Archive for August, 2018


Week 2 Recap: Hosting the Champs

This week marked our home opener, and we had a doozy of a match-up for our supporters.  Defending champions Celtic SFO were coming to town, a well-balanced squad boasting the best ratings in the league according to our analytics staff, probably because they also have 10 or so highest payrolls in all of Div IV at an eye-watering $400K (we, of course, have gone cheap at a mere $169K, well under the division average).  To make matters worse, they were coming in angry and desperate, having taken a largely undeserved loss in week 1.

In the past, a match like this would have seen us taking the largest bus we could find and parking it in front of the net.  But, manager Panero decided to take this opportunity to launch the era of “bossa nova football,” so we took a different approach, playing two up top in a possession-oriented 3-5-2 and spending as much time as possible playing keep-away from our visibly surprised opponents.

The new approach paid dividends in certain respects: we were able to dance around their tackles enough to dominate possession, and even created 10 chances to their one.  Unfortunately, we squandered nine of those chances, as forward Emilusz Niemiec apparently was laboring under the impression that the objective was to hit the ball off the crossbar rather than into the net.  Worse, Celtic scored on their only chance of the match, as their Simon Singh managed to beat Misariscabame (who otherwise had a solid game subbing for Chopper in central defense) off the dribble and snuck a finesse shot past a despairing Masters.

Still, a 1-1 draw under the circumstances is a fine result, putting us in sole possession of second place.  Next week, league leaders Amish Wife Collectors come to town- they’re a strong attacking outfit with a wage bill even higher than Celtic’s after having spent $18mm on players since the season began.  Still, if Panero can somehow scheme his way to a win next week, that would be enormous for us- we’d be in first place and would have to be considered legitimate contenders after having taken on last year’s top three in consecutive weeks.


Week 1 Recap: Panero Speaks!

Following a debut victory over Cavaliers’ VFC, new manager Ruggero Panero sat down for an interview with Leopold Czerny, a Wanderers alumnus and the current host of Wanderers Update, a weekly program dedicated to all things SSW.  Here’s what was said:

LC:  Skip, congrats on a winning debut and welcome to the Update.

RP: Thanks, happy to be here.

LC:  So, you were 1-0 down well into the second half.  How nervous were you before getting the equalizer?

RP:  Not very.  No, really!  We were getting some good chances out there, so I figured we’d break through sooner or later.  And once Koszarek got us level, the momentum was key for [Terry] King’s getting the winner right after.

LC:  While you came in promising a more attacking approach, it seems like Wanderers just sat back and counter-attacked for much of the game.  As a former defender, I heartily approve.  That said, what can we expect from you tactically going forwards?

RP:  Jurgen Klopp plays heavy metal football.  I play bossa nova football, keeping the ball and using it to dance around the other guys.  However, matches like this one, when we’re on the road against one of the best midfields in the league, is time to step on their feet rather than dance.

LC: Sellers had to be subbed off in the first half with an apparent injury.  Any word on his condition and where do you go from here?

RP:  The medics tell me that Chopper has a groin strain and is certainly out for next week’s game against Celtic, and no better than 50/50 for the following week.  Whenever you lose the HTUM Defender of the Year, its a huge blow, and we certainly struggled after losing him, so we’ll need to tweak things a bit until he gets back.

Q:  Keeper Chris Masters was named Man of the Match and made the league’s team of the week.  What did you think of his performance?

RP:  Well, any time the keeper’s Man of the Match, its a sign that your defense didn’t have the best of nights.  That said, he was huge for us, and there’s no way we win this one without him.

LC:  Two of your offseason signings, Kris Krenski and Le Chieu made their competitive debuts tonight.  How did you think they did?

RP:  Krenski gave the kind of veteran’s performance we brought him in for, and that pass to spring Terry for the winning goal was a thing of beauty.  Chieu blew an assignment on their goal, which is a problem with new players, but that’ll get ironed out and he was otherwise pretty solid.

LC:  Finally, what did you think of [Alex] Barton’s performance tonight?

RP:  Well, he was ok, but the heat seemed to slow Alex down a little bit.  I think its all the mousse he slathers on his head.  If he were bald like me, there wouldn’t be a problem.