Send us a message

Interested in being a part of the team? Get in touch with us today.

Marc Roseblade

Soccer junkie. Coach - scout - performance analyst. You can keep your EPL and La Liga, lower league, womens and youth soccer is my passion.

Apr 152013

Region III has spoken and the final participants, from USASA, have been chosen or rather earned their spots through a weekend of US+Open+Cup+WEB Region III US Open Cup Qualifying Ends With Red Force & NTX Rayados Joining 19 Pro Teams Going for Glory match play in New Orleans.

Red Force (Florida) and NTX Rayados (NTX) will enter into the draw for this years 100th edition of the Open Cup, the matches of which will take place on May 14th and alongside 30 other sides, they will compete for a spot in round two.

This weekends play which saw nine sides compete in three groups of three, resulted in Sundays final matches involving group winners NTX Rayados (NTX), CD Motagua (LA), Red Force (FL) and also best runner-up ASC New Stars (TXS) all competing for the winning two spots that would ensure an US Open Cup Spot.

Both 2012 region III entrants, ASC New Stars (beaten in 1st round by Laredo Heat 4-2) & NTX Rayados (beaten in 1st round by El Paso 3-1) managed to reach the qualifying stages again this year and would be hoping for much the same this term in qualifying but faced stiff opposition from the plethora of young guns searching for Open Cup success.

Friday saw previous two year entrants ASC New Stars take on Dallas TNT, emerging 3-0 winners to stamp their authority on the competition once again. Fellow 2012 entrants NTX Rayados also kicked off this years qualifying campaign with a thumping 6-1 win over Texas South entrants Islanders FC, who lost out at this stage last year.

Saturday saw the bulk of the matches and in Group A, Louisiana based CD Motagua took the bull by the horns early in the day with a magnificent 11-1 victory over Dallas TNT, that not only set the benchmark for scoring for the day, but also eliminated the Dallas side from the competition. In the later match, both CD Motagua and ASC New Stars who had a win each to this point, sparred off for the winners title which CD Motagua walked away with after a hard fought 2-1 victory. ASC New Stars though would find out later that they had secured the best placed runners up spot, that gave them the fourth semi final place in Sundays matches.

In Group B, Los Lobos from Oklahoma who had taken Boston Avenue’s spot, started their first ever Open Cup campaign with a defeat to one of Friday night’s winners in the form of NTX Rayados by the score of 4-1, which although never eliminated the OK side, made it difficult to progress as the the NTX side would not be able to be caught with two victories under it’s belt. Los Lobos only hope would be best placed second spot but after a three goal deficit, that would be difficult to achieve. This proved to be the case after Islanders FC defeated them 4-2 in the evening Saturday match which ultimately eliminated both sides from contention.

Group C saw FC Rahr (NTX) take on Barracudas FC (Texas South) in the early match on Saturday but a 3-3 draw ensured that the group remained wide open. Later that day FC Rahr were defeated quite comprehensively 3-0 by Florida side Red Force who went on to also beat Barracuda 2-1 to take the group title.

So the semi finals were set, CD Motagua v NTX Rayados, Red Force v ASC New Stars and after a thunderstorm delayed start to Sunday morning’s proceedings, it was NTX Rayados & Red Force who emerged victorious with 4-0 & 2-0 victories respectively, and with the wins, secured their spots in the 100th edition, the 2013 US Open Cup as USASA Region III representatives.

They will join an abundance of fellow Region III sides this season to compete for the ultimate prize in cup competition within the United States.

With the largest ever number of sides competing this year (68), joining them from our region are also the largest percentage (31%) of soccer sides in comparable terms to the other three regions.

USASA will join round one with NTX Rayados (2012 R1), & Red Force

NPSL sides will join round one with Georgia Revolution (2012 R2) & Chattanooga (2011 R1)

PDL will join round one with Austin AztexCarolina Dynamo (2012 R1, 2011 R1), Laredo Heat (2012 R2), Ocala Stampede & Orlando U23s (2012 R1)

USL PRO side will join round one with VSI Tampa Bay

USL PRO sides will join round two with Charleston Battery (2012 R3, 2011 R2), Charlotte Eagles (2012 QF, 2011 R2) & Wilmington Hammerheads (2012 R2, 2011 R3), Orlando City (2012 R3, 2011 R3)

NASL will join round two with Atlanta Silverbacks (2012 R3), Carolina Railhawks (2012 R4), Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2012 R3), San Antonio Scorpions (2012 R4) & Tampa Bay Rowdies (2012 R3)

MLS will join round three with Houston Dynamo (2012 R3) & FC Dallas (2012 R3, 2011 SF)

A total of 21 sides (31%) from the eventual 68 taking part will be from our Region III, the future’s bright for the Region, let’s make this 100th year one to remember in the US Open Cup.

