Maryland vs UMBC: Two Coaches Who Live and Breathe Soccer

umbc vs maryland soccer

For anyone who has grown up in Maryland as a soccer fan, if you don’t get excited about UMBC vs Maryland then you probably need to check this out.

Two local programs rich in history.

Two long-tenured, successful head coaches who love the game and recruit top local talent.

Two coaching staffs who have worked so hard to develop a close-knit, family atmosphere over the years, helping these young men develop both on and off the field, all while assuring them that they will forever be part of a special Terp or Retriever family.

The University of Maryland Terps, currently ranked number three in the country and yet to lose a game this season, take a short bus ride to Baltimore County tonight to take on UMBC at Retriever Park at 7pm.

I could tell you about Hermann Trophy-hopeful Gordon Wild and the Terps’ talented offense, made up of guys like Eryk Williamson and Jake Rozhansky.

Or we could talk about UMBC’s 1-0 victory over Maryland in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.

But you can read about all of that stuff on each school’s website:

UMBC: Retriever Men’s Soccer Hosts Maryland in Tuesday Night Showdown

UMD: NO. 3 MARYLAND AND UMBC CLASH TUESDAY NIGHT

I want to talk about the two guys at the helm of each program…head coaches Sasho Cirovski of Maryland and Pete Caringi of UMBC, two head coaches who are extremely involved in the local soccer community who paid their dues before finding success.

Two Head Coaches who LIVE The Game

Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski and UMBC head coach Pete Caringi both started their collegiate head coaching careers in 1991, 26 years ago… meaning they’ve been coaching for a lot longer than any of their current players have been alive. Two of the best coaches in the Nation who have been coaching Division 1 soccer for a combined 52 years, but both men have been students of the beautiful game for even longer than that.

Pete Caringi, Baltimore

Coach Caringi had a successful collegiate playing career at local University of Baltimore, earning All-American accolades twice at the Division II school where he is the all-time leading scorer and, to this day, is ranked 21st all-time in Division II goals scored with 70. Coach Caringi won a Division 2 National Championship with University of Baltimore in 1975, and later went on to play for the Washington Diplomats in 1978.

Pete Caringi Washington Diplomats

The Diplomats made the playoffs that year, before getting knocked out in the first round by a Portland Timbers side which made it to the Conference Finals before losing to eventual NASL Champions, the New York Cosmos. The Cosmos eventually went on to win their third of five NASL Championships, despite losing Pele the season prior.

How about this for a few names, the NASL All-Star team that season included:

  • The late great Giorgio Chinaglia, as polarizing figure off of the field as he was on it. The Italian scored 193 goals in 213 Cosmos games, not a bad strike rate.
  • Rodney Marsh, one of the best NASL players of all time (Tampa Bay Rowdies) and a former Manchester City legend, making 188 appearances for the club, and 211 appearances for QPR prior to that, scoring 106 goals in 6 seasons for the London club.
  • Carlos Alberto, who captained Brazil in 1970, winning a World Cup.
  • Franz Beckenbauer, who needs no introduction….Der Kaiser won 5 Bundesliga titles, 3 European Cups (aka Champions League), 2 Ballon d’Ors, four German Player of the Year awards, a World Cup in 1974, and a Euro Title in 1972 as a player… before going on as a manager to help Germany win the 1990 World Cup, a Bundesliga title with Bayern in 1993-94, along with a European Cup in 1995-96.
  • George Best was an All-Star Honorable Mention
  • Former DC United manager and current legendary soccer commentator Ray Hudson was second-team NASL All-Star that season.
(l-r) New York Cosmos players Johan Cruyff, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer  circa 1978

(l-r) New York Cosmos players Johan Cruyff, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer circa 1978

After his season with the Diplomats, Coach Caringi laced up his boots in the Maryland Majors Soccer League, which makes you think about his son Pete III currently helping Christos become a Nationally-recognized name. He later went on to be the assistant coach of the Maryland Bays professional side, eventually taking over head coaching duties in 1990 and then taking over at UMBC in 1991 at the age of 36, still considered young for a Division 1 head coach.

Spend 10 minutes speaking to Coach Caringi and you’ll realize how passionate he is about the game, especially when it comes to soccer in Charm City. The Baltimore native is more than happy to tell you about the old days of Highlandtown and Patterson Park Soccer, and how many former USMNT players grew up in his old stomping grounds of Southeast Baltimore (from a 2011 interview):

“Every Sunday at Patterson Park,” Pete Caringi said. “It was neighborhood against neighborhood and a lot of times friend against friend.”

Caringi played for Pompei and Perrella on the Baltimore Kickers. The Mangione brothers, Nick and Dino, played for La Dolce Vita and Ernie Cox for Casa Bianco. There were Dnipro and Tom’s Produce, Tommy’s Lounge and Post 38, the Baltimore Bays and Baltimore Comets.

There was passion and pride, talent and tradition.

“You come in here and see the love everyone has for Pep,” Caringi said, “and it takes you back to those days. And it’s not just a Curley thing or a Calvert Hall thing. They’re from everywhere — Patterson, Mount St. Joe, Dundalk — all the club players from years ago. It just says a lot about the soccer community in general.”

A quick personal story…I grew up in PG County, played in the DC-area WISL adult amateur league for a few seasons before moving to Baltimore. I ended up playing a few seasons in the Maryland Majors league for a Baltimore Colts team which competed for the US Open Cup, a few years before Christos was making all of the headlines, and here’s what I’ll tell you about Baltimore amateur soccer (compared to DC)…tackles are coming in, and you’re going to be sore on Monday mornings at work.

Guys take pride in the soccer-rich heritage here in the Baltimore area, from the Baltimore Kickers clubhouse that could always be seen on Broadway Street in the heart of Fells Point, to the Italy World Cup posters hanging on the walls at the local favorite deli here in Highlandtown, Di Pasquale’s. There’s the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame in nearby DuBurns Arena, which includes a number of old Baltimore names, along with a game ball from Christos’ US Open Cup run last season.

A few random old school Baltimore soccer pics

htown

 

 

 

 

1930's Police Athletic League Soccer at Patterson Park

1930’s Police Athletic League Soccer at Patterson Park

 

 

bmore soccerCoach Caringi has a .610 win percentage over a 26-year career.  His 276 wins makes him the 26th-winningest active coach in the country, turning the small Baltimore-area school with only 13,640 students (compared to Maryland with 38,140) and somewhat meager resources (when compared to coaches of other National powerhouse programs on that list) into a Nationally-recognized program which has made 5 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the recent Cinderella Final Four run in 2014.

A local coach who came up living, breathing, and eating Baltimore soccer, who still pays respect to the greats before him and has managed to build a program by recruiting local players who will take as much pride as he does in seeing Baltimore soccer continue to flourish.

Sasho Cirovski, College Park

Sasho Cirovski

University of Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski is the fifth-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division 1 soccer, with a 390-144 record leading up to this season. His .710 win percentage over 26 seasons is ahead of programs who seem to be nationally-ranked every season, such as UVA, Notre Dame, UCLA, and other powerhouse programs. But if you think that Coach Cirovski started his winning ways as soon as he arrived in College Park back in 1993, you’re sorely mistaken.

Sasho Cirovski Youth

A young Sasho Cirovski (right foreground) in his native Macedonia in about 1969 with brother Vancho, mother, Ljubica, and sister Diana. (Handout photo, from same Sun article)

Before the Macedonian-Canadian soccer coach took the reigns for the Terps, the University of Maryland’s men’s soccer program only made ONE NCAA Tournament appearance since 1976. ONE NCAA Tournament appearance (in 1986) in 17 seasons, so it would be hard to say that he inherited a competitive program.

Coach Cirovski didn’t grow up in the DMV. He grew up on the borderline of poverty, living in a small Balctic town called Vratnica in Macedonia, where he used the beautiful game to escape some of the harsh reality surrounding him.

From a 2009 Baltimore Sun article:

Cirovski’s ambition was forged early, those who know him say, during his hardscrabble youth in the sleepy Balkan town of Vratnica.

There, Cirovski and his family lived in several rooms atop a barn filled with livestock: chickens, pigs, cows and horses.

“We had no bathrooms, hot water or refrigerator,” he said. “We took baths in a small tub in the kitchen, by the wood stove. But we probably grew up healthy. There was no candy in our lives.”

His parents were factory workers, poorly-educated but proud of what little they could give their three children.

Cirovski’s father, Trpemir – friends called him “Terp” – slogged around Europe in search of work. In better times, he would scrape to buy a soccer ball and send it home to his sons, Sasho and Vancho. “The whole village would play with that ball for a month, until it wore out,” Cirovski said. After that, they made do with substitutes. “Whenever a pig was slaughtered, we’d save the bladder, blow it up like a balloon and kick it around,” recalled Vancho Cirovski, 49.

We’d play soccer wherever we were – on a hill, in the forest or on a riverbank,” the Maryland coach said. “We never saw games on TV because there were no TVs, but we heard older people talk about the great players. You developed an embedded love for the game. It became part of my DNA.”
Cirovski was 8 when his family emigrated to Windsor, Ontario. There, his father toiled long hours in a factory making car bumpers until being laid off for 22 months during the recession of the mid-1970s.”We were poorer than dirt and always in debt,” said Cirovski, by then a fast-rising player. “But if I needed to make a soccer trip, he would find a way to borrow $20.People trusted him to pay it back.”

