Author Archive for Kevin


Chicago LFC, League Champions

You know what they say… all good things must come to an end. And if you didn’t know that… well… that’s what they say. What those glass-half-empty-ers fail to mention while they wallow in self pity crying out ‘why, God, why?’ is that all bad things come to an end too. They probably didn’t mention it because it’s not always true (see The Big Brother television series), but we’ll glaze over the details and leave it at this…The Chicago Liverpool Supporters Club (logically shortened to CLFC) Sunday League team has broken our long trophy drought and won the Windy City Wanderers Co-Ed League title.

Sunday morning saw many of the Co-Ed Reds head over to The Globe pub at 9 a.m. to watch Liverpool take on the newly promoted West Bromwich Albion.  As the transfer window neared its end, most Reds were looking for a reassuring performance to instill confidence for the new season.  A nice 5-0 maybe, a comfortable performance.  What we got instead was a nervy 1-0 win.  A moment of brilliance from Fernando Torres gave us the first win of the new Premier League season, but it wasn’t the type of performance most Reds were looking for. But CLFC were determined to pick up where LFC had fallen short.

Everyone arrived about 20 minutes early and well sober, although some of us were packing heat (not guns (as far as I’m aware), alcohol), as we would later find out. Uberstein won their third-place match (the one they were in because we beat them last week) 1-0 and CLFC took the field for warm ups. CLFC were raring to go. Koby Larbi-Siaw and Mark Killeen were missing from the first team, so CLFC only had a bench of 87 players to call on.

The team sheet looked something like this:

Actually, that was the teamsheet. It was especially hot out Sunday, so the deep bench was extremely useful.  Knowing what was on the line, CLFC rotated early and often… but it was before the first set of changes was even made that Bryn Griffiths was brought down in the box. Step up Andrew Ladd. Bam. 1-0. Captain Dan Skinner and Griffiths had made a last minute change (a tactical stroke of genius in the ilk of Rafael Benitez or Barack Obama (he’d probably be really good at it)) to the normal 4-4-2 formation, pushing one more player to the middle, to stifle any opposition attacks. It worked like a charm and CLFC controlled the game.  CLFC turned the possession into yet another goal when Patrick Garrity found a gap in the defense, ran through it and coolly chipped the goalkeeper.  2-0.  By the end of the first half, CLFC goalkeeper Aran Quinn, the exception to every rule, didn’t have a single shot to deal with and it looked comfortable.

Too comfortable.  It wasn’t the first time CLFC had a 2-0 advantage over Bakgat. Last time it didn’t end so well. CLFC members knew all too well that this game was far from over. Oranges and water were the refreshments of choice at half time and the same team that started the first half, went out in the second.

Bakgat knew it was an uphill battle and attempted to take more control over the game. The crowded center midfield (Ladd, Griffiths, Arif Ismail, Greg Whalley, Max DeZutter, Justin O’Neil), paired with a solid performing central defense (Skinner, Remi Soyode, Kevin Achettu, Tarek Abdel-Halim) forced Bakgat to take the game out wide. Not to be outdone, our full backs (Liz Risoldi, Hollice Wrobel, Meredith Lansdown, Lauren Irizarry) put in an even more solid performance.  Well timed tackles and smart, clean clearances were the name of the game as the ladies put in a brilliant performance.  Bagkat weren’t getting a sniff of the goal (and the goal did absolutely reek, seeing as though it was being occupied by Quinn and his never washed gloves). Quinn had little to do.

Aside, of  constantly reminding us that 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline. Step up Max DeZutter. The fresh legs and quick rotation meant the team could afford to run down every ball. And it paid off. DeZutter did his best Dirk Kuyt and had already earned some applause from the sidelines as he chased down a seemingly hopeless ball back. The mere presence of our baby faced Max DeZutter in the box put the fear of God in the defenders as they fumbled around trying to mark him up. Two defenders and the keeper closed in on him, never a good idea, and the ball ended up in the back of the net.  Since FIFA has yet to approve goal line camera technology, we’re not quite sure who knocked the ball into the back of the net, so let’s say it was a brilliant toe poke on Maxi’s part. 3-0. At that point, the likes of Andy Gray would probably say, ‘Game well and truly over.’ Just a bit of background, Gray said that when AC Milan were beating Liverpool 3-0 in the 2005 Champion’s League Final. LFC came back to make it 3-3, before winning on penalties.

