Mar 072013
 

Another win. I could get used to this.

It was not an easy game. The wind was strong, the field was in terrible shape. Three stripes of sand on one end made passes back to the goalkeeper unpredictable, while the other penalty box was a virtual sandbox. But these challenges affect both teams, and ultimately are nothing to complain about. Our boys went ahead and played their game and got the just result.

The passing was good, the movement was good, and we are capable of doing great things this season as long as we continue playing this way.

I was a bit disappointed that we did not get to continue our shutout streak. Certainly at the time I felt the goal was not actually a goal—ie that Alex had done enough to prevent the ball from crossing the line (a line that didn’t exist due to the nature of the sand in the penalty box, and the assistant referee was not in a position to truly judge whether the ball had crossed the line). On the other hand, I can’t claim that a 4-1 score line flattered our opponents. They had certainly shown enough attacking verve, and made enough good shots, to be seen to have earned a goal. And the “controversial” goal call allows me to bring up another topic to consider.

It may seem a bit early (1/4th of the way into the season) to talk about winning the bracket. But it is Vedad’s goal for the team to do so. Winning the season will not be easy; it’s more than just being the best team on the field (something we’ve done thus far). I mentioned last week the fact that, as the first place team, we have a target on our backs that everyone else is aiming at; a target that grows with each week that we stay top of the table. In addition, we will find that we won’t always get a break from the officials. I imagine that had the scoreline been different the referees might not have called the non-goal a goal. But as we were already winning in a pretty dominant fashion they could feel more comfortable making that call, rewarding the team that wasn’t going to win.

What can we do about it? Nothing. We have to accept the fact that referees won’t be looking to give us any favors, maybe even wear it with pride, knowing that all we will achieve this season will be done solely on the strength of our play.

Soccer in Houston’s Three Stars of the Game

This was a really tough list to compile, as everyone played well. But here goes:

  1. Nicholas Fetzer – Nick didn’t quite look his stalwart self in the first game of the season, so it was a relief to see him play so well in the defense this game. He was an absolute rock back there, stabilizing our defense, especially in the second half. A great ball to William Wallace for the final goal was the icing on the cake. Great work from Nicholas.
  2. Robert Navratil – For the second week in a row, Robert earns this star through very strong play, this time almost entirely from the left back position. I have tried to tell Robert for several seasons that he should think of the outside back as a position that is as much offensive as defensive, and he seems to have embraced that now. He chose his moments to push forward intelligently, and when he did push forward he was devastatingly effective. Fantastic job by Robert.
  3. William Wallace – Another game in which it was really difficult to pick a third star with so many good candidates, but I finally had to give the nod to William. William was brought in largely because we weren’t certain whether Alex was fully recovered from his thigh strain. It turned out he was, but William still provided us the assurance to play our regular game by filling in for Alex in goal for the first half while Alex tested his leg with some field play. William was not extensively tested by our opponents, but handled those tests well. He was challenged by the field conditions, and managed no errors in controlling passes back on a very tricky surface. The icing on the cake was his nice goal, which was enabled by his nearly perfect first touch off his head into his run. Excellent from William.

Matchday 2 Stats

Houston Express 01B White 4 – 1 Galveston County Pumas 00/01B White
Luis Aguilar 1′ (Abraham Yemane)
Robert Navratil 18′ (Daniel Dibos)
Robert Navratil 28′ (unassisted)
Galveston County 46′
William Wallace 58′ (Nicholas Fetzer)

Houston Express 01B White

Category

Galveston County Pumas 00/01B White

4

Goal

1

16

Shot

13

11

Shot on Goal

5

3

Assist

-

5

Corner Kick

2

6

Offside

2

1

Foul Drawn

2

2

Foul Made

1

5

Save

7

-

Yellow Card

-

-

Red Card

-

-

Own Goal

-

-

Penalty

-

4

Cross

-

1

Blocked Shot

-

 

Name G SH SG A CO OF FD FM SV YC RC OG PK CR BS PA PR PS
Abraham Yemane - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -
Alex Wintz - - - - - - - - 3 - - - - - - - - -
Cooper Torsch - 1 1 - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Daniel Dibos - 5 4 1 5 - 1 1 - - - - - 1 - - - -
Jackson Kelso - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
João Moreira - 1 - - - 4 - 1 - - - - - - - - - -
Kenji Chevray - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Luis Aguilar 1 2 2 - - 1 - - - - - - - 2 - - - -
Nicholas Fetzer - 1 - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - -
Robert Hellums (36) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Robert Navratil (40) 2 4 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sean Lau - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
William Wallace 1 1 1 - - - - - 2 - - - - - - - - -
Totals 4 16 11 3 5 6 1 2 5 - - - - 4 1 - - -

Name G SH SG A CO OF FD FM SV YC RC OG PK CR BS PA PR PS
Galveston County Pumas 00/01B White 1 13 5 - 2 2 2 1 7 - - - - - - - - -

G: Goa lSH: Shot SG: Shot on Goal A: Assist CO: Corner Kick OF: Offside FD: Foul Drawn FM: Foul Made SV: Save YC: Yellow Card RC: Red Card OG: Own Goal PK: Penalty CR: Cross BS: Blocked Shot PA: Pass Attempted PR: Pass Received PS: Pass, successful

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