all-time leading goal scorer left after two seasons and after an interlude with Saudi club Al-Watani made a brief return during the club’s fourth season during which he added three goals to his earlier tally of 13.

As for the coaches, recall that Jose Luis Villareal and Guillermo Hoyos were “Co-Coaches” at the start of the 2015 season, but did not remain so for long. Villareal’s departure from Jacksonville at the end of June had been announced in May. In October 2019, debuting UPSL side Miami Beach CF named Villareal as its head coach (he apparently has had no coaching work in between).

Despite having signed Hoyos to an extension “through 2019” in June, Jacksonville fired him only a few months later (September 2015). He briefly was the manager of Oriente Petrolero (Bolivia) and of the Bolivian national team in 2016. He had a longer stay with Club Universidad de Chile (January 2017-April 2018) before moving to Liga MX side Atlas (September 2018-March 2019). He became the manager of Aldosivi (Argentine top flight) in October 2019.

 

 

 

The Books I Read in 2019

January 8, 2020

Unlike some years past, I didn’t really go into the year with any areas towards which I intended to focus my reading. I just had vague goal of reading more books than I did in 2018 and later in the year, I became focused on reducing the stupidly long queue of unread books in my possession.  The latter goal (which has entailed on not buying any books since September) caused a fair bit of randomness in my reading as some of those unread books were either ones that I had not bought or asked for or I had bought on a whim.

I read 45 books last year, which met the goal of reading more, but only somewhat helped shorten the queue of unread books. These are the books:

Iran

In 2018, I read 25 books of varying scopes that were related to Iran. I still had some “left-overs” from that project and also added a book that was published early in 2019.

Daughter of Persia by Sattareh Farman Farmaian –  If the recent troubles have caused you to want to read up on Iran, then I cannot recommend this book enough. The reader gets a very fascinating personal story and gets a very good history lesson as a matter of course. As a cousin of Mohammed Mossadegh, she offers a unique perspective on the events of 1953 (which she experienced in the United States as the employee of an oil company). Had I realized how good this book was, it most certainly would not have been a “left-over”.

My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad, translated by Dick Davis – This was a 2018 Christmas present from my sister. Very funny novel.

Prisoner by Jason Rezaian – Memoir by the Washington Post journalist who spent 544 days in an Iranian prison. Riveting and entertaining read.

Kissing the Sword by Sharnush Parsipur – Prison memoir by the author of Women Without Men. IIRC, she went to prison on four separate occasions, one of them was because of that book.

Abbas Kiarostami by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum – My 2018 project also got me into watching a fair amount of Iranian movies (which I’m still doing). Those movies included (more or less) the complete works of Kiarostami.

Women’s Soccer

Mostly as a consequence of the Women’s World Cup, of course.

I Lost My Heart to the Belles by Pete Davies – A really fun book that was written contemporaneously in the mid 90’s but now is a great “time capsule” of what “top-flight” women’s soccer was like in England. Teams composed of players with day jobs that played on substandard fields (and only when those fields were playable). A future England legend makes a bit of a cameo appearance as a member of one of the Belles’ opponents.

The National Team by Caitlin Murray – A book about the US Women’s National Team in advance of the World Cup (and updated in a paperback version). I left a review on the website.

The Making of the Women’s World Cup by Kieran Theivam and Jeff Kassouf – Another book published in advance of the WWC. I left a review for it as well (Note that I accidentally bought the book from UK Amazon; it is available from US Amazon).

Under the Lights and in the Dark by Gwendolyn Oxenham – Nice look at what women’s soccer is like in different parts of the world.

The Beautiful Game by Jonathan Littman – A season with an American girls’ soccer team in the late 90’s (pre-1999). It would be fun to read a similar book in the present.

Futbolera by Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel – Not just soccer, but women’s sports in general in Latin  America (though soccer is most covered).

Hope by Hope Powell – Memoir by the long-time coach of the English WNT (I believe this is only available through UK Amazon).

Men’s Soccer

A Bigger Field Awaits Us by Andrew Beaujon – The fascinating story of the Hearts of Midlothian squad that (more or less as a whole) saw combat in World War I.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer  by Simon Critchley – Waxing philosophical about soccer.

The Numbers Game by Chris Anderson and David Sally – Finding truth in soccer via statistics.

Twelve Yards by Ben Lyttleton – As the subtitle says “The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty Kick”.

The Illustrated Football Hall of Fame – Very funny, but one of those things where you feel like you really have to know your history to “get” each and every gag.

Babysitting George by Celia Walden – Not really a soccer book; covers a few months in the last year of the life of Manchester United legend George Best and ends up being about the nature of tabloid journalism as much as anything.

The Title by Scott Murray – A season by season account of England’s old First Division.

Mark Twain 

A long long time ago I started buying books that are part of the Oxford Mark Twain collection, a set of 29 reproductions with new introducing and concluding essays. A long time ago I finished buying the collection and set about reading it in chronological order. All but finished.

Christian Science (Amazon’s description) “An amusing assault on Christian Science’s more extravagant claims to cure illness and on founder Mary Baker Eddy’s obfuscating writing style.”. Yeah, sure.

Chapters From My Autobiography 

1601 and Is Shakespeare Dead? 

Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven

Speeches  Not part of the count as I haven’t actually finished it yet, though I am ~95% there.

Auto Racing

Hobbo by David Hobbs – Memoirs by the longtime commentator of Formula 1 races broadcast in the US (among other things). He had an interesting and wandering career as a driver before getting into the television. Worth it for the pictures alone (though the writing is good, too!).

How to Build a Car by Adrian Newey – Memoir by the brilliant aerodynamics mind for Red Bull Racing. Ended up being a more fun read than I anticipated.

Where the Writer  Meets the Road by Sam Posey- Collection of articles and TV voiceovers by a on-track rival of Davis Hobbs; the two ended up doing a fair amount of TV work together over the years.

Gifts and other random accumulations

Adventures in the Screentrade by William Goldman – I bought this in the immediate wake of Goldman’s death. Very entertaining and informative.

The Brass Ring by Bill Mauldin – Recollection of the childhood and wartime service from the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian and Peter Balakian – Memoir by an Armenian priest who survived the Armenian Genocide. One of those books that should be read by more people.