But CLFC knew better. Smart, cautious play had led to a 3-0 lead and the Reds were determined to keep the cleansheet and the  confident style of play going for the full 70 minutes. Of course, the complacency did have a slight effect, with a couple more chances for Bakgat coming through. Quinn, who probably could’ve learned a language (or at least improved upon his terrible English) during his free time as net minder, had a little more to work with in the second half, including watching Bakgat miss a completely open goal. Still 3-0, still a clean sheet.

A sublime pass from Heather Ribeiro (who had been working tirelessly on the wings, along with new signing Sara Knox, Jenny Sze, Brittany Parenti & Lisa Gerberding) put Ladd through on goal for his second and CLFC’s fourth. It was a beautiful move for that 4th, probably the best goal on the day. Time to relax, the cup was coming home.

Carlos Aguirre put the icing on the cake by toe poking it past a hapless Bakgat defense. 5-0.  Celebration time.  Aguirre won a penalty kick in the dying minutes of the game (earning himself a skinned knee) and Greg Whalley stepped up to take it.  Captain Dan, in the interest of sportsmanship offered to take the penalty kick…  Not wanting to run up the score, Skinner did his best David Beckham impersonation and with that the final whistle was blown.  CLFC were champions, pop the champagne.

If you look closely, you can see captain Dan had brought us some Campeone Champagne!!!

Post game celebrations were at SmallBar, which along with having plenty of parking, are now sponsoring our Sunday League team.

Captain DanThe beer was flowing, as were the pregnancy announcements.  No less than two Chicago LFC teammates announced that they are both expecting new additions to their own squad early and mid 2011. Bryn and GregMiles Skinner, heir to the CLFC captaincy (and another child that was born during a CLFC season), made a quick appearance, looking around disapprovingly as the CLFC squad celebrated the big win.

Greg Whalley also had a look around and once 4-5 teammates had left the pub (and the offer became slightly more reasonable), he bought a round of drinks for all the CLFC members and fans still at the bar!  It’s not likely that he remembers this as he was 8 beers in at that point (ordering two at a time) and was last seen with a gin and gin.

The Lovely Ladies of CLFC... Keep your fingers crossed for a swimsuit calendar.

It was happy times as CLFC finally won the trophy they have been coveting for their two and a half year existence.  Finally, the team had earned a trophy and it now looks as though we will be accepting our promotion to the so called ‘Premier League.’  It won’t be as easy (6-0-1, 17 goals to none in the playoffs), but CLFC are ready for the new challenge.  A couple of old faces will return to the squad (Chris Liebelt and Mark Killeen) and a couple of new faces will join up as well (some girl Eliza and Aran Quinn (nosejob)) as the Co-Ed reds embark on a new journey.  Regardless of what happens, the performance of the team during this outdoor season is one that will be written in the history books (this blog) for a long, long time (as long as the internet exists).

Details on the sure-to-be-messy championship party to follow shortly.


Chicago LFC CoEd (Season 4 Game 8)

Sunday, August 15th.  A day that will live in infamy for Pepe Reina.  Also, a day that will live in regular ‘famy’ (not in-famy) for the Chicago LFC squad.  The last time a Liverpool squad were top of the league after the final game of the season, the likes of Paula Abdul and Flotsam and Jetsam were topping the music charts.  But all that was set to change.

A large part of the squad met up at The Globe Pub at around 9.30am to watch Liverpool FC kick off their season against last season’s 3rd place finishers, Arsenal.  Just before half time, new signing Joe Cole was (arguably) harshly sent off, and it all got doom and gloom… all the preaseason optimism went out the window.  Step up, David N’Gog.  Most fans would love for N’Gog to never have to play again, but he was played through by a ball from Mascherano, (who incidentally never wants to play for us again) and applied a finish that can only be explained as Pat Garrity-esque.  Madness.  Arsenal were stronger in the first half, and yet, it was now Liverpool, with only 10 men, who were in control.  But I’m not here to write a summary about that game, so suffice to say, in the 91st minute, Pepe Reina, our world class goal keeper, made the error of a lifetime and herded the ball into the goal.  1-1.  Not a bad result in the context of the first half, but poor, the way it ended.

