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113 posts from February 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

And then there was one

First Varela, then Pine Crest.

Two South Florida teams have appeared in the state final four. Both have lossed.

The area's last hope: Monarch, which Palm Harbor University in the Class 5A semifinals.

Kickoff is in 12 minutes.

Final: Berkeley Prep 3, Pine Crest 0

Pine Crest's postseason magic apparently doesn't extend north of the Broward County
line.

The Panthers' unlikely run through the regional playoffs ended with a thud in the state
final four Friday, as powerful Berkeley Prep dominated Pine Crest 3-0 in the Class 3A
semifinals.

The Buccaneers sliced through the previously stout Panthers and Pine Crest's scoring
opportunities were few and far between.

Pine Crest took wind at its back to start the game, but it was high-powered Berkeley
Prep that drew first blood.

In the 10th minute, J.D. Post beat Pine Crest keeper Wyatt Zeller with a low shot that
snuck inside the left post. Eri Jacobs recorded the assist.

In an instant, the underdog Panthers were in a 1-0 hole.

Ten minutes later, Berkeley Prep doubled its lead with an incredible individual effort
by T.J. Roehn. The striker redirected a failed clear past Zeller with a powerful blast off
his right laces.

Pine Crest's only true opportunity of the period came in the 22nd minute, when Matt
O'Connor blasted a free kick to the left upright, but Berkeley Prep keeper Alex Jenkins
fought through a screen to make a sliding save.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were played at a near-standstill, as Berkeley
Prep seemed content to sit on its lead and Pine Crest was unable to put together much of
anything.

The Panthers' best chance came in the 19th minute, when O'Connor sent a free kick on
net. Jenkins batted it up, but not out. Pine Crest sent a rebound back toward the cage,
but it drifted wide.

Berkeley Prep put the game out of reach in the 65th minute when Jacobs sent in a
rebound off a blocked shot by Kevin Harvey.

Halftime: Berkeley Prep 2, Pine Crest 0

The Buccaneers have lived up to their lofty billing in the first period, scoring twice into the wind.

Pine Crest had the wind at its back to start the game, but it was high-powered Berkeley Prep that drew first blood.

In the 10th minute, J.D. Post beat Pine Crest keeper Wyatt Zeller with a low shot that snuck inside the left post. Eri Jacobs recorded the assist.

In an instant, the underdog Panthers were in a 1-0 hole.

Ten minutes later, Berkeley Prep doubled its lead with an incredible individual effort by T.J. Roehn. The striker redirected a failed clear past Zeller with a power blast off his right laces.

Pine Crest's only true opportunity of the period came in the 22nd minute, Matt O'Connor blasted a free kick to the left upright, but Berkeley Prep keeper Alex Jenkins fought through a screen to make a sliding save.

Bad news on MLS front, Miami

Over on the mothership, Michelle Kaufman has this little scoop: FC Barcelona is having serious reservations about backing Marcelo Claure to bring a team to South Florida. Barca and Claure put in a $40 million bid, and were considered a front-runner for a team in 2010.

MLS commissioner Don Garber and president Mark Abbott remain in talks with the Miami expansion group, and Miami remains ''in strong consideration'' for the next round of expansion, said league spokesman Dan Courtemanche.

The complete story is available here.

Hello again from Tampa

After a quiet Thursday, it's time for soccer, South Florida fans.

First up: Pine Crest vs. Berkeley Prep in 3A. The winner will play The Bolles School, which outlasted Lake Highland Prep in the first semifinal. Bolles advanced 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Jacob Stenson.

Later today: Monarch vs. Palm Harbor University in the Class 5A semi.

Around Major League Soccer

Headlines:

Speedy new players gives Red Bulls wings

Northwest gets first taste of Sounders FC Friday night

FC Dallas considers adding Argentine midfielder Gaitan

Why Galaxy is right to fight AC Milan for Beckham's services

Friday's Need To Know

When asked if Boca Raton is the best team in the nation Wednesday, Varela coach J.C. Gonzalez scoffed -- even after a loss. Looks like he was onto something. The Bobcats lose a stunner in the state championship game, 2-0 to Melbourne. Not all bad for Palm Beach County, though. Delray Beach's American Heritage took home the 2A crown.

The headlines:

Boca Raton boys soccer team loses 6A state title game 2-0

Heritage-Delray soars to 2A title

Beasley escapes serious injury after vicious tackle

Some LA Galaxy Fans Don’t Want Beckham Back

Davis: Possible 18 For US Against El Salvador

Platini Says Forget Video, Add Refs Instead

Friday's FHSAA schedule

CLASS 3A SEMIFINALS

Bolles vs. Lake Highland Prep, noon

Berkeley Prep vs. Pine Crest, 2:15 p.m.

CLASS 5A SEMIFINALS

Palm Harbor University vs. Monarch, 5 p.m.

Niceville vs. Freedom, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday's FHSAA scores

CLASS 2A FINALS

American Heritage (Delray Beach) 4, Maclay 0

CLASS 4A SEMIFINALS

Nease 4, Stanton 0

Merritt Island 2, Palmetto 0

CLASS 6A FINALS

Melbourne 2, Boca Raton 0

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday's Need To Know

I'm all about the state final four this week -- check out my game story of Varela's frustrating loss to Boca Raton -- but that doesn't mean we don't cover it all. On my way to Tampa, I stopped by FC Dallas camp to chat with FIU's Juan Guerra, who's got an uphill battle to break into the league.

Headlines:

FIU midfielder Guerra in numbers game

Portland awaits MLS expansion decision

Beckham Follows Donadoni’s Example

2009 Algarve Cup Schedule and Venues Finalized