Never Broken by Jewel – Worth reading even if you aren’t a fan of the singer.

Misbehaving by Richard Thaler – I’m a sucker for anything about Behavioral Economics.

The Secret History of World War II by Neil Kagan, Stephen G. Hyslop, et al. Fun book. Some parts I knew very well (Enigma), others (covert operations), not so much.

The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray by Robert Schnakenberg – A must read if you are a fan of Bill Murray in general or any of his movies in particular.

The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa – Somehow I only read one book by the Peruvian Nobel Prize winning novelist. I’m still a few books away from having read everything of his that’s been published (in English).

A Passion for Leadership by Robert Gates – I couldn’t pass over a book by Robert Gates (I loved Duty) but I ended up feeling like I could have left this unread. Felt like I would have gotten a lot out of it if I were the head of a large organization, but I am not, alas.

Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers by Tom Wolfe – I had read this (and have read most of Wolfe’s work before) but I intend to read through all of his books.

Oceans Ventured by John Lehman – Story of the 1980’s Cold War Navy written by the Secretary of the Navy at the time. Very entertaining.

Democracy by Condolezza Rice

Mastros and Their Music by John Mauceri – The art of conducting as described by a conductor who learned from Leonard Bernstein (among others). Another book that I enjoyed more than I anticipated.

100 Minds That Made the Market by Ken Fisher – Profiles of 100 bankers, investors,  journalists, and scoundrels who made Wall Street what it is.

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer – Collection of columns from the late Washington Post scribe.

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition by Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri and Elias Muhanna – A (very) condensed translation of a 14th century Egyptian encylopedia of everything.

Entebbe Rescue by Yeshaʻyahu Ben Porat – Account of the daring hostage rescue. There may be a better/more thorough account out there now, but this book written not long after the event would seem to still be worthwhile to pickup if you come across it in a used book store and don’t know much about it.

Robert the Bruce – by Ronald McNair Scott

Sea Stories by William McRaven – A 2019 Christmas present. I read it in one sitting on Christmas Day. Strong book on which to finish my reading for the year.

I go into 2020 with a healthy number of unread books to knock out before buying any new ones (clearing the queue would put me ~halfway to equaling the number of books I read in 2019). There’s a good amount of soccer still to read (men’s, women’s, and Liverpool Football Club specifically) and an equal number of “random” books. I’ll probably get in to the three volume Mark Twain autobiography, each volume of which my sister gifted to me at the time of publication, which was… a little while ago.

Fleet Veterans 7/28/19

July 28, 2019

Here is how former Jacksonville Armada players performed during the past week.

 

Matt Bahner – Played the full 90 minutes for Saint Louis FC. The defender created one chance and made four clearances and one tackle. Saint Louis scored a few minutes before half time and added two goals early in the second half for the 3-0 victory over Bethlehem Steel.

JC Banks – Went the distance in Forward Madison’s match at Orlando City B. He scored the lone goal of the match in the 57th minute.

Brian Bement – Played the final 14 minutes of the match in service of Forward Madison. He received a yellow card in the 89th minute for “persistent infringement”.

Jack Blake – Served as Captain for Real Monarchs. He acheived 92.7% accuracy on 82 passes (91.1% in the opponent’s half). He created three chances and put a shot on target in the 87th minute was saved. He received a yellow card in the 62nd minute for taking down a San Antonio player from behind. His teammate Lionel Etoundi received a red card in the 41st minute.  San Antonio were 3-1 victors. The yellow card was Blake’s fifth of the season and he will be suspended from his side’s match at Colorado Springs Switchbacks next week.

Wes Charpie – Put in a full shift for Memphis 901 as they faced Ottawa Fury. The defender won four of five duels and made four tackles and three interceptions.

Alex Dixon – Played the full 90 minutes of Hartford Athletic’s match versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The midfielder achieved 91.7% accuracy on 24 passes and made one clearance. Hartford were down three goals before getting on the scoreboard and the match ended as a 2-4 loss.

Peabo Doue – Loudon United are scheduled to take on Louisville City at 7:30 PM tonight.

Conor Doyle – Went the distance for Chattanooga Red Wolves as they took on FC Tucson. The Irish midfielder had a shot blocked and made one tackle, one clearance, and one interception. He received a yellow card for arguing with the referee in the 59th minute. Chattanooga conceded in the opening minute but Eamon Zayed nicely scored in the 69th and the match ended as a 1-1 draw.

Marcos Flores – Played the entirety of Adelaide City’s 0-2 loss to Para Hills Knights.

Kevan George – Went the distance in Charlotte Independence’s match at Atlanta United 2 on Wednesday. The midfielder attained 88.5% accuracy on 62 passes and won seven of ten duels. He made
three clearances and two tackles. After this team trailed 2-1 at halftime, Aaron Maund scored in the 72nd minute and Charlotte earned a 2-2 draw.

He put in a full shift on Saturday as well. The midfielder created one chance and made a pair of tackles and clearances. He received a yellow card in second half stoppage time for a tackle that got the player and not the ball. A goal scored by JJ Williams in the 28th minute was the difference in Birmingham Legion’s 1-0 victory at Charlotte.

Jonathan Glenn – IBV are scheduled to face Grindalvik at 12:00 PM today.

Jemal Johnson – Played the final 19 minutes of Fresno FC’s match at Austin Bold. His shot taken in the 77th minute was saved by Austin’s goal-keeper. Isaac Promise scored the lone goal of the match and Austin were 1-0 victors.

Ciaran Kilduff – Went the distance for Shelbourne FC. He opened the scoring for his side in the 11th minute with a header. He then scored his squad’s third goal of the match by converting a penalty in the 34th minute. Shelbourne defeated Wexford Youths 5-2.

Shane McInerney – Stayed on the bench for Dandenong Thunder during their 3-0 loss to South Melbourne FC.

Ciaran McKenna – Played the full 90 minutes for Hamilton Academical’s Scottish League Cup match at Airdrieonians. His side conceded two goals early and did not start to provide answers until the second half. Ross Cunningham converted two penalties and Marios Ogkmpoe scored in the 89th to give their side the win. Accies did not win its group, but was one of the top second-place teams and that was enough for them to advance to the Cup octa-finals.