Anyway, onto CLFC…. Those who were at the pub closed out their tabs and drove on over to Rauner YMCA, for the 1pm kickoff.  We got there, not completely downtrodden by the result and on the verge of making Liverpool FC History.  The first ever league winners proper in the 21st Century.  I’m not trying to big up our accomplishments by any means, this really is that important.

The football Gods made it easy on us as well.  The opposing team, a mouthy bunch of bastards, only had 7 men and 1 woman.  18 v. 8.  just the kind of odds I like.

In the interest of fairness, CLFC’s defenders decided to get lazy and concede a goal.  For their apparent disadvantage, the opposition were defiant and continued to attack.  They seemed to play better with less players.  Sounds familiar.  It was 1-0 at half time.  Pathetic.  Embarrassing.  Hot as fuck.

The combination of beer and hot weather did not sit well with some of the CLFC players, but knowing what was at stake, CLFC decided to step it up.  Early Arif Ismail teed up Greg Whalley to make it 1-1 from right around the penalty spot.  Then Garrity tucked a ball away near post.  2-1.  The defense hardly had anything to do as the heat clearly took it’s toll on the shorthanded opposition.  The only interesting thing was a yellow card for Remi for being within 10ft of an opposition player falling over.  This also led to the only other interesting thing for CLFC defenders Kevin and Remi… this time on the sidelines… making friends with the player who was moaning on about us claiming innocence.  What a baby, right?

I honestly don’t know how the goals were scored after that point.  Even the first two goal calls might be a little off.  Greg scored a penalty that might have been for a handball, or just for fun.  3-1.  There were probably some really good runs and some great passes after that.  End result was a couple of very nice goals from Max DeDeDeDe-DeDeDeDe-DeDeDeDe-De-De-De-DeeeeeeeZutter.  A great finish from the free kick for Andy LaLaLala-LaLaLala-LaLaLala-La-La-La-Ladd was called back, but he got one back late on to make up for that.  I think that put’s us at 6-1, which is where I think it ended.

And once it did end, CLFC clinched their spot at the top of the league!  Still, there are playoffs to deal with, so it’s not quite done yet.  We have a match on Sunday, against the 8th seed, (because we are the 1st seed, because we won the league) and then if we win, another, before we can book our spot in the final.  Fingers crossed for CLFC, as they cautiously look towards their first ever league title!!!


Chicago LFC CoEd (Season 4 Game 7)

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these blog posts (mostly because they’re time consuming, and let’s be honest, I’m one of the top 6 most important people in the world, if people saw me wasting my time writing a blog about a Sunday legue soccer team filled with people I don’t even like, they’d probably wonder where my priorities are).  Over the last few months, ChicagoLFC’s blog writers have focused on important things like the World Cup,  the Oil Spill and boobies.  Lucky for you, my priorites have been mixed back up and you’ll now have a chance to read, what I must say, is some awesome effing writing.  I got a chubby right now just thinking about how good this is gonna be. 

Disclaimer: It’s been two days and I got pretty loaded Sunday night, so I’m going to fill in the blanks like we always have.  Also, I have no idea if we’re on Season 4 or if it’s Episode 7.  But blindly accept it as fact.

This Sunday started much the same way that most Sunday’s have for our ragtag squad of wovable winners.   Hungover and totally regretting not taking Matt Rosine’s offer of playing in the afternoon league.   The 10:20 kick off wasn’t too bad though, and the weather wasn’t as unbearable as the normal noon-ish sauna.  The squad arrived at  the pitch one by one and sometimes two by two.  Much like the ants that go marching, hoorah, hoorah.  Of course, some of our ants showed up pretty late, using the old excuse of not knowing when the game was, but if the little ant remembered correctly, someone told him what time the game was the night before when he was texting someone else, talking jive and acting like a punk ass ant.  But I digress, what doesn’t kill you, or cause you to concede a goal, only makes you stronger.  Hollice Wrobel started in goal, because the regular keeper Aran Quinn was a bit late and stand in keeper Kevin Achettu was, for some odd reason, restricted to the parking lot.  No one knows why he had to stay in the parking lot, but frankly, it’s not important and really it doesn’t need to be discussed at all after this point.