For two summers, Cirovski labored beside his dad in the factory.”You came home from work with junk up your nose and dust all over your body, like in a coal mine,” he said. And he thought: The clock is ticking.

His father’s death at 52 upped the ante. “Life is the race for happiness,” Cirovski said, “I knew then that all I wanted to do was to live, eat and breathe soccer.” He has gone full tilt ever since.

“Sash works extra hard because he’s afraid of going backward,” said Vancho Cirovski, a self-employed entrepreneur in Windsor. “He remembers not having things. It’s always ‘go forward’ with him.”

Coach Cirovski’s desire to succeed can obviously be traced back to his days as a boy, where he had to endure hardships that would later in life make him the father of a Terps’ soccer family that has produced a countless number of professional soccer players.

Always remembering these experiences allowed him to continue to power through early struggles in his first few seasons in College Park… the feeling when you’re in a tough spot, but you know you’ve been through a HECK of a lot worse. He has since been able to successfully build the University of Maryland men’s soccer program into a National Powerhouse, despite going 3-14-1 in his first season, followed by four consecutive NCAA Tournament second round eliminations: University of Virginia in 1994, James Madison in 1995 via penalty kick shootout (a game my father drove me all the way to Harrisonburg to watch), William and Mary in 1996, and American University in 1997.

Since then, Coach Cirovski and The Terps have:

  • Won NINE Conference Tournament Championships
  • Won Four regular season Conference Championships
  • Made EIGHTEEN NCAA Tournament Appearances, with Coach Cirovski’s first season and 2000 the only two seasons when they didn’t make it.
  • Made it to the NCAA College Cup (NCAA Tournament Semifinals/Final Four) EIGHT times
  • Made it to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals ELEVEN times
  • Finished as NCAA Tournament Runners-Up once, in 2013
  • Won a National Championship twice, in 2005 and 2008

All while producing a long list of professional players, including a number of consistent USMNT players:

Retired:

  • Taylor Twellman
  • Jason Garey
  • Abe Thompson
  • Michael Dellorusso
  • Domenic Mediate
  • Danny Califf

Still Playing:

  • Omar Gonzalez
  • Mikey Ambrose (Atlanta United FC)
  • Marc Burch (Minnesota United FC)
  • A. J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy) *
  • Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union) *
  • Tsubasa Endoh (Toronto FC)
  • Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) *
  • Taylor Kemp (D.C. United)
  • Zac MacMath (Colorado Rapids)
  • Dan Metzger (New York Red Bulls)
  • Patrick Mullins (D.C. United)
  • Chris Odoi-Atsem (D.C. United)
  • Robbie Rogers (LA Galaxy) *
  • Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
  • Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
  • John Stertzer (New York City FC)
  • Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)
  • Ethan White (New York City FC)
  • London Woodberry (New England Revolution)
  • Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

While Coach Cirovski didn’t grow up in the DMV area, he has established himself as one of the most respected coaches in the country, bringing a sense of pride to Maryland soccer. He can be seen at a number of local USSDA, USYSA, and high school games, recruiting the area’s best talent. He and assistant coach Brian Roland have an incoming class next season which includes DMV locals Nick Richardson and Justin Gielen who both look to be the real deal, to add to the Terps’ long list of nationally-ranked youth prospects that they are able to lure to College Park year, after year, after year.

Love of the Game, something both coaches (and a lot of us) have in common

Coach Cirovski’s humble upbringing, work ethic, and early mindset that saw him eat, breath, and live soccer…. from his early days in a barn with roosters and no working bathroom or hot water, all the way through adulthood where he’s now the head coach of one of the Nation’s top men’s soccer programs….combined with Coach Caringi’s local upbringing and identical passion for the beautiful game, makes this matchup more than just two local programs playing under the lights tonight at Retriever Park. Both coaches bring unique life experiences to their coaching careers, both coaches run successful programs, both coaches have developed professional players.

But more importantly, both coaches STILL love the game as much as everyone that will be in the stands or watching from the live feed tonight, which is to be commended. We’re lucky to have them here in the DMV.

 

 

 

College Soccer Preview: Week 4

NCAA DMV Soccer Schedule

There are some big games for DMV-area college programs this week, including the following:

Tuesday, September 19

GW @ #8 UNC 

Chapel Hill, 7pm

Watch live via stream

GW (2-3-1) Head Coach Craig Jones and team head to Chapel Hill to take on nationally-ranked UNC on Tuesday night. The Tarheels are 6-1 this season, coming off of wins this week against William and Mary (3-2) and Duke (2-1), and are currently second in the Coastal Division of the ACC.

GW comes into the match riding a streak of results as well, defeating Navy on Wednesday night 3-1 in Annapolis, followed by a double-overtime draw with UMBC on Saturday 1-1. Coach Jones seems to have found a bonafide starting forward in freshman Oscar Haynes-Brown, who scored in both matches and has scored 3 goals in his last 3 matches. Fellow freshman Brady O’Connor has started every GW match this season, scoring the game-winning penalty against Navy. This will be GW’s third match in 6 days, a difficult stretch for the Colonials who are 2-3-1 on the season.

ODU vs VCU

ODU, 7pm

ODU (3-1-2) Head Coach Alan Dawson and the Monarchs host VCU on Tuesday in a Virginia derby matchup. ODU is currently fourth in Conference USA standings, coming off of a 3-0 victory to open conference play against Florida Atlantic this past weekend. Freshman midfielder Brandon Perdue, who played for Richmond United USSDA, leads the team in scoring with four goals and an assist on the season, followed by Junior Max Wilschrey with 3 goals and an assist. Tuesday’s match will be the third in 7 days for ODU, defeating FAU and also earning a draw against a tough Campbell side last week, 1-1.

Virginia Tech vs Davidson

VT, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Virginia Tech (2-4) is coming off of two straight losses to ACC opponents: a 3-1 loss to Duke last weekend, followed by a 2-1 loss this past weekend to 12th-ranked Virginia. Head coach Mike Brizendine is hoping to get closer to a winning record after Tuesday’s match vs Davidson, who are 5-0-1 on the season and currently on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

American vs WVU

American, 3pm

American host a WVU side who is completing their third of three matches in the DMV area, coming off of a 3-1 victory over George Mason this past weekend, losing their first DMV match 3-1 vs UMBC this past week, American is 1-5-1 on the season, looking to turn things around against nationally-ranked WVU at home.

Wednesday September 20

 

UMBC vs Navy

UMBC, 7pm

Watch live via stream

A big DMV derby match on Wednesday night as UMBC hosts Navy at Retriever Park. UMBC (4-1-1) head coach Pete Caringi won his 450th collegiate game last Wednesday night, in a 3-1 victory against Nationally-ranked WVU, behind two goals from junior center back Kyle Saunderson and two assists from freshman Matt Bailey. This past weekend, the Retrievers came back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime to earn a 1-1 draw away against GW.

For Navy (1-5-1), head coach Tim O’Donohue continues to work with a younger squad, starting four freshmen and bringing a fifth off of the bench. The Midshipmen have lost their past 2 matches, a 3-1 home defeat to GW last week followed by a 2-1 loss at Duquesne on Saturday. Things don’t get any easier for Coach O’Donohue and company, with the UMBC match being the first of three games in a week for the Midshipmen.

JMU vs Radford

Radford, 7pm

Watch live via stream

JMU (3-2-1) head coach Tom Foley takes his Dukes’ side to Radford on Wednesday in another local DMV derby matchup. JMU defeated Niagra this past weekend 3-0 at home, Ben Dao scoring the first and leading the team in scoring with 3 goals.

Radford (coached by Bryheem Hancock) is also 3-2-1 on the season, coming off of a 2-0 victory against Howard this past weekend.

Georgetown vs Stony Brook

Georgetown, 4pm

Watch live via steam

Ninth-ranked Georgetown lost their first match of the season this past weekend, a 1-0 away loss to Xavier. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese will look to get his side back to winning ways on Wednesday as they host Stony Brook who is 5-1-1 on the season and currently second in America East Conference standings.

For Georgetown, despite being 4-1-1 on the season and ranked ninth in the country, they are currently in seventh place in Big East standings, following their first conference loss this past weekend. Sophomore striker Achara leads the Hoyas in goals with five on the season, he also leads the team in shots with 12.

William and Mary vs Longwood

William and Mary, 6pm

Watch live via stream

William and Mary (3-2-2) is coming off of a 2-0 home victory against Campbell this past weekend, after dropping a close 3-2 away match against UNC last week. Head Coach Chris Norris’ Tribe team is currently fourth in CAA Conference standings, taking on a Longwood side which is 0-4-1 on the season. Antonio Bustamante, Ryder Bell, and William Eskay are all tied for leading goal scorers for William and Mary, with two goals a piece.

George Mason vs East Tennessee State

George Mason, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Mason head coach Greg Andrulis and company are currently in fourth place in Atlantic 10 Conference standings, with a 3-2-1 overall record. The teams above them: UMass and Fordham, are 4-2-1, so a win on Wednesday night at home could see the Patriots climb the conference standings as they host East Tennessee State.

East Tennessee State is 3-1-2 on the season, defeating Virginia Tech in preseason and also losing a closely-contested match against Nationally-ranked Kentucky 2-1.

