Sunday, March 12, 2017

First Spring Game of 2017 Orangemen vs Reston Lake Fairfax Park's been a while since I've posted the action from one of our games.  But 2016 was a rebuilding year, nevertheless, we had some successes.  Now has we enter 2017, with the addition of leadership coming from Q, we are starting to have even more success.  

Last night at Lake Fairfax park, even though numbers were down because temperature was in the low 20's, enough players showed up to have a classic match.  Q provided the following write up to me after midnight last night.  So he was clearly stoked...

We had 9 [players who] showed up. Reston had 5 players at the beginning but ended up with 9 at the end (players showed up late). They went up 2-0 after 20 more mins. Alfredo scored the first and I the second to tied it up by the half. Second half Reston went up by 2 again 4-2 (not again) Kenny equalized then Leon tied it up. We had a lot of chances as usual but couldn't finish. It was a really good and highly frustrating game because of all the chances we had. Jan and David we exceptional at the back as well as George....everyone worked they azz off, Kenny had a hamstring injury and came off for about 15 mins before returning but wasn't 100%. Game needed at 4-4.

Great write up Q.  I was right there in the action with you.  Sadly I didn't make the game as I pulled my left calf on an elliptical machine at the Marriott in Nashua NH, on Wednesday evening.  What does it say about your conditioning if you can pull a muscle on an elliptical?  Nothing good I assure you.  Great work lets work on getting real numbers out for the game.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Orangemen vs Reston August 2016

I haven't posed a match result in a while. I think primarily because we haven't been producing games to write home about. While our first game of the 2016 Fall season changed all of that. On Saturday night, despite the sweltering 95 degrees as kickoff, against a very strong Reston team, arranged at the last minute, we produced a 3 to 3 tie and a Hat Trick for Jason.

Players on Saturday included...
Mooch (returning from a weekend Tourney in VA Beach)
Matt who brought a guest - central defense
Maurico and Alfredo - both having been absent a few games due to injury
Jason (our man of the match who brought a new Pentagon player)
Gene - keeper
Lalo (a new recruit, also from the DoD) - left defense
Jamal (who has begun playing with Orange after a long time absent)
Ogre - midfield
and Mike, who we drafted from the sidelines who we will also call up for future matches.

I played Jason up from for the first time...with Matt and his guest opting to shore up the defense. Lalo stepped right into the right full back position vacated by Karl as he decided to go bike riding in Switzerland.

We played well through out the game. Ball movement from the back produced run after run, and Jason tried to get on the end of every one. Jason produced three shot low and to the left. On shot from out side the box into the upper right hand corner, and his hat trick, robbing the keeper of the ball who had come out, stepping around him, and keeping his composure to place the ball into the net.

Other opportunities including a long throw from Matt, with Mooch standing in the box behind all of the defenders. No one thought Matt could hurl a ball close to 40 yards, but he carried the defense and Mooch tried to flick it into the upper 90, missing only by inches. A final opportunity saw a great run by Jason down the left flank, delivering a cross into the box that Jamal finished, only to be called back as an off sides.  Final score was 3 to 3.  Reston fought hard to come back and save the tie.

It was a great game...and we enjoyed a few drinks on the sidelines after the game...something we haven't done in a while but will continue through the Fall season.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Orangemen vs Braddock Road Feb 2016

With the snow from Snowzilla leaving only a few dirty mounds in the parking lot, the league turned on all games for the weekend.  At 1 pm the Orangemen assembled to kick off their hibernation status and take on Braddock Road at Poplar Tree Park.   The temperature showed 28 in the morning but had climbed to a balmy 43 by kickoff…  It didn’t make a difference, most players kicked off their sweats, hats, and gloves, it felt like spring time..

Assembled to play were a couple of new faces but here was the line up…

Bryan in goal (First half)
Golden sweeping
New guy on right fullback
Eric (New guy Brit) left full back
Cris right halfback
Mo in central midfield
Tedd in central midfield
Gene a left halfback
Bernie up top
Karl M up top

Q ‘s friend
Peter Z
and Steve Harris started on the bench.

It was clear we had a great defensive line up and could control the ball.  All through the first half we were pressing and Bryan rarely had an opportunity to touch the ball.  Kendall, who was playing Keeper for Braddock, on the other hand, had his work cut out for him.  Bernie pulled the trigger on a couple of shots that went high...and we had others…

With four subs Mooch had to make a few changes to the line-up to get everyone on the pitch.  He pulled Gene and sent in Q’s friend.  Then he added Peter Z up top for Karl, and worked Steve in as right back.  Later, Mooch would join the side for Mo.

