Archive for January, 2010


Chicago LFC Co-Ed (Season 2, Matchday 3)

On the heels of a pair of blowout victories, Chicago LFC’s third match was a far tighter affair. But with timely scoring and courageous defense, the Reds posted a 3-2 victory over Segundos to push their league-leading mark to 3-0. A majority of the squad arrived at the Mercy Soccer Center straight from The Globe, where for one of the few times this season the Chicago indoor side had a chance to follow-up a victory by the real LFC. The resulting victory made it a nifty double for the Reds.

Segundos tallied first, slotting just inside the left post early in the first half. But as the opponents cherry-picking strategy became apparent, CLFC’s defense buckled down and frustrated Segundos. A series of near-misses on the attacking end gave the Reds confidence heading into halftime.

Trailing for the first time this season, CLFC found its stride after the break. Heather Ribeiro opened the scoring with a well-taken strike along the left side. The squad’s resident geography whiz had no problem finding the opening in the net to knot the game at one. The defense continued to negate Segundos’ attack, with the ball hawking of Tarek Abdel-Halim, well-timed tackles from Liz Risoldi and scrappy play along the wall from Hollice Wrobel keeping the match level.

Midway through the second, a brilliant counter-attack put the Reds up for good. In a play that looked like a scene from an Animal Planet safari special, Pat Garrity streaked up the right side like a graceful gazelle, crossing perfectly for the hard-charging rhino named Chris Liebelt, who gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

Protecting their lead late in the match, CLFC were the victims of a hand ball penalty against Kevin Achettu. Aran Quinn did his best to distract Segundos PK taker, and had the shot been taken from the edge of Navy Pier it would have missed Lake Michigan. Moments after the wayward shot, Liebelt tacked on his second, and victory seemed assured.

But the announcement of the game’s final minute sparked a frenetic rally from Segundos. An odd-man rush cut the deficit to 3-2, and with their goaltender joining the attack, Segundos narrowly missed the equalizer. The final whistle came just in time, though, as the Reds kept their perfect mark in tact.

Celebrating in style later that evening at Wicker Park’s Fifty/50, the team toasted their top of the league status with countless shots and cocktails. Saturday was a great day to be a Red. Sunday was a great day to recover.


Chicago LFC Co-Ed (Season 2, Matchday 2)

The Chicago LFC Co-ed team took the field for their second game in an unfamiliar position- at the top of the table. On the strength of a 9-1 win in their opener, the Reds brought the league’s top mark into their second contest. And much like the week prior, CLFC found the net at will, striking for eight in an 8-1 victory.

While the Liverpool side featured a deep bench in game one, a combination of hair appointments, romantic weekend getaways, and screenings of Avatar left the side with just a single female player at kickoff, and the Reds took the field 6 v 5 against Primeros. With the courageous Liz Risoldi anchoring the defense, CLFC kept the game scoreless until additional support arrived. Even when Chris Liebelt was issued a two-minute blue card penalty for a goofy hand ball, the Reds killed off the 6 v 4 power play. Once Brittany Parenti showed up to double the team’s female contingent, the match turned decisively in CLFC’s favor.

A trio of goals in the first half put CLFC up 3-0, the sharpest of which came from the foot of Arif Ismail. Ismail’s powerful strike from 18 yards out was sandwiched around scores from Pat Garrity and Max DeZuter. Late in the half, Primeros were issued a blue card when one of their players- a testosterone-fueled woman- took a shove at team captain Dan Skinner, then made an obscene gesture in his direction. While Skinner responded with a reminder of the scoreline, the offending opponent threatened to pull a Crying Game re-enactment before leaving the pitch for good.

CLFC dominated the second half with consistent pressure and superior passing. Liebelt found the back of the net and Parenti got in on the scoring spree late. Although the defense could not help Aran Quinn maintain a clean sheet, the outcome was convincing. The final result, an 8-1 victory, puts the Reds at 2-0 with a stellar +15 goal differential. Risoldi, who played the entire game along the back line, was named Woman of the Match.


Chicago LFC Co-Ed (Season 2, Matchday 1)

Fresh off a fourth-place finish the first season of indoor soccer, Chicago LFC’s Co-ed squad re-assembled Saturday to kick off their second-half campaign. Apparently failing to earn the respect of league organizers, the Reds have been placed in the lower of the two divisions. In the season curtain raiser, they showed why that designation was an insulting mistake.

