Archive for the 'Chicago LFC' Category

30
Aug
10

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.

Advertisements
30
Aug
10

The Perfect Game: Chicago LFC Win the Summer League Crown

There’s a chant from the Anfield Kop that honors Liverpool’s European Cup success: “We’ve won it five times. We’ve won it five ti-i-imes. In Istanbul, we won it five times.” On August 29, 2010, the 22 men and women of Chicago LFC’s co-ed soccer team altered the lyrics to: “We won it five nil. We won it five ni-i-illl. At the Rauner Y, we won it five nil.”

Since the team’s founding in November 2008, CLFC co-ed has played a total of 10 Windy City Wanderers indoor and outdoor seasons. Never had they enjoyed a finer moment than the WCW First Division’s summer league Final. In a dominant and stylish performance, the Reds outclassed rivals Bakgat, 5-0, to capture their first-ever championship.

The build-up to the #1 vs. #2 championship began almost immediately following CLFC’s 1-0 semifinal win over the Uberstein the previous Sunday. The Reds ko’ed Bakgat 1-0 in the spring league playoffs and a 1-1 draw with their bearded foes was CLFC’s only blemish in a 6-0-1 run leading into the Final. Although determined to leave their bad boy/bad girl image at the bar, the squad had a colorful week. Brittany Parenti went skydiving in San Diego, while captain Dan Skinner was spotted riding in a limo with comedian Adam Carolla Thursday night. Carolla also called his biggest fan on the CLFC roster, Justin O’Neil, to inform him he had placed a heavy wager on the Reds. And just hours before the match, Heather Ribeiro touched down at O’Hare, having spent the previous evening drinking in New Orleans’ infamous French Quarter.

But as kickoff approached, the shenanigans ended and the team’s steely determination took over. A well-behaved group that watched LFC’s uninspiring 1-0 win over WBA arrived at the Rauner YMCA early, and as player after player filled the parking lot, it was clear the Reds superior depth on a scorching summer Sunday would be a significant advantage. During the pre-game, Skinner huddled with former captain Bryn Griffiths and veteran star Greg Whalley and switched the squad’s traditional 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1. Midfield dominance was the aim.

To start the match, CLFC sent out Liz Risoldi, Remi Soyode, Kevin Achettu, and Hollice Wrobel in defense; Riberio, Arif Ismail, Whalley, Griffiths and Jenny Sze across the middle, and Pat Garrity up top, with Aran Quinn in net. A few minutes in, Griffiths worked his way towards goal from the right side, drawing contact and a penalty kick. Having already entered the match off the deep bench, Andrew Ladd confidently stepped forward to the unmarked penalty spot. First he showed Bakgat how to grow a proper beard, and then Ladd showed everyone how to finish off a PK. 1-0 to the Reds.

Play was even and well-mannered throughout the rest of the half, although CLFC may have got away with one when Tarek Abdel-Halim went cleat to chest on an opponent. But the Reds escaped the call and the only card on the play was given to the Bakgat player who lobbed an f-bomb in the direction of the official. Towards the latter stages of the first half, Whalley sent a perfectly timed through ball ahead to Garrity. Looking like a slo-mo replay of Fernando Torres’ 2008 Euro Final winner, Garrity chipped home and the Reds had doubled their lead. CLFC calmly headed to the sideline at the halftime whistle.

As the relatively fresh Quinn reminded the troops at the break, 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer. The danger was alleviated early in the second half courtesy of Max De Zutter. A determined follow through saw De Zutter net the Reds third, aided by some miscommunication on the Bakgat backline. While Maxi’s tally may not have been the prettiest of the day, the Reds would show off some serious style moments later.

Showing no ill effects of the previous night’s Bourbon Street bender, Ribeiro brought the ball down the left side, right in front of the CLFC bench. Calling out “Andrew,” she sent a soaring comet across the field, hitting Ladd in stride. When he punched home his second of the afternoon to put the Reds up 4-0, the celebration was underway.

The Liverpool defense continued to frustrate Bakgat. Risoldi and Wrobel timed every challenge perfectly, with Meredith Lansdown and Lauren Irizarry equally relentless. With Soyode, Achettu, Abdel-Halim and Skinner clogging up the middle, Bakgat’s bench conceded “We’re not going to dribble through their defense.” Quinn handled every ball that headed his way flawlessly, and Bakgat’s ineffective set piece execution helped lighten his load.

Back to full stride after missing parts of the season with an ankle injury, one of the team’s “Twitter Twins,” Carlos Aguirre, broke through to score the Reds fifth. Aguirre and O’Neil joined the squad in the spring after tweeting in the direction of @ChicagoLFC, and both played a major role in the championship run. That, friends, is how you effectively use social media within your organization.

The 4-5-1 formation worked exactly as planned. Sze, Parenti and Lisa Gerberding flashed their skills along the right side, while the team’s newest addition, Sara Knox, rotated with Ribeiro on the left. With a championship win in her first season with the Reds, Knox earned the title of “the final piece of the puzzle.” And Bakgat would have killed to have anyone with Ismail’s speed or O’Neil’s booming throw-ins. Well, maybe not killed, but seriously maimed.