The winner of this years competition will receive a $250,000 cash prize and a berth into the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League while the runner-up will received $60,000. The top finisher from each lower division will receive $15,000.

Mark the first round in your calendar to support Region III sides, May 14th 2013.

You can follow Region3Soccer on Twitter @region3soccer

Feb 282013

non·sen·si·cal   (nobreve SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sensen-sebreve SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sensenprime SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sensesibreve SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sense-kschwa SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sensel)SPLlogo SPL Commissions Imposed Fine Upon Liquidated Rangers Oldco Makes No Sense

1. Lacking intelligible meaning: a nonsensical jumble of words.
2. Foolish; absurd: nonsensical ideas.

Yes, that would seem about right for the decision that was made by The RT Hon Lord Nimmo Smith, Nicholas Stewart QC and Charles Flint QC on behalf of the SPL this morning in regards to the investigation into the following:

[1] For the reasons which are set out in detail below the Commission has unanimously
(1) Between the years 2000 and 2011 The Rangers Football Club Plc (now known as RFC
2012 Plc (in liquidation) and referred to in the decision as “Oldco”), the owner and
operator of Rangers Football Club (“Rangers FC”), entered into side-letter arrangements
with a large number of its professional players under which Oldco undertook to make
very substantial payments to an offshore employee benefit remuneration trust, with the
intent that such payments should be used to fund payments to be made to such players
in the form of loans;

Their decision as worded by them:

 (6) Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of
the SPL Rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements, nor
did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible
to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be
imposed upon Rangers FC;
(7) As noted in the Commission’s earlier decision made on 12 September 2012 there is no
allegation that the current owner and operator of the club, The Rangers Football Club
Limited (“Newco”), contravened the SPL Rules or could be held responsible for any
breach by Oldco;
(8) In all the circumstances the Commission has imposed a fine of £250,000 on Oldco.

It would seem ‘nonsensical’ to try to impose a fine on a liquidated company. Even if you take it back to the then owner – Craig Whyte -, he has always claimed he has done nothing wrong and good luck trying to get him to pay a £250’000 fine.

As for the reclamation of Title Flags, it’s a real shady area that no-one at the Self Preservation League wants to get involved in. Taking titles away won’t do anyone any favours and will crucify an already beleaguered league system. Look at the Lance Armstrong situation, he has had his yellow jerseys taken away, how has it affected him and the newly implemented yellow jersey winners from those years? It hasn’t is the answer. He’s still rich from the years of sponsorship gained because of the yellow jersey wins, the other guys (no-one knows their names), haven’t gained anything apart from a belated yellow jersey to hang on their walls.

For me, this has dragged on too long and the SPL are toothless in their actions. They have tried to ramp up their reconstruction plans in an effort to deflect from the underlying problem in Scottish senior level football, self-preservation.

Go back to the old days if you need guidance – packed stadiums across the country, no prima donnas on the park, winning European trophies, national team reaching World Cups – it’s not rocket science.

You’re all big boys, let’s figure it out before it’s too late!

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

Feb 152013
Hans van Arum signs copy

Hans van Arum new Head Coach!

The Houston Dutch Lions FC are very proud in announcing the signing of former professional soccer player and coach Hans van Arum. Van Arum signed a 1-season deal as Head Coach for the Dutch Lions FC PDL team.

Hans van Arum (46 years of age) played as a professional soccer player for Dutch Premier League teams such as Vitesse Arnhem, Willem II, RKC Waalwijk and Go Ahead Eagles. As a striker van Arum played a stunning 352 games in Dutch Professional soccer, scoring 90 goals he offers statistics to be proud of.

As a soccer coach, van Arum received the award for ‘Best Coach of the Year’ in 2008. This award was received after a good season with Dutch third level club Sparta Nijkerk. After the 2008 season, van Arum became the coach of the reserve team of the club where he started his career; Vitesse Arhnem.

In 2011, van Arum started coaching the first team of Dutch side AGOVV. After this season van Arum became the game analyst for the first team of Dutch Premier League team Willem II.

