I’ve spent a couple of weeks trying to get the National League Midwest Conference schedules for our local teams into my calendar, primarily so I can find some games to cover. It’s been a frustrating process but that’s been my small burden to bear which doesn’t compare to the challenge the coaches and players have faced as the pandemic has affected their opportunity to train together and to play competitive matches. Saturday offered Sporting STL Midwest Conference action for the first time this year.
The club is part of what National League calls the Club v Club division, along with SLSG and LFA, a new designation for USYSA that offers 14 of the larger clubs an automatic spot at what is considered the top level of play. It’s going to destroy the best aspect of USYSA competition which has been the promotion and relegation model that previously placed teams in divisions based upon their play on the field. It’s a topic I’m going to have to dig into in more detail so excuse the rant and let’s get back to the weekend results.
The club was scheduled for a pair of games this weekend, facing off against Midwest United FC (MI) on Saturday and Chicago Inter 2002 Red (IL) on Sunday. The current Illinois DPH restrictions limit teams to Intra-team scrimmages, with parental consent for minors and no competitive play. Thus Midwest United faced off Saturday with Sporting STL and against SLSG on Sunday (a report to come) but Inter were unable to travel and compete this weekend.
I caught the U19 match Saturday afternoon and while it was not a result to write home about, the players and coaches were very happy to have been able to play and know better what areas to work on now that they are once again out with their teammates. That lack of action prior to Saturday was one item that stood out – fitness was not where it needs to be, especially in the 90 degree heat that marked the day Saturday afternoon.
|U15||Sporting STL 2006 Academy||Harvatin||unknown|
|U16||Sporting STL Premier 05||Buss||5-1 win|
|U17||Sporting STL Rangers 04||Preusser||9-0 Win|
|U18||Sporting STL Premier Navy 03||Wilkinson||0-6 loss|
|U19||Sporting STL 2002 Premier Red||Wayland/Senter||0-5 loss|
— @SportingStLRangers (@SportingStLRan1) September 7, 2020
Visit the Midwest Conference web page for more information. The schedule there has changed since I first visited, and is now limited to games that might be played. The next home games would be September 20 and 26 if things don’t change. If you are interested in seeing me cover your team, this is a good example of why you should reach out to me directly with news on home games. A few days notice is best.