Taking on Calcio Individui, a team of rag tag solos who had never played a game together before, CLFC steamrolled to a 9-1 victory. With a deep roster and a relentless attack, the co-ed Reds did what the real Liverpool has failed to do so many times this year— run rampant against an inferior opponent.

In the first half CLFC raced out to a 5-0 advantage. When a team scores nine goals, you’re bound to forget who scored all of them, but Pat Garrity and Chris Liebelt definitely featured prominently. Garrity saves lives as a paramedic; Liebelt sells delicious ice cream for a living. Despite these contrasts, they both share a knack for scoring goals. Aided by the precision passing of midfielder Heather Ribeiro, Liverpool put the game on cruise control early.

The only moments of drama in the first half involving goal keeper Aran Quinn came when he failed to realize that new acquisition Lisa Gerberding was one of his own teammates, with Gerberding’s pass back to Quinn rattling off his own post. Gerberding shook off the start, though, to show the style that will make her a potent addition to CLFC’s collection of femme fatales.

Late in the half, Quinn, desperate to stretch his legs, began dribbling up field, prompting one opponent to declare “That’s obnoxious. Someone should f—ing trip him.” No one did.

The goal barrage continued in the second half, although not all the tallies were a thing of beauty. Still trying to settle on a capable goaltender, Calcio put a lanky fellow in net, who ably stopped a number of shots, but let four more trickle past. Max DeZuter was responsible for at least one, while Arif Ismail should have scored three, so let’s leave it at that.

All that was left late was to see if Quinn would maintain his clean sheet, but a Three Stooges-esque collision in the back lead to a cheap one late, allowing the opponents to escape the Mercy Soccer Complex with a brief moment of glory. Kevin Achettu picked up a late red card, although we’re pretty sure it was issued in jest.

The rowdy Reds celebrated after the game at their usual watering hole, Union Park Tavern, where the squad traded porn star names. Apparently mine- Shanghai Greenhill- tops the list.


Chicago LFC Men’s Team

Happy New Year!

Firstly, our apologies from the Men’s team for not posting match reviews after each game, describing how you lost is never fun especially when there are no wins to break up the depressing run of poor form. I’ll be honest here, I remember thinking after we lost our opening game (2-0 to a bunch of kids) that I would write a blog post after we won a game, sadly that opportunity never presented itself… however, we did finish the season with a trophy, although it cannot be classed as silverware.

Here is the summary on the indoor session at the end of 2009…

0-2 Lost to a bunch of kids whom we kindly played despite their being ejected  from the league for failing to be old enough to own a driver’s license.

1-4 I missed this game, nuff said… Pat Garrity with the lone goal!

0-1 Hard fought but ultimately an early goal cost us (I missed an absolute sitter in this game)

1-2 We were so close to equalizing in this game – the opponents were horrible too.

1-3 I got the late consolation goal in this game. It was a very close game but they scored 2 late goals and then we got an even later one.

3-4 Dirty young team of Mexican kids who elbowed themselves to victory, got 3 cheap goals to go 4-1 but we almost snuck a draw.

2-3 Not quite as dirty, Turkish team, tempers flared in the first half but settled down in the second half and this proved to be a great game – they just about out classed us though.

Make up game: other team failed to show up then we discovered that we can’t even have a kick about because we’ve been double booked (I must say this was not  the fault of Matt Rosine of WCWFC – who was very good about it – Indoor Soccer owner just deleted our game and put someone else in – nice guy eh?!). Technically a win for us but we’re proud people so we didn’t really celebrate all that much.

Despite playing well against superior opposition and coming close on a few occasions to securing points, this left us with 0 points over the course of the season. Maybe 3 forfeit points if the failed make-up game was counted. Either way we finished in the bottom four which, because everyone gets at least 8 games, granted us entry to the Wooden Spoon Cup Competition! I think that this competition was not supposed to be patronising in any way so we leapt at the chance to win a game and maybe even win a cup! Or a spoon, whatever.