Now his next step will be his first ‘adventure’ outside his birth country of The Netherlands.

Hans van Arum’s reaction to his new club; “This is an honour to sign as the head coach for the Houston Dutch Lions FC, I am very proud to lead the PDL team through the season.”

“Last Saturday I visited the annual try outs and we are very pleased with the signing of five players. In the upcoming weeks, I will be busy with selecting the open spots on the PDL team. The Houston Dutch Lions FC is a very ambitious club with a new owner Martin Kroeze, and a great staff working with him, I am very pleased to be part of this project.”

President Martin Kroeze reacted to the signing of his new head coach by saying; “We, as the Houston Dutch Lions FC, are very proud that we have signed a well-respected Dutch coach in Hans van Arum.”

“Hans van Arum is an excellent Coach who can present the Dutch philosophy of soccer with our PDL team and again, we are very pleased with the signing of van Arum as our new head coach.”

Jan 232013

The worst kept secret in U.S Soccer eventually emerged today with the news that the MLS and USL Pro would officially partner to

mlsuslpro MLS & USL announce historic reserve league partnershipestablish a real and proper MLS Reserve league.
The following details were quoted from the USL:

“This partnership represents the first step in a long-term alliance between MLS and USL PRO to connect domestic professional soccer through a system that benefits player development, competition and the overall business of our sport,” MLS Executive Vice President of Player Relations & Competition Todd Durbin said. “Over the past several years, USL PRO has made great strides in restructuring in a manner that serves to complement the objectives of MLS. This is a win-win for all involved and it demonstrates our strong commitment to growing North American professional soccer at all levels.”


Each of the 13 USL PRO teams will compete in two interleague games against MLS Reserve teams. With the exception of Antigua, which will play both of its games at MLS Reserve teams, USL PRO teams have been paired with a single MLS team to play a home and home series. All interleague games will count in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserve League standings. Details of the fixtures will be announced in conjunction with the forthcoming release of the official 2013 USL PRO schedule.

- United Soccer Leagues


There is no doubt that this can be a tremendous step forward for developmental soccer in the USA but the fear that several USL affiliated teams may disappear from the landscape as they come under the wing of an MLS side may come to the forefront of supporters groups across the North American soccer fraternity.

The partnership will enhance the soccer pyramid though as opportunities occur for young players on the cusp of playing for their senior team and with the now defunct reserve league setup banished to history, this bold new step by both soccer organisations grows the stock of player development across the continent and will hopefully enhance the abilities, the awareness and product that currently emanates from the USL Pro teams.

Creating a proper MLS Reserve League is a real positive step towards growing the credibility of soccer in the USA. The next step would be the promotion-relegation issue that currently resides in the soccer pyramid. That’s a problem that doesn;t have a quick fix solution though and while huge financial differences remain between franchise opportunities in the various leagues, the problem isn’t likely to repair itself any time soon.

This new partnership should be seen as a brave step forward by both organisations though and with the quick announcement that MLS side Sporting Kansas City will affiliate with Orlando City, talks have already been taking place between parties within the both leagues as they scramble to join forces.

Without a USL Pro partner, the MLS teams will need to format a proper reserve team setup in order to legitimize this new formulation that has been announced. Without a MLS affiliate, the USL Pro teams could be seen as unworthy or not professional enough to warrant a MLS affiliation.

Affiliation talks are ongoing and further details will come out in the coming days but today is still a big step forward for the future of soccer in the United States & Canada and can be viewed as an inspirational leap of faith by both parties, one that should be heralded and welcomed by everyone involved in any form of soccer.

One party that could feel the downside of this is the NASL. As an organisation, they have worked hard at creating a professional second division league and sometimes compete with the USL Pro in terms of market share, players and commercial partners.

The USL Pro sides suddenly have an advantage in terms of drawing players from the professional level. Being partnered with the MLS offers players a more media aware market, offering them better opportunities to progress their careers.

There are several pros and cons for this new partnership and only time will tell how it affects everyone involved but for the soccer pyramid, this move and announcement is tremendous.

You can follow Region 3 Soccer on Twitter @Region3soccer

Oct 242012

Gemma+Fay Scots suffer EURO pain in Spain after extra time drama

If Carlsberg made tragic football stories, this would probably be the best tragic football story in the world, EVER!

Only a Scotland team can return triumphant to the motherland after such a glorious defeat and usually it’s the mens national side that manages to claim that trophy but tonight it was the turn of the women to bag that title as the pain of Spain brought the magnificent players to their knees.