For Mason, senior striker Henning Dirks leads the team in points with 4 goals and 5 assists, as well as in shots with 16 on the season. Sophomore Ryan Mingachos also has four goals, to go with Sophomore Tunde Akinlosotu‘s 2 goals and 2 assists on the season.

 

DMV USSDA Recap: Week 2

DMV USSDA

While many local USSDA clubs opened up their season last weekend, the majority of local Academy teams kicked off their campaigns this past weekend to mark the beginning of a long and strenuous year-round Academy season.

Here is a quick recap of how each local USSDA side fared, in alphabetical order:

(note: results are not showing up on U-12 team pages, so we will only cover u-13 and up for the time being.)

Arlington Soccer Association

Arlington ussda

U-13’s: Head Coach Wes Windsor. Beat VDA last Saturday 1-0. Lost to Bethesda the following day 4-0. This past Saturday, defeated Richmond United 4-1. Next match vs Baltimore Armour, 9/23 at 1:00pm.

U-14’s: Head Coach Oscar Feliu. Lost to VDA 2-1, lost to Bethesda 7-0. Defeated Richmond Kickers this past weekend 1-0. Next match vs Baltimore Armour, 9/23 at 4:30pm.

Baltimore Armour

Baltimore Armour USSDA

U-13’s: Head coach Oscar Sancho-Davilla‘s Baltimore Armour U-13’s played Bethesda U-13’s last Saturday and won 2-0. This past weekend, they beat Lehigh Valley away 2-0 to start the season 2-0. Host PA Classics this Saturday, 1:00pm at Centennial Park.

U-14’s: Head coach Dave Kelley‘s Baltimore Armour U-14’s lost to Bethesda last weekend 6-2, defeated Lehigh Valley 3-2 this past weekend. PA Classics at home on Saturday.

U-15’s: Head Coach Machel Millwood‘s Baltimore Armour U-15’s tied Bethesda 0-0 last Saturday, lost to Westchester Armour 4-0 this past Saturday and dropped another on Sunday to BW Gottschee 1-0. Have yet to score a goal this season. PA Classics at home on Sunday, 11am.

U-16/17’s: Head Coach Mike Lookingland‘s U-16/17 side lost to FC Westchester 2-0 on Saturday. Sunday’s result vs BW Gottschee not yet reported. PA Classics Sunday at home, 1pm.

U-18/19’s: Head Coach Santino Quaranta‘s U-18/19’s tied FC Westchester 1-1 on Saturday, defeated BW Gottschee 2-1 on Sunday. PA Classics on Sunday, 3pm.

Bethesda SC

Bethesda USSDA

 

U-13’s: Head Coach Bill Moravek. U-13’s dropped their first game to Baltimore Armour last Saturday 2-0, but have since rebounded beating Arlington Soccer Association 4-0 last Sunday and posting another big scoreline this past weekend, an 8-0 victory versus VDA. Midfielder Kristian Fletcher has scored 5 goals in 3 games. Play New York Red Bulls away next Sunday.

U-14’s: Head Coach Derek Biss. Defeated Baltimore Armour 6-2 last Saturday, and beat Arlington 7-0 on Sunday. This past weekend, defeated VDA 4-1. Leading goal scorers are Adrien Wheaton-Schopp (4 goals in 3 games) and Nicholas Bray (3 goals in 3 games). Travel to New York Red Bulls on Sunday, 1:30pm.

U-15’s: Head Coach Trevor Martin. Tied Baltimore Armour U-15’s 0-0 last Saturday. This past weekend, lost to BW Gottschee 3-1. Played FC Westchester on Sunday but no result reported. Travel to NYRB on Sunday. 3:30pm.

U-16/17’s: Head Coach Matt Ney. Tied BWG 0-0 on Saturday, tied FC Westchester 1-1 on Sunday. Travel to NYRB Sunday, 10am.

U18/19’s: Head Coach Brett Colton. Tied BWG 1-1 on Saturday, Sunday result vs FCW not reported. NYRB away on Sunday, 12:15pm.

DC United Academy

DC United USSDA

U-13’s: Head Coach Dave Sanford. Defeated FC Delco last Saturday 3-0. Forward Isaac Espinal with the hat trick. Next match vs Loudon Soccer, Saturday at RFK 12:30pm.

U-14’s: Head Coach Gus Teren. Defeated FC Delco last Saturday 5-0. All 5 goals scored by forward Augustin Paul. Next match vs Loudon Soccer, Saturday at RFK, 2:30pm.

U-15’s: Head Coach John Bello. Defeated FC Delco last Saturday 6-0. This past weekend, beat Beachside 6-1 and Oakwood 3-1. Jeremy Garay, Kevin Paredes, Jonathan Valladares all have 3 goals this season. Next match vs Players Development Academy Saturday, 12:00pm in NJ.

U-16/17’s: Defeated FC Delco last weekend 3-1. This past weekend, defeated Beachside 5-0 and lost to Oakwoord 1-0. Leading goal scorer is Iker Bustamante with 3 goals. Next match vs PDA Saturday, 2:00pm in NJ.

U-18/19’s: Head Coach Nate Kish. Defeated FC Delco last weekend 4-0. This past weekend, 3-1 victory against Beachside, lost to Oakwood 3-1. Take on PDA Saturday in NJ, 4:15pm.

Loudoun Soccer

Loudoun USSDA

(worth noting: U-12 player Myles Mercer has scored 5 goals in 3 games)

U-13’s: Head Coach Phillip Liversedge. Tied Lehigh Valley 1-1 and lost to Richmond United 3-2 last weekend. This weekend, defeated PA Classics 3-1. Take on DC United at RFK Saturday, 12:30pm.

U-14’s: Head Coach Phillip Liversedge. Tied vs Lehigh Valley 1-1, beat Richmond United 3-1. This weekend, defeated PA Classics 1-0. Take on DCU on Saturday, 2:30pm at RFK.

Richmond United

Richmond USSDA

U-13’s: Head Coach Sascha Goerres. Beat Loudoun 5-2 last weekend. Lost to Arlington 4-1 this past weekend. Forward Ryan Londeree has 3 goals this season, followed by fellow forward Beckett Howell. Host Philly Union Saturday at 10am, followed by PA Classics on Sunday, 12:15pm.

U-14’s: Head Coach Sascha Goerres. Lost to Loudoun 3-1 last weekend. Lost to Arlington 1-0 this weekend. Host Philly Union on Saturday, 12:15pm, and PA Classics on Sunday at 2:30pm.

U-15’s: Head Coach David Bulow. Lost to Oakwood 6-2 this past weekend. Lost to Beachside 6-1. Philly Union on Saturday, 10am.

U-16/17’s: Head Coach David Bulow4-2 victory vs Oakwood this past Saturday, followed by another big scoreline victory against Beachside 5-1. Forward Key White has 4 goals in 2 games, followed by Jacob Thomas with 3 goals. Next match vs Philly Union at home, Saturday at 12:30pm.

U-18/19’s: Head Coach Ihor Dotsenko. 1-0 loss to Oakwood, 0-0 draw against Beachside. Host Philly Union on Saturday, 3:00pm.

Virginia Development Academy (VDA)

VDA USSDA

U-13’s: Head Coach Jeff Carroll. Lost 1-0 to Arlington last weekend, lost to Bethesda 8-0 this past weekend. Host Lehigh Valley Saturday at 12:30pm.

U-14’s: Head Coach Jeff Carroll. Defeated Arlington last weekend 2-1. This past weekend, lost to Bethesda 4-1. Host Lehigh Valley this Saturday, 2:30pm.

U-15’s: Head Coach Matthew Lacey. 1-0 Loss to PDA last weekend. This past weekend, 3-0 loss vs Philly Union on Saturday. Rebounded to beat FC Delco on Sunday, 3-0. Next match vs Cedar Stars Academy, 9/30.

U-16/17’s:  Head Coach Joe Soos. 2-1 loss to PDA last weekend. This past weekend, 1-1 tie against Philly Union on Saturday, followed by a 4-3 loss to FC Delco on Sunday. Next match vs Cedar Stars Academy, 9/30.

 

Week 3: College Soccer Recap

navy

With Week 3 of the NCAA College Soccer in the books, a number of local D1 programs put together impressive results. Here’s our weekly college soccer recap for week 3, and of course follow us on Twitter for more up-to-date announcements like conference players of the week, coaches’ poll updates, and more.

Loyola

Greyhounds Keeps Rollin’

Loyola defeated Villanova on Saturday night in front of their home crowd, 1-0. Goal was scored by sophomore Barry Sharifi.

Freshman goalkeeper Chase Vosvick earns his third clean-sheet of the season, as Loyola remains on top of the Patriot League standings.

patriot league soccer standings week 3

Up next for Loyola: 3 straight away games against SMU (9/15), Colgate (9/22, a Patriot League match), and Cleveland State (9/25) before returning home to face Navy on 9/30.

Speaking of Patriot League….

Navy Soccer

navy beat jmu

Midshipmen Close Out Win Vs. JMU

In Navy’s prior match vs Campbell, Coach Tim O’Donohue’s side went up 1-0 in the first half but was unable to hold on, losing the match in double OT.