Pascal Millien – The Haitian midfielder was a “plank-owner” of Jacksonville Armada and made 33 starts and scored seven goals over the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He spent 2017 with League of Ireleand Premier Division side Finn Harps and 2018 with Rayong FC of Thai League 2. He left Thailand early this year and joined Florida Tropics of the UPSL. He started their national semifinal match against Bavarian SC. on Saturday  His side won in dramatic fashion with a goal at the end of extra time. They will face Utah Murcielagos in the championship game at 12:00 today.Live stream

Karl Ouimette – Was an unused subtitute for Indy Eleven as they lost to Nashville SC 2-0.

Kalen Ryden – Went the distance for Real Monarchs. The defender acheived 95% accuracy on 40 passes (93.8% in the opponent’s half). He created one chance and made two tackles and three clearances. He received a yellow card in the 90th minute for impeding the progress of an attacking player.

Junior Sandoval – Served as Captain for Las Vegas Lights and played 84 minutes of their match at Tacoma Defiance on Wednesday. A shot of his was saved in the 74th minute and he put shots off target in the 15th and 39th minutes. He created one chance and made one clearance. He received a yellow card in the fourth minute for putting an elbow to an opponent’s face during an aerial duel. Three of his teammates received red cards (70′,75’and 86′). The last of those was received by Sammy Ochoa, who had replaced Sandoval just two minutes prior to being sent off.

He wore the Captain’s arm-band again on Saturday for his squad’s match versus Rio Grande Valley. The midfielder placed two shots off target and one on. He made four clearances and one interception. Las Vegas were 2-1 victors.

Zach Steinberger – Played the first half of Tampa Bay Rowdies’ match at New York Red Bulls II. Playing as a forward, he created one chance and had a shot come close to target in the 33rd minute and a shot taken in the 42nd minute also missed the mark. The score was 2-0 when  he exited the game and that was the final score as well.

Not in the 18 for their side’s scheduled match: Akeil Barrett (Tulsa Roughnecks, long term injury), Pekka Lagerblom (FC Lahti), Sean Lewis (Tulsa Roughnecks), Michael O’Sullivan (South Georgia Tormenta),  Caleb Patterson-Swell (Toronto FC II), Tyler Ruthven (Atlanta United 2), Lucas Scaglia (Las Vegas Lights), Christian Silva (Lansing Ignite).

Next Week: El Paso Locomotive return to action with a Wednesday night match at rival New Mexico United at 9:00 PM. They will then host Portland Timbers 2 for a Saturday night match at 9:30 PM. Fresno FC takes on Las Vegas Lights at 10:30 PM.

 

 

 

 

 

Though there were a number of twists and turns along the way to get here, but we have arrived at the final that we have been expecting since the start of last season.

New York Cosmos B defeated the Cinderellas of the playoffs, ASC San Diego, 2-0 to earn the right to host the national championship. San Diego’s goalkeeper, Jean Antoine had work to do, but answered all bells in the first half and the match went to halftime with the score at 0-0. David Diosa broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute.

Diosa was taken down in the box in the 73rd minute and Junior Burgos converted the ensuing penalty.

New York, the top lower-level soccer team per the rankings of the Grassroots Soccer Media Union since their inception, cruised to the final whistle.

The lightning-delayed ** Miami FC-Cleveland SC also went to halftime at 0-0. Miami FC had a couple of shots on goal early (Tomas Granittio, 10′, Miguel Gonzalez, 11′) and Cleveland had a chance go across the face of goal shortly thereafter and its most threatening first-half opportunity, via its first corner-kick of the match was cleared in the 18th minute. Ariel Martinez provided the last chance for Miami before the first-half whistle, but it was saved by Marijo Musa.

Callum Chapman-Page, who made the squad as a trialist this spring, scored in the 53rd minute via a corner kick delivered by Ariel Martinez. Martinez scored a goal of his own, his seventh of the 2019 playoffs, two minutes later. Miguel Gonzalez added to the tally in the 80th minute. Mike Derezic scored on a long-distance banger in the 83rd minute. Cleveland maintained pressure shortly thereafter and threatened to further close the gap, but Harrison Heath scored in the 89th minute to put the match away. Miami FC will travel to New York for the August 3 National Championship.

It is, of course, a title defense for Miami FC (who won the league as Miami FC 2). While this is the first appearance in the NPSL Championship for New York since the demise of the North American Soccer League, New York Cosmos B (as a “proper” B side), defeated Chattanooga FC for the title in 2015.

As was the case in the run-up to these semifinal matches, there will be a “preview” post for Saturday’s championship match that will go up on Thursday.

** In his preview published Thursday afternoon, your correspondent uncritically relayed the forecast, which at the time offered only a nominal chance of rain at game-time. He ought to have mentioned that one can never rule out thunderstorms in South Florida in July. As it turned out, thunderstorms covered the area in the late afternoon and the match did not start until over an hour past its scheduled time.

 

After seeing the 91 teams of the NPSL reduced down to 38 playoff teams, we are now down to four teams contending for the championship.

New York Cosmos B

How they reached the playoffs

New York were one of two teams in the NPSL to go undefeated this season (Tulsa Athletic, who had two more draws, were the other). Partially due to that, they have enjoyed a wire-to-wire run atop the Grassroots Soccer Media Union‘s rankings, thus far. The sole blemish on their record came in a July 3 match versus eleventh ranked Brooklyn Italians. Their highest scoring match was a 7-1 victory versus Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on May 17. That margin of victory was equaled in a 6-0 defeat of Kingston Stockade on July 6. Thirteen different players received credit for the 46 goals scored by the team in the regular season. Bjedi Bardic, who notched a hat trick in the June 8 match at Brooklyn, led the team in scoring with ten goals. Efrain Burgos was behind him with six goals and ahead of three players who scored five goals each.

How they reached the semifinals

Thanks to their conference having only two berths for its playoff and having the best record in the Northeast Region, which gave them a bye into the region final, New York had only two playoff matches to contest.