All too often in the past we have suffered the  indignation of clutching a defeat from the jaws of death and tonight was no different for the heroic women of the Scottish National side as they were sucker punched at the death of this match to end their hopes of EURO championship football at the same stage for the second consecutive finals.

After Saturdays magnificent performance and historic day at Hampden, no-one could have imagined the drama that would unfold in the Pabellon de la Ciudad del Futbol 1 in Madrid but if it was drama you were after, you were not disappointed.

Long Story Short

Scotland took the lead through Emma Mitchell on 62 minutes but like Saturday were quickly pegged back the a tremendous Spanish squad with Adriana once again plying the plain on 74 minutes.

Extra Time

Kim Little put Scotland into the lead 8 minutes into extra time which meant the home side needed to score twice to progress but yet again the Spanish fought back grabbing a goal on 113 minutes through Mesegeur but with the scoreline as it stood, Scotland would still go through thanks to away goals.

The drama seemed to roll on and roll on as for the second time in two games, Gemma Fay was called upon to save a penalty and save it she did with four minutes remaining of the extra 30 minutes after Hayley Lauder was adjudged to have handled in the box.

1881518 w2 Scots suffer EURO pain in Spain after extra time drama

Sucker Punch

The real sucker punch though was  to happen with the last kick of the ball when Spains star player Vero, who was missing on Saturday, got the luck of a deflection on her strike from the edge of the box and everyone in attendance watched as the ball ball spun into the back of the goal just moments before the referee blew her final whistle.

It was devastating for the Scots – a real heart wrenching moment for the players and you couldn’t help but feel absolutely gutted for the players who had put everything on the line to reach the finals next year in Sweden.

However gutted the Scottish players and coaching staff feel tonight, the full story of what they have achieved this week will slowly sink in.

On Saturday the women’s team reached a goal of playing at Hampden for the very first time. They also played in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a Scotland womens international match. Place on top of that the whopping 4400 people who accessed the live stream from Spain in tonights match and you suddenly have a whole new belief of what you have achieved for womens football in Scotland.

Anna Signeul and her players can be rightfully proud of what they have managed and the disappointment of losing out on the EURO Championships in Sweden will quickly fade when they recognise the dizzy heights they have reached and the new throngs of fans that are now hooked on Scottish womens fitba!

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

Oct 212012

Scotland & Spain Share Spoils of Euro Playoff Opening Tie

101 0698 1024x352 Record breaking crowd watch Scotland & Spain tie Euro playoff

Scotland and Spain battled out a tremendous match on Saturday afternoon at Hampden Park, Glasgow as the two fight for a spot in next years European championships in Sweden.

The Scottish ladies were taking to the Hampden turf for the first ever time in this tough playoff tie and in front of a Scottish record breaking 4058 supporters, they performed admirably in grabbing a draw against the European ranked 10th spot Spanish side.

A penalty goal from Kim Little gave the Scots the lead within the first 25 minutes but the home side were pegged back after an impressive Adriana Martin equalized just minutes later to take a draw into Wednesdays second leg in Spain.

Spain started the brighter of the two sides with Scotland’s players looking nervous in front of a Scottish record breaking crowd for a ladies match and for the first 15 minutes it was all one way traffic as the visitors continued to push the Scottish back line looking for the opening.

Chelsea’s Adriana Martin, FC Barcelona’s Sonia Bermudez and Athletic Club’s Erika Vazquez all looked dangerous when running at the Scottish rearguard with Sonia in particular causing Rachel Small at right back all sorts of problems with her tricky play.

Sonia was the instigator of many dangerous crosses into the box but fortunately for Scotland in the early stages, they managed to steer the ball clear whenever called upon.

But Scotland fought their way back into the match, cheered on by the large watching support, with Kim Little trying to support her Arsenal team mate Jennifer Beattie up front with bursting runs and weighted through balls. Both these girls hard work was also opening gaps in the Spanish defence which allowed Jane Ross to manage Scotland’s first shot on goal from 18 yards which was well held by Ainhoa Tirapu between the sticks for the visiting team.

This forward momentum was to prove a timely boost for the Scottish girls as some good work from Potsdam Turbines Lisa Evans won a corner on the left that eventually led to Scotland’s opening goal.

From Megan Sneddon’s perfectly flighted cross, Beattie rose to head an effort against the post and in haste to clear the ball from her own danger area, Vazquez handled in the six yard box and the official had no option but to award a penalty kick.