On Saturday at home against a quality JMU side, Navy took another first-half lead thanks to a goal from Daniel Zaremba. It looked like a possible case of deja vu for Navy as JMU equalized in the second half, Tim Estermann scoring the goal for JMU in the 55th minute. However, Coach O’Donohue’s young side which started 4 freshmen continued to battle, taking a 2-1 lead in the 85th minute thanks to a goal by senior Aubrey Jones, assisted by freshman playmaker Jarvian Wigfall. 3 minutes later, freshman Nicko West who provided a spark off of the bench tucked home a beautiful header from fellow freshman Toni Adewole to give the Midshipmen their first win of the season.

Navy will host George Washington on Wednesday night, 7:00pm at Navy with GW coming off of 8 days’ rest. Should be a good one.

JMU drop to 2-2-1 and will host Niagra on Friday night before taking on Radford at home next Wednesday.

Maryland

Terps Tie 

Maryland played 4th-ranked Indiana on Friday night at home in College Park, with the Terps battling to a 0-0 tie. They take on Rutgers at home on Tuesday night before traveling to Penn State on Sunday to start a three-game road trip. Maryland is currently ranked #5 in the Nation and are undefeated.

Georgetown

Hoyas Tie UConn

Georgetown hosted UConn on Saturday, battling to a 2OT 1-1 draw. Senior Christopher Lema scoring the goal for the Hoyas, who remain undefeated heading into their away match at Xavier next Saturday at 7pm.

UMBC

Dawgs Down Monmouth

UMBC rebounded from a 5-2 Loss at Villanova by defeating Monmouth 2-1 in an overtime thriller on Saturday night. Monmouth took the lead early in the second half, but senior Cormac Noel was able to equalize for the Retrievers with DMV Freshman Matthew Bailey recording his first collegiate assist.

In overtime, senior Gregg Hauck scored the game winner after only 1:34 of overtime action to give Coach Caringi and squad an enjoyable bus ride home from New Jersey following the win.

Up Next for UMBC: They host undefeated WVU at home on Wednesday night, 7pm at Retrievers Park before taking on GW on Saturday in DC, 2:00pm.

George Mason

Patriots Score Four in Win

George Mason improved to 3-1-1 this season following their entertaining 4-3 Overtime victory against Binghamnton Friday night in Fairfax, VA. Goalscorers for GMU: Henning Dirks, Ryan Mingachos, Noah Kemble, and Ryan Mingachos again, grabbing his brace and the game-winner in the 97th minute.

Up next for George Mason: They host WVY next Saturday, 7:00pm in Fairfax.

D3 and JuCo Update

Stevenson Soccer Tariq Lee

We are going to try our best to also cover some local D3 and Junior College programs moving forward as well. This is a guest post from Shobha Kondragunta, Ph.D, a local soccer enthusiast.

Stevenson University

A new start

 

Graeme Millar, the newly-appointed head coach of the men’s soccer program, is not new to coaching. He successfully oversaw the women’s program at Stevenson for 10 years with multiple post-season tournament appearances, including two conference titles in 2010 and 2014.  Millar was also a fixture in the Maryland Olympic Development Program in the 2000s, contributing to the growth of youth soccer in the state.
Millar takes over the losing men’s program (2-6 in Middle Atlantic Conference last year) with expectations to bring immediate success.

Stevenson Mustangs incoming freshmen class boasts high-caliber players who have begun to make an immediate impact, after former head coach Andrew Bordelon (currently an assistant at D1 program Northern Illinois) and staff hit the recruiting circuit hard last season.

The Mustangs are 1-2-1 in the season so far, following a draw against York on Sunday and a competitive 3-2 loss to Gettsyburg the day prior, but the number of goals the team is scoring is already progress from last season.  DMV freshmen Tariq Lee (Baltimore Armour and Pipeline), Dylan Holly (Archbishop Curley),Jordan Fields (Pipeline) combined well to find the back of the net in a tough away match versus Gettysburg on Friday 9/8.  While Lee’s goal was unassisted, Holly scored off a corner kick from Fields.

Fields’ first goal of the season came in a tough overtime 3-2 loss to Hampden-Sydney on September 3rd.

Mustangs started their season with a 2-1 win over Washington and are away at York on Saturday 9/9 which ended in a 0-0 draw despite two over time periods.

They play Randolph-Macon at home on Wednesday 9/13.

Goucher College

A program on the rise

Goucher College Gophers are 3-2 so far this season, with Landmark Conference games yet to be played.  Coached by Bryan Laut (in his 8th season), they are a program that relies heavily on the two senior center backs, Drew Philips (all conference second team last season) and Scott Mt. Pleasant (Clifton Park, New York), not only to defend but also be the attacking duo during set pieces.

Gophers started the season with a tough game against top-ranked cross-town rivals Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, losing 2-0.  The following game against Mt. Aloysius (Allegheny Mountain College Conference) was a tough 2-1 loss in an overtime thriller.  The Gophers mounted a comeback this week with a tough schedule of three games in four days.  After beating Cairn (2-0) at home on Wednesday 9/6, they traveled to Gwynedd Valley, PA to play Gwynedd Mercy for a 1-0 win on Friday 9/8.  On Saturday, the Gophers defeated Rosemont 3-0 with goals scored by Brandon CohenLuke Newsome, and Konrad Bulanowski.

DMV player Vinay Chandra (Baltimore Celtic and Baltimore Armour) got his first start of the season Friday 9/8, and was a nemesis for Gwynedd defense drawing fouls and free kick opportunities for Gophers.

Gophers travel to Reading, PA to play Alvernia on Wednesday 9/13.  The first conference game for Gophers is at home vs Juanita on September 23rd.  Key conference matches versus Catholic, Scranton, and Moravian will dictate if Gophers will be contenders for post season play or remain on the outside.

Frostburg University

A slow start

Frostburg soccer was very active for over a year hitting the recruitment circuit hard.  Former assistant coach Kevin Mccarthy (now at D2 California State San Marcos) managed to recruit 13 players for this year’s incoming freshmen class, mostly from the DMV area.  Notable recruits include Randy Putnam (Baltimore Celtic) and others who have not yet cut into the starting lineup or earned significant game minutes yet.

Coming off a 4-4-1 record in Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) in 2016, Frostburg started the season by hosting a tournament and participating in the Rutgers-Camden tournament in New Jersey.  Bobcats fell to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) 1-0, tied the game vs Mount St. Joseph 0-0, and lost to the Johns Hopkins 3-0.  Bobcats traveled to New Jersey on Saturday 9/9 to play Rutgers-Camden to a 3-3 draw in double overtime; two goals from freshman Logan Imbraguglio (Westminister, MD) and sophomore Josh McRobie (Gambrils, MD).  Unfortunately, in Sunday action, the Bobcats lost a 7-0 match against #17 Rowan, They’ll travel to Altoona, PA on Wednesday to take on Penn State Altoona.

Catholic University

Growing pains

Catholic University Cardinals opened the 2017 season with a 2-1 win (vs Caroll), a 5-2 loss (vs. York), and a 0-0 draw (vs. Mary Washington).  DMV players Nick Battaglia (Pipeline) and Franco Caltabiano (Baltimore Celtic) are both freshmen who saw match minutes in the games with Battaglia making the starting lineup in all three games.

The Cardinals, coached by Travis Beauchamp (in his 11th season), struggled last year in their conference play (1-6) which included a 2-0 loss to local rival Goucher.  It is unclear if the nine freshmen recruited will have an impact and boost performance.  Freshmen Battaglia and Caltabiano are both defenders from top club programs who can fortify the defenses but do the Cardinals have the offensive power?  Last season, Cardinals posted the least number of goals (19 compared to title winner Elizabethtown’s 46) in the Landmark conference.
Pre-season poll places Catholic in the 4th place in Landmark conference clearing the way for post season play but the early 5-2 loss to York doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.

CCBC-Essex

Knights Clip the Owls

CCBC-Essex posted an impressive 5-2 win on Saturday night in a dominating performance against Nationally-ranked PG Community College. Goal scorers were Edwin Navas, Carols Guzman-Hernan, and Logan Funk in the first half. In the second-half, CB Jake Dengler pitched in for two more goals, including a belter of a free kick from distance:


Other DMV Area Schools in D3 Conferences:

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 4-0-0 and have yet to let up a goal this season. They take on York on Wednesday, 7:00pm at home.

Mary Washington 2-1-1

St. Mary’s College of Maryland 3-2, play Catolic at home on Thursday, 4:00pm

Hood College 3-2-0 take on Rowan on Wednesday, 6:00pm at home

DMV COLLEGE RECAP: WEEK 2

Week 2 Top 25 College Soccer

We’ve reached the end of Week 2 of the 2017 NCAA Men’s College Soccer season, with two DMV-area teams (University of Maryland, #5 in the country in the most recent United Soccer Coaches’ Poll, and Georgetown, #18) remaining undefeated and nationally-ranked.

Also included in the most recent coaches’ poll is University of Virginia, with Loyola and Virginia Tech also receiving votes. Old Dominion dropped out of the Top 25 following Friday’s 5-3 home loss to Saint Francis (PA), and Sunday’s 1-1 Overtime draw against Iona.

Here’s a recap of some of last week’s DMV College Soccer results:

University of Maryland

Terps Keep Rollin’

maryland terps

Since our first NCAA College Soccer recap last week, Sasho Cirovski’s #5 Nationally-ranked University of Maryland side have posted three straight home victories: a 2-0 win vs Hofstra on Monday 8/28, a 3-2 overtime-thriller against a UCLA side which came into College Park ranked #15 in the country, and on Monday a 1-0 victory against Cal Poly.