The game started off pretty slow, but CLFC were quick to build in the midfield, making sure that Uberstein didn’t get a touch in our half.  The pressure was building and it led to some very good chances.  Some quick passing led to a great chance for Heather Ribiero.  Ribiero did her best Robbie Keane impersonation and put the ball over the crossbar from a few yards out.  But CLFC were still putting on all the pressure.  Greg Walley did his best Heather Ribiero impression and missed from even closer, on the volley, and it seemed like CLFC were certain to come away with a goal before half time.

Of course, football doesn’t always work out like that.  The next few minutes are sort of hazy because there was a shiny potato chip bag that was floating around the parking lot that distracted me quite a bit.  I’m a sucker for shiny things.  And cornrows and manicured toes.  Uberstein probably did something like build up some pressure, loop a quick ball over, cross a defender and finish pretty nicely for a bunch of jerks.  Or something like that.  1-0 to the Uberstein.  The goal got my attention back to the game and seemed to wake up CLFC a bit.  It was back to business as usual, with CLFC applying even more pressure.  There were a few half chances and breakaways, but it wasn’t until Pat Garrity got the ball at the top of the box and unleashed a looping shot that has been compared to this Gerrard shot and this miracle.  Personally, I think it’s a bit more of this.  BAM, still got it.

Garritty, took the ball down just outside the top corner of the box and struck the ball ever so sweetly.  Almost Torres-esque.  No keeper in the world would’ve saved it (aside from maybe stand in keeper Kevin Achettu, who probably would’ve done it with relative ease).  1-1.  CLFC were back in it with only a few minutes left before half time. 

There wasn’t much to report from the half time team talk because reporter’s weren’t given field access.  But I’m sure it was the same old inspirational jargon from Dan and Bryn, probably taking a note out of Rafa’s book.  I promise that’s not a Rick Roll.  Either way, CLFC took the field for the second half and it was more of the same.  Stellar attacking and a great link between defense and midfield meant that CLFC controlled the ball, and inherently, the game.  Aran Quinn had to put up with heckling from a pretty mean spirited fan who was in the parking lot, for some reason, but he managed to get past it and perform well.  Though he did check to see if his shoes were untied, like the fan kept telling him.  The fan also sang Fields of Anfield Road, to try and inspire the same team he was just making fun of.  Which is weird.  But we’ll let it slide because he means well and deep down inside is a really good person.  Arif Ismail was a terrier in midfield.  Always pressuring the defense with his runs and pressuring the opposition when they were on the ball.  Bryn Griffiths, was a pomeranian constantly annoying the opposition’s midfield and emitting a really high pitch, barking like sound.  Greg Whalley was like a mixed breed Rottweiler/German Sheppard.  No real reason for that one, it’s just what I think when I think Greg Whalley.  And yeah, I do think Greg Whalley some times.  So sue me.  The three dogs combined for some great passing, resulting in Arif (kind of sounds like a dog barking, do you see what I’m getting at?) with a ball on the touchline dribbling in and having a great shot.  The ball bounced around the 6 yard for a bit, before Garritty tucked it away, 2-0. 

CLFC now had the lead and knew that more of the same play would see away the opposition.  Some chippy play followed and Arif followe up with his best Pat Garritty impression and looped in a shot that hit the woodwork before it looked like it crossed the line but you’re having a laugh if you think the refferees were in good position to see whether it did or not.  It remained 2-1 and a few yellows were shown before CLFC finally closed out the game without giving Uberstein a sniff.

Sorry to end it so abruptly, but I have to get back to work.  The win over Uberstein puts CLFC in sole posession of First Place with one game left in the season.  For the first time since ’89-’90 a Liverpool squad has the chance to win the league.  Of course, that means nothing because we have playoffs after that, but we’ll ignore that bit.

One more win will set CLFC up with a nice route to the Final, which will be scheduled for the 29th (playoffs on the 22nd, last league match on the 15th).  Hopefully it’ll be 4 more wins to close out what is possibly Chicago LFC’s 4th outdoor season.  Onwards and upwards!


Chicago LFC Coed (matchday 4)

Large portions of today’s blog post would normally be found in the fiction section of your local book store.  Or in the trash can.  Really depends on the book store.

