Derby game. It always evokes plenty of emotion and that emotion has been building for several days as the St Louis Scott Gallagher Academy programs wrapped their Fall regular season with the Missouri home leg Friday night (Metro will host next May/June). Check out the Academy Twitter list I maintain and once you get past the nonsense that adolescence can engender we can dig into the brilliance that is also possible.
PHOTO GALLERY – U16 Academy Derby
PHOTO GALLERY – U18 Academy Derby (ibid)
Several conversations I had during the course of the evening kept coming back to one topic – Style and Principles of Play is part of the evaluation criteria for every Academy program in the country. Want to know more about how the US Men’s National Team plays and the expectations Jurgen Klinsmann has? Attend an Academy game where all of the Clubs are expected to play a variation on a 4-3-3 system that most often is a 4-2-3-1 but can also be a 4-4-2 with a diamond in the middle. Read about it here, in the US Soccer Coaching Education document on Style and Principles of Play.
What is the first sentence in the US Soccer document defining those priniciples?
All teams will be encouraged to display an offensive style of play based on keeping possession and quick movement of the ball.
There was plenty of that on display Friday along with some superlative defensive play. Time constraints (it’s late and I’ve got a couple of Quarterfinal matches Saturday along with a D3 NCAA match at WUSTL I’d like to take in) and the desire to see a game or two more before delving deeper but I’ll note some players that stood out tonight along with the results.
U14 – SLSG MO wins 1-0, the game-winner came late, approximately 64th minute.
U16 – SLSG Metro wins 2-0 with David Viox and Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal scoring in the 36th and 40th minute to earn the points for Metro (40 minute halves). What proved to be the game-winner by Viox was started at midfield by David and as he moved forward from his holding midfield position, he looked for and ultimately connected with Wan Kamal. The goal came as the two combined for a give-and-go in the top corner of the box, with Viox then running straight at the goal before beating the on-rushing GK as well. Wan Kamal got his a few minutes later as Metro pressed, with the pressure limiting the clearance attempt by Missouri. Wan Kamal collected and finished his opportunity well. Justin Stinson, the attacking midfielder for Missouri who has collected four yellow cards for unsporting behaviour this season, is nonetheless very deserving of his role in the center of the Missouri attack. In the 80’s a popular style was to wear garters for your socks (check out the guy in the air) which either branded you as a player or a wanker. Justin is a player.
U18 – finished tied 1-1 with Tommy Barlow scoring in the 42nd for Missouri while Dallas Moses equalized in the 57th on a penalty kick. Barlow’s goal (he’s the lone striker) came as Missouri found their rhythm in the final 10 minutes of the half, taking advantage of what the Metro staff would call ‘playing scared’ as the Illinois side fights to reach the levels achieved on the Westside. It was only the second real shot of the half, following closing on Keegan McHugh’s blast in the 40th as he stepped into a ball 25 yards from the goal following a scrum in the box. The PK was the result of a hand ball as Metro rediscovered some mojo and played an excellent second half. Jake Laird, an excellent outside back (and lefty) served in a fine corner kick that came back out and his second ball to the far post led to the foul. Moses, who heads to Loyola-Chicago in January having completed his HS requirements at Collinsville (and Springfield Catholic where he led the team to their 1st State Championship) finished well to the lower left just under the GK. The second half opened up and Missouri was denied by Brentsen Wolf when he somehow got back to deny Barlow on a breakaway in the 83rd while a 90th minute set piece almost gave Metro the winner but for Chase Webert’s work in goal.