We were dominating the half, it wasn’t clear why we were not stretching the net.  Kendall was making a few saves...but they were soft...he just wasn’t being challenged by the shots.  On a breakaway, Bryan was challenged once and make a great blocking save from point blank range while back peddling.  

Mooch came on and began playing in the right halfback position and Cris slid into the center with Tedd.  It was clear he wasn’t being heavily defended on the right so a few passes came through to him.  He was feeding it forward into space...and on three separate occasions the strikers were called for offsides…  Very close calls, wish we has some line judges or instant replay to see them again.  All of them looked good to Mooch.

The opening score came when we were in the box, the cross came in from the left, Mooch was running onto it from the right.  Peter was close and with those long legs had a play on the ball.  Mooch yelled for him to leave...and was surprised when he did.  Mooch hit it cleanly and lifted it up and toward the left corner.  Kendall had taken a step off his line and immediately recognized his mistake.  He back peddled and reach for it..but it was too high and dropped under the crossbar.  The Orangemen had scored.  1 to 0.  Just before the break, some would say after time had elapsed, Braddock had a break…  With our sweeper out of position, it was a one on one with Bryan.  Bryan had defended two similar breaks early on...but this one he was back peddling and the striker got a soft shot off to the far right post.  It carried in.  The half ended and to start the second half we continued our dominance.  Bryan started up top...and along with Bernie and a few more chances…

In the end both teams held...but the Orangemen had far more chances…  Mooch can’t complain about the passing and the control because we dominated.  It’s hard to say why we didn’t score a few more. always...a tie is better than a loss and had we not been out there playing well...Braddock would have easily done damage to us.  Great game Orangemen.  

Oh...I forgot to mention the Red Card.  This year the ref is going to give a Yellow card for dissent to try to keep the game under control early on.  A yellow card for dissent is one thing...but if you keep up the dissent and earn a Red Card there is no real excuse.  Players who can’t keep their mouth shut, can’t keep their emotions under control.  Hot heads are who the league is looking to suppress.  A lot of changes coming this year...including more liability safeguards up to and including insurance...which will definitely increase game costs…

So...our last Red Card was Feb 2015 (I believe that was our Bolivian Rancher).  Now we’ve dropped our consecutive days without a Red to zero.  I have to report to the league what happened...and then assess where to go from the past a Red Card for two yellows might not result in a two game suspension.  Two yellow cards for dissent...absent any violence is a new one on me.  I will have to consult with the team elders before I pass judgement.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Orangemen vs Turtles -- November 2015

We beat the Turtles 3 to 2 in an outstanding game...


Gene in Goal
Golden Sweeping
Greg right fullback
Karl left fullback
Mauricio Stopper
Tedd Central midfield
Mooch rover
Pete defensive Halfback
Javar ?
Alfredo striker
FAHM Striker

With no subs we played the full game but it was a cool night so everyone ran their butts off.

Turtles scored first fairly early in the first half on what was clearly an off-sides call, at midfield, that somehow the Ref missed.  He was calling us for off-sides but not the Turtles.  Mooch had two magnificent touches to FAHM, over the top.  One with the outside of his left foot and one with his right...they were short looping balls directly into FAHMs path. In both cases, when he kicked them, FAHM was even with him, so how the ref judged those to be off sides I will never know.

FAHM returned the favor.  At halftime it was 1 to 1

Mooch opened the scoring in the second half when he received the ball at the top of the was the a deflection from an errant shot by J.  I trapped the ball and with time and space, and  the ball sitting up nicely, it was all his to finish into the right side of the goal to an outstretched Tony.

But the Turtles came back to tie at 2 2 to make for an interesting finish to the game.  Tensions flared as a loud mouth on the Turtles kept complaining that FAHM was obstructing him.  His anger got the better of him and he took down Alfredo in a vicious tackle that earned him a yellow card.  Strange because he was taking down players left an this speaks to the ability of the Ref to control the game.  He was losing control...on another night vs another team not as well behaved as the Turtles there could have been a different out come.  Way too much yelling from that loud mouth.

And speaking of loud mouths...Mooch did his sharing of yelling too.  But it was, of course, to get his own team to pass the ball.  Whereas we did win the game, and we did create plenty of opportunities...with the right pass at the right time we could have put the game last night away really early in the evening.  If Orangemen continue to hold the ball one, two, three, even four touches past when they should have passed, Mooch will continue to yell.  And he apologizes for any profanity that he might have used last night.  For the record it goes like this...

Pass the ball first touch - Great praise by Mooch
Beat the first player with first touch, then pass the ball - Praise by Mooch
Beat the first player, get ball stolen by second player - Mooch admonishment
Beat the first player, beat the second player, lose ball -  Strong admonishment by Mooch
Beat the first player, beat the second player, beat the third player, lose the ball...  Mooch goes apoplectic and who knows what will come out of his mouth, it's not his fault...