Ansi Agoli, who was not one of the team’s goal-scorers in the regular season, scored the lone goal in the 72 minute of New York’s defeat of Brooklyn Italians in the conference final. After FC Baltimore were reduced to ten men, Agoli scored what would end up being the winning goal in New York’s 3-1 victory in the region final. Isaac Acuña (4′) and Efrain Burgos (82′) provided the rest of the scoring for their squad. Forward Aaron Dennis, who scored two goals in the regular season, received a red card near the end of the match and will be suspended on Saturday.

 

ASC San Diego

How they reached the playoffs

It was a near run thing. One can point the the 2-0 victory over (then second ranked) Orange County FC on June 15 as the decisive factor. (It is worth noting that under last year’s playoffs scheme, ASC San Diego and Orange County FC would have faced each-other one more time in a play-in game for the West Region playoff.) Only two of their losses came after their three week break in April: 0-2 to FC Arizona (May 12) and 2-1 at Temecula FC. San Diego managed to stay off the radar of GSMU voters until week 9 (July 9) and even then, were the recipients of just one vote.

Ten different players scored the team’s 36 goals. Christian Enriquez led the team with eight and Elija Rice scored seven (despite not joining the squad until half-way through the season). San Diego posted two 6-0 victories in the regular season: June 8 versus City of Angels FC and in the June 22 regular season finale versus Oxnard Guerreros. Rice scored braces in both matches while Enriquez managed “only” a brace in the June 8 match and one goal on June 22.

How they reached the semifinals

It was mostly a matter of not being over-awed by their supposed betters and making their penalty kicks. In the July 7 region quarterfinal, Elijah Rice scored the opening goal in the 71st minute, but second-ranked FC Golden State equalized four minutes later and subsequently took the lead in the 111th minute of stoppage time.  Evans Frimpong, who had not scored in the regular season, scored in the 120th minute, only four minutes after stepping on to the pitch, to force penalty kicks. San Diego were 4-2 victors in the penalty kick session as they upset the team that was ranked second in the country at the time.

They then traveled to Redmond, WA for their July 12 region semifinal match. Ozzie Ramos scored in the 70th minute. Crossfire Redmond equalized in the 82nd minute. The match went to penalty kicks and ASC San Diego came out on top once again (Apparently with some credit belonging to the efforts of goalkeeper Jean Gamaine.)

San Diego, still bubbling under in the “Receiving Votes” portion of the rankings, then went on the road one more time to take on FC Arizona, who was then ranked fourth. Jakub Waligorski scored in the 17th minute and San Diego’s tally went up twelve minutes later due to an own goal. San Diego held on for the 2-1 victory. That upset finally earned respect from the GSMU voters; ASC San Diego are ranked tenth this week.

 

A careful reader will have noticed that that San Diego have road victories against three teams that were ranked in the top four at the time of the match. ASC San Diego will look to continue their run of upsets away from home while New York Cosmos B will seek to maintain their #1 ranking. Their clash is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT on Saturday (Live Stream). The winner advances to the August 3 National Championship.

Miami FC

How they reached the playoffs

Miami FC rolled through a conference that was very nearly perfectly stratified (i.e. every team had on the pitch victories against every team below it in the standings). Local rival Miami United upset that perfect stratification with a 2-0 victory on April 27. Miami FC took out their frustration against a short-handed Storm FC team on the following week and handed the hapless side a 0-10 defeat (they posted a 10-1 victory in the return fixture). Miguel Gonzalez scored four goals in that first thrashing. He finished the season with thirteen goals. If the statistics used for the Golden Boot award had been adjusted to reflect goals per match, he would have been the recipient (1.3 GPM vice 1.0 for FC Arizona’s Cesar Mexia, who played eight additional matches). Dario Suarez, who notched braces in both of the matches against Storm FC, tallied nine goals in the course of the season. Mohamed Thiaw rounded out the top three with eight. In all, thirteen different players scored 48 goals.

Miami FC, smarting from their shock defeat at the hands of Florida Soccer Soldiers in the US Open Cup five days earlier, were ranked sixth in the debut GSMU poll. Their ranking then fluctuated between third and eighth before going back to third in on June 18 and moving to second in the July 9 edition, where they currently sit.

How they reached the semifinals

Miami FC scored a lot of goals in the second halves of their playoff matches (11 of 13). Against a Jacksonville Armada U-23 side that was filled with college players, Mohamed Thiaw scored two goals (65′,77′) while Dario Suarez (25′) and Ariel Martinez (50′) provided the other two goals for the 4-0 victory. The conference final, a Magic City Classico, was a spicier affair. Ariel Martinez scored in the eleventh minute but Miami United equalized twelve minutes later and took the lead eleven minutes thereafter. It took a second goal by Ariel Martinez (57′) and one by Miguel Gonzalez (67′) to advance Miami FC to the South Region semifinals.

 

Against seventh-ranked Southeast Conference champion Chattanooga FC, Hector Morales scored in the 66th minute and Ariel Martinez secured victory in the 81st. In the region final, 11th ranked Tulsa Athletic took the lead in the 25th minute. Miami FC once again waited until the second half to open up the scoring and secure victory. Miguel Gonzalez (61′), Dario Suarez (69′), and Ariel Martinez (83′, 89′) saw to that.

Clevelend SC

How they reached the playoffs

Cleveland SC righted the ship after suffering successive losses to Erie Commodores (1-3) and Rochester Lancers (2-1) on the weekend of May 31 and finished the regular season with six consecutive victories.  The team posted 5-1 victories in its regular season opener and finale (at Syracuse FC, May 19 and versus FC Buffalo on July 13). Thomas Beck scored a hat trick in that season opener and finished the season with five goals. Vincent Bell notched a brace in that match and scored eight goals over the course of the season, which led the team.  Antonio Manfut made the scoresheet six times. The trio plus two additional players scored in the season finale. Cleveland made one brief appearance, at 25, in the rankings (May 28), but were otherwise un-ranked until the end of the regular season when they suddenly appeared in the July 16 rankings at 15.

