Offseason Update: Lots of Matches, Lots of Drama

Even when the league and the cup are on hiatus, there is never a true offseason for Wanderers.  Between the business end of the Golden League season, and the frenetic Heroes of 2016 and the Supporter Week tournaments, SSW manages to fit in a season’s worth of games into two remarkably hectic weeks.

This year, matters on the pitch have gone fairly well for us.  Hard-fought wins over FC X-Team and Mighty Karak Chai have put us in line for a Golden League Masters berth, while we were able to go a creditable 7-3 in the 2016 tournament.  As for the Supporter Week tournament, shameless Fabian tactics earned us wholly undeserved draw against the Estonian Mestriiliga champs and, uh, played several other matches about which the less said the better.

Behind the scenes, however, a pall has fallen over the side.  Manager David Jorgenson’s displeasure with Rolando Blackmon-Thomas’ complaints about our upcoming shift to defensive training turned to full-blown anger after Blackmon-Thomas was sent off in the 2016 tournament following a pair of reckless challenges.  While the dispute might have otherwise blown over during a less intense part of the season, the crucible of tournament tournament play prevented any kind of clear-the-air session.  Instead, Jorgensen benched Blackmon-Thomas in favor of new arrival Emilusz Niemiec, a decision made easier after Niemiec has proven to be a revelation in a false nine role, and has refused to restore him to the starting line-up.  For his part, Blackmon-Thomas has taken to posting cryptic Twitter messages in between the many calls to his agent, neither of which bodes especially well.

With a relegation struggle looming ahead of us this year, I think that there’s a recognition on all sides that this situation needs to be resolved quickly.  As such, Jorgensen’s slated to meet with the Chairman and our senior back-office staff immediately after tonight’s Golden League match with Nisqually Kahnaway to try and agree a path forward.  I could see the parties making up, Blackmon-Thomas sold off or even Jorgensen replaced with a more offensive-minded coach.  Stay tuned…




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