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

22Aug/13Off

Review: Sporting KC falls to Buck Shaw Stadium

Image taken from Sporting KC Google+ page

Reread that title. Yeah I firmly believe that Buck Shaw Stadium is the reason why Sporting lost or more specifically the field. The field at Buck Shaw is one of the smallest in not just width but also length in all of MLS. Luckily San Jose is getting a new stadium very soon, I think for next year, but that didn't help Sporting out for this week as they played much like they played but they are so use to have so much space and not even on their own field but most of the MLS now and so Sporting wasn't able to get their normal flow going that they are use to that allows them to dominate games. That isn't to say that Sporting played terrible as the Earthquakes just about lucked into their goal and pretty much the only person that could score for their team did and that was Wondolowski.

Sporting now heads off to play another tough match against rival team Chicago Fire in Chicago and that is never an even match. Hopefully the supporters will have correct spelling this time.

16Aug/13Off

Preview: Sporting KC take on a struggling San Jose Earthquakes team

Picture taken from MLSsoccer.com

When I first saw this match up earlier this week I thought it was going to be a difficult and it still most likely will but it is surprising to me that San Jose is struggling so much this year. Granted I don't pay much attention to them especially with the Red Bulls and Union are hot on Sporting's tales so it will be a race to the finish line and then it will start all over for the playoffs.

I'm hoping that Sporting isn't coming into game thinking that San Jose will just be a push over like New England was because San Jose will make Sporting suffer with any miscue. Especially with Sporting being as banged up as they have been the last few weeks. I much rather them get the injuries out of the way now before they get to the postseason. I would like to think that Sporting could when this game but as I mentioned it depends if they overlook the Earthquakes for whatever reason then they will be luckily to get out of San Jose with even a draw.

16Aug/13Off

Review: Sporting KC takes down a 9 (almost 8) man Revs team who are still struggling

Photo from Sporting's social media pages

Picking up right where they left off back in Nicaragua Sporting KC came in and completely dominated a New England Revs team who the last few seasons has struggled but occasionally have a little form. Looking at this game you wouldn't think that the Revs have any form as they easily went down to Sporting and in more ways then just allowing Sporting to score three goals on them.

It had all but seemed like the game was over before the second half but that didn't keep the Revolution from attempting to do what ever they could to keep Sporting from scoring to include having two players sent off on separate occasions and almost had a third player sent off as the official thought that he was issuing a player a second yellow card. Had a third player of been sent off that would have meant that the Revs would have been down to just eight players which seems insane and Sporting probably would have been able to end the with a higher score than 3-0.

Two of the goals have seemed to come from the savior of Sporting KC. I say that as he has already scored seven goals now in a shortened season as Kei Kamara was still playing for Norwich at the beginning of the MLS season. The third goal for Sporting came from a beautiful Benny Feilhaber free kick, as Zusi is still sidelined with an injury, that he made look incredibly easy.

Hopefully Sporting is getting the momentum at the right time to finish out the season strong but the more important thing is that if they can continue to play in top form during the playoffs.

13Aug/13Off

The passionate about the beatiful game Live Breathe Futbol

First and foremost make sure you head over to Live Breathe Futbol's website and see what they are doing then come back here and read the rest of my post.

I have always been a big fan of soccer ever since I started playing it as a young boy, probably about 8 or 9, and even though I have not always played soccer I have followed from a distance gradually getting closer and closer as technology and media broadcasting got better. That is until about 2009 when I picked it back up and not only playing but also coaching my oldest son who is now 9 years old. Now obviously there was a World Cup in 2010 in South Africa and was probably one of the biggest ever for television viewing. Shortly after that my local professional team having been named the Kansas City Wizards decided to re-brand themselves into what is now Sporting Kansas City. About this time I started blogging more and more and picking up more on social media to include following one group named Live Breathe Futbol who where trying to break into the apparel business by creating unique soccer specific clothing.

Now I'm sure they have had their ups and downs that they most likely didn't publicize or let known to the masses, because that isn't the best of publicity but most likely fought through adversity, but eventually gained more popularity. LBF has gone to a more of a season by season line and changing it up each season. Recently they released their fall/winter line for 2012/13. During this time they were able to relocate from their normal stomping grounds of Philadelphia to Seattle and hooking up with Golazo, who is another product that is more of a soccer specific product, for a few months and while there, in my opinion, gained even more popularity as they were working on all sorts of projects.

More recently they have not only released their newest line in the Rebel collection, which features past generations (40 years) of the game's rebels to include George Best (1960s-1970s) and as recently as Mario Balotelli. LBF have also released the Stay True collection which is exclusively designed by Sporting KCs (and Orlando City loanee) CJ Sapong who has put focus on staying true to your heritage and to the game and although CJ is an American he has deep connections to his heritage of Ghana, which is obviously a big soccer country as well. LBF being Live Breathe Futbol don't just release something without making a party out of it took the opportunity during the MLS Allstar week, being in Kansas City, to have their Stay True collection release with CJ being their.