Did you know that the Benjamin Franklin, or some other old balding geezer from that time period, proposed that the Turkey should be the national bird of the United States of America instead of the Bald Eagle?  Imagine that.  In that sad, alternative universe, we’d have all showed up Saturday morning for our 4th league game of the season, still sick from the ridiculous amounts of bald eagle meat we all ate Thursday night.  Luckily, Franklin’s plot to expedite the extinction of the bald eagle never panned out and it was turkey that had us feeling lethargic Saturday morning.

Some, of course, were feeling more lethargic than others.  And by ‘some,’ I mean the whole of the other team.  Like no one.  Not even some poor bastard who didn’t get the email from the team captain saying they were not going to show.  At least they seem to communicate well.  So the team got there with no one to play against, which suited us very well.  Matt gave them 45 seconds after the scheduled 1pm kickoff, and when no one showed a forfeit was declared, with CLFC gaining 3 crucial points and a 3-0 win.  It was a good thing that they gave us a 3-0 result, because if last week’s form was anything to go off of, the team would’ve scored 2 at most, even with no opposition.

We split the team in two , added Matt, some Carlos wannabe ref, the Brian McBride looking fella and that goalkeeper woman who looks a bit like a clean shaven Johnny Depp.  Well, not completely clean shaven.  The teams were all mashed up and the score could have been 12-12, who knows.  We swapped teams when subbing in and out, so no one realy kept track of anything.  All I remember was the brilliant hattrick I scored.  And when I got in goal I saved everything, even money on car insurance.  There were plenty of goals to go around and while I actually didn’t score any, I’m sure Pat, Mark, Aran, Chris, Max, Arif, Hollice, Brit, Heather, Johnny Depp, Brian McBride, Matt Rosine, little Mexican ref, Michael Jordan, the midget that used to roll with Kid Rock, Santa Clause, Anne Frank, the Soup Nazi, the real Nazi, Donny Osmond, George Muresan, the Pope, Jimmy Carter, Seal, Cristian Bale, Christian Slater, Christian people, Kim Jung Il, John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) and Thierry Henry’s hand all scored fantastic goals.  And Chris wasn’t even there!  Sorry if I missed anyone, like I mentioned, there were a lot og goals and goalscorers to go around.

(Hu)Man of the Match: Seal, no contest.  Though some would argue he is more than just a man.

Move of the Match: The other team calling in….  3 points!


Chicago LFC Coed (matchday 1)

Today’s post will probably be quickly replaced by the Men’s League blog post, since they obviously love to up themselves.  Let me just point out that if they skip matchday 1, it’s because they lost to 12 year olds.

The Chicago LFC coed team started things up at Mercy Soccer Center & Damp Warehouse, with a noon kickoff this Saturday.  Yes, Saturday.  It took some adjusting, let me tell you.  Then again, a lot of things took some adjusting.  Like the 10ft high ceiling, which was a bit lower than the notoriously B.I.G. atmosphere/sky thingy we had at Rauner.  Or the weird blocked off corner, where the electrical fuses are.  That’s not scary at all.  But it wasn’t necessarily a downgrade from Rauner or Windy City Fieldhouse, Mercy guarantees a fun, fast paced game.  And it delivered. 

Starting keeper Aran Quinn started the season off in typical starting keeper Aran Quinn fashion, saying he had to go see a man about a dog in South Bend, IN.  Hollice Wrobel, gladly/nervously, filled in as she had on many occasions for our scumbag of a keeper.  Though it, once again, took some adjusting.  Captain Dan showed up, and in light of all the adjustments being made, brought along Skinner Sr. instead of the usual Skinner Jr.  Remi joined Dan’s dad on the sidelines as Chicago LFC took the field against a new team to the league (actually they may have played in the outdoor one, but let’s be honest, everyone looks different inside).

There were a few chances early on, though it took Chicago LFC some time to break the deadlock.  Hollice did a great job in goal as well and Chicago LFC were clearly working well together, adjustments and all.  Soon enough, Mark Killeen put CLFC 1-0 up, although I’m not sure how he scored the goal (since he’d score a few more on the day, it’s hard to keep track) so let’s just say it was a cool finish off the counter attack.  Now that I think about it, I have no idea what order or how the 11 goals scored on Saturday came in.  Just play along.  Max then made it 2-0 with a cool finish off the counter attack.  Then came what is probably the goal of the season.  You may have seen it on ESPN’s Top Ten plays of the day, if not you can surely catch it on ESPN’s Top Ten plays of the Millenium.  Chris Liebelt picked up the ball deep within his own half, stepped it past the opposition forward, eluded two defenders around midfield, stepped it past another, then did about 17 stepovers before slotting it past the keeper.  3-0.  I’d say thats about when halftime rolled around.  Or maybe we’ll give them a goal before half time.  Yep, 3-1.  Captain Dan took the team outside for the halftime talk & smoke, so that the opposition couldn’t hear our plans in the dressing room (which is conveniently equipped with two couches and is thoroughly sprayed with Febreeze ‘Damp and Sweaty’ before every gameday). 