101B0722 1024x403 Record breaking crowd watch Scotland & Spain tie Euro playoff

Up stepped Kim Little to slot the ball home to a rapturous roar of approval from the 4000+ fans that had turned out to support the girls on this European Championship journey.

The Scots had a chance to double their lead moments later when Beattie played in Little who in turn laid off to Sneddon but the Celtic player watched as her shot sailed wide of the upright.

The play was switching from end to end and it was Spain that were to grab a goal back on 27 minutes when a Sonia shot somehow ricocheted from Gemma Fay’s hands in goal to bounce of the torso of Adriana and roll into the open net.

It was a real body blow for the home team players to lose such a soft goal but if that would deflate the players, Gemma Fay’s superb performance in goal for the remainder of the game would surely re-inflate them!

Sonia from six yards – saved by Fay. Adriana from point blank range – saved by Fay and to top of a tremendous spirit lifting first half performance, the keeper was to make an absolutely superb Peter-the-cat style double save from the penalty spot.

The penalty was awarded after the ball was adjudged to have struck Small’s hand and up stepped Adriana looking to double her sides lead but she was up against an inspired Fay who made the full size goals look like 5-a-side nets today such was her mastery of the area between the sticks. Not only did Fay save the initial penalty with style, she blocked Adriana’s rebound with finesse and courage from close to six yards out.

101B0733 1024x411 Record breaking crowd watch Scotland & Spain tie Euro playoff

It was a great morale booster for the home side as they left the field for the half time break but were also fully aware of the constant threat posed by visiting Spaniards.

The sunshine put in an appearance for the second half but the play on the field for the opening 15 minutes didn’t match the brightness of the Scottish winter sun as neither side took control of the ball and both looked subdued in the early second period exchanges.

Jennifer Hermoso tried to pick up the pace a little for Spain with a glancing header toward goal but she watched as her attempt was ushered wide by Fay in goal.

Scotland were changing things tactically a little as the game wore on. Emma Mitchell was brought on to replace Jane Ross on the right and with the Glasgow City player willingness to move inside and run at the defence, it allowed Kim Little to push further forward alongside Beattie in an attempt to swamp the Spain girls rearguard.

Mitchell was an immediate threat with her terrier style of play, earning free kick and making penetrating runs into the box. Spain were also still causing problems when in possession with Sonia the main threat whenever moving forward but Small in Scotland defence was standing firm.

Emma Mitchell was unlucky near the 70 minute mark when her strike was well held by Tirapau in goal but the Scots were dominating at this point and it seemed that only time would stop them from scoring another.

The tactical change for Scotland was seeing Evans and Mitchell on both flanks running into more opportune areas in the box, feeding Little and Beattie with an ever increasing pace but they were being held at bay by a very good and efficient Spanish team.

101 0706 1024x707 Record breaking crowd watch Scotland & Spain tie Euro playoffAt the other end Gemma Fay had to come to the rescue once again when a great lofted ball from Sonia to the back post was met by Vazquez but Fay was equal to the challenge. Moments later Sonia once again sent in a perfectly weighted cross , this time it was Adriana that glanced her header toward goal only to see it graze the top of the bar and go over.

The impressive Erika Vazquez made way for Debora Garcia on 75 minutes and further substitutions saw Adriana Martin leave the field for Spain, Lisa Evans for Scotland being replaced by Ana Maria Romero and Suzanne Grant respectively.

With minutes remaining on the clock Scotland had the best shout of the game for a penalty, even more so than both the others that had proceeded it but the referee deemed it not to have played Garcia on the hand and waved play on to a huge chorus of boos from the watching home supporters.

After three minutes of added time had been completed, the official shrilled her whistle and brought this enthralling match to an end with a score line of one gaol apiece.

Afterwards the Spanish coach said: “We dominated the game and deserved to win. Scotland stole the ball from us on occasion but played very well when in possession. We look forward to Wednesdays game.”

Anna Signeul, the Scotland manager saw the game differently and was clearly disappointed in the end result saying: “How did the referee miss that final penalty. It was more of a penalty than the others that were given and I am led to believe that it wasn’t even her that saw the first two, it was the assistants that pointed them out.”

Speaking very methodically she carried on :”We chose a tactic that we would be able to play as a solid unit against a very good side. We were disappointed to lose the goal and perhaps we could have attacked a little more and despite a nervous start we didn’t change our style. Spain played exactly as we expected and we won’t change that for the match on Wednesday.”

