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The End of an Era…

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Free of H&G Celebration!

Good Afternoon Chicago Red Men and Women,
If you haven’t heard (where have you been?!) Liverpool FC today announced the finalization of their sale to New England Sports Ventures and name change to the Liverpool Red Sox! Let’s go Red Sox!
In all seriousness though this week has been a stressful and anxiety ridden week for most of us, with the beginning of each day starting with one conclusion and by the end of the day finding Hicks and his lawyers have scuppered the deal somehow. It’s been a whirlwind of emotion but I’m happy to say it’s all over now – we have new owners, NESV and John Henry, Hicks and Gillette are gone (though their claims for damages remain…)
Timing couldn’t be better going into the Merseyside Derby on Sunday at 7:30am so in order to celebrate the new dawn of our football club we will be raffling off a Signed JAMIE CARRAGHER Shirt!
Come on down and enjoy the game, the atmosphere and doubtless discussions about Mr. Henry and the success being debt free will hopefully bring!
John Henry’s first official LFC interview is available on the clubs website…
See this NESV video for information on who they are and what they do…
You’ll Never Walk Alone… in Chicago

ChicagoLFC… Probably the best supporters club in the world… (NEW WEBSITE!!!)


Chicago LFC Grows Up… by @soccerhaus

Insight from Dan Skinner (@soccerhaus) about the amazing growth and exciting developments from everyone at the Chicago Liverpool Supporter’s Club…


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 Men’s First Indoor game of the Winter (Kinda)

Monday the 2nd of November was the Chicago LFC Men’s team first indoor game of the Winter session. Alas it was not the winning start it was supposed to be but it wasn’t the losing start either, which I suppose is good, nor was it the drawing start… let me explain…

We turned up for our 8:30pm game a couple short but confident that we could start on a high for the season. The pitches down at the Indoor Soccer Center (3900 S Ashland) are fantastic, we play 5-a-side (plus a keeper) in a large glass enclosed area which means less stopping and starting (unless it hits the high net roof) and more lung exploding exercise! Sadly though, our opponents had mis-understood the idea of a “Mens” league as none of them had a driving license to go with their name apart from their Irish coach (and I expect mini-van driver) who had entered them to give them some match practise.

The organisers decided that it would be inappropriate and unsafe for them to play in the league meaning we would have a make up game scheduled instead. Seeing as they’d come all this way and looked so keen we decided it would be good to have a practise and play them anyway.

Great idea in theory but in practise it was bloody hard work! They were way fitter than us (as you can expect any group of young men yet to discover beer!) and quicker on the ball. That being said our finishing really let us down and we went in at half-time 1-0 down but against the run of play. Their Irish coach sat at the back superbly spraying around passes and sweeping up at the back making if difficult for us to turn our possession transfer into goals.

The second half had us start well again and Captain Bryn (me!) could have got the equaliser but for a last ditch outstretched leg of the Arctic Monkey’s look-a-like kid. But as we started to tire they kept on going and doubled their lead from the spot after a harshly given penalty was given for a ball-to-hand (and what looked to be outside the box) foul.

There was just time to Andrew to sting the palms of their slightly hands-on and pushy keeper with a shot from distance but the game ended 2-0. Handshakes all round and off home and straight to bed…

Disappointing start but at least it didn’t count!


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 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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June 2018
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