Terps’ junior striker Gordon Wild, who came into the season on the shortlist of Hermann Trophy candidates, scored in all three matches: a free kick against Hofstra, a penalty kick against UCLA, and another penalty on Monday night vs Cal Poly.

Also continuing his impressive season was senior Jake Rozhansky, who looks as creative in midfield as he does clinical when in front of goal. Rozhansky served up a picture-perfect assist for Maryland’s game-winning goal vs UCLA, scored by junior Sebastian Elney:

And continued to pull the strings on Monday vs Cal Poly:

Coach Cirovski was forced to test the depth of his team this past week, with the Terps playing 3 games in only 7 days. Three players: defenders Johannes Bergmann, George Campbell (Baltimore, MD, went to Mcdonogh), and Chase Gasper (Alexnadria, VA, played at Gonzaga and also played at Bethesda-Olney along with Jake Rozhansky) played all 188 minutes of the Terps’ first two games. In the overtime win against UCLA, Gordon Wild also played all 98 minutes, along with Jake Rozhansky and Gordon Wild. Maryland starting Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was in goal for the entirety of all three matches.

That being said, on Monday against Cal Poly, Coach Cirovski was forced to give some guys a rest. Freshman defender Ben Di Rosa (Bethesda Academy) got the start against Cal Poly, and sophomore defender Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy player and former U17 USYNT residency program player) also stepped up, starting the match and playing 73 minutes.

Eryk Williamson also logged big minutes in all three matches, and assisted on the second goal vs UCLA which was scored by Eric Matzelevich.

The most impressive part of this University of Maryland side is the depth at the coaching staff’s disposal, with a handful of nationally-coveted former youth players still not seeing much time.

Up next for University of Maryland: a Friday night lights showdown with University of Indiana, currently undefeated and ranked number 4 in the country (one above Maryland). The two teams will battle for top spot in Big Ten standings.

big ten soccer standings

Georgetown

Unbeaten Hoyas

georgetown soccer

Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese must be delighted with the way his team has started the season, posting an impressive 3-1 win versus Cal Poly on Friday before defeating nationally-ranked UCLA at Shaw Field on Monday.

Georgetown’s impressive 4-0-0 record to start the season sees them ranked #18 in the country, scoring 9 goals and only allowing 1 goal thus far. Junior standout goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Week, with fellow junior Peter Schropp also named to the Big East team of the week as a defender.

Sophomore forward Ifunanyachi Achara, who is originally from Nigeria but has an impressive youth soccer background from his days in Massachusetts, sat out most of last season with an injury after being named preseason all-freshman team by TDS.

How’s this for a comeback season so far?

In Georgetown’s first match, against American (Georgetown win 2-0), he comes on as a sub in the first half and scores. In the Hoyas’ second match against #19-ranked Coastal Carolina at home, he gets the start and scores again, late in the second half in a 3-0 victory.

On Friday, against Cal Poly, he scores the first two goals in a 3-1 victory, before turning around three days later and registering six shots, five on goal, and scoring the lone goal in the Hoyas’ 1-0 victory against the Nationally-ranked Bruins.

Achara has scored in every game so far this season, and is currently tied for most goals in the country with 5. When you look at Georgetown’s stats, he consistently leads both teams in shots and shots on goal, and appears to be a force to be reckoned with for the Hoyas, who currently sit on top of the Big East standings.

big east soccer standings

Up Next for Georgetown: at Uconn on Saturday night, 7pm

Navy Soccer

Midshipmen Making Progress

navy vs campbell

When we were at Navy’s soccer camp this summer, I was impressed with the atmosphere that second-year Navy head coach Tim O’Donohue was building. With a summer coaching staff that included coaches from Everton, Genk, Rangers, and Philadelphia Union, along with an impressive young Navy coaching staff that includes Alex Yi, Paul Killian, and Zach Bowman, it’s obvious that the Navy program is making progress, but nothing happens overnight. O’Donohue’s coaching staff has hit the recruiting trail HARD since coming on board, making appearances at practically every major USSDA event.

As a result, Coach “OD” is attempting to re-build the Navy Soccer program from the ground up, starting 4 freshmen Thursday night when I went to Annapolis to watch them take on a Campbell side which is currently #1 in the Big South conference.

The Midshipmen got on the board early, freshman Phillip Gustafson with a quality finish in the 7th minute to put Navy up 1-0. However, they were unable to hold on in the second half, dropping to a Campbell team with a host of attacking options 2-1 in overtime.

Navy has been forced to make a number of adjustments early on in the season, with senior captain Brock Dudley being forced to play center back (versus his preferred CDM position) due to injury.

But what really stood out, to me, was that five freshmen were on the field at one time in the first half vs Campbell, with Coach OD starting 4 freshmen in a 4-4-2 diamond formation.

The freshman include:

  • Toni Adewole– LB- an athletic, pacy defender who competed in track and field in HS. All-American soccer player in High School, played club ball for OBGC.
  • Wyatt Millard– CM- Gatorade player of the year in South Carolina, South Carolina Battery Academy player, scored tons of goals in High School. 
  • Jarvian Wigfall– CAM- Coveted FC Dallas player, creative attacking talent.
  • Phillip Gustafson– Colorado Rapid USSDA player- Scored 24 goals in two seasons with club, spent time training with pro team, scored the goal with a great finish
  • Nicko West– F- USYSA Standout with Solar Chelsea FC where he was captain…Dallas Cup Finalist, USYSA National League and Disney Showcase Best XI team, USSDA experience with Dallas Texans. Energetic presence up top off of the bench,

These young freshmen, along with two nationally-ranked local recruits coming in next season, could make Navy an exciting young team to watch in coming seasons.

Up Next for Navy: A DMV Matchup against a tough JMU side on Saturday morning, 11am at Annapolis.

Also in Week 2:

UMBC beat Howard 3-0 in front of a record crowd at Retriever park. Lost to Villanova away this past weekend, 5-2. Nova was 3-2 up until 80th minute when they got two late goals on the counter. UMBC will play Monmouth away on Saturday, 7pm.

Loyola tied William and Mary 0-0, lost to Pitt 1-0 in a hard-fought match at home. Currently 2nd in Patriot League standings, take on Villanova on Saturday at home, 7pm. In last week’s college recap, we may have singled out Loyola CB Mickey Watson after watching him play vs St John’s. Watson had an outstanding match against Pitt, looking much more composed on the ball and making a number of quality tackles and interceptions. Congrats to Watson for being named to Patriot League team of the week, along with Freshman goalkeeper Chase Vosvick. Congrats to both players.

GW lost to St Francis Brooklyn 3-1 on Friday night. It looked like they might have bounced back against a quality William and Mary side yesterday, going up 1-0 in the 69th minute (goal scored by Oscar Haynes Brown), but were unable to hold on in a 2-1 defeat. Will face off against Navy in Annapolis next Wednesday (9/13) at 7pm.

JMU and William and Mary are both in the hunt in the CAA. JMU has only lost one game this season (Sunday, 2-1 loss to Pacific). William and Mary’s only loss was a 1-0 away defeat to Michigan.

JMU takes on Navy (at Navy) Saturday at 11am, which should be a great match to go watch. JMU has looked very balanced when I’ve had the privilege of watching them this season.

W&M travel to Philadelphia on Saturday for their first taste of conference league action against Drexel, 7pm.

caa soccer

 

 

 

What in the world is Arsenal doing?

A-fan-holds-up-an-anti-Arsene-Wenger-sig

It’s not very often that I take time to write blog posts about EPL teams, but as someone who tries to watch and study top European coaches and clubs, one has to wonder what in the world Arsenal are doing.

They finished in 5th place last season, which would normally mean, for a top club, that they would need to improve their roster to be more competitive in the 2017-18 season with Liverpool (who just put a 4-0 beat down on Arsene’s squad this past weekend), Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, and Manchester City all making moves to strengthen their squads.

The Good

The Gunners did sign Lacazette, who looked to be a good signing early in the season and in preseason, but then Arsene benches him against Liverpool insisting that the French International is “still in the adaption phase“, instead going with Danny Welbeck.

They do still have Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

There’s the good news, that’s about all I could come up with.

The Bad

hector

Over the past few seasons, Arsenal seemed to have a big void at the 6. There was a pretty good one available this past transfer window, and on top of it, he’s a French International… which seemed like a perfect fit for Arsne.

How Arsenal didn’t attempt to sign Blaise Matuidi still blows my mind, and it appears obvious thus far that Granit Xhaka isn’t even on the same planet as Matuidi, especially after his performance this past weekend against Liverpool.

So you sign Lacazette and bench him. Your best player and biggest star, Alexis Sanchez, looks ready to move on unless he sees the London team making some positive moves to strengthen their squad, so what do they do? Today they sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain TO THE SAME TEAM WHO BEAT THEM 4-0 THIS PAST WEEKEND!

And on top of it all, against Liverpool they lined up with 3/5 in the back, with three CB’s….so if you’re going to play with 3 CB’s, you probably need CB’s, right? They sold Gabriel after only a short amount of time, are reportedly trying to move Mustafi, with no reported news that they’re making these moves in order to bring in a new signing to upgrade that position. So now your CB’s are:

  • Koscielny
  • Holding
  • Mustafi- who is rumored to be on the move
  • Per Mertesacker, who made one appearance last season, an FA Cup match.
  • Callum Chambers, who wouldn’t start at CB for many teams in EPL and is more of a “tweener”.
  • Sead Kolasinac, who wasn’t one of the 3 first-choice CB’s this past weekend after Arsene sang his praises all summer.

