The Oz Blog View about stuff while living in the Land of Oz

20Feb/12Off

40 Days of Dedication!

    The 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday is going to be a trying time for this individual. I am huge soccer fan. I follow Sporting KC, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich. I have coached my daughters soccer teams for the past three seasons. I have to the ability to wear a different soccer t-shirt or jersey on each of the day week. For those 40 days, I am going to give up soccer to bring balance to my life. I will be giving up all things related to soccer, except for this website. This website will be a place for me to chronicle my adventure. I will be giving up wearing soccer t-shirts and jerseys, watching soccer shows or games (which also means not being able to get information on the sports tracker; so no Fox Soccer Channel, GOLTv, or ESPN channels), no soccer video games, no soccer web-sites or web-sites with soccer information (Facebook and twitter, included). I have a feeling that is going to be very hard.

Sporting KC is getting ready to start the season and I am super excited about that. I would love to go to the first game and get the limited edition scarf. Or Keep track of both ManU and Bayern as they compete for titles down the stretch run of the season. Yet, I think that this is about finding balance for myself and becoming healthy. A person just needs to have the ability say 'no' sometimes, and not overload. I am looking for that in this coming 40 days and will be posting all about it. You too have the ability to take some time to walk away from something that is taking control of your life. There is no time like the present to take back control of your life.

 

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

11Nov/11Off

Veteran’s Day – 2011


Veteran's day is upon us and it is time for those to honor veterans whether they be young or old.

It has seem that people the last decade have really taken an appreciation for veterans and given them the respect that they deserve. It would seem like it should be that way but it hasn't always been that way for some reason. Yeah more then half the veterans might not of actually put their life on the line but 99% of people don't even serve in the armed forces, so take that into consideration when you might see someone who did serve but didn't do much and you jus blow them off or show them disrespect.

When I was was younger it just always seemed like the only veterans I possibly knew we're my grandpa's age when in reality they are all over the place and as I get older I find that out more and more each year but a lot of them don't always go on and on about it. They figured they were just doing their job and why should they receive praise for that.

I am a lot like that. I personally served six plus year in the Marine Corps Reserves with a year of that being activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I didn't do hardly anything besides what was asked of me and I tend to not go out seeking rewards or praise for what I did. I most times don't really know what to do when somebody finds out I was a vet and thanks me for my service because as soon as they do my mind immediately goes to the men and women that actually gave their lives for our country.

Even people like my great uncle who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was stationed on the U.S.S Oklahoma and was thrown from the ship during the attack as he was headed towards church service. He was also later involved in the Midway Conflict. he survived all that was just recently passed away this year.

It is people like him that all of us, even other veterans, that I think we should be celebrating and honoring the most. But that isn't the way things work and it is still a great honor to be recognized on days like this.

29Sep/11Off

FC Bayern Munich looks keep Bundesliga winning streak alive!

On Saturday, the 1st of Oct., FC Bayern Munich (FCB) plays at TSG Hoffenheim at 9:30 am ET. FCB is coming off a terrific midweek performance against Manchester City. FCB had a dominating match against City, in which Mario Gomez score both of FCB's goal in the 2-0 win. The clean sheet made for the tenth clean sheet in a row for Manuel Neuer as keeper. Neuer has only allowed one goal on the season and has been aided by an excellent defense in front of him. The Bavarians are atop their Champions League group with 6 points and are the class of the group.
Saturday, Hoffenheim will try and slowdown FCB for the first time in ten matches. Hoffenheim will be the toughest test since the first match of the season for FCB. Hoffenheim is sitting fourth in the table with 12 points. Hoffenhiem have managed four wins out of their seven Bundesliga matches and three loses. The advantage on the day for Hoffenheim is the fact that they are playing at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
During the current winning streak, FCB has been able to play great at the Allianz Arena and on the road. Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery, and Thomas Muller have all been in form for the club. Plus, with Manuel Neuer in goal, the club is unstoppable and continues to get better under current manager, Jupp Heynekes. The Bavarians will go to the Rhein-Neckar Arena and will win 3-0 on Saturday.

Red Beards
*To the Ends of the Earth*

26Sep/11Off

FC Bayern Munich keeps on winning!

 

   FC Bayern Munich (FCB) is playing terrific soccer during this early part of the season. FCB has won nine matches in a row. The club's last loss was their Bundesliga season opener to Borussia Monchengladbach. Since the win streak started, FCB has not allowed a goal. Neuer has been outstanding in goal and has shown why he was the most wanted keeper in the summer transfer window.

    Jupp Heynckes has the club playing a very exciting style of soccer. FCB has been moving the ball extremely well and scoring a lot of goals. The new manager is just what the Bavarians needed to turn things around from last years down season. Heynckes has guided FCB to the top of  Bundesliga with 18 points and a tremendous goal differential of 20. The new system has seen Mario Gomez score 8 goals on the season and Franck Ribery have 3 goals and 4 assists.