.How they reached the playoffs

They survived and advanced. Thanks to having the best points per game figure in the Midwest Region, Cleveland had a bye to the region semifinals. In the semifinal match, they faced conference foe Rochester Lancers, who had finished their quarterfinal match the night before. Their rival scored two goals in the opening seven minutes. Vincent Bell responded with a goal in the 20th minute, but his side did not score again until Michael Derezic put the ball in the back of the net in the 82nd. Rochester took the lead again three minutes later, but Thomas Beck scored with his head in the 90th to send the match to extra time. Bell scored again in the 94th minute, but Rochester answered and the match was level going into the second half of extra time. Bell added to his tally with a goal scored in the opening minute of that final period. Things got tense for Cleveland in the 110th minute, when Admir Suljevic received his second yellow card of the match (apparently for a retaliatory shove, after receiving his initial yellow card for a tactical foul in the 99th minute). Bell scored his fourth goal of the match, though, in the 118th minute to secure victory for his side. (Note that the match report incorrectly lists one of Bell’s goals, the final one, as having occurred in the 101st minute.)

Cleveland faced third-ranked Detroit City in the Region final. The Great Lakes Conference champion scored two goals in the first half. Thomas Beck scored for Cleveland in the 52nd minute and Antonio Manfut made the equalizer in the 61st. Beck and a Detroit City player were both shown red cards in the 75th minute (Note that this was not the first time Beck has had a discipline issue this season; he received a three game suspension for an “Abusive Language” offense comitted on May 31). The match went to extra time and Cleveland had to survive a second half barrage as Manfut went off the pitch for a few minutes before eventually being substituted out and Detroit City had three scoring chances in the closing minutes. The match went to penalties, however. Cleveland’s goalkeeper, Mario Musa, had his attempt saved, but his teammates (Derezic, Corbin McAvinew, and Bell) all converted their attempts while three of Detroit City’s penalty takers put their efforts over the frame. Cleveland SC advanced to the National Semifinals and moved up to fifth in the rankings.

Cleveland SC will make the trek to Miami. The match will take place at the same time as the other semifinal match, 7:00 PM EDT on Saturday (Live Stream). Both matches should feature fair weather. The current National Weather Service forecast shows only a 20% chance of rain in Miami with a game-time temperature of 86° (95° heat index). Meanwhile, in New York, there is only a nominal chance of rain forecast and the temperature is expected to be 80° at kickoff (82° heat index). We shall see whether there is yet one more plot-twist (or two) or we finally get the clash of the NASL refugees that we have been anticipating since the start of last season.

 

Rankings, per Grasroots Soccer Media Union (Highest/Lowest)

1. New York Cosmos B (1/1)
2. Miami FC                  (2/8)
5. Cleveland SC            (5/unranked)
10. ASC San Diego       (10/unranked)

Leading Goal-Scorers, Regular Season, Goals Per Match (Total Goals)

1 Miguel Gonzalez MFC 1.3 (13)
2 Dario Suarez MFC 0.9 (9)
3 Thomas Beck CLE 0.83 (5)
T4. Mohamed Thiaw MFC 0.8 (8)
T4. Vincent Bell CLE 0.8 (8)
6 Elijah Rice ASC 0.78 (7)
7 Bijedi Bardic (NYC 0.71 (10)
T8. Dylan Mares MFC 0.6 (6)
T8. Antonio Manfut CLE 0.6 (6)
10 Christian Enriquez ASC 0.47 (7)

Playoff Goal-Scorers, Total Goals (Goals Per Match)

Ariel Martinez MFC 6 (1.5)
Vincent Bell CLE 4 (2)
Thomas Beck CLE 2 (1)
Mohamed Thiaw MFC 2 (0.5)
Dario Suarez MFC 2 (0.5)
Miguel Gonzalez MFC 2 (0.5)
Efrain Burgos NYC 1 (1)
Ansi Agoli NYC 1 (0.5)
Isaac Acuña NYC 1 (0.5)
Michael Derezic CLE 1 (0.5)
Antonio Manfut CLE 1 (0.5)
Hector Morales MFC 1 (0.33)
Elijah Rice ASC 1 (0.3)
Evans Frimpong ASC 1 (0.3)
Ozzie Ramos ASC 1 (0.3)
Jakub Waligorski ASC 1 (0.3)

Number of matches played this month

Miami FC 5
Cleveland 4
New York Cosmos B 4
ASC San Diego 3

(The author compiled goal statistics from NPSL Game Reports. Unless otherwise noted, goal credits also come from the Game Reports.)

We are now down to four teams contending for the NPSL title.

 

Note that all times are Eastern. Rankings are from Grassroots Soccer Media Union.

Northeast Region

   

Isaac Acuña opened the scoring for top-ranked New York Cosmos B in the fifth minute. Nick Gumbs provided the equalizing goal in the 45th minute. Baltimore were reduced to ten men in the 60th minute when right back Joseph Glos received a red card for shoving Ansi Agoli. Agoli then scored just his second goal of the season for New York in the 70th minute. Junior Burgos scored in the 82nd minute to put the match away. New York’s Aaron Jennings was shown a red card in the 90th minute. New York Cosmos B advance to the National Semifinals for the first time (they were upset by FC Motown in the Region Final last year). They will face West Region champion ASC San Diego.

(Descriptions and goal credits from the live stream).

 

 

Midwest Region

Thirteenth ranked Cleveland SC upset third ranked Detroit FC to advance to the National Semifinal in front of 4568 fans at Keyworth Stadium.  The match was a classic featuring “A little bit of everything”. Shane Lawson (40′) and Max Todd (45’+) repeated their Friday goal-scoring performances for Detroit City in the first half. Todd scored his via penalty kick after he was taken down in the box by Colton Long of Cleveland. Lawson’s goal was setup by a pass to the left wing by Daniel Deakin to Tendai Jirira who then put the ball across the face of goal.

Tom Beck scored for Cleveland in the 52nd minute. Todd nearly provided an immediate response, but his shot went off the post in the 54th minute. Antonio Manfut scored the equalizing goal in the 60th minute. Beck and Detroit’s Will Perkins were sent off for an apparent off-the-ball altercation in the 75th minute.

The match went to extra time.  Detroit’s Hunter Morse made a key save in the first half.  Ten players faced nine for a few minutes in the second half when Manfut came off the pitch with apparent leg cramps before being substituted out. Deakin put a low bouncing shot on goal in the 116th minute. Steve Carroll had a shot deflected that Cleveland’s Mario Musa managed to save in instinctual fashion. Carroll put a header just over the bar a minute later. Not for a lack of effort, Detroit did not manage to break the deadlock and penalty kicks followed.

