To My Misfortune

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I woke up this morning, went to brush my teeth, and I found the weirdest thing in the back of my mouth. Two giant red golf balls. Only they weren’t golf balls. They were my tonsils- swollen to the size of golf balls! I hadn’t felt well all day yesterday, but I thought rest and a few meds would take care of it. Well, I was absolutely wrong! My throat was extremely sore, my back, neck, and abdominals were achy, and my head was pounding so hard I thought there was a little man floating above me hitting me with a hammer repeatedly. I immediately called my coach and said I was sick, and didn’t think I’d make it to practice today. Then I walked over to the health center. After sitting in there for almost two hours feeling nauseous, getting examined, having cotton swabs stuffed down my already swollen and sore throat, and crying from the needle that was stuck in my arm to draw blood; the nurse practitioner concluded I have tonsillitis. Tonsil-freakin-itis. Isn’t that great?! Heading into the busiest time of the school year, and I can’t even stay on top of things because I’m in too much pain and too exhausted to even move. What a great ending to the longest weekend of my life!

On the bright side of things I’m excused from fitness testing tomorrow morning, and I got to search the web all afternoon for some pretty cool soccer videos. Check this one out! It’s a pepsi commercial created during last summer’s FIFA World Cup.

Stay tuned for a prelude of my misfortune, to catch a glimpse of the roughest 96 hours I’ve ever had in my life!

Updates

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

The scoreboard page has been updated with results on the UEFA Champions League games. Check it out!

Cheeky

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Last week’s class assignment for the blogosphere was to pick a word that resonates to you. The word could be anything: a favorite word, word you hate, word you love, word you use a lot, anything. So I sat and thought over the past few days, and originally I was going to do something about my height. Which is a mere 5’0″,  but I didn’t think that was original, or pertained enough to soccer (even though I could talk forever about how my height was played a factor in my game throughout my career.)

Anyway, here’s what I came up with, and it pertains directly to soccer. Cheeky. Contrary to what some of you are probably thinking right now, cheeky is not used only to describe a small pair of women’s bottoms that shows off their butt cheeks. Cheeky is an adjective used to describe a particularly clever skill or action done by a player, or even a player them self. Perfect example, Messi, is a very cheeky player on the ball. He’s ridiculously smooth and deceptive on the ball, and that enables him to dribble in and out of players with great ease.  Here are some great clips of cheeky goals and skills in the game of soccer.

This week’s Word Wednesday is a tribute to Johan Cruyff. Cruyff is a retired Dutch footballer, who currently manages the Catalonian National team. In 1999 he was named European player of the century. His signature cut back move became so popularly widespread it eventually adopted his name “cruyff”. I know I missed last week’s Word Wednesday, because I was more focused on games, so I’ve decided to give you a bonus move today, which is a step over. Both skills that are featured today are rudimentary attacking moves that most players develop within their first few years of training. I emphasize the word training, because most of us start playing soccer at a very young age; when all you are expected to do is run and kick the ball toward the net in hopes for a goal. However, when you begin to train to learn, process, and excel at the game of soccer, you begin to build an extensive weaponry of skills. (This is not to say that when you’re young you don’t develop such skills. I’m simply making a generalization.)

This video shows Johan Cruyff executing his signature cut back, that we know today as the “cruyff”.

The step over, is a move very similar to that of a scissor, and often times the two terms are inter-changable. A step over, also known as pedalada, was arguably made popular in the 1990s. Brazilian footballers known as Robinho, and Ronaldo (not to be confused with Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo), are just two famous footballers who’ve mastered this skill, and popularized it during their careers.

Here’s a little summary of today’s skills:

Cruyff

Definition- an advanced cut back done with the inside of your foot.

Uses- change directions,

Synonyms- cut back

Difficulty- 2 out of 10

Pedalada

Definition- an attacking move, in which you step over the ball one way, and carry the ball in the opposite direction

Uses- change direction, deceive a defender, create space for a shot and/or pass

* if you have an opponent on your back, as oppose to running at an opponent, you can use this move in the form of a turn*

Synonyms- step over, scissor

Difficulty- 7 out of 10

* To see this move in the form of a turn fast forward the video to 1:04*

For a list of all the skills up to date with this week, check out my soccer glossary page.