First up – the Chicago Fire Department! My there was a lot of testosterone flowing through this team – our own Pat Garrity was flying in this game as he is a Fire Department Paramedic in training and knew most of our opposition – it was fitting, and deserved, that he scored the only goal in this tense game after Andrew Ladd had put him clean through with a superb scooped-lob pass.

In the final our opposition had only 6 players (no offense but the CFD CLFC game was the real final) and we eased by them with a surprisingly low scoreline of just 2 goals to nil and were crowned the Wooden Spoon Champions of 2009!

Chicago LFC - 2009 Wooden Spooners!

The new season has already begun… season summary to come in 6 to 7 weeks time… YNWA


Chicago LFC Co-ed (Matchday 7)

Egg nog and sugar cookies. Champagne toasts and fondue pots. Just some of the many reasons why it’s difficult to play soccer on January 2. But with holiday hangovers behind them, the men and women of Chicago LFC Co-Ed took to the field for their regular season finale Saturday. Playing one of their finest games of the season, the Reds emerged with a 3-1 victory over long-time nemesis Bakgat FC. (And by “long-time” I mean dating back to the summer of 2009.) Combining brave defending with opportunistic scoring, CLFC locked up a top-four finish in the 10-team league with a mark of 5-2. While top four doesn’t secure this pack of Reds a berth in the Champions League, it does end the first winter session on a satisfying note.

CLFC opened up the scoring with a well-taken finish from Max DeZuter, who broke down the left flank and neatly powered home for the game’s first tally. Chris Liebelt doubled the advantage when he took a quick restart and snuck a shot just inside the right post. Two things the Mercy Soccer Complex lacks are video replay and anything tying the nets to the posts. Bakgat argued that Liebelt’s strike had snuck through the unsupported side netting, but their protests were fruitless, and CLFC protected the 2-0 lead heading into the half.

Frustrated by their deficit, Bakgat’s play turned chippy in the second half. The acrobatics of Aran Quinn in net continued to stifle the opposing attack, with the Reds keeper diving to make several key saves. Coming straight off a plane from Boston and onto the field, Liz Risoldi solidified the midfield efforts, while her BFF, Judi Cutrone, delivered a series of well-timed tackles. Feeling a second wind from his recent efforts to quit smoking, Kevin Achettu delivered a hard-nosed performance on defense, aided by wily veteran Dan Skinner and the cool-as-ice presence of Hollice Wrobel.

Bakgat struck midway through the second, although it took a cheap elbow to DeZuter followed by a picture-perfect cross to put them on the scoreboard. Bakgat’s rough house tactics failed to intimidate determined strikers Heather Ribeiro and Arif Ismail, and when Liebelt hopped off the bench to pound home his second, the Reds two-goal lead was restored.

Late in the game, the Reds KO’ed the opposing goaltender for the second consecutive game, when Ismail’s torso greeted the Bakgat keeper’s temple on a 50-50 challenge just outside the box. Bakgat’s best chance for a late score came when they feebly tried to claim that a shot that grazed the side netting was a goal. Exhausted but victorious, the Reds now await their playoff opponent next Saturday.


To New Beginnings in 2010

While 2009 ended on a happy note- a Fernando Torres stoppage time cracker giving the Reds a much-needed three points at Villa Park Tuesday- the final five months of the decade were largely forgettable for Liverpool fans. An early exit from the Champions League; gone from the League Cup in the blink of an eye; a Premier League title chase that never picked up steam; and much work to do if a spot in Europe is to be secured for next season.

The arrival of 2010 brings with it two fresh chances for LFC to capture hardware and make something of their season. Those efforts begin Saturday when the Reds head to Reading to open FA Cup play and continue February 18th with the first leg of Liverpool’s Europa League fixture against Romanian champs Unirea Urziceni. It is one of the beauties of European club football- while the Reds have suffered several setbacks this season, a pair of opportunities to hoist a trophy remain.

And perhaps the defeats and injuries that have characterized this season will galvanize Rafa’s men starting Saturday. The boss agrees that the road to salvation begins tomorrow. The Aston Villa match brought back memories of the late-game heroics that characterized last year’s EPL runner-up finish, giving LFC the momentum heading into their cup tie. So hang in their, Reds fans. A trophy-winning May is still a realistic goal.

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January 2010
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