    FCB will face a huge test this week as Manchester City come to the Allianz Arena for a Group stage game in the Champions League. Manchester City has played very well this season in the Barclays Premier League and are currently second in the table. Sergio Aguero has been a stellar addition for Manchester City and has forced Carlos Tevez to the bench. Aguero is currently second in the Golden Boot race in the Premier League with eight goals through six matches. Aguero will be a problem for FCB, along with his striking partner Edin Dzeko. Dzeko has six league goals and is third in the Gold Boot race.

     Although, I do not think that FCB will have any problems with Manchester City tomorrow at the Allianz Arena in Munich. This is Manchester City's first big Champions League game on the road. FCB is in great form and is playing in Munich. I think FCB wins the match by the score of 4-2, with goals by Robben and Schweinsteiger. The winning streak moves too ten!!! 

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth*

16Sep/11Off

Bayern Munich keeps up the good play.

   FC Bayern Munich played host to SC Freiburg on 10 Sept. for their first game after the international break. FCB did not seem to lose any of their from during the international break! The team beat SC Freiburg 7-0, with four goals by Mario Gomez and a brace scored by Franck Ribery. FCB has played outstanding since their opening match loss to Borussia Monchengladbach. In five Bundesliga games this year Manuel Neuer has only allowed one goal.

   This Sunday, 18 Sept. will be the first time that Neuer will play at Schalke04 and not be playing for the Schalke 04. Neuer's hometown team is Schalke 04 and he played for the club for 20 years before joining FCB over the summer. The crowd's reaction to Neuer will be interesting. Also, how Neuer handles the crowd's reaction to him and the jersey that he now wears. Neuer has the mental toughness to handle what the crowd will throw and yell at him. FCB will earn another victory this Sunday and keep their place atop the Bundesliga.

    The Bavarian Giants played their first Champions League group stage game on Wednesday against Villarreal. FCB controlled the match from almost the beginning with an opening goal from Toni Kroos in the 7th minute. The match was sealed up in the 76th minute when Rafinhascored a goal to make the score 2-0. FCB are atop their group with the other two teams only managing a draw. Manchester City and Napoli finished theirmatch with the scored tied 1-1. FCB is the class of this group and should easily win the group and make a serious run at the final in Munich. 

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth*

31Aug/11Off

FC Bayern Munich moves to Top of the Table!!

      On 27 Aug, FC Bayern Munich (FCB) played at Kaiserlautern with the chance to move to the Top of the Table of the Bundesliga with a victory. FCB striker Mario Gomez not suppose to play in the match due to an injury. Yet, shortly before the match started Gomez told the coach that he was fit to play. And Gomez came out to play in this match! FCB won the match 3-0, with all three goals scored by Gomez. Gomez was the first FCB player to score a hat-trick this year. With the win on Saturday,FCB league point total became 9 with a goal differential of 8 goals. FCB's recond went to 5-0-0 in their last five matches (three - Bundesliga wins and two - wins in the Champions League).  In the last five matches FCB has scored 12 goals and has conceded zero goals.

     There are two other teams in the Bundesliga with nine league points, yet their goal differential is not as good as FCB's. Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen, both have nine points and a goal differential of four. The defending champions, Borussia Dormund, are in sixth place with seven points and a goal differential of three. The season is still young and teams are still finding their way. But FCB is atop the Bundesliga for the first time since May 2010 and will stay their for a good long while. The team will continue to get better and score more goals. I am still waiting for Muller to getting back into form this year.

    FCB has been given a great group draw for the Champions League. FCB was place in Group A with Manchester City, Napoli, and Villarreal. The only team in the group that has looked really good this season so far is Manchester City. I still doubt that a club playing in the Champions League for the first year can do much of anything. City is playing well and has a very talented squad, but at the same time has fallen flat before. I think FCB will have no problems making it out of the group stage and should challenge for the top qualifier of Group A. 

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth*

17Aug/11Off

FC Bayern Munich Week 2 and 1st Champions League game

FC Bayern Munich (FCB) played at Vfl Wolfsburg in week 2 of the Bundesliga season. The first half of match was played very even by both teams. Although thanks to a very friendly call by the refs, a goal by Vfl Wolfsburg was disallowed. The goal should have been allowed, because the Wolfsburg player was not off-side. FCB claimed all 3 pointed in stoppage time when Luis Gustavo Dias scored! Earlier in the week some of the key players said that FCB needed to win the next three matches after losing the first and FCB is off to a good start.

I was excited to see Franck Ribbery playing great out on the pitch. Ribbery seems to have recovered from his preseason injury. Although, the club is having trouble getting the ball in the back of the net. Through 2 Bundesliga games FCB only has one goal, which ties FCB for last in goals scored with three other clubs: Bayer Leverkusen, Kaiserslautern, and FC Cologne. My take is that the club is still getting use to the new offense that Jupp Heynckes has installed at FCB.