Cincinnati Bengals star wide-reciever, Chad Ochocinco, has been the talk of the soccer world for the past month. Yes, you heard right, the Soccer World! On March 16th, Ochocinco announced that he would attend a 4 day tryout with MLS team Sporting Kansas City. Although, current ongoing NFL labor disputes was a factor in Ochocinco’s big switch, it wasn’t the biggest reason Ochocinco decided to step out onto the pitch. Recent interviews with Ochocino on the matter, quote him speaking about his love and passion for the game of soccer. In his youth, Ochocino was said to be a soccer stud, before he made the permanent switch to football in high school.

So now I hope you’re wondering, what I was wondering when I first heard this news. Is the six time Pro- bowler any good at real football? Or is he going to be a mockery to the sport, like Michael Jordan was to baseball. (Sorry MJ fans, I love him too, and was pulling for him to be a superstar, but baseball just wasn’t his sport.) Well check him out for yourself, and you tell me!

On March 23rd, Ochocinco started his tryout in Kansas City. After two days of training he was invited to play in the reserve game on March 25th. At the conclusion of the tryout, Ochocino was unfortunately not signed under contract by Kansas City, but he was invited to play and train with the reserve team for the remainder of the season.

In my opinion Ochocinco, has a great head on his shoulders. He admits he cannot make up for the time he’s taken away from the sport of soccer, but he’s still willing to work hard, train hard, and live his dream. He may not ever be the soccer star that he once dreamed of becoming, but he is still living out his dream, and who am I to look down upon him for that. After all, soccer is the greatest sport in the world, and having an icon like that sharing the same passion for the sport as I do, is pretty darn cool. Not to mention, I’m sure his presence in the sport will bring an even greater attractiveness to the game here in the states!

Kicks Against Breast Cancer

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

While soccer’s on my mind, I thought I’d give you guys a little heads up about my next game. Saturday is the Annual Kicks Against Breast Cancer Soccer Tournament. The tournament was founded in memory of a woman named Claudia Mayer, who died of breast cancer in 1996, at the age of 47. Since the inaugural year of the tournament (1997), the University of Maryland has participated in the tournament all but one year. Typically we fundraise months before in preparation for this tournament, but this year it’s been a little different. This year we are the feature game. We play the University of Virginia Saturday afternoon at 4pm, and the tournament will raise money based upon the attendance of our ACC showdown. This game is not only going to be held on the stadium field at the Germantown Soccer Complex, but all the proceeds go toward funding for cancer research. It’s such a great feeling to know that I can help contribute to a great cause just by playing soccer and increasing awareness. Plus, we get to wear really sweet pink jerseys!

So, if you’d like to contribute to the fight against breast cancer, visit the site and make a donation, or if you’re free Saturday evening, just come and watch us play at 4! Tickets are just $10 each. Enjoy a great day of soccer, and support the cause!

Yesterday concluded the first leg of the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. The UEFA Champions League is considered to be the most prestigious football club competition in the world. This annual tournament places the greatest European clubs in the world on stage for the world to watch. Over the past two days some of the most phenomenal matches have been played, and won. If you don’t appreciate the grace, beauty, and excitement of the game of soccer, watching a Champions League game could instantly make you fall in love with the sport. Just to prove to you how ridiculous the sport of soccer is, I’ve added the best goal of the quarter-finals thus far. And just to put things in perspective for you, if the goal itself doesn’t instantly impress you, it was ranked number 1 on ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the day. Dejan Stanković, midfielder, scores off a side volley, from midfield, in the first few minutes of the match to put his team, Internazionale milano (commonly known as Inter Milan), up 1-0 against Schalke.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals takes place April 12th and 13th. For an update on the results of the Champions League check out my scoreboard page.