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Showing posts from June, 2015

USA 2 Germany 0

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Episode 6 of Behind the Crest of USWNT World Cup 2015.

Good win for team USA!

That second goal was fantastic!

Having the fresh energy of O'Hara (75 minute) and Wambach (80 minute) was key to that goal. Wambach energetically tracked down that ball in the corner instead of letting it go and bobbed and weaved with it and then sent it over to Klingenberg who fired it to Lloyd who then crossed it over to the middle where O'Hara pounced and poked it into the goal!

On the other hand, that moment might never have happened if the two big penalty calls had gone differently.

Julie Johnston drew a yellow instead of a red card which would have left the US down a player for 31 minutes. At the 67 minute mark, Morgan won a yellow card (deserved) from Krahn and a penalty kick (questionable) which Lloyd cashed in.

The US did appear to be the stronger side in the game but there is no way to be certain the US would have won if the calls had gone differently.

In the post-game press conference one…

SJ 3 LA 1 - back to reality

Didn't see the whole game on TV. Turned on the game late in the 2nd half when the Galaxy were already behind 3-1. The announcers were offering that the LA Galaxy team was "out of gas."

So, no time to panic after a dud against San Jose.

The Galaxy had played matches on 6/13, 6/17, 6/20, 6/24, 6/27 - 5 games in 14 days!

The schedule remains full as they play 7/1 and 7/4!

They do play San Jose again on 7/1 (US Open Cup) and will be interesting to see if the coaching staff makes any line-up changes indicating how much energy they want to commit to the US Open Cup competition.

On other news, Steven Gerrard arrives in Los Angeles!

The plan is to introduce him to the LA home crowd on the 7/4 match. He is anticipated to be on the line-up card on 7/11 at Stub Hub against Club America (International Champions Cup) and 7/17 in an MLS home match against San Jose!

My Concerns about the PCUSA and the Emergent/Progressive Christian Movement (version 1.4 now version 1.6) Postscript added

As an individual who identifies with “evangelical” Christianity but who also has an appreciation for the efforts of “progressive” Christianity(i), I would like to offer the following thoughts and concerns.

In brief, the areas of concern I have are:
1. “Love wins” and holiness of God
2. The question of Israel
3. Same-Sex Marriage
4. Emphasis of the gospels over other portions of Scripture
5. Leftward political activism
6. Emphasis on the already over the not yet in regards to the Kingdom.

In practical reality, people experience an area or two of difference with any given church, denomination, or movement as acceptable and normal. However, when the dissonant issues becomes numerous it becomes necessary to consider dissolving the association and declaring the reasons for doing so.

Preamble
1. God’s grace is greater than our sins.
2. God has chosen to use the church as a vehicle of spreading the good news of grace to the world.
3. God’s grace is greater than the church’s history of theol…

Quarterfinals Today USA v China

Above is episode five of Behind the Crest following the USWNT in the 2015 World Cup. Should be interesting as China had 2 extra days of rest and recovery compared to the US and Team USA will be without two starters. USA line up will be the same as before with Brian plugged into Holiday's central midfield role and Press as a wide midfielder. Will see if there is some shifts in the relative forward/holding positions of some of the players. I've heard people say they expect Press to be given the green light to push forward as well as for Lloyd to do so with Brian in a more defensive midfield role. We shall see. As I type, Germany and France are locked in a 1-1 match heading into Extra Time. Will it even go to PK?

USWNT: USA 2 Columbia 0

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Well, the starting line-up was the same as the USA v. Nigeria match.

The commentators on TV observe that the defense is doing well but the offense isn't very effective.

Much of the talk was that in a 4-4-2 the team doesn't have as much offensive presence especially since of the forward two, one is the aging Wambach. Many suggested a 4-3-3 with the advantage of one additional attack minded forward and less ground for Wambach to cover might be more a better use of the talents on the roster.

One wonders if that is already been discussed among Coach Ellis' staff?

What it would be like to be a fly-on-the-wall hearing them discuss their options!

Certainly, there will be at least two changes in the quarterfinals against China as Holiday and Rapinoe picked up yellow cards last night and will be benched for one game due to accumulation.

Brian and Press are likely to take those spots on the midfield.

However, what is the line-up if the team switches to a 4-3-3?

Forwards: Morgan, Wam…

Good victory for the LA Galaxy 5-1 over Philadelphia

Can't get too high, can't get too low.

It was a slow start to the season but we don't want to get too panicky as the team was limited by injuries and players on international duty.

Good 5-1 win over Philadelphia but let's not get too crazy either as the Union are one of the bottom table clubs.

Nonetheless, it was good to see something close to the full line-up out there and the getting the ball into the net from a variety of players.

Hopefully, will avoid the injury bug and have something like this starting XI more often than not going into the second half of the season.
UPDATE: July is Gold Cup and the LA Galaxy will be missing Gonzalez (USA), Zardes (USA) and Penado (Panama). Thus, Galaxy will do a little juggling.