Second half was a blur, more good goalkeeping, more goals.  Once again, the order of it all is a bit mashed up, but CLFC always had at least a two goal advantage….. that may or may not be true.  Mark added another goal with a cool finish off the counter attack.  Heather then added one with a brilliant shot from about the halfway line that slipped under the keeper’s gloves.  Chris then doubled his tally with a booming shot from distance, or just a cool finish off the counter attack.  There were 3 goals for the opposition scattered around in there but Mark, who was on great form, settled things with his third and the teams seventh to end things at 7-4.

It wasn’t the best of performances from the defense, Kevin Achettu in particular looking awfully shit and just plain tired at times.  Captain Dan played well at the back, but his out-of-ten rating took a massive hit when he scored a brilliantly finished own goal.  But the forwards and goalkeeper picked up the slack for the team.  CLFC will need to do better when the team meets again next Saturday at we don’t know when our game is yet, thanks for keeping things interesting WCW , to take on new opposition.  Some good teams have transferred over into the indoor league, and CLFC will need to build off of the matchday 1 win if they have any hope of winning anything this season.

(Hu)man of the Match: Mark Killeen (3 goals and anywhere from 2 to 4 assists)

Move of the Match/Millenium: Chris Liebelt (1st goal)


Chicago LFC (outdoor playoffs)… and LFC 2-0 MUFC

I’ve never been so excited to write about a pathetic performance from Chicago LFC.

It was an early morning for most of the members of Chicago LFC, for some it was just an extension of the late Saturday night.  A majority of the team headed over to The Globe Pub at 9AM to watch a completely off form Liverpool FC (1 goal scored and 4 losses in the last 4 games) take on the defending champions and their biggest rivals, Manchester United.  It was a so called, ‘Super Sunday,’ fixture and everyone was up for it.  I won’t give a summary of that match, though I’d much rather talk about that, there are people much more capable of doing that on websites like the BBC or SkySports News.  Or any other website really, I’d read them all if I were you, bask in the glory of the moment.  I certainly did.

I tried for about 10 minutes to get a picture of Torres celebrating his goal in here.  But it didn’t work.  So just close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine it.

Torres v Man U 2-0 passing Rio

My you have a good imagination... Rio is thinking "Oh shit"

So it was a great atmosphere at The Globe, fantastic in fact,  then as the final whistle blew it was out the door to race over to Rauner YMCA to play a must win match of our own.

Surprisingly, mostly everyone turned up on time at Rauner and we were able to get warmed up before the match.  We had just about a full squad, which meant there were 68 people on the substitutes bench.  The match kicked off and it was a high flying start for Chicago LFC.  About 30 seconds into the game, Pat Garrity ran through the defense and put a shot on target, the ball skipped over the keeper, 1-0.  With confidence from the early goal, Chicago LFC applied even more pressure, without even the slightest bit of an attack forming from the first round playoff opposition, Bagkat FC.  The pressure paid off and Kobi scored a quality goal to make it 2-0.

Then it all began to unravel.  With a 2-0 advantage, CLFC seemed to go into cruise control.  Within ten minutes of being on auto-pilot, Bakgat FC scored on one of their first attacks.  The game had totally changed and Bakgat took the momentum into half time.