Mike Derezic converted the first penalty for Cleveland SC. Max Todd responded in kind for Detroit. Mario Musa’s attempt was saved by a leg lift performed by Hunter Morse as he was diving towards a corner.

That is when the agony began for Detroit City.

Sebastian Harris put his effort over goal. Corbin McAvinew scored for Cleveland. Hunter Morse saved a weak attempt by Daniel Koniarczyk. The window was open for Detroit City to take control.

But Steven Carroll put his shot high.

Vinny Bell converted.

Shawn Lawson needed to score to keep the session going, but his shot was high as well. Cleveland SC won without their goalkeeper making a save in penalty kicks.

They advance to the National Semifinal and will travel to Miami FC.

(Description and goal credits from the live stream.)

 

South Region

 

Miami FC, the second ranked team, once again, fell behind early as Aboubakr Diallo scored for Tulsa Athletic in the 25th minute. The goals were not answered until the second half. Miguel Gonzalez (61′)*. Dario Suarez (69′), Ariel Martinez (83′, via penalty),  and Ariel Martinez, once again, (in open play, 89′), provided the responses that allowed Miami FC to continue their defense of the NPSL title into the semifinals, which will be held on July 27.

*Last night’s update incorrectly credited the goal to Tomas Granitto. Granitto hit a shot off the crossbar that Gonzalez collected for the goal.

Miami FC will host either Cleveland SC in the national semifinal.

 

West Region

 

Un-ranked ASC San Diego continued its Cinderella run with a 2-1 upset of FC Arizona. Jakub Waligorski scored in the 17th minute (the goal had originally been credited to Ewout Gouwe , but the attribution was corrected and the match report corresponds with the corrected credit). The match report shows San Diego’s 29th minute goal as an “own goal”. FC Arizona’s sole response came in the 52nd minute via Omar Nuno. ASC San Diego held on for the win. The national semifinals are the furthest that the club has advanced in its four year history.

The national semifinal matches are scheduled for July 27 and a club will claim the league championship on August 3.

The next update will be posted later this week (probably on Thursday) to preview the national semifinal matches.

Cleveland SC won a thriller of a match to advance to the National Semifinals.

Note that all times are Eastern. Rankings are from Grassroots Soccer Media Union.

Midwest Region

Thirteenth ranked Cleveland SC upset third ranked Detroit FC to advance to the National Semifinal in front of 4568 fans at Keyworth Stadium.  The match was a classic featuring “A little bit of everything”. Shane Lawson (40′) and Max Todd (45’+) repeated their Friday goal-scoring performances for Detroit City in the first half. Todd scored his via penalty kick after he was taken down in the box by Colton Long of Cleveland. Lawson’s goal was setup by a pass to the left wing by Daniel Deakin to Tendai Jirira who then put the ball across the face of goal.

Tom Beck scored for Cleveland in the 52nd minute. Todd nearly provided an immediate response, but his shot went off the post in the 54th minute. Antonio Manfut scored the equalizing goal in the 60th minute. Beck and Detroit’s Will Perkins were sent off for an apparent off-the-ball altercation in the 75th minute.

The match went to extra time.  Detroit’s Hunter Morse made a key save in the first half.  Ten players faced nine for a few minutes in the second half when Manfut came off the pitch with apparent leg cramps before being substituted out. Deakin put a low bouncing shot on goal in the 116th minute. Steve Carroll had a shot deflected that Cleveland’s Mario Musa managed to save in instinctual fashion. Carroll put a header just over the bar a minute later. Not for a lack of effort, Detroit did not manage to break the deadlock and penalty kicks followed.

Mike Derezic converted the first penalty for Cleveland SC. Max Todd responded in kind for Detroit. Mario Musa’s attempt was saved by a leg lift performed by Hunter Morse as he was diving towards a corner.

That is when the agony began for Detroit City.

Sebastian Harris put his effort over goal. Corbin McAvinew scored for Cleveland. Hunter Morse saved a weak attempt by Daniel Koniarczyk. The window was open for Detroit City to take control.

But Steven Carroll put his shot high.

Vinny Bell converted.

Shawn Lawson needed to score to keep the session going, but his shot was high as well. Cleveland SC won without their goalkeeper making a save in penalty kicks.

They advance to the National Semifinal and will either travel to Miami FC or host FC Baltimore-Christos.

 

 

South Region

 

Miami FC, the second ranked team, once again, fell behind early as Aboubakr Diallo scored for Tulsa Athletic in the 25th minute. The goals were not answered until the second half. Miguel Gonzalez (61′)*. Dario Suarez (69′), Ariel Martinez (83′, via penalty),  and Ariel Martinez, once again, (in open play, 89′), provided the responses that allowed Miami FC to continue their defense of the NPSL title into the semifinals, which will be held on July 27.

*Last night’s update incorrectly credited the goal to Tomas Granitto. Granitto hit a shot off the crossbar that Gonzalez collected for the goal.

Miami FC will host either Cleveland SC or ASC San Diego in the national semifinal.

 

West Region

 

Un-ranked ASC San Diego continued its Cinderella run with a 2-1 upset of FC Arizona. Jakub Waligorski scored in the 17th minute (the goal had originally been credited to Ewout Gouwe , but the attribution was corrected and the match report corresponds with the corrected credit). The match report shows San Diego’s 29th minute goal as an “own goal”. FC Arizona’s sole response came in the 52nd minute via Omar Nuno. ASC San Diego held on for the win. The national semifinals are the furthest that the club has advanced in its four year history.

 

Northeast Region

   

FC Baltimore-Christos (ranked 23rd) will travel to top-ranked New York Cosmos B to contest the Northeast Region title on at 6:00 PM on Sunday (live stream). The winner advances to the National Semifinals.

 

 

Currently, the top teams in the playoffs from each region are:

  • New York Cosmos B – They would host the national championship if they were to advance that far
  • Miami FC – Will  host a national semifinal.
  • Cleveland SC- Would travel to Miami FC.
  • ASC San Diego – Would travel to New York Cosmos B.

 

The ranking of the remaining sides (based on points per game in the regular season) breaks out thusly:

1  New York Cosmos B

2  Miami FC

3 Cleveland SC

4  FC Baltimore

5  ASC San Diego

 

The semifinal matches are scheduled for July 27 and a club will claim the league championship on August 3.