Lletget may play his way onto a starting spot.

And, of course, Steven Gerrard will be arriving in the July transfer window.

UPDATE: La Galaxy released a video about Gerrard .....

If Gerrard is physically fit, I would imagine he would start. He might get su…

USWNT: What are realistic expectations?

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The angst in the commentary (Team USA is struggling) I've seen has fallen into these categories:
There are many more capable teams and that is why the US is just barely getting by.
The US team has not been playing well.
Coach Ellis hasn't choosen the strongest starting 11.

Don't know which of the three explanations are more accurate and of course, it could be a combination of these factors.

Let's look at the data:
This is the seventh Women's World Cup competition.

Championship final game result:
1991 USA defeated Norway
1995 Norway defeated Germany
1999 USA defeated China
2003 Germany defeated Sweden
2007 Germany defeated Brazil
2011 Japan defeated USA
2015 ?

All these prior champions and runners-up have advanced to the round of 16 this year. Thus, there are a small number of teams that are very good historically and continue to be solid performers. At face value, the USA has been strong but Germany's record has been comparable. As of now, these two are the cu…

USWNT advance!

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Okay!

USA 1 Nigeria 0, thus the USA advances to the round of 16.

Will this line-up be the one going forward?

Certainly, if there are no issues of injury during the rest-recovery phase leading up to the next match, my guess is that this line-up is the preferred line-up with situational substituting in the second half.

In this game, Leroux subbed in for Morgan at the 66 minute mark. Would anticipate that would continue to be the case as Morgan is not yet in full fitness.

Boxx and Rampone came in for defensive purposes at the 74 and 80 minute marks.

Given that the lead was only 1-0, I think Coach Ellis kept Wambach in just in case they needed a goal to break a 1-1 tie. If the USA had gone up 2-0, I think Wambach would have been subbed out.

My question would be who the USA brings in for offense if they are behind in the second half with a tiring Morgan and Wambach?

Certainly, Leroux but who else would get the call?

May well be that Team USA is really counting on the back four and Solo to …

USWNT: Nigeria vs. USA

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Are you ready for some soccer?

USA wants to win to be at the top of the group and have less travel and more rest days for the knockout stage.

The goalie (Solo) and back 4 (Sauerbrunn, Krieger, Johnston, Klingenberg) and 3 of the 4 midfield (Lloyd, Holiday, Rapinoe) remains the same in the line-up.

However, the fluidity has been the filling of the 4th midfielder and the 2 up at the top.

In Game 1: Press (M), Leroux (F), Wambach (F)
In Game 2: Brian (M), Leroux (F), Press (F)
In Game 3: Heath (M), Morgan (F), Wambach (F).

Is this an indication of the depth of the team?

Or more evidence that Team USA is having trouble and Coach Ellis is trying to find the right combination to get the offense going.

In the "eyeball" test of this novice soccer watcher, Australia missed some opportunities early and could have won. But in the end, you got to get the ball in the net and they didn't while the US did in the second half.

Against Sweden, the USA offense just didn't seem to gener…

Where to get news and views on the LA Galaxy?

LA Times coverage of the local soccer club is sparse. So where can one go to get news and comments about the LA Galaxy?

Here are the places I've been checking out:
ESPNFC - there is a page dedicated to news item about the Galaxy as a team and its players.
MLS - the site has items from all around the league.
LA Galaxy - from the club itself though some items would fall into the "soft" news category to burnish the image of the organization and its players as warm and fuzzy. One can be cynical about such things but the alternative is for the team NOT to make connections to the community by doing good deeds! So, I say bravo for their efforts!!
LAG Confidential - part of the SB Nation family of sports sites.
Corner of the Galaxy - part of the Backheel family of sports sites.

My plan at this blog is to link to articles I come across that I think are interesting. I'll also post my non-expert impressions of the team. I did not grow up playing soccer and have really only been foll…

Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy

Final score 1-1.

Impressions:

Tale of two halves. Galaxy good in first and Columbus dominant in the second. Seems as if the Galaxy having the 1-0 lead went into the second half content to defend and eventually Columbus made them pay. Sometimes the best defense is some offense to keep the other team off balance. As it was Columbus held the ball a lot in the second half and they kept pushing and were bound to score.Ishizaki had a goal waved off due to a foul on him. 50/50 call at best could have made the game 2-0.The Galaxy could have gone up 2-0 also when Rodgers made some nifty moves with the ball but then muffed the shot wide right to his frustration. He has got at least to get that shot on goal.In the second half, Rodgers got a yellow card on what I thought was a pretty light foul.Zardes came in for the final 30 minutes but didn't seem to have much impact. Probably a little tired from USMNT duties.The last 10 minutes of so both sides seemed tired and it got sloppy. By this point, …