Captain Bryn Griffiths provided another (a)rousing speech, but it didn’t quite get the response it deserved as CLFC trotted out for the second half.  Within minutes, the seemingly inevitable happened, 2-2 on the counter attack.  Chicago LFC had managed to do what even Liverpool couldn’t do against the defending champions that morning, piss away a 2 goal advantage.  It was a deserved two goals from Bakgat, so there couldn’t be any complaints in that department.  They continued to apply pressure and CLFC seemed ready to concede a few more, but managed to stick to the opposition enough to put them off.  CLFC even managed a few good chances before the ref called for the end of regulation.  The end of regulation meant it was straight on to penalties.  The teams huddled up near midfield and watched as CLFC looked to match and possible surpass the record for worst ever start to a penalty shoot out.  Clearly, CLFC were interested in achieving some sort of accomplishment on the day, good or bad.  The 3 CLFC takers missed and the 3 Bagkat takers scored, and it took a save from Aran Quinn, the CLFC male MVP, to keep it alive.  CLFC penalty takers (Heather then Mark) then brought it back to even terms with Aran Quinn continuing on with the saves.  Quite the accomplishment, considering the start they had to the PKs, it came down to a Bagkat spot kick and Aran went the wrong way, Bagkat were through to the finals 3-2 on penalties, Chicago LFC were knocked out in the first round of playoffs.

It was pure dissapointment on the bench, but orange slices and the end of season awards ceremony helped cheer things up quite a bit.

Here are the awards voted for by the team:

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 559

Male Player of the Season - our very own Pepe Reina - Aran Quinn

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 562

Female Player of the Season - Steve Staunton (sometimes outfield, sometime goalie) - Hollice Wrobel

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 557

Most Improved Male Player - our Masch - Max DeZutter

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 558

Most Improved Female Player - our Italian-American left-back - Judi Cutrone

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 563

Goal of the Season - Brittany Parenti's 20 yard, top left corner, on her weaker left-foot, unstoppable goal! Amusingly, it was against our very own Arif!

Save of the Season – A dead heat between Hollice’s finger-tip save in our first game of the final session, Dan’s hand-ball on the line in extra time against Strangers and Judi’s last ditch tackle against that guy from FC Hangover. He was one on one with her with all the time and space in the world and she took the ball off his toes!

These following awards were democratically decided upon by Bryn and are in no particular order:

The Robbie Fowler “Substance Abuse” Award – Kevin Achettu

The Abel Xavier “Rival to Red” Award – Arif Ismail

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 554

The Voronin "Ponytail" Award - Jenny Sze

The Aquilani “Injury” Award – Al’an Blasio

The Luis Garcia “Lookalike” Award – Kurt Bauer

The Michael Thomas “Arse to Red” Award – Koby Larbi-Siaw

The Emiliano Insua “Left-back” Award – Liz Risoldi

The David James “Shot Stopper” Award – Christopher Liebelt

The  Lucas Lieva “Good Lucas” Award – Lucas Felt

The Rob Jones “Most games at right-back without even the slightest sniff of a goal” Award – Dan Skinner

The John Arne Riise “Ginge” Award – Mark Killeen

The Yossi Benayoun “Israeli” Award – Dani Avni

The Dirk Kuyt “Work-rate” Award – Greg Whalley

The Alan Kennedy “Scorer of the Winning Penalty in a Shootout” Award – Melissa Gomez

The Albert Reira “Winger” Award – Heather Ribeiro

The Ryan Babel “Pacey” Award – Meredith Lansdown

The Robbie Keano “Irish Striker” Award – Patrick Garrity

The John Barnes “Dribble your way to goal” Award – Remi Soyode

The Xabi Alonso “Beard” Award – Rich Watkin

The Glen Johnson “West Ham to Liverpool” Award – Toby Emms

The “Superfan” Awards went to Carlos (Melissa’s boyfriend) and Adam (Liz’s fiancee).

October 2009 CLFC ,LC, WI, 556

Last but not least, and arguably the most important - The Steven Gerrard "Captain Fantastic" Award - none other than Bryn Griffiths!

As usual, the post match was at SmallBar and the team was together for the last time in at least a few months (with the teams splitting into two for the indoor season).  CLFC had a great start to the season, but then managed to drop silly points (clearly following the lead of the real LFC), and while the playoffs provided a chance to make up for that, the team simply weren’t up for it (or sober) for the first round.  And it showed.  Both the Men’s and the Coed teams will look to turn that around with the new season starting on what is sure to be a busy Halloween day.  Can you say shitshow?  Actually, I don’t think you can.  Bryn, censor that if you feel the need to.

Best of luck to both teams in the indoor season.


Chicago LFC match report (matchday 6)

Apologies for not getting this out earlier, I have been busy learning to crypt walk for the last two days.