The next update will be posted this evening to cover the Northeast Region final.

Fleet Veterans 7/21/19

July 21, 2019

Here is how the week went for former Jacksonville Armada players.

Matt Bahner – Played the full 90 minutes of Saint Louis FC’s match at Tampa Bay Rowdies. The defender made six clearances.Sebastian Guenzatti scored twice for Tampa Bay (33′ and 36′), and Leo Fernandes (79′) and Caleb Richards (90+1′) added to the tally. Kyle Grieg (87′) scored the lone goal for Saint Louis in their 4-1 loss.

JC Banks – Played the second half of Forward Madison’s friendly versus Acenso MX side Leones Negros.
The score was 1-1 at halftime. Nick Markanich scored in the 58th minute and the match ended as a 2-1 victory.

Drew Beckie – Went the distance for a short-handed El Paso Locomotive(only five players, including the
reserve goalkeeper on the bench). He achieved 93% accuracy on 71 passes (96.6% in the opponents half). The Canadian defender made two tackles, one clearance, and intercepted one pass. Miami Soccer Academy product Frank Lopez, on loan to San Antonio from LA Galaxy II, scored two goals in the first half and his club dealt El Paso a 1-3 defeat.

He put in a full shift again for El Paso on Saturday when they faced Real Monarchs. His side is increasingly beset by injuries, in addition to Josh Castallanos, Mechack Jerome and Yuma, leading goal-scorer Jerome Kiesewetter is injured and the squad was without their starting goalkeeper last night as well. He achieved 97.8% accuracy on 92 passes (92.3% in the opponents half). and made one clearance and intercepted two passes. The two teams split the points as the match ended as a 0-0 draw.

Brian Bement – Played the first half of Forward Madison’s friendly versus Acesnso MX side Leones Negros. He scored his side’s first goal in the 45th minute.

Jack Blake – Served as Captain for Real Monarchs. He acheived 88.9% accuracy on 36 passes and
created two chances. His shot in the 72nd minute was wide to the left.

Jay Bolt – Stayed on the bench for Charleston Battery when they faced Hartford Athletic.

Wes Charpie – Played the first 76 mintues of Memphis 901’s match versus Nashville SC on Wednesday. The defender put a shot on target in the 8th minute and made two tackles and one clearance.

He went the distance in Memphis’ match versus New York Red Bulls II on Saturday. He provided the assist for Brandon Allen’s equalizing goal in the 87th minute. He made four tackles and four clearances in the 2-2 draw.

Alex Dixon – Played the full 90 minutes of Hartford Athletic’s match at Swope Park Rangers on Wednesday. Swope Park scored three goals in the first half and gifted Hartford one at the start of the
second. Dixon scored in the 58th minute, after Swope Park had restored its lead to three.The match ended as a 4-3 loss for his side.

He went the distance again on Saturday when his side faced Charleston Battery. The midfielder attained 85.1% accuracy on 47 passes, created two chances, and put three shots off target. Charleston scored goals in the 79th and 80th minute to overcome a one goal deficit and become 2-3 victors.

Peabo Doue – Went the distance of Loudon United on Wednesday.The defender created one chance and won five of eight duels.He intercepted three passes, and made three tackles and one clearance.
Loudon were 3-0 losers to North Carolina FC.

He put in a full shift again on Saturday when his squad took on Indy Eleven. His header taken in the 62nd minute was just high. He made three clearances in his team’s 2-0 loss.

Marcos Flores – Played the full 90 minutes of Adelaide City’s match versus Adelaide Blue Eagles, which ended as a 1-1 draw.

Derek Gebhard – Played the entirety of the match for El Paso on Wednesday. San Antonio’s goalkeeper managed to save a would-be headed goal of his in the 56th minute. Another header in the 81st minute
went just wide of target.

On Saturday, he played the opening 78 minutes of the match. He created a chance for newly signed midfielder Sebastian Velasquez in the 68th minute and put a shot wide in the 18th.

Jonathan Glenn – Played the final 21+ minutes of IBV FC’s 3-0 loss to his old club, Fylkir. IBV were already down two goals when he entered the match.

Mechack Jerome – Your correspondent was late seeing the news that the Haitian defender had surgery on his ruptured Achilles two weeks ago. The injury puts him out for the balance of this season.

Jemal Johnson – Played the opening 65 minutes of Fresno’s FC match vs Portland Timbers 2. He provided the assist for Ramon Del Campo’s goal in the sixth minute. He received a yellow card for a clumsy challenge in the 40th minute. Arun Basuljevic scored in the 19th minute for Fresno and they were 2-1 victors.

Ciaran Kilduff – Provided the assist for Shelbourne FC’s opening goal, which was scored by Jaze Kabia in the 23rd minute. He followed that with a goal of his own in the 28th. Shelbourne were 1-2 victors over Athlone Town.

Karl Ouimette – Stayed on the bench for Indy Eleven.

Shane McInerney – Was an unused substitute for Dandenong City when they played Avondale FC to a 1-1 draw.

Ciaran McKenna – Played the full 90 minutes of Hamilton Academical’s 1-3 Scottish League Cup group stage victory at Clyde FC on Wednesday. He once again put in a full shift on Saturday when his side faced Partick Thistle (once again in a group stage Cup tie). He received a yellow card in the 81st minute “after a tussle”. The match was level at two when it went to  penalty kicks. McKenna made his and his squad won the shootout 6-5.

Nicholas Perea – Served as Captain for Des Moines Menace when they faced Flint City Bucks in an USL League 2 Central Conference semi-final. He put a header over goal in the 47th minute. Des Moines took a 2-1 lead into second half stoppage time, but Flint City scored at the 90+2 mark. Des Moines scored in the second extra time period, but once again Flint City managed to score at the death. Perea made his penalty kick, but two of his team-mates did not and Flint City won the shootout, 4-3, which knocked Des Moines out of the playoffs.

Bryam Rebellon – Put in a full shift for El Paso on Wednesday. He attained 88.9% accuracy on 63 passes. The  Colombian defender created two chances and made two tackles.