Today was the first Champions League game for FCB. FCB played FC Zurich at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The Allianz Arena will host the final of the Champions league in May. FCB is trying to reach the final for the second time in three years. FCB beat FC Zurich two to zero, with goals scored by Schweinsteiger (8') and Robben (72'). Although this was not exactly a tough match up for the Bavarian Giants. As FC Zurich walked out onto the pitch, their players were looking around at the crowd with a sense of amazement. The shock of 69,000 screaming FCB fans was too much to handle for some of the FC Zurich players and one stopped at the touch-line. So one of his teammates had to go back and grab him for the line-up before the game. Hopefully the two goals will spark the FCB offense and the club will score more goals on Saturdays and Sundays!!

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth*

12Aug/11Off

FC Bayern Munich 2011/2012

   

  FC Bayern Munich (FCB) suffered through a tough season in the 2010/2011 campaign. The club had to deal with major injuries to both Franck Ribbery and Arjen Robben. Both players missed multiple games of the season and are key players for FCB. FCB also lost captain Mark vanBommel during the winter transfer window to A.C. Milan. The final lose for FCB came with only a few matches left in the season as coach Louis van Gaal was relieved of his duties with the club. Van Gaal had lead the club to the Bundesliga title in the 2009/2010 season and the Champions league final in the same season. Yet the clubs poor form and the early exit from the Champions league was his undoing in the 2010/2011 season. At the time of his release FCB was not even in a qualifying spot for the Champions league. The Champions league final being held in Munich in the 2011/2012 season put added pressure on Van Gaal.

      For the 2011/2012 season FCB secured the services of Jupp Heynckes the former coach of Bayer Leverkusen. As the coach of Bayer Leverkusen in the 2010/2011 season Heynckes lead the team to a second place finish in the Bundesliga. FCB also secued the services of the best goal keeper in Germany, Manuel Neuer. Neuer was secured during the summer transfer window from Schalke 04, where Neuer had a 20 year career. That is right a 20 year career. Neuer was signed by Schalke 04 at the age of 5 and split time between their first and second team. FCB out bid Manchester United for the best keeper on the market during the summer transfer window.

     Heading into this new season the club will be looking to rebound from what is viewed as a poor season last year. Even though the club finished strong and was able to qualify for the Champions League. Hopefully FCB will be able to make the Champions League final and play in-front of the home crowd in Munich! The Bundesliga will be just as tough this year or tougher than last year. Borussia Dortmund has looked strong in the preseason and looked outstanding in their opening game. The Borussians will not want to just give away the title that they won last year.

     FCB has a squad full of experienced and talented players that are ready to take back the title. There is already some question about Franck Ribbery's health in the preseason. Hopefully Ribbery will become fit soon and the Frenchman will be back causing problems down the flanks for FCB. Thomas Muller has looked great during the preseason, the tactics of Heyckes have seemed to free up Muller to play a more open game. Look for Muller to have a big increase in both goals and assists this years for FCB. The club will do great this year and look to compete for all trophies. The first game of the season was a minor blip on the radar and nothing of major concern. Take heart FCB fans, the Bavarian Giants will do fine this season!

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth*

8Aug/11Off

Two and Two: FC Bayern Munich – Borussia Mönchengladbach

2-2-bayern-gladbach

Well the 2011/2012 Bundesliga kicked off this weekend and the final match of the first week was between FC Bayern Munich a team that got 3rd last year and normally seems to run away with the league faced off against a team that narrowly escaped relegation to league 2 in Borussia Monchengladbach, please don't ask me to pronounce because I'm not 100% sure. I'm a little bit newer to even following European football/soccer and doubly so for Bundesliga, this just being like the 2nd or 3rd match I've watched. At first glance you would think that Bayern would just crush Monchengladbach but it is the first week of the season and you never know what will happen.

FC BAYERN MUNICH:
- Looked really solid, well except for maybe the defense. Bayern seemed to be passing well and everybody seemed to be involved in the game even though the defense seemed to be a bit more relaxed than the rest of the team and probably to relaxed. The new net minded Neuer had to make so pretty good saves that he probably shouldn't of had to make I the defense would of stepped up. Even that wasn't enough though and he was scored on and that was enough for Monchengladbach who then went into not trying to score more mode the rest of the game.

- Looked to be messing around too much or possibly took this game to lightly. Even with the strikers and midfielders looking pretty good i got this feeling at times that Bayern was taking this game far too lightly and with Monchengladbach scoring fairly late in the game they stepped it up but it was a little too late. If there was even possibly another 5-10 minutes in the game then it is possible that the match would of ended in a draw.

BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH
- Knew that it was the first game and possibly thought they could sneak away with at least a draw. Monchengladbach knowing anything could happen the first math of the season came in pushing as much as they could and it paid off with a 1-0 win against one of the top teams. Something that they hadn't done since 1995 I think I heard. The game could of easily been 2-0 in Gladbach's favor but a foul was called on them in the box on what would of been their first goal.

- Keeper is going to get really tired if Gladbach thinks they can just rely on him to keep this team in games. The defense might of done alright but it's hard to tell with them playing against FC Bayern first game of the season and this being really only like the second or third Bundesliga game that I have watched. Going against teams that are more of their caliber will probably look like they don't have a leaky defense but Bayern was able to get through the defense pretty easily. If it wasn't for the keeper playing lights out then Bayern could of easily one the game 4-1.