Many of the players on Chicago LFC woke up Sunday morning after an eery night of nightmares about beach balls.  On the face of it that doesn’t sound that bad, after all, what can a round, plastic object filled with air really do (apart from ruin seasons)?  And all it takes is one prick to get rid of it.  Yup, all it takes is one prick.  To get rid of it.  By throwing it onto the field.  Causing a ball to deflect off of it and into goal.  But seriously, beach ball nightmares can be bad. 

Nevertheless, the team arrived for a 10.45am kickoff with slightly weakened team, although they were reenforced by the return of a few key players.  Weird news early on, Chicago LIVERPOOL Football Club were asked to wear different colored shirts, after wearing Red tops since, I don’t know, 1892?  Being the polite, obedient people we are, we did agree to wear different colors.  All different colors.  Gay Pride CLFC took the field in about 15 different colors (despite only fielding a 11 person team, which made it all the weirder).  You could tell the team were up for it during the pre match warm up, with striker Kobi hitting shots as hard as he could against the back of the net, and off the side of his teammate’s faces (actually, just mine).

The match started and the only main change on the team sheet were the returns of Greg Whalley and Arif Ismail into the starting 11 at center midfield.  It was a fun game to play (no idea how I’d know this, as I am only a sideline reporter), but a terribly boring game to watch.  I nearly dozed off a few times, and I’d bet my life wee little Miles Skinner, who was in the stands watching, was asleep for a majority of the match.  There were very few chances for Strangers as the defence played brilliantly, left back Judi Cutrone chipping in with some well timed tackles.  Keeper Aran Quin was rarely tested, although there were quite a few obligatory dodgy moments.  Wouldn’t be CLFC without it.

So all was well in our own half, but the same couldn’t be said up front.  The team failed to string passes together, or go on any productive runs.  While everyone played well, it was clear that the final ball was lacking.  Still, a few half chances were created and winger Brittany Parenti went close with a shot from outside the box.  Soon enough it was half time, with CLFC on top but with nothing to show for it.

The second half kicked off, and CLFC were clearly looking for that extra spark.  So, logically enough, they sent on an extra player.  With 12 men on, the ref blew the whistle and issued a yellow card to our captain.  But since he was nowhere to be found, it was given to Mark Killeen instead… I’m sure that’s allowed within FIFA guidelines (as are beach balls, obviously).  The bench then witnessed some of the most pathetic arithmetic you will ever see on display, thanks to none other than Pat “I-can’t-count-that” Garrity.  Constantly insisting there were only 10 people on the field, Garrity would run on, only for the bench to call him back.  This happened a few times before a teammate quickly grabbed Miles’ “Learn to Count to Twelve with me” book and went to page two, where it indicated how one would hypothetically count to eleven, and potentially twelve if you really need too, though you may need a calculator past that.  Garrity finally gave it a rest.

While it was all laughs on the sidelines, the Reds (actually, Greens, Whites, Yellows, Blacks and a deep Magentas, although it was arguably a light Magenta depending on the lighting) were only continuing their poor attacking form.  A few more half chances were conceded to Stranger’s, and a few half chances were taken by CLFC, but nothing was happening, and it seemed likely that the game would end at 0-0 without even the slightest bit of excitement.  Seeing this as an unwanted possibility, a couple of CLFC player’s went ahead and earned yellow cards, and Stranger’s also got in on it.  Defender Kevin Achettu nearly earned a second yellow with a slide, though the ref clearly saw it for what it was (an awkward trip over the ball) a brilliant, stand-him-up, tackle.  Neither team were looking for goals though, it seemed.  Then right near the end, Pat Garrity, now knowing how to count past ten without using his toes, cut in through the box and sent a brilliant shot far post.  Unfortunately, the leprechaun in the opposition goal was able to parry it away with a great, great save.  Soon after that the referee blew the finals whistle and it was game over, 0-0, Chicago LFC ended a relatively disappointing season in 3rd place.

However, they still have the playoffs to look forward to next week and the team are confident they can still win the league championship, or whatever it is we are playing for.

I would just like to point out that while watching Liverpool play against Lyon right now, I just saw Anthony Reveillere of Lyon (who surely makes upwards of $60k a week for being a professional footballer) get called for a foul throw-in.  Don’t feel so bad everybody! 

But seriously, never do that again.

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