So the game winner came from FAHM...he received the ball just out side the box on the right side.  It set up nicely...and he hit a rocket with his left foot.  No spin, I could see the seams on  the ball as it went left into the side netting, Tony had no chance.  Definitely the goal of the game and the game winner.

Great play by all, including our defense that was left alone deal with a decent Turtles attack all too frequently. Golden was running down every ball even with a tight (insert medical term here) tendon in his back that was making his knee sore...or something like that...  Whatever it was he seemed to work it out as he was getting more distance on his goal kicks then he ever has.

Special thanks to Peter for making the long haul down from Baltimore to give us sufficient numbers.  Also, Peter played a lot of defense last night, most I've seen in a long time.  That was helpful too ensure our win.  I think Peter specifically didn't want to Turtles to beat us last night and made sure of it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Orangemen vs Internationalze Halloween 2015

Due to Halloween falling on a Saturday night, and very few folks actually wanting to play, I think I had 1 confirmed, we were able to reschedule the game for Friday night.  Strangley it all worked out well...too well in fact.  In the end we had too many fields and too many refs show up for the game.  And, at the last minute, Cris and Rahbi came out of retirement to augment our side.

It was a nice cool fall night, perfect temperature for soccer.  Orangemen wore black and the Internationalze, decked out in their Brazilian National kits, with bright yellow shirts and bright blue shorts, all of a sudden began to resemble minions...coincidence?

At the end of the evening the score was 1 to 1...a tie.  It was the best around game we have played in a long time...this is how the side looked.

Rahbi and Dave Nanney starting up top
Cris, Mooch, Q, and George in the midfield augmented by Alfredo
Golden, Ned, Karl, and Maurico providing an almost impenetrable defense, with Steve H showing up to lend a solid hand.
Gene, of course, was in goal.

Internationalze brought their standard solid line-up.  They played fast and in control.  But we stayed with them.  We were able to bring pressure forward and control the ball in their half of the field to allow our defense a reprieve so when they did attack, we shut them down nicely, and didn’t grow tired.  Scott could be heard calling for the midfield to return to shore up the defense, and we did.  Had we not been willing to play defensively through the midfield, they might have had more breakthroughs.  Unfortunately, with so much defensive minded play, we didn’t create enough chances up top.  But we certainly created some chances..most, when we passed the ball with composure through the midfield.

Cris would lead off the attack, but gaining control of the ball, making a move to get out of trouble, and then completing a pass.  As always, it never works if that initial control then quick distribution does not occur.  

Our goal came on a free kick.  Rahbi took the kick from outside the box.  The ball looped in nicely and the keeper jumped to get his mitts on it.  It beat him but hit the crossbar and bounced down, it hit the ground, but big man Q was right in front of the keeper and was able to stop the ball with his body and then finish with ease into the top of the net.

We had to keep the pressure on to keep from losing as Internationale pressed hard in the remaining few minutes to score.  We kept our heads and kept the score a tie.  We have lost too many times in those last minutes this year.  This was a great turn of fortune and something we should strive for in the future.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Orangemen vs Sterling Sting

Toward the end of the game last night...for reasons unknown, Golden made the loud statement on the field, “What Would Mooch Do?”.  Mooch yelled back, “Mooch would pass the ball”.  And so it was yesterday, when we got tired in the second half, gave up the fight we were so fully engaged in, and stopped passing.  The result, after having a spectacular first half, where we initiated the scoring and kept the Sting on their heels, having ended the half tied at 3 3, we fell apart and Sterling scored another four goals in the second half, with us answering with only one.

Back in December 2012 I wrote this blog for the Orangemen, perhaps we should review what I said…

This after a 1 to 10 shellacking by the Metros…  Granted our passing since Dec 2012 has greatly improved...but, as new players join the team, and we get tired, we tend to forget, that the ball is round for a reason.  Also, a passed ball travels a lot faster that a dribbled ball.  We showed some great passing skill last night...stringing 5 passes together in a’s not clear why we stopped.  But it was a combination of deciding to go it alone out there...or picking a bad pass too late.  It’s better to pass early then to wait until you get into trouble...because then the pass is rushed and inaccurate, or it’s the wrong pass.

That’s plenty for my soap box this morning.

Onto the game…  Thanks for those who came to play at 3 knowing we had to get to RFK by 7 pm...we would be rushed.  Thanks to Sterling for hosting us early so that we didn’t have to canx.

Fabian made an appearance...first time in about a year.
George, who ran 10 miles in the morning
Gene who brought his boy Nate with him
Dave N

With one more sub, and the Harvin, the Harvin was a no show, I think we would have won the game.

