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113 posts from February 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's soccer fixtures

A complete soccer schedule is available here.


Olympique Lyon vs. Barcelona, 2:45 p.m. ET

Arsenal vs. AS Roma, 2:45 p.m.

Inter Milan vs. Manchester United, 2:45 p.m.

Atletico Madrid vs. FC Porto, 2:45 p.m.


Atlante vs. Houston Dynamo, 10 p.m.

Photos from Inter Milan's win over AC Milan

Acmilaninterthumb Back on Feb. 15, when David Beckham was actually playing for AC Milan, not just talking about it, a Herald freelance photographer was at the stadium for his squad's 2-1 loss to Inter.

Here are her pictures (which, yes, include plenty of Becks).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday's Need to Know

The headlines:

South Korean team beats Galaxy for Pan-Pacific title

Cristiano Ronaldo: We Are Better Than Inter

Lyon coach labels Barcelona 'best in the world'

Real Madrid Smash Six Past Real Betis

Seven players sent off in Brazilian brawl

From this weekend's Miami Herald

Michelle's Sunday column about David Beckham is an interesting read. It might just be posturing, but L.A. Galaxy exec Tim Leiweke is holding firm that David Beckham will play in the MLS or nowhere this summer. They own his rights through at least 2009. It's hard to believe that the aging Beckham would sit out the season. His No. 1 priority is making England's World Cup roster, and at his age, he needs to continue to prove his up to the task.

The headlines:

Galaxy refuses to budge on David Beckham

Soccer Locker reaches Copa Latina quarterfinals

Honduras 5 Stars defeats Argentina

State soccer postmortem

After stepping away for a few days to let the dust settle, here are a few thoughts on my week in Tampa.

1. Upsets are fun, but they don't often lead to state championships. Nobody expected Pine Crest to emerge out of 3A or for Varela to capture the Region 4-6A crown. Their runs were exciting, but it shouldn't be a surprise that they both lost early. One has to think University and Killian would have fared better.

2. It's really tough to write game stories on teams that don't score a goal. And this past week, there were more zeroes on the board than are in Obama's stimulus plan (Aside: $789,000,000,000 is a mindboggling amount of money).  South Florida's teams played 240 minutes of soccer. They didn't muster a single score. Blech.

3. The tournament should be brought back to South Florida. Even in a down year, three of the last 20 teams standing hail form South Florida. In other years, that number is doubled. How many people do you think made the trip to Tampa? Aside from families and girlfriends, none. There are several million people in Miami-Dade and Broward, a far bigger market than Tampa.

4. What do I write about now, especially if MLS is a no-go? Time to recalibrate.

Saturday's FHSAA scores



Bolles 2, Berkeley Prep 1


Merritt Island 1, Nease 0 (2 OT)


Palm Harbor University 2, Freedom 1

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday's FHSAA schedule



Bolles vs. Berkeley Prep, 2:30 p.m.


Nease vs. Merritt Island, 5 p.m.


Freedom vs. Palm Harbor, 7:30 p.m.

Friday's FHSAA scoreboard



Bolles 3, Lake Highland Prep 2 (OT)

Berkeley Prep 3, Pine Crest 0


Palm Harbor University 2, Monarch 0

Freedom 1, Niceville 0

Friday, February 20, 2009

Final: Palm Harbor University 2, Monarch 0

   For the first 60 or so minutes, neither Monarch nor Palm Harbor University looked ready
for prime-time.

   The two teams combined for just one shot on goal … a harmless long effort by Monarch …
and didn't come close to sniffing a goal.

   Then the lights went down, and Palm Harbor woke up.

   With just over 13 minutes left in regulation, the Pinellas County representatives
tallied the deciding goal to send Monarch back to Broward County.

   The Hurricanes added a late penalty kick to bounce the Knights 2-0 at University of
Tampa's Pepin Stadium Friday night.

   Minutes before the first goal, the stadium lights cut out, leaving the two sides
scuffling in the twilight.

   Ben Sweat could see just fine. The Hurricanes midfielder collected a pass from P.J.
McDonald at the top of the box, twisted to his right and fired the shot off his left foot
past Monarch goalie Diego Cardoso.

   Six minutes later, Palm Harbor University put it away.

   The Hurricanes were attacking inside the box, and Cardoso took down Andrew Smith while
the ball was free.

   Matthew Tobin then beat Cardoso on a well-placed penalty kick. Using his left foot, he
slid it inside the right post.

   The teams spent the first part of the game battling for the midfield. Neither Monarch
(18-6-2) nor Palm Harbor (23-4-4) put a shot on goal in the first half.

   However, Palm Harbor had the better of play. Forward Matthew Tobin broke free in the
sixth minute, had look at the goal, but sent the ball just left.

   The second half wasn't much better, with the initial shot goal not coming until the
55th minute of play. Felipe Nascimento drove a free kick on net, but it went right to the
Palm Harbor keeper Max Gallin.

   Then in the 67th minute, Palm Harbor nailed the decider.

Halftime: Monarch 0, Palm Harbor University 0

Well, that was terrible.

The first 40 minutes of the Class 5A semifinal could just as well not been played. Neither team even mustered a shot on goal.

Here's hoping it picks up in the second half, or I will have absolutely nothing to write about.