Archive for May, 2018


Week 7 Recap: [Expletive Deleted]

We should have known we were in trouble when Terry King kept tweeting about our upcoming rematch with Cavaliers rather than this week’s game.  Or possibly when Alex Barton spent warm-ups practicing rabonas.  David Jorgensen giving a pre-match pep talk consisting of “Lads, it’s St. Croix Destroyers” probably didn’t help either.  In any event, Wanderers came into this week’s match expecting an easy three points and paid the price for their hubris.

After a first half where we passed the ball easily around the midfield but failed to press home any of our chances, a bad give-away left fullback Leslaw Malolepszy isolated on the wing with the speedy Fernando Rancan.  While Malolepszy is normally excellent at using the sideline to cut off wingers in this situation, in this case he was a half-step slow and Rancan created enough space to send in a cross that Jon Falkblom was able to knock home.  Five minutes later, Nikolai Tzevtkov was able to get a speculative shot past our keeper, and we went into halftime down 2-0.

Jorgensen delivered more than a few choice Danish epithets during the team talk, and we came out with a bit more intensity during the second half.  However, the Islanders understandably decided to park the bus and foul everything that moved.  We were able to pull one back, but Niemiec kept sending free kicks into the wall and no one was able to conjure up an equalizer from open play.  When the final whistle blew, we had 67% possession, but were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

By any measure, this was a devastating loss for SSW, one that undid all of the good work we had done prior to it.  We entered the day as possible title contenders.  Now, we’ll be lucky to avoid a relegation playoff.  The rumblings of discontent with Jorgensen have become full-fledged howls.

At least we’ll have a chance of revenge next week, as we travel down to the Virgin Islands for the return fixture.  One can only assume the lads will be more focused this time.  If not, its possible that some of them won’t make it back to the mainland.




Week 6: Visiting the Goon Squad

This week, we headed out to Michigan to take on the Czech Frosties.  The Marauding Moravians have yet to earn their first point since promoting, but do lead the league in one category: injuries inflicted.  Of late, they’ve apparently developed a taste for human flesh, much like a man-eating tiger or Luis Suarez, and have knocked at least one opponent out of their last four games, including a remarkable three reddinrdboyz players.  This hasn’t exactly helped them in terms of results (they lost that reddinrdboyz match 6-1), but they’ve certainly left a black-and-blue mark on the league thus far.

Before the game, told the lads to play this one cool, on the theory that Arijt Chitre and the rest of the medical staff would be slightly less busy if we weren’t flying in to every tackle.  But, at some point, the boys would just need to stand there and take it like men.  For us, that point came two whole minutes into the match, as the Battling Bohemians’ Taylor Willis scythed down Ron “Chopper” Sellers, leading to a red card for Willis and a week on the training tables from Sellers.

The only silver lining for us, is that we were able to send on our own enforcer, the powerful Janus Pailing.  Pailing did what he does best- running around kicking people- and had enough of a deterrent effect to turn the affray back into a football match, which is something we do much better than they do.   Emilusz Niemiec notched a brace, Terry King and Abel Jonas each scored after runs down their weakened right side, and we were comfortable 4-0 winners.

More importantly, the win puts in the middle of a stunningly tight title race, as just two points separate first and fifth place.  This coming week, we begin a home-and-home with sixth place St. Croix Destroyers.  The Islanders managed a shocking draw with Wife Collectors last week, but Jorgensen seems confident that we can get the three points.  Since the rest of the top four pair off with each other for home-and-homes of their own, this could well be our chance to make a move up the league table (a bunch of draws in those games would be greatly appreciated).  Stay tuned.


Week 5 Recap: Growing Pains

This week’s 1-1 draw against Cavaliers VFC marked a turning point for us.  Coming into the season, the expectation was that we’d be trying to hang on in this division by our fingernails, making any point gained against a quality opponent a gift.  Now, however, the solid start to our season has raised expectations, with the sullen atmosphere at Slingsby Lane making clear that the fans thought this was a case of two points lost, rather than a point gained.

Distressingly, for the first time, there has started to be a bit of grumbling about David Jorgensen remaining as manager.  I mean, no one’s flying “Jorgy Out!” banners over the stadium or anything yet, but the first cracks are appearing.  SSW Twitter is starting to have some posts speculating about coaching changes.  Jorgensen himself got a couple questions in the post-game presser about whether he regretted selling Rolando Blackmon-Thomas and if he planned to bring in new forwards, which he reacted to with a testiness that did not endear himself to our beat writers.  Heck,  Club Captain Ruggero Panero picked this week to have his recently-completed coaching badge framed and hung up in his locker.

In fairness, you can kind of see their point, as we unquestionably got our tactics wrong in this match.  Basically, if we gave the back five a bit more license, we would have been able to establish the edge in midfield necessary to capitalize on our advantage on both wings.  Instead, Jorgensen kept everyone at home in an attempt to hit them on the counter, but also didn’t manage to suck them downfield enough to create any real counter-attacking opportunities.  All in all, a textbook case of turning a win into a draw (heck, were it not for a fantastic individual effort by Misariscambe to outrace his marker and set up Barton for our only goal, we’d be talking about a loss).

This was a costly draw, too, as we fell to fourth instead of moving up into second and significantly damaged an already unlikely bid for the league title.  Admittedly, we’d have been thrilled with fourth at the start of the season, but still.  In any event, we take on a thus-far winless Czech Frosties team next week.  For our increasingly-ambitious fans, only three points will do.


Week 4 Recap: That Was The Week That Was

Just a quick update this week as your humble scribe has been forced to concentrate on his actual job for once:

The League: We comfortably beat bottom-of-the-table Sharks de San Jose 6-0.  Emiliusz Niemiec was the hero of the day, scoring a goal and assisting on two others with a well-placed corner and an indirect free kick.  The win, combined with favorable results elsewhere, pushes us up into third place.

The Cup:  Well, our cup season has come to an end with a loss on penalties to F.C. Westchester in the Sapphire Cup.  Despite playing an “experimental” line-up due to the exigencies of training, we nearly stole a win- Barton had the potential game-winner on his foot in the 84th minute and missed, followed by our taking a lead in extra time only to quickly relinquishing it.  Interestingly, Westchester is quickly becoming a bogey team for us, as they also knocked us out of the Sapphire last year.

Looking Ahead: We have one of our key league matches of the year coming up against Cavaliers VFC.  A win puts us in second and, with a favorable schedule over the next four weeks, may well set us up for a title challenge.  A loss means that we’re probably aiming for fourth.  It’ll be pretty even, but hopefully a hyped-up Slingsby Lane crowd will put us over the top.

We also resume Golden League action this week, flying to India to take on Mighty Karak Chai with hopes of positioning ourselves for a first-ever GL Masters appearance.