Now I've been following LBF for quite a while obviously and have had several connections to them but have never been able to actually meet them, granted that isn't that uncommon in the retail world as it's not like I've ever met Sam Walton, but I had to leap at this opportunity to finally meet somebody that I have followed and have enjoyed what they put out, even if I don't have much of their stuff and what better time to purchase more of their items let allow almost local specific stuff, and so I went to the release party to see CJ again as I have talked to him several time but to also finally meet the crew of Live Breathe Futbol.

Now let me just say that every one of these guys are a class act and I am so glad that I got to finally meet them and I am now an even bigger fan of LBF and will be looking to help them out even further and hopefully in the near future. Now I realize that I am just a personal blogger and most of my stuff that I post most likely goes unnoticed/unread but this is fun for me to blog and write personal thoughts and opinions. So if you're reading this then it most likely means you stumbled upon it, or you are a friend who is reading this which is most likely. I am working on other things currently that if I'm lucky will boost my popularity but in a different format. Regardless this was a fun post to write and I really hope to do more post like this in the near future and hopefully on more groups like Live Breathe Futbol. I must also say that some of the stuff that I may have written might be a little off or some of the details not 100% accurate but I did my best and I hope that is ok by LBF as I am putting my thoughts and opinions out there for all to read.

And to top it off LBF released a recap video just before I was getting ready to post this. Check it out

12Aug/13Off

Review: Sporting KC (reserves) take down Real Esteli in first CCL match

CONCACAF_Champions_League

Well I guess I can say that I was wrong. Really not that difficult. But WOW! Sporting came to play and not just the A team but with a line up that was filled with a lot of backups. Now like I said in my preview I was convinced that Sporting would be lucky to come out with a 1-1 draw especially with the way that Sporting had been playing. So it was a pleasant site, even if it was all grainy on my computer, to see Sporting come in and control the game the way we have gotten use to seeing them do the last couple of seasons. Both goals scored were quite interesting as if Opara's goal would have had any more of an angle on it then it probably would have stayed out of the goal and deflected off the post but it somehow tucked it's self into the upper 90 on the opposite side of the goal as the GK for Real Esteli just couldn't quite get to the ball in time. Dwyer having gained more playing time since being called back from his record setting loan to Orlando City was not only able to get the start but saw several chances and was finally able to net a goal making it two goals in two games and in different competitions which to me is quite unique. Eric Kronberg, who would undoubtably be a starting GK for most of the teams in the MLS but sits on Sporting's bench due to Nielsen being one of the MLS's top GKs, was rarely even called upon but when called upon did what he had to much like he normally does and helped Sporting secure the easily obtained road victory shutout.

Sporting needs to keep this type of play up not only in the CCL but also in the MLS play to ensure that they have a good seeding for the MLS playoffs and to keep their CCL hopes alive as long as they can. Judging from the past few seasons it will be a difficult task but as long as they are able to maintain this form they to should be able to at least make it out of the group stage which has them playing 3 more games.

7Aug/13Off

Preview: Sporting KC takes on Real Esteli FC in their first ever CONCACAF Champions League game

Sporting KC are set to kick off their first CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) campaign and it wouldn't appear that they have an easy road ahead of them. They start off play with their first two group games on the road with the first being against Real Esteli who play in the Nicaraguan Primera Division and although it is a small division only having eight teams in the league but having been around since the 1930s have quite the history with Real Esteli having won a total of 13 titles with most of them coming in the last 12 years. This will mark Real Esteli's 4th time in the CCL having appeared to never make it past the preliminary round or at least the group stage (new format).

I believe that Sporting could possibly get a result in Nicaragua but it will not be easy and to make things more difficult Sporting has some untimely absences in their roster with Kevin Ellis, Graham Zusi, Josh Gardner, and Paulo Nagamura all listed as out for this match up. The big absence for Sporting is obviously Zusi who has been playing a lot of time lately for the USMNT and makes a noticeable difference in games for Sporting especially after the most recent lost match against the NY Redbulls. So if Sporting could go into Real Esteli's stadium (or if you want to say estadio) and get maybe even a 1-1 draw then that would be a very favorable outcome. I would even be willing to say that a 0-1 lost to Real Esteli would be a manageable result especially since Sporting will still get another chance to redeem themselves later in the year against Real Esteli at Sporting Park which is just a little bit bigger than Real Esteli stadium of approx 5,000.

3Aug/13Off

#SportingKC lose a questionable game against NY Redbulls 3-2.