In terms of outside/wing backs, Oxlade-Chamberlain actually started at RB towards the end of last season, with Hector Bellerin being benched. So if you’re Arsene Wenger and you think to yourself “gee, I had to convert a wing player to RB last season”, you would automatically assume that they would try to sign a new RB for this season, right? WRONG. Arsenal currently have TWO outside backs on their roster: Bellerin, and Nacho Monreal, with Callum Chambers apparently the second choice for both positions. If an injury occurs to either player, it could get very interesting. Don’t forget, Arsenal have to play in Europa League this season, along with FA Cup, EPL, and EFL Cup.

It’s baffling enough when Arsenal could have started in a 4-3-3 with Lacazette, Sanchez, and Giroud as the front 3, and Ozil at the 10. Not many teams in the world could compete with Sanchez and Lacazette’s speed on the wings and Ozil’s creativity, but they line up in a 3-4-3 and Liverpool blow them out of the water.

Sorry Arsenal fans. I was rooting for an exciting, attacking Arsene Wenger team which links up, strings passes, attacks you on the wings and comes at opposing teams at 100mph, but after this past weekend, coupled with the transfer moves they have made, and Arsene’s head-scratching recent decisions, it’s hard to believe that they will finish in the top 4 this season.

DMV College Recap: Week 1

We’ve obviously been tweeting out results and updates from our DMVSoccer.com Twitter feed, but after watching so many local teams in action this past week (and in the preseason), we thought we would share a few things that we noticed while watching local college teams compete in what was the first week of action for many local D1 programs.

UMBC

UMBC vs Bryant

Defeated Bryant 1-0

Next Match: Monday at home vs Howard, 7pm 

After defeating Bucknell and James Madison in preseason action, Head Coach Pete Caringi‘s UMBC squad opened their season on Friday night at home against a Bryant University side which finished with a 3-10-3 record last season, but was picked to finish fourth in NEC preseason coaches’ poll.

I was able to watch all three of UMBC’s matches so far. Against Bucknell, they won 2-0 but it could have been closer to 3 or 4. Former Archbishop Curley standout, sophomore Tre Pulliam, had a goal called back in that match, and in the second half especially, it seemed like the Retrievers were in on goal on a number of occasions.

Against tougher opponents like JMU and Bryant, scoring goals and creating chances weren’t as easy. Against JMU, a first-half penalty scored by senior Sammy Kahsai (from Hyattsville, played at Northwestern HS) was the difference, as Caringi’s side grinded out a 1-0 victory in the second half.

In Friday’s season-opener against Bryant, UMBC was off to a very sluggish start in the first half, not creating many chances and having a hard time stringing passes together. However, whatever adjustments or motivational “get your heads out of your @$$es” halftime talk that coach Caringi delivered at the break apparently worked, because UMBC came out firing in the second half. They had a number of corners kicks and set pieces which were nearly converted. Junior center back Kyle Saunderson converted a diving header in the 54′, but UMBC continued to push and dominate the second half.

They do have one weapon in particular which teams will likely struggle to defend throughout the season, a long throw from Saunderson which is on a frozen rope and headed to the far post from anywhere within 25 yards out.

Tre Pulliam provided some fireworks on Friday night, showing that he’s not just a speedy forward looking to get in behind every chance he gets. On two different occasions he turned and took on multiple Bryant defenders, megging them on a few occasions and getting the home crowd into the match. Sophomore Tre McCalla has also showed some skills on the ball in recent matches.

UMBC also has a goalkeeper battle on their hands. Redshirt-freshman Tomas Potts and fellow freshman Ciaran O’Loughlin (from Birkenhead Englandm just outside of Liverpool) were battling for the position, along with redshirt-freshman Hunter Trefny. O’Loughlin got the start on Friday, making 3 saves and earning the clean sheet.

After tonight’s match against Howard, UMBC has a pretty brutal 3-game stretch where they’re away to Villanova  and Monmouth, before returning home to face WVU. Coach Caringi and his staff should know a lot more about his team over next few weeks, leading up to their much-anticipated home matchup vs Maryland on September 26th.

Speaking of Maryland…

University of Maryland

Terps

Defeated Santa Clara 4-2

Next Match: Hofstra on Monday (home, 7pm), UCLA on Friday (home, 7pm)

Sasho Cirovski’s University of Maryland side, who won the Big Ten title last season, was picked to finish sixth in the country in the NCAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and it’s obvious why when you look at their roster. Junior forward Gordon Wild, who was a Hermann Trophy finalist last season, was placed on the Hermann Trophy Watch List this preseason. Former DC United Academy standout, Junior Eryk Williamson (from Alexandria, VA), comes off of an impressive performance at the Under-20 World Cup, and looks ready to anchor the Terps’ midfield this season.

On Friday night, the Terps defeated Santa Clara 4-2 in an away match. Senior Jake Rozhansky (Germantown, MD, transferred from University of Virginia) scored two goals, along with goals by Williamson and fellow former DC United Academy standout Freshman, forward Eric Matzelevich (Washington, DC).

 

It’s obviously a good sign to see so many attacking options for Coach Cirovski in early season action, with Wild, Rozhansky, and Matzelevich looking to impress. Senior midfielder George Campbell (Baltimore, MD, went to McDonogh HS) also played the majority of the match, along with junior midfielders Amar Sejdic,  DJ Reeves (Ashton, MD, went to Sherwood HS), and Sebastian Elney.

The Terps have a difficult schedule this season, playing four teams (UCLA, Michigan State, Connecticut, and Indiana) in the Preseason Top 25. They have 5 straight home matches between now and September 17th when they hit the road against Penn State, but look for Coach Cirovski to see what kind of depth he has in his squad over the next few weeks.

Loyola Greyhounds

loyola

Last Matches: Defeated La Salle 5-4 Friday night in Overtime, Defeated Saint John’s 1-0 on Sunday Night

This Week: At William and Mary, Sunday 7pm

Steve Nichols’ Loyola Greyhounds side won their first two games of the season this past week, defeating La Salle 5-4 away and St John’s 1-0 at home.

The five goal scorers on Friday night: Sophomore Barry Sharifi, Freshman Sam Brown, Sophomore Sam Carter, Junior Mickey Watson, and Sophomore Josh Fawole (Columbia,MD and Long Reach HS) all played a part in their second match, a 1-0 victory Sunday night vs St. John’s.

Sophomore forward and former DC United Academy player Nico Brown scored the lone goal on Sunday night, with some great link up play outside of the box with freshman Sam Brown. Loyola freshman goalkeeper Chase Vosvick (Phoenix, MD, Played for Baltimore Bays before attending Montverde Academy in Florida) let up four goals in the season opener vs La Salle, before bouncing back and having a strong performance on Sunday night, earning the clean sheet.

I was able to watch Loyola against St John’s, and thought they played a very entertaining brand of soccer. They try to stretch teams out and knock the ball, and have guys like Josh Fawole, Nico Brown, and Sam Brown who look to get at defenders with pace and attacking intent.

Sophomore forward Brian Saramago, last season’s Patriot League Rookie of the Year and who was picked as Patriot League offensive player of the year, didn’t play on Sunday and saw limited action against La Salle. However, it looks like they have plenty of attacking options to fill the void.

 

Local freshman midfielders Eddy Rodriguez, Collin Jouan, and TJ Walker will all compete for time at midfield, with Walker looking impressive thus far with his pace and eagerness to both defend and get forward. Sophomore midfielder Barry Sharifi also had impressive moments on the ball, and Loyola’s outside backs Ryan O’Connor and Jake Campbell both has very strong performances vs St. John’s. Center backs may be a cause for concern, Loyola let up 4 goals in their first match and on Sunday vs St John’s, Mickey Watson looks strong in the air, but left his feet and made a few risky slide tackles in Loyola’s own box. There was also a botched clearance from his CB partner which almost resulted in Saint John’s equalizing late in the second half, but Loyola was able to hold on to the result heading into their next matchup on Sunday vs William and Mary.

Some other DMV teams we’ve watched play so far:

George Washington Colonials– Lost to Binghamton 4-0 on Friday night, but bounced back with a 1-0 victory against Lehigh yesterday. Baltimore Local and former Calvert Hall player, freshman Brady O’Connor, with the winning goal, a header in the second half. Fellow DMV local freshman Jordan Saint-Louis (Bethesda Academy) was impressive in the match, running at defenders and looking to cause problems. GW head coach Craig Jones is working on finding the right mixture of young guys and upper-classmen. Former DeMatha player, senior Koby Osei-Wusu, started at the 6 vs Lehigh and controlled the midfield for the Colonials, but he could use a more active partner in midfield at the 8. Once Coach Jones and his staff finds out more about his team over the next few matches, including their next contest vs St. Francis Brooklyn on Friday which will be the third straight away match, before returning home to face William and Mary next week.