Scoring wise, Fabian struck first blood with a great header from a corner kick supplied by Tedd.  George scored twice, once with a great and silky smooth shot that fooled the keeper at his near post that he hit with the outside of his left boot.  He could have crossed it as well, as Golden was ready to pounce, but the fact that he made it look easy, and he scored, atoned for the play.  He also collected a ball that Mooch served over that top that Fabian got to first and took a stab at it, the ball came back out and George was able to place it where it belonged.

Our fourth goal game from a PK by Mooch.  Since his dad was in attendance, he had to show off.  He hit the ball low and left, hard, and full of confidence.  The Keeper got his filthy paws down to meet it, but alas the strength in the shot was too much for him to handle and the ball carried into the net.

Despite George’s two goals, I think player of the match has got to go to Golden today.  Playing his second match as our Sweeper, proves he is a fantastic replacement of Johnny H.  He did fantastic work in the back, shutting down Sterling...for the first half.    Once we got tied and the onslaught was one, Golden saved us time and time again...the scoreline would have been far worse without him tireless running down every ball.

Those of you who failed to pass last night...I will not call you out by name...but here is the tell tale sign that you need to pass.  When “Mooch” turns his back, throws his hands skyward, and rips off a number of profanities that would make and Naval aviator blush, it’s time to start passing.  And I say Naval aviator because our Air Force aviators, other than Tedd, failed to materialize yesterday...and Tedd left early...just sayin’.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Orangemen vs Chantilly Aug 2015

With the transfer of John H the era of the military attorney playing for the Orangemen has come to an end.  Joshua remains as our soul attorney who will play occasionally but the juggernaut that was free legal advice on the Orangemen has come to an end.  In it’s place, an unlikely source.  Or at least I wouldn’t have believed it it had I not seen it here on this day.  Here was our line up.

Gene in Goal
Karl at right full back
Golden (F-18 pilot) as sweeper
Greg at left full back
Tang (F-16 pilot) as stopper
Mauricio at left half
Ogre (F-16 Pilot) as central midfield
Floppy at central midfield
Alfredo at left midfield
FAHM (F-22 pilot) as striker
Dan (A-10 pilot) as striker

Q - first sub
Nanney - second Sub
Mooch - third sub
Derek - arrived for 10 pm game

Note the trend?  That’s five fighter pilots starting in the Orangemen line-up last evening, on a beautiful August evening at Gunston Middle School.  Of course we were not lined up against ISIS we were lined up against the Chantilly team that is fast and skilled.  With so many new players in our line-up we had some trouble early in the first half and Chantilly kept us pinned down for the first 25 minutes or so.  Within which time they scored their first goal. The goal amounted to a great shot by the Chantilly striker from the right side of the box.  Gene was maybe two feet too far forward off his line allowing the well struck ball to rise and curl under the bar as Gene deflected it up and back.  After that the Orangemen started to gel and we were able to begin making runs on their goal...and get the ball out of our side of the field.

From that point on the game was fairly evenly matched...going back and forth and turning into a fun competition.  We had plenty of opportunities at their end with FAHM, Dan, Golden, and Mooch winding up for shots that either went wide or were too soft and easily collected by their large keeper.  After the Chantilly number 1 fullback, Dick, left the pitch due to injury, the Orangemen pressed even deeper into their end.  A corner kick, delivered by Mooch, carried to the far post, Dan had a free header.  He headed it down and away from the keeper, but the vertical upright got in the way and the impact rung out into the night sky letting Mooch know he would not get the assist.

Back at our end, Gene was having an outstanding night in net.  He was diving and punching the ball clear on more than a few shots.  

Unfortunately, toward the end of game with only minutes to goal, floppy produced an errant pass that was intercepted by Chantilly.  The goal amounted to a great individual effort by the Chantilly striker who ran down the left side driving all the way to the end line.  Most on the field believed the play would end, but the striker was able to get round our final defender and cross the ball low and slow through the goal box for a simple tap-in on the far side.

Peter our ref, turned to me at full time and asked if we should go another 3 minutes for unjury time, I said of course.  So we continued to play. We continued to pressure and in a melee in their box, Dan stepped into a weakly cleared ball and finished into the top of the net.

Final score, was 1 to 2.  Chantilly.  But it was well played all around.  We only needed a few more minutes more and we would have equalized.

Well played by all.  Gene had an outstanding match in goal.  Greg played an incredible game in his left fullback position...I’m not sure he got beat last night.  Golden, has stepped into the position as sweeper, a position he now confesses he’s played his entire life.

Stay tuned for the match next weekend Orangemen, as the plan is to go to the DC United game…the plan is to play an early match before hand.