Headed into this game you had to know that the NY Redbulls having lost, I believe, the last five matches against Sporting KC and only scoring one goal in those matches (coming from an own goal off Kei Kamara) you would like to think that Sporting would be able to handle business and continue being on top of the division. But that isn't how things always work out it seems especially in the MLS.

When the game started off Sporting looked to be the very dominate team and it was quite surprising to not see them score in the first 15 minutes but the Redbulls were able to hold on and actually get a goal early on in the game, which basically came off a counter attack, but that is how Sporting seems to get scored on the most. Well Sporting kept fighting like they do and Kei was able to draw it level towards the end of the first half.

Second half started and it seemed like a different Sporting team came out to finish the game as the Redbulls became the dominate team scoring two more goals with one of them coming off quite the counter attack that started with the goalkeeper throwing the ball halfway down the field. Now this is where I question the third goal as it would appear that when the player that got the assist played the ball across that the player that received the ball was already past the last defender and the ball in general, so that I don't get people telling me that the ball can be played in a backwards movement while being off sides, but the goal stood and Sporting where not in the greatest of moods after that to include Collin, stop me if you have heard this before, getting a yellow card.

Sporting kept fighting and were able to keep the pressure up and get another goal back but an unfortunate, and untimely, injury to a Redbull player I think slowed down the momentum that Sporting had gained and the Redbulls were able to hold on and gain a possibly important three points which for the time being will see them move to first place in our division and have Sporting fall to second and possibly to third depending on the result of Montreal Impacts game (who at the time of me writing this post are trailing 2-1 to DC United, which would mean if that result holds then Sporting would stay in second place, I believe).

1Aug/13Off

MLS All Stars don’t seem to be much of a match against Serie A AS Roma

2013MLSAllStar

Well I had originally thought that, and judging from last years MLS game against Chelsea, the MLS All-Stars would be able to pull out an exciting victory over Serie A team AS Roma. AS Roma is not an AC Milan, Inter Milan or a team quite like that but they do hold their own over the last couple seasons and after this match appear to be making a push for higher positioning.

As soon as the game started you could tell that AS Roma was on a mission and judging from how the game ended it was kind of suprising to me that it didn't end 5-0 in favor of AS Roma. The Italian team just seemed bigger, faster, stronger and by far more technical then just about anybody on the MLS All Star squad. They were attacking the ball very well and maintaining possession of the ball with ease and scoring pretty early in the 4th minute. MLS was able to eventually settle down and maintain a little bit of possesion and get the ball down towards AS Roma's goal but couldn't ever quite get anything solid going and really pose a threat until later in the game and then were not able to net a goal until stoppage time in the second half but the damage from AS Roma had already been done as they had been able to score three goals to the MLS's lone goal.

All in all it was a fun and exciting game to watch even if it was quite the beat down at the hands of AS Roma, but I almost got the impression that they were not going to play lately and came out looking to do exactly what they did. The last couple of MLS All Star matches have been against Chelsea from the EPL and most people pretty much know how they will do each season but it could be interesting to see how this AS Roma team does in the upcoming season.

29Jul/13Off

SportingKC Update

I just posted about having been gone and well that has caused me to miss a lot of posting stuff about Sporting KC. That doesn't mean that I haven't been watching as when I do watch, and its been most of the games, I watch very closely and will be catching up right now and hopefully as detailed as I can and without making this post a novel.

The first game that I will need to post about since my last Sporting update was the match against the Portland Timbers so as I type this I have 13 games to update on with two of them being Open Cup Matches.

vs Portland Timbers (27 April) Final 2-3
This was a good match, besides the loss that shouldn't have happened, with the big upside in Chance Myers getting not only his first MLS goal but his first two MLS goals. But it wasn't enough to keep the Timbers from getting three goals in.

vs Chivas USA (5 May(Cinco de Mayo)) Final 4-0
This was a butt kicking at the hands of Sporting and really it wasn't that surprising as Chivas has been struggling the last couple of seasons. They had started off hot this season but hadn't had to play against a top team like Sporting. Goals came from Bieler(2), Zusi, and Sapong.

vs Seattle Sounders (8 May) Final 0-1
I believe that I somehow missed this game as I don't recall much from it, but it obviously always stinks when Sporting loses to Seattle.

vs Houston Dynamo (12 May) Final 1-0
This was a huge win for Sporting as they were able to go into Houston and get 3 points which is something no other MLS team had done in approximately 18 months which is quite impressive. And the goal came from Collin who seems to be a nightmare for the Dynamo

vs DC United (19 May) Final 1-1
A game like this was almost to be expected especially after such a large win. Yeah you would like to get the win against a team like DC United but this game was away and it was good to at least get the draw and a point on the road.

vs Houston Dynamo (26 May) 1-1
Sporting seemed to be falling into a rut and seemed good for them to even get a result at home. Granted the Dynamo were probably looking to get some points back after losing a match at their own home stadium. So to only allow Houston to take one point away was good.