James Madison- I was able to catch two of JMU’s preseason matches, versus UMBC and GW, and thought they were one of the more balanced teams that I watched. With lots of depth and guys who know how to play, head coach Tom Foley’s squad was able to earn two straight results to start their season, a draw against FIU on Friday night and a 1-0 home victory against Pitt on Sunday. Freshman GK TJ Bush (Herndon, VA), Junior Billy Metzler, and sophomore Niclas Mohr (from Germany) were all named to the Wolstein Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances in JMU’s first two matches.

CCBC-Essex- Bonus Community College coverage coming at ya! On Saturday I went to check out CCBC-Essex take on Louisburg College from North Carolina, with both programs having reputations for developing players who later transfer to D1 programs. CCBC-Essex went ahead 3-0 early, shocking a Louisburg team who just got off of a long bus ride from NC. Freshman Varmah Siryon from Dundalk high school scored two for the Knights, along with Clement Blamo Jr who also played at Dundalk High. Former Baltimore Armour standout center back Jake Dengler made his CCBC-Essex debut, along with fellow freshmen defenders John Assaro (played for Baltimore Armour and Pipeline) and Walter Avila (former Bethesda Academy and Pipeline player). For Louisburg, Fela Osifeso (former Baltimore Armour, Pipeline, and Baltimore Bays player) was excellent throughout the match, and his older brother Tobi Osifeso (also played for Baltimore Armour) scored a wonder goal in the second half, a strike from 20+ yards out.

 

 

10 Potential Transfer Targets for DC United

dc united transfers

I will never pretend to be any of the following things:

  • An MLS salary cap expert
  • An International soccer agent
  • Anyone with any type of GM experience outside of FIFA Ultimate Team

Therefore, it’s hard for me to criticize DC United for not bringing in a big-name designated player over the past few seasons, but the club is working tirelessly to try to squeeze some moves in before Wednesday’s MLS transfer deadline to improve the team.

They signed Hungarian National Team player Zoltan Stieber (yes, that’s Bethesda-Olney Academy standout Gabe Segal in the background), sent Bobby Boswell to Altanta United in a move that can probably be seen as getting a contract off of the books, and sent Lamar Negal to Seattle.

But the news that really stood out, for me, is that they were willing to pony up a $4.5 million transfer fee and a $10 million salary ($5 million per year for 2 years) for experienced Chilean CDM Gary Medel.

medel

The club’s past hesitancy to splash significant money towards a relevant “superstar” signing and potential face of the franchise that has been missing for so long, has left supporters with the impression that the money simply wasn’t there to be spent. But with new stadium Audi Field being constructed, it’s refreshing to see the black and red make more of an effort to field a legitimate team for the remainder of the season, heading into 2017-18.

A few things that probably aren’t helping DC United’s chances in the current transfer market:

1. Name Recognition

Unlike a club like LA Galaxy, who can approach a player and his agent and list off names like Lampard, Beckham, Donovan, Ashley Cole, and a host of other International superstars who have played for the club, DC United hasn’t had one of those names in a long time. The club’s early success was built around USMNT standout players like John Harkes, Eddie Pope, Ben Olsen, Roy Lassiter and Richie Williams, coupled with rare International finds like Raul Diaz Arce, Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, Ryan Nelson, and others.

However, the league has evolved, and the chances of finding these “diamonds in the rough” are becoming increasingly difficult. It’s quite possible that Brazilian Luciano Emilio, who was the team’s leading scorer between 2007-2009, was the last International standout to have donned the red and black, not named Andy Najar… who was only 17 when he was tied for DC United’s leading goal scorer in 2010….with five goals.

Front office can tell players and their agents about what it would be like to be the face of the franchise in the Nation’s Capital, and how great the new stadium will be, but players are going to do their homework before up and moving to a new club. When they start looking at past DCU rosters and having a hard time recognizing any of the names (no disrespect at all to current/past DC United players, we are talking about International name recognition when compared to the LA Galaxies, Chicago Fires of the world), it’s possible that you start realizing why they end up losing a talent like Gary Medel to Besiktas.

2. Not Doing Us Any Favors

In terms of International players weighing their options, and considering MLS to be a top choice, the following issues and/or people are not doing us any favors when it comes to MLS becoming a desirable destination for top International players.

  1. The timing. It’s the World Cup next year, and players will want to land with clubs in top-flight leagues where they will not only get minutes, but will also be pushed in training sessions every day to prepare them for the competition.
  2. Current Italian National Team coach Giampiero Ventura. Last season, Sebastian Giovinco was left off of Italy’s National Team roster despite being, arguably, the league’s most dynamic player. The reason given by Ventura: “MLS Doesn’t matter“.
  3. Past US Men’s National Team manager, and all-time International great Jurgen Klinsmann. The German has a son who is coming through the US Youth National Team ranks, yet despite calling the US home for a number of years, he continually criticized MLS whenever players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey chose their domestic league over playing abroad.

So What Now? 10 Potential DC United Transfer Targets

The MLS transfer deadline ends tomorrow, August 9th. The fact that DC United has made late moves to free up cap space by releasing Boswell and Neagle, along with the fact that the club appears to have made a significant pitch to Gary Medel, means that it’s possible we could see a significant signing.

When you start looking at some of the top players in the league, and what clubs paid to get them, such as:

  • Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, only 24 years old, reportedly moved from Torino to MLS for around $4 million.
  • Nemanja Nikolics, Chicago Fire, only 29 years old and 2nd leading goalscorer in MLS, moved to MLS for around $3.5 million.
  • Diego Valeri, still only 31, 4th leading goalscorer in MLS, transferred to MLS for around $2.35 million.

It’s apparently possible for DC United to obtain a real difference-maker for the amount they were willing to pay for Medel.

Here are ten names that, if I were playing Fantasy MLS GM, I might consider pitching as the next potential face of the franchise in the Nation’s Capital:

1. Sebastian Larsson

SEBASTIAN larsson

32-year-old experienced, skillful central attacking midfielder with loads of EPL experience. 90 Caps for Sweden. Reportedly close to signing with Hull City, has expressed desire to remain in top league, DC United transfer might be a long shot but he is currently without a club and no guarantee he will see minutes at Hull if he makes the move.

2. Zoran Tosic

zoran tosic

Skillful Serbian winger (76 International caps) who, at only 30 years of age, always seems to shine whenever he’s played for CSKA Moscow in Champions League. Started career early with Manchester United, before going on to make 182 appearances and score 37 goals for CSKA Moscow in 7 seasons. Currently without a club, initial transfer fee when he signed for CSKA in 2010 was only $3 million so it’s very possible they could get him for significantly less than Medel while pursuing additional options.

3. Ezequiel Lavezzi

lavezzi

The 32 year-old Argentinian signed for around $6.5 million when he transferred to the Chinese League last February. He has recently been criticized in China for a severe lack of judgement when posting what he believed to be a funny photo, so he may be looking for greener pastures. While his behavior off of the field may be in question, his ability to score goals on the pitch, coupled with his pace and creativity, would make an immediate impact. While his high weekly wages in China would be hard to compete with, his contract is coming to an end and it’s unlikely another Chinese club would sign him.

4. Ashley Young

Ashley Young

Past England International, 32 years of age. Reportedly in talks with Watford, contact with United expiring soon and injury issues have seen his value drop. Maybe he has noticed his old United buddy Schweinsteiger being reinvented in Chicago and wants to be the face of an MLS franchise?

5. Bryan Ruiz

bryan ruiz

31-year-old striker, former teammates with Clint Dempsey at Fulham, CONCACAF International player with Costa Rica. Loads of international experience, contract is coming to an end with Sporting CP in Portugal and United could probably afford to bring him in, as the player is likely looking for minutes (versus trying to break into a team elsewhere) heading into 2018 World Cup.

6. Salomon Kalou

kalou

32-year-old Ivory Coast International winger with pace, skill, and experience who is hoping to come out of International retirement before the World Cup. Maybe becoming the face of an MLS club would help those chances. Hasn’t agreed to a new contract with Hertha Berlin and has expressed his desire to move to MLS.

7. Roberto Soldado

soldado MLS

32-year-old Spanish striker who can find the back of the net. Contract is coming to an end with Villareal, club not likely to offer a new deal. Reportedly in discussions with Besiktas which means he likely wants to remain in Europe, but maybe USA is more appealing than trying to break into a Turkish side who just completed the signing of fellow Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo.

8. Vladimir Weiss

Vladimir Weiss

While he’s number 8 on my list, he’s the one guy who I would literally beg DC United’s front office to pursue. 27-year-old Slovakia international with pace, skill, and creativity to burn. Could play as a winger, center attacking mid, or possibly even striker in MLS. He’s only 5’9, so maybe he’s notice how well Giovinco has done in Toronto. Started his professional career with Manchester City, during a time when they were signing players like Tevez, Adebayor, David Silva, and Balotelli. Went on loan to a few clubs, most notably Rangers where he became a fan favorite. He constantly Tweets about a potential move back to Glasgow, and has bounced around a bit these past few years. He’s on the market, still in his prime, and could be a real difference maker in MLS.

9. Michel Bastos

Michel Bastos

34-year-old Brazilian with loads of International experience. Just signed with Brazilian club Palmeiras this past December, but hasn’t seen much action from what I can find, and has made a number of moves in the past few seasons. While getting up there in age, Bastos has the type of skill that few players in the world possess. Great crosser of the ball, has a cannon for a shot, and is very dangerous hitting set pieces. Can play winger, outside back, or possibly even CAM. Palmeiras signed him for around $4.7 million, but maybe if DC United made a big pitch for him to end his career as the key man in the capital of the United States, he could be persuaded.