He went the distance again on Saturday. He won 14 of 17 duels and made four tackles and two clearances and blocked one shot. His stoppage time header was blocked as was a shot in the 87th minute. He created a chance for Sebastian Velasquez in the 37th minute.

Richie Ryan – Served as Captain for El Paso on Wednesday. The Irish midfielder won ten of fifteen duels
and created one chance.He made six tackles and one clearance and intercepted two passes.

On Saturday, he once again put on the Captain’s armband and went the distance. His close-in header in the 12th minute was saved.

Kalen Ryden – Played the final eight+ minutes of the match for Real Monarchs. The defender apparently had a quiet shift as he did not register any statistics.

Christian Silva – Made a brief appearance (final three minutes of stoppage time) at the end of Lansing Ignite’s 3-3 draw at Toronto FC II.

Zach Steinberger – Was an unused substitute for Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Giovanny Vazquez -Played the opening 66 minutes of FC Arizona’s West Region final match versus ASC San Diego. His side conceded a goal to Jakub Waligorski in the 19th minute and an own goal twelve minutes later. Omar Nuno scored for Arizona in the 53rd minute, but no additional goals were forthcoming and ASC San Diego earned the upset over the Founders Cup side, which had entered the match ranked fourth by the Grassroots Soccer Media Union (San Diego were un-ranked).

Not in the 18 for their side’s scheduled match: Josh Castellanos (El Paso Locomotive, injury), Pekka Lagerblom (FC Lahti), Fabricio Ortiz (Club Atletico Porteno), Michael O’Sullivan (South Georgia Tormenta), Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Toronto FC II), Tyler Ruthven (Atlanta United 2) ,Yuma (El Paso Locomotive, injury).

Next Week: El Paso have a badly needed week off. Forward Madison host Orlando City B at 8:00 PM on Saturday. Real Monarchs continue their Texas road trip with a visit to San Antonio at 8:30 PM.

 

After leveling at an even eight, the NPSL playoffs started to work itself towards four.

Note that all times are Eastern. Rankings are from Grassroots Soccer Media Union.

 

South Region

 

Miami FC, the second ranked team, once again, fell behind early as Aboubakr Diallo scored for Tulsa Athletic in the 25th minute. The goals were not answered until the second half. Tomas Granito (61′). Dario Suarez (69′), Ariel Martinez (83′, via penalty),  and Ariel Martinez, once again, (in open play, 89′), provided the responses that allowed Miami FC to continue their defense of the NPSL title into the semifinals, which will be held on July 27.

 

West Region

 

Un-ranked ASC San Diego continued its Cinderella run with a 2-1 upset of FC Arizona. Ewout Gouwe scored “off a free kick routine” in the 17th minute. Anthony Vergara scored in the 29th minute “off an attempted clearance”. FC Arizona’s sole response came in the 52nd minute (goal-scorer not identified in ASC San Diego’s Twitter feed; at the time of publication, FC Arizona’s Twitter feed did not have any record of the match), ASC San Diego held on for the victory. The national semifinals are the furthest that the club has advanced in its four year history.

Midwest Region

After winning their quarterfinal match in penalty kicks last night, Rochester arrived in Detroit about twelve hours before the 4:30 PM kickoff of their match versus Cleveland SC. They didn’t show signs of fatigue at the start, though. After winning a free kick in the 2nd minute, they scored via Michael Cunningham’s effort, which targeted the near post that had been left unprotected by Cleveland’s goalkeeper (as noticed by the live stream commentator before Cunningham took the kick). Rafael Godoi gave Rochester a 2-0 lead by heading a ball deflected by Cleveland’s goalkeeper. In the 20th minute, Cleveland got a goal to its name via a cross that was served in and upon review appeared to go off the head of a Rochester defender, Wyatt Scott (though Cleveland’s Twitter account credited Vinny Bell for the goal).

Lightning added an extra 15 minutes to halftime. Uros Momic scored for Rochester in the 81st minute to give his side a two goal lead. Mike Derezic provided the initial response for Cleveland when he scored thanks to the goalkeeper punching away a ball he (probably) ought to have caught. Tom Beck used his head to score in the 90th minute and the match went to extra time with the score of 3-3.

Vinnie Bell scored for Cleveland in the 94th minute and Isaac Kissi made the match level at four-all in the 104th minute. Right after the start of the second half of extra time, Vinnie Bell scored again. Cleveland were then reduced to ten men in the 109th when Admir Suljevic received his second yellow card for an apparent retaliatory shove (he was shown his first yellow card in the 99th minute for a tactical foul). Vinnie Bell added one more goal in the 119th minute and the match ended with Cleveland as 6-4 victors.

(Descriptions and goal credits from the live stream.)

The thirteenth ranked team in American lower-level soccer will face the third ranked team, Detroit City FC at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

Shawn Lawson opened the scoring for Detroit City in the 22nd minute. Detroit dominated possession in the first half, but Minneapolis City did have an opportunity in first half stoppage time for which goalkeeper Hunter Morse made a desperate goal-line clearance. Detroit received a penalty for an “arm in an unnatural position” handball in the box. Max Todd converted the penalty with ease and cruised to the 2-0 victory. Detroit City advance to their first region final since 2017 (when they defeated AFC Ann Arbor 3-2). This is Cleveland’s furthest progress into the NPSL playoffs, in their second year of existence.

(Descriptions and goal credits from the live stream.)

The winner of Sunday’s Region Final advances to the National Semifinals.

 

Northeast Region

   

FC Baltimore-Christos (ranked 23rd) will travel to top-ranked New York Cosmos B to contest the Northeast Region title on at 6:00 PM on Sunday. The winner advances to the National Semifinals.

 

 

Currently, the top teams in the playoffs from each region are:

  • New York Cosmos B – They would host the national championship if they were to advance that far
  • Miami FC – Will  host a national semifinal.
  • Cleveland SC- Would travel to Miami FC.
  • ASC San Diego – Would travel to New York Cosmos B.

 

The ranking of the remaining sides (based on points per game in the regular season) breaks out thusly:

1  New York Cosmos B

2  Miami FC

3 Cleveland SC

4  FC Baltimore

5 Detroit City

6  ASC San Diego

 

The semifinal matches are scheduled for July 27 and a club will claim the league championship on August 3.

The next update will be posted this evening and will cover the Midwest Region final .