vs Des Moines Menace (28 May) 2-0 (Open Cup Match)
This was an open cup match that saw Sporting handling the Menace quite easily with a dominate 'B' squad of players with a few normal starters in the line up like the goal scorers Kei and Claudio. Des Moines was never really a threat in this match to even get on the board.

vs Montreal Impact (1 June) 1-2
I know I was following this game as I follow just about every game but I somehow don't recall this one. I will say that Montreal isn't that bad of a team. At least not as bad as one of the other Canada teams have been. Montreal just missed out of the playoffs last year and I'm almost positive that Sporting may not take these games as seriously as they should and the Impact probably go as hard as they can just to try and prove that they belong in this league especially against a team like Sporting who has been one of the top teams in the league the last few years.

vs Orlando City (12 June) 0-1 (Open Cup Match)
This was just a disappointing game all around but I can't say that I was surprised. Leading up to this game Sporting seemed to have a lot going against them and in my opinion the only, non MLS, team that could possibly beat Sporting would have been Sporting's USL Pro partner in Orlando City. Orlando gave Sporting a pretty good run last year and you could say that a repeat victory for Sporting was going to be difficult. It was a good game to watch but the result was pretty much as I expected.

vs FC Dallas (22 June) 2-2
This was quite the odd game that saw Sporting get to a two goal with one of the goals being an own goal off a Dallas player, but kept fighting and somehow pulled off the draw literally in the last minutes of the game. Quite possibly Sporting went into cruise control and obviously didn't finish the game.

vs Columbus Crew (29 June) 3-2
Luckily Kei Kamara has been back for a bit and is playing very well as he is really the reason why Sporting won this match scoring two of Sporting's goals as on a normal day the Crew doesn't score the two goals that they score as they were pretty much handed to Columbus.

vs Vancouver Whitecaps (3 July) 1-1
This is another one of those games that I seemed to have missed as I don't recall much from it but I am sure that I watched the match, but I obviously didn't take much from it. Sometimes you just have a match like that where it is very meh...

vs Chicago Fire (7 July) 2-1
This was kind of a suprise outcome as it is always difficult for Sporting to go into Chicago and get any sort of result. They have been able to do it a few times lately but it is still a challenge for Sporting and you would think that eventually their luck will run out but that doesn't mean that Sporting will ever stop trying.

vs Toronto FC (13 July) 3-0
As I mentioned a few matches ago that Montreal Impact is actually quite a good Canadian team unlike another team in Canada and Toronto is that other team I was talking about. Despite all their work in the offseason and trying just about everything they can to make something work and stick they keep faultering and it is quite a shame especially in the past because they were quite the good team for a little while and you would imagine that eventually they will get it together.

vs Real Salt Lake (20 July) 2-1
I completely missed this game as I was on vacation in Alaska and it was a job just to try and get the final result. RSL has been a great team the last several years as well and this match easily could have been the MLS cup match up two years ago. So I was really disappointed to have missed this game and was pleasantly surprised to see Sporting go into Salt Lake and not only get a result but to also get the 3 points on the road. I knew that Sporting could do it though as I know Sporting can beat anybody and their biggest competitor is themselves which they do tend to get in their own way hence the games that they just happen to lose.

vs Montreal Impact (27 July) 0-1
Speaking of games Sporting just happens to lose this is one of those games where Sporting literally lost in, I believe, the 4th minute of stoppage time and just saw this game slip away from them and Sporting has now lost twice this year to Montreal and I would be willing to bet that this could be a potential playoff match up this year and you can believe that Sporting will be pulling all strings to ensure that another lose occur, especially during the playoffs where Sporting has been outsted by Houston the last two years.

WOW that took way too long for me to get caught up and I need to make sure not to fall behind again. It has just been a crazy year for me but I can completely admit that I'm addicted to soccer as I wasn't able to stay on top of my blog post because I was doing other soccer related stuff.

10Jul/13Off

Where the hell have I been?

Wow. I didn't realize that it had been so long since I had posted anything (almost 2 months) on my website. Guess it is a good thing that I am paid up for a little while on my domain name huh?

Well the last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me as I have been highly involved with a multitude of soccer things, family things, and personal things.

I fear to dive into everything I've been doing because I would like to keep this blog post on the shorter end then make it look like a novel because then it is easier for any reader(s).

I am really going to try and start pushing myself to get back to blogging more often and not just Sports(Soccer) posts. I am going to look at changing up a bunch of stuff soon and hopefully be including more categories.

I have a couple of friends that occasionally post on here and they usually put a signature on their post and I am not going to push them out and let them continue posting for the time being, but I really want to ensure that I get back to posting on my own be half.