The U.S. Soccer team landed in The Group of Death for the 2014 World Cup. They’re seeded in the toughest group, and will be facing Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. (Yes, I know none of my readers care about the World Cup, but I do, so I’m posting about it.)
United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann described his team’s World Cup draw as “the worst of the worst” after it was pooled with Germany, Portugal and Ghana in one of two “Groups of Death.”
Klinsmann could scarcely believe his ill fortune after the draw was made in Bahia, Brazil, with the Americans lumped into Group G and a situation that immediately installed them as long shots to reach the last 16.
“It is one of the most difficult groups of the whole draw,” Klinsmann said. “It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger but that is what the World Cup is all about. We are looking forward to the challenge and we don’t see ourselves as any kind of outsiders. If you want to get into the top 10 or 12 teams in the world you have to beat these guys.”
He’s right. The U.S. has a terrific squad this year, so I’m not counting them out. That said, if they get past the first round, I’ll be surprised.
Julia and Kevin won the Academy Sabres Junior Varsity soccer title on Saturday!
They played the first place team – Kevin and Julia’s team was in second place – and after losing by a score of 2-1, came back to win late in the fourth quarter. As for the kids, Kevin played well… for a half. He spent much of the second half sitting with us on the opposite sideline. Julia played okay… when she wasn’t dancing on the field with her teammate. Considering this is their first time playing organized sports, they did rather well – and landed some hardware to boot.
Congratulations, Blue Devils! We’re proud of you.
Erik, my 9-year old (center, blue jersey), opened his CYO soccer season tonight. Unfortunately, I had to work, but Mrs. Earp kept me apprised of the goings-on.
Things went very well.
Erik’s team won the game by a score of 12-6, and the boy had a field day. Erik scored five goals and added an assist in the opener! Nice work, boy! Your $6 will be waiting for you when you wake up tomorrow.
(Oh, the photo is from last week’s club soccer game.)
Well, technically the second-most wonderful time – everyone knows the most wonderful time of the year is back to school. Today was the start of soccer season, and the first time every one of the kids are playing competitively.
Kyle (second from right) earned a 5-2 win against Houston, and looked stellar in goal. Erik (far right) lost his season opener, 4-1 – probably because of my terrible coaching – but he scored our only goal. His team played better than they had in a while, but mistakes cost us in the end.
Kevin and Julia (left and second from left) won their in-house game by a score of 2-1. Julia played out of her mind, running back and forth as fast as she could. Kevin also played well, and copied Kyle by taking a turn in goal.
All things considered, it was a pretty good day.
For the past year, I have been a coach on Kyle’s soccer team. I’ve coached him in lacrosse before, but never soccer. It has been a good ride, as we earned a trip to the title game during the outdoor and indoor seasons. This season, I was taking a powder, because Kyle’s team combined with another Academy Sabres team, and the two head coaches were going to run things.
I liked coaching, but it would be nice to sit back and watch Kyle’s games as a parent, instead of a coach.
Fast forward to Monday. The missus took Kyle (left) and Erik (right) to their first Sabres practice of the new season. She took them because my vertigo was acting up. When she came home, she walked up to me and said, “Hey, would you like me to get you a beer?”
I knew something was askew…
A man trying to dribble a soccer ball from Seattle to Brazil died this week after being struck by a car. Gooooooooool!
A man less than two weeks into a planned journey to dribble a soccer ball from his home city of Seattle to Brazil, the host nation for the 2014 World Cup, died on Tuesday after being struck by a car in Oregon, police and the man’s supporters said.
Richard Swanson, 42, was struck as he walked on the shoulder of a road on the outskirts of Lincoln City just east of the Oregon coast, said Lincoln City Police Sergeant Randy Weaver. Swanson’s soccer ball was found nearby, Weaver said.
The car was given a red card and suspended from the next two vehicular homicides.
Erik’s soccer season officially ended this morning with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation All-Star Game. It was nice to see him recognized for his efforts all year, even though his team didn’t fare too well during the regular season. Erik (on the right with his teammates Michael and Ryan) played well during the game, capping it off with an unbelievable top corner goal in the first half.
As much as he loves soccer – it’s his favorite sport – it’s nice to have a break. Now he can play lacrosse for a few more weeks, then rest up during the summer for Fall soccer.
Kyle’s soccer team, Academy Sabres (United) began the indoor soccer season with a record of 1-3. They then went on a four-game win streak, finishing second in the league, and earning a first-round BYE in the playoffs. You know about Kyle’s wrist, but his teammate Jake also broke a toe on his kicking foot, and his other teammate Frankie suffered a severe asthma attack a few days before the city semifinals. Those were Friday night, and since I was home on death’s door, the missus took Kyle.
And she let him play the game.
Kyle talked her into wrapping the cast in bubble wrap and letting him play forward. Since the boy thinks he’s going to live forever, he figured playoffs were more important than his growth plate.
Not only did Kyle’s team win, but he also played out of his mind.
The city finals were played yesterday, and Kyle’s team was the favorite. Four kids on the team (including Kyle) were trying for their third indoor title in a row. Sadly, a three-peat was not in the cards…
After an awkward Wednesday, Kyle is finally getting used to the soft cast. As you can see, he already found a way to play Call of Duty, Black Ops with one hand. If nothing else, the kid can multitask. His school friends made things a little easier for him by signing his cast today.
(Yeah, they basically signed an Ace bandage, but what are you gonna do?)
You can’t see it as plainly in this photo, but the girls all signed their names with a heart. Most notably, his friend Hailey signed his palm in the John Hancock fashion (you can see it better by clicking the pic).
Kyle is a fairly popular kid, and his classmates are a tight-knit group – both boys and girls. They know about him missing the playoffs, and know he’s having a hard time dealing with it. It’s nice to see they took the time to make him feel a little bit better today.
Kyle’s indoor soccer team had their final game of the regular season last night. You can probably guess the result by looking at the photo.
Early in the first half, Kyle (who plays goaltender) took a rocket shot from an opposing player. He saved it, but then immediately fell to the ground, holding his wrist. He said the shot bent his wrist back, and he couldn’t move it at all. Kyle’s coach took him out of the game, and put in the emergency goalie – who also happens to be our leading scorer. We lost the game, 4-2, breaking our four-game win streak. We finished the regular season with a 5-4 record, and the playoffs start as soon as next week.
Kyle won’t be there.
Mrs. Earp took Kyle to Urgent Care, and the x-rays showed that he damaged the cartilage in his growth plate and sprained his wrist. He was given a soft cast and can’t play sports for at least two weeks. It couldn’t come at a worse possible time. Indoor playoffs are starting, and his lacrosse team just started practicing. Missing soccer really hurts, though, because the team has been playing out of their minds. We’re also defending indoor champions – we won the last two titles – and the kids really want to earn a three-peat.
They can still win the title; of that I have no doubt – but it would be easier if Kyle were playing.
Naturally, he’s devastated. He already blames himself for tonight’s loss, and will blame himself if his team doesn’t win during the playoffs.
It’s going to be a very long two weeks.