10. Gareth Barry

gareth barry

If you’re still reading this and thinking to yourself “we’ve tried to sign two CDM’s, Medel and Nigel De Jong, yet the first 9 players on your list are all attacking threats”, I can’t say that I blame you. For those who still remember Ben Olsen’s playing days towards the end of his career (started off as a very pacy, dynamic young wing player, one of the top young USMNT prospects before injuries forced him to evolve) as a CDM, it’s obvious why DC United is pursuing a much-needed field general in the middle of the pitch.

Gareth Barry, 36, might not be the young, explosive, dynamic 6/CDM that he never was, but he reads the game well, can get box to box, and could bring some much-needed experience and leadership to the DC United locker room. I just feel like dynamic, skillful attacking players are what fans want to pay to see, and what the team needs to start building around.

Sure, the 6 is the most important position from a tactical standpoint, and the back line always needs extra protection. But DC United is not only in dead last place in this year’s MLS standings, they’re also in dead last place in goals for, with only 19 goals scored throughout 23 matches. Other clubs’ efforts to sign older CM’s for big money, such as Pirlo, Lampard, and Gerrard, didn’t exactly end well.

Argentinian Esteban Cambiasso, another CDM who is up there in age and might be willing to finish his career in MLS, would be another worth considering. But does DC United expect fans to get excited about Nigel De Jong, Gary Medel, or another “experienced” CDM helping to bring in the new Audi Field, when fans seem to be begging for an exciting attacking player who the team can build around?

 

 

How A Bethesda Academy Player Being Deported Can Make us Better

(Note: This is an Op-Ed piece. The views expressed in this article are my views and beliefs only. I plan on bringing up the sensitive topic of race in soccer, and would not feel right expressing my views and opinions without sharing my past experiences. I am not writing this to promote a political agenda.)

Bethesda U18 players come out to support their teammate. Credit: Rachel Chason/The Washington Post

Bethesda U18 players come out to support their teammate. Credit: Rachel Chason/The Washington Post

 

Back in January, when current president Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United State of America, thousands (and in DC, millions) protested against his victory in the 2016 Presidential Elections, for a number of different reasons. This isn’t going to be a history or sociology lesson, it was just earlier this year and you already know about everything that happened by now. Our country has been divided based on political party affiliations, with the subject of race being the elephant/donkey in the room.

Part of Trump’s political agenda during his campaign was to enforce the deportation of illegal immigrants, primarily those with criminal backgrounds who he and his supporters believe are a danger to our country.

On Monday, news started making its way around Twitter that Lizandro Claros, who this past season played for Bethesda’s u18 USSDA squad, and his older brother Carlos were detained by ICE following a routine check-in with immigration officials and were scheduled to be deported back to their home country of El Salvador.

Lizandro, listed as a defender on the team’s website, has been with Bethesda since 2015-16, making 24 appearances in 2015-16 and 21 appearances this past season. In other words, he has been a pretty integral part of a squad which managed to make the USSDA playoffs this past season.

Lizandro and his brother were deported back to El Salvador on Wednesday, despite numerous rallies and media reports making the argument that the young man deserved to stay in the country and fulfill his dream of playing college soccer at Louisburg College in North Carolina. Lizandro does not have a criminal record.

I coached as a volunteer in the Development Academy for 2 seasons, and it’s a LOT of work. 4 training sessions every week, travelling out of state every other weekend for away matches, etc. Competing in US Soccer Development Academy, while also fulfilling responsibilities as a student athlete, is something that Lizandro obviously worked very hard at in order to achieve his dream of playing college soccer, a dream which will apparently not become a reality after all.

DMV Soccer: The D is for Diversity

I’m a big goofy white guy who can’t dance or dunk, despite being 6’2″… seriously, as white as they come. I grew up playing youth soccer in PG County, in an era where simply finding a local soccer team to play for was difficult. There weren’t 2 or 3 travel clubs in every county in those days. You couldn’t watch EPL matches on television, big clubs didn’t come here for their Summer Tours, and 90% of Americans at this time probably thought soccer was the most boring sport ever played.

In PG County during the 90’s, my options were basically to play for a local rec team like Fort Washington or Waldorf, or if your parents had time and money (they did not), they could drive you all the way to Bethesda or Columbia. I was lucky enough to grow up playing soccer in a racially diverse area, where I was able to learn more about other cultures and get others’ perspectives on life.

Fact: DC, Maryland, and Virginia are among the most diverse states in the country. According to a recent report, Maryland is the 5th most diverse state in the country, with Virginia coming in at 14. Montgomery County is home to some of the most diverse cities in the country, along with Washington, DC.

Fact: Soccer is referred to as the World’s Game because of the cultural diversity that comes along with playing or watching the sport.

That being said, playing soccer in the DMV allows kids and coaches to interact with teammates and parents from diverse backgrounds that they may not have otherwise interacted with in normal day-to-day life.

THIS IS WHAT MAKES PLAYING SOCCER (IN THE DMV) SO GREAT.

One quick personal story. My younger brother and I grew up playing with/against 2 brothers from Honduras, Danny and Hector Funez. Anybody familiar with PG County Soccer in those days knows how good of a player Danny Funez was. Dude could play, which is all I cared about when it came to race, and he was the same way. “Game recognizes game”, no matter where you’re from or what color your skin is.

Fast forward to 2013, my brother and I were at the USA vs El Salvador Gold Cup Quarterfinal match at M&T Stadium. USA won the game 5-1, but the main story was the fact that the majority of those in attendance were not USA supporters. I guess I should have done a better job researching where we’d be sitting when I bought tickets, because we were practically the only USA fans in our entire section.

usa honduras

Around halftime, I looked down to a lower section of seats, and for the first time in probably 10 years I saw Danny and Hector sitting with a large section of Honduras fans who were coming to watch the second match, Honduras vs Costa Rica. My brother and I went down to say hello, and they both embraced us like no time was lost at all.

Later in the second half, when the US scored, someone in the section above us threw (what smelled like) an open beer towards the group of El Salvador fans below us. A few of them looked up at my brother and I saying we threw it (we didn’t, we weren’t that stupid). I think El Salvador was out of the game by this point, and it was obvious that these guys were a few beers deep and wanted to start some problems….which was unfortunate for us, there were a LOT of them and only 4 of us (my brother and I, his wife, and my female friend).

Things started getting a little tense. I glanced down to where Danny and Hector were sitting, and they must have seen some of the El Salvador fans turning and pointing to us because they already had their group of friends standing up, ready to come give us some back-up.

Danny looked at me and said “you guys good?”. I gave him a shrug like “yeah, we’re cool” trying to diffuse the situation. Luckily things calmed down, and we got out of there once the final whistle blew, but the fact that Danny and Hector would round up a group of a group of guys from Honduras who didn’t really know us, and were ready to help out these two white guys who their friend hasn’t seen in 10 years… it’s something that I still think about. Danny didn’t have a ton of white friends growing up, and I didn’t have a ton of Honduran friends. We grew up with completely different backgrounds. But we grew up playing together, respected each other, and still to this day have each other’s backs.

I still think about this, and if I didn’t grow up playing soccer in the DMV, I would never have been lucky enough to have met such a diverse group of people in my lifetime.

Using Soccer as an Outlet

Playing soccer is more than just a sport sometimes. It’s a way for young people to express themselves, and escape certain real-life dilemmas that can take a mental and emotional toll. During a difficult time for our country… reports of a potential war on the horizon, and with racial tension at seemingly an all-time high, it’s extremely important, in my opinion, for youth players to have access to a productive outlet like playing soccer without outside issues contaminating their experiences.

Today’s news that Lizandro has been deported, after working so hard to become a college soccer player next season, catapults real-life politics into the protective bubble of playing soccer, and affects more than just Hispanic families who are worried that the same thing might happen to members of their communities and families.

Hopefully people understand that Lizandro spent practically every day of these past 2 years with teammates and coaches from all different backgrounds, becoming more of a family member than just a teammate. I cannot imagine having to watch a teammate that I grew up playing with forced to leave the country, for a reason that many believe is unjust. And even the thought of a player that I have coached going through something like what Lizandro and his family have gone through this week…well, hopefully today’s news makes everyone appreciate their teammates and coaches just a little more.

Props to Coach Ney and the entire Bethesda Soccer Club for stepping up and speaking out on Lizandro’s behalf. Many coaches would have taken the high road and stayed away from such a politically-sensitive topic, but Bethesda coaches Matt Ney, Jonathon Colton, and Bethesda Soccer club as an organization stepped up and did everything they could to attempt to convince the authorities that Lizandro should be allowed to pursue his dream.

People Fear The Unknown

I’ve played soccer since I was 6 years old. This year will make it 30 years since I started playing, and through all of this time I have realized two things:

  1. I am very proud to have played with, and coached, people from such a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, and
  2. There are a lot of people in our country who haven’t had these same experiences.

If anything positive can come from today’s news, it’s that we can all make a better effort to understand where others are coming from. Politics may have the country divided, but playing soccer is a common bond that can carry on for longer than you realize.

We can all use today’s news to appreciate each other, treat each other with a little more respect, and not take each other for granted. Only one thing truly brings us all together, and that is the game of soccer.

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