“We have to thank the fans for coming out today. It was a Scottish record for a women’s game in the country and shows the growing stock of the game here.”

Second leg takes place a tPabellón de la Ciudad del Fútbol, Madrid with a 6pm kick off.

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

Oct 112012
Scotland v Romania u19s

 Young Scots qualify for Euro Elite Round with a match to spare

Scotland’s youth players showed their senior counterparts how to compete in a qualifying group tonight when they emerged victorious from their latest European Championship group 9 match with yet another win.

by Marc Roseblade

After Tuesday nights winning start against Armenia, all that was really required to progress to the elite round of qualification was another victory against Romania, leaving their final match against Switzerland as a buffer that would hopefully not be required as a must win to help reduce the pressure that such a situation would bring.

The Scot’s under 19s players had no such illusions of needing Sundays game to emerge from group 9 and although they made heavy weather of the match at Falkirk Stadium, they did hit the back of the net once more than their opponents.

Celtics John Herron grabbed the only goal of the game with just three minutes of the first half remaining and although Romania could feel the result was unjust as they had dominated most of the proceedings, the once again found the path to goal blocked – much like they did on Tuesday against Switzerland.

Despite all Romania’s possession, it was Scotland that should have added more goals.

Marcus Fraser saw his header cleared from the line near the end and just prior to the final whistle, Islam Feruz saw his strike slide wide of the post.

The Romanian players were distraught at the end after news filtered through from New Douglas Park that Switzerland had defeated Armenia 4-0 to clinch the other automatic qualifying spot from Group 9. All that remains to be decided in Sundays clash at Falkirk is who will finish in top spot between the two countries.

Let’s hope the weather is better than it was tonight but the 572 crowd that braved the rain and cold left well chuffed at the eventual outcome – Scotland qualifying for the next round of a major championships.

You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

Oct 092012

101 0554 Scottish young guns destroy Armenia, Swiss tie Romania in Euro Qualifiers

Scotland’s young guns were in action tonight in the first of a series of three matches on home soil, and left no-one in doubt about their intentions in group 9 of the UEFA Euro qualifiers.

Goals from Chalmers 48’, Kennedy 54’, McKay 65’ and MacLeod 68’ gave the Scottish under 19s lads a tremendous start to the week against Armenia and with the other group game between Switzerland and Romania ending 1-1, the Scots can take huge confidence as they move forward into Thursdays match v Romania.

Romania played very well in tonight’s game against the Swiss and should have walked away with the three points but failed to finish off the chances they had after dominating the game. Couple this failure to finish off a game after taking the lead and Scotland’s confident approach to offensive play, the Scot’s could be looking at having the opportunity of departing Falkirk on Thursday evening with the Group already in the bag without the need of playing on Sunday.

Ricky Sbragia can perhaps sleep easier tonight knowing that his players were outstanding in tonight’s match but also that both their other group opponents failed to deliver when they had the chance to impose themselves on the early group opener.

Thursday sees Scotland face Romania at Falkirk Stadium with a 7.30pm ko, Switzerland will face Armenia at New Douglas Park also with a 7.30pm ko.

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

San Antonio Scorpions – 180 from inaugral year NASL glory

 Posted by Marc Roseblade on October 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm  Grow The Game, NASL, United States
Oct 052012

sanantonioplayoffs 165x300 San Antonio Scorpions 180 from inaugral year NASL glory

San Antonio Scorpions - 180 minutes from inaugural year NASL championship final

With less than 24 hours left until the biggest day in San Antonio Scorpion’s short and illustrious history when they face Minnesota in the opening leg of the their NASL Championship semi-final tie, the team and players will sleep anxiously tonight in the hope that they are simply just two results away from a final that could only be dreamt of at the beginning of the current season.

Ending the season as regular season champs gave the Scorpions the chance to rest last weekend when the quarter finals were taking place, as a playoff bye eased them into this weekends semis without needing to kick a ball, whereas their opponents for the semis,Minnesota Stars, managed to edge through after defeating Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 on the road.

Despite the Stars entering the playoffs as ranked sixth qualifier, they entered into these series of matches with only one win in their previous five games played, which also saw three ties and one loss for the Minnesota side.

Offensively, both sides show quite variable statistics.

With Scorpions striker Pablo Campos managing 20 strikes on target this season in the NASL regular season, he earned the accolade of Golden Boot winner for the league whilst Minnesotas Amani Walker managed just seven goals as team top scorer from a team that managed just 34 in total from the whole squad.

Defensive wise, San Antonio Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler recently topped the goalie charts when he was awarded the 2012 NASL Golden Glove award, with a tremendously low 0.79 GAA while logging 2,151 minutes between the sticks. During the season, Sattler managed 13 shutouts in 24 matches.

The Stars keeper Matt Van Oekel managed 77 saves in the regular season whilst holding a 1.20 goals against average and also made seven saves in his teams victory over the Islanders on September 30th.

Although never having been beaten by the Stars, matches this season have always been tight and close to the bone with the most recent tie between them ending as most others had in the four match regular season with yet another 1-1 draw.

With three matches ending as 1-1 draws between the two sides, this record was only broken with a 1-0 victory for the Scorpions in Minnesota on August 11th.

The omens look good as the Scorpions head into this weekends semi-final opener in Minnesota, what with a hundred percent non loss record against the Stars and a striker and goalkeeper on fire, the stats bode well for the San Antonio side as they look to add the NASL Championship trophy to the Regular Season Trophy that already sits in pride of place in the newly anointed silverware cabinet.

After this weekends match, the second leg moves to San Antonio which will be played at Heroes Stadium on Sunday October 14th with a 6pm kickoff to decide the finalist for the season.

After the You can follow Soccer Texas on Twitter @soccer_texas

Ayr v Kilmarnock: SFA Performance Tier enthralls watching fans

 Posted by Marc Roseblade on September 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm  Grow The Game, Scotland Premier League
Sep 242012
aufa+banner+v+killie Ayr v Kilmarnock: SFA Performance Tier enthralls watching fansIt was Ayrshire Derby weekend in the Performance Tier with newcomers to that enhanced tier of Scottish youth Soccer, Ayr United taking on their county neighbours Kilmarnock in a series of matches over Saturday and Sunday with age groups ranging from 11s to 15s.
Ayr made the short trip to Grange Academy to take on Kilmarnock in the Ayrshire derby and it was Ayr who were first to test the Killie keeper after 5 minutes when Craig McGuffie got a 25 yard free kick on target. After 10 minutes Jai Holland put Ayr in front with a superbly drilled free kick that flew into the bottom left hand corner of the Killie net.
However Killie was awarded a soft penalty in the 25th minute when a cross was drilled in and hit the defenders arm which was down at the side of his body. Some you get and some you don’t and on this occasion the referee went with the shouts from the home support and the spot kick was given. The penalty was well taken to square the game and five minutes later Killie took the lead when their big centre half headed home at the back post from a well delivered corner. The first period drew to a close with Ayr behind after having started so brightly but still well in the match.
Killie rang the changes at half time with five substitutions. Killie’s no 9 & 10 certainly freshened their team up and started to link well, the no 10 missed a great chance when one on one with the Ayr keeper after being played through by the no 9. The Killie no 9 then capitalised on a short back pass to stretch the lead for the home side and this was quickly followed when the no 10 then curled a beauty into the top corner.  The final goal of the game again came for the home side when a break down the right hand side was followed by a great cross and smart finish.  However Ayr continued to go forward and a good move resulted in Ethan Tasker shooting just over the top after he had overlapped from left back.
The referee blew to end a typical derby game with Killie taking the spoils. There wasn’t as much football on the deck from Ayr today as there has been in recent weeks and they got caught up in the “hurly burly” of the game against the more physically developed Killie side. Only in the last 10 to 15 minutes did Ayr start to play their normal passing game as the pace of the game tailed off.  However there is no time to fret on the result today as Rangers are next week’s callers to Prestwick and hopefully the injuries picked up by Callum Smith and Ross Thomson over the last couple of games will have cleared in time for them to take part.
The Ayr boys looked very smart in their new all white strips as they entertained Kilmarnock in the Ayrshire derby but it was Killie that were the brightest in the first period. They moved the ball very well in the final third and created several chances which were clinically finished. Keeper Greg Connor was given little chance with the Killie goals but did well to save a penalty midway through the period.
The second period was very even with Ayr just shading it. Ayr’s defence tightened up and restricted Killie to only a couple of chances.
The third period was dominated by Ayr with Kieran Balfour and Will Graham driving Ayr forward from the centre of midfield. Dylan Robb was also having a good game at left back and