In the dying seconds, Aguirre drew the Reds second PK of the match when Bakgat’s despondent goaltender slugged him in the back. While the scorched keeper claimed he was going for the ball, the nasty flesh wound on Aguirre’s leg proved him guilty. With the game-ending PK nothing more than a ceremonial gesture, captain Skinner stepped forward. And despite words of encouragement from Whalley, Skinner joined Roberto Baggio and David Beckham among those who have fired over the top.

As soon as the wayward ball hit the back netting (the same netting seen in that Adidas miCoach commercial), the final whistle sounded. In three playoff games, the Reds outscored their opponents 17-0. (Although that 11-0 over Rancheros in the quarterfinal was a bit of a farce.) After a season-opening forfeit, CLFC never lost again.

The frustration of two previous championship game losses was lifted in a champagne-soaked celebration on the field. And although they had to bring a makeshift trophy to the postgame celebration at SmallBar Division, the beer and burgers tasted no less sweet. The Co-ed Reds agreed to accept the invitation to the Premier League come the fall schedule, and two players added to the festivities by announcing that they had offspring on the way.

The Reds will move on to stiffer competition in the fall, and they will likely battle at the bottom like so many promoted sides do. But if the team brings the same effort and performance that they showed on this day, the celebrations could continue.

Chicago LFC, 2010 WCW First Division Summer Champions

23
Aug
10

Chicago LFC Co-Ed (Summer Playoffs)

The summer regular season was anything but short of drama for the Co-ed Reds of Chicago LFC. There were forfeits and suspensions. There were angry e-mail exchanges among teammates and headlocks given to opponents. There were come-from-behind wins and blow out victories. And at least two players on the squad are sleeping together.

But through it all, the spirit of Liverpool persevered. With a 4-1-1 mark, marred only by an absurd forfeit during a game that conflicted with the World Cup Final, Chicago LFC entered the start of the summer league’s playoffs as the one-seed for the first time in team history. Among the many advantages of being the one seed: you get to play the crappiest team in the league in your first playoff game.

To kick things off Sunday, Chicago LFC faced Rancheros FC in the quarterfinals. The two teams had faced off a week prior, when an eight-man Rancheros side brought enough whine to fill up an aisle at Binny’s Beverage Depot. Not satisfied with losing 5-1 with eight players, Rancheros took the field with only seven players for the playoffs. Without their “I went to GameStop and got this free Guitar Hero t-shirt” wearing talisman, the league’s bottom feeders never stood a chance. In front of his adoring parents, Bryn Griffiths opened the scoring early. And I mean early; like 15 seconds into the game early. Griffiths opening tally was followed by….seriously, we’re really gonna do this?

We won 11 to freakin’ nothing! Griffiths scored three times and 40 year-old Greg Whalley did the same. Justin O’Neil and Heather Ribeiro, who are a combined 40 years old, each scored. Hell, even Tarek Abdel-Halim, who can’t drink water during games because he’s observing Ramadan, scored! Thanks for showing up, Rancheros.

The benefit of the 11-0 stroll in the park was that it allowed the Reds to conserve energy for their subsequent semifinal match. The opponent was to be determined by the morning’s second game between the fourth-seeded Uberstein and fifth-seeded Deportivo la Coruna. And while the denizens of Chicago’s faux Hofbrauhaus thoroughly dominated the match, they emerged with only a 1-0 victory. They were also forced to immediately re-take the field for a match with the ready and waiting Reds.

Chicago LFC arrived confident yet cautious for the semifinal. The Reds needed a second-half rally for a 2-1 win over Uberstein on Matchday 5 and knew that the Germans were not afraid to let fire from long range. A comprehensive defensive effort was required, and that’s precisely what the Reds gave.

The first half failed to separate the teams and a moment of early scrappiness prompted one Ubersteiner to tell his bench to “SHUT THE F— UP!!!” Chicago LFC controlled play, but Uberstein had the best chance late in the half. The Bavarians found their most vocal player unmarked in the box off a corner kick, but he was left to shut the f— up after his header went woefully wide.

In the second half, Chicago LFC took on the form of the Spanish National Team- dominating possession, controlling the game, and leaving on-lookers feeling that just one goal would be enough. That goal came off a picture-perfect Whalley free kick from 30 yards out, which swerved into the back of the next midway through the half. The free kick was set-up after O’Neil’s cross netted a hand ball. O’Neil immediately headed to the sideline and begged for an assist.

Hollice Wrobel continued to lead a courageous effort from the Reds backline late in the match. With only five women on-hand, Wrobel, Ribeiro, Jenny Sze, Lisa Gerberding and Meredith Lansdown were forced to work an overtime shift, with each contributing brilliantly. I’d like to give goalkeeper Aran Quinn credit as well, but the defense was so rock solid, Quinn gathered as many cobwebs as saves.

With the final whistle, the Reds ticket to the final was punched. The opposite side of the bracket sent Bakgat, the two-seed and CLFC’s bitter rivals, through to next Sunday’s showpiece as well. #1 will face #2 for the title. A shot at glory awaits the men and women in red and white.

18
Aug
10

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!!!

10
Aug
10

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!

31
Jan
10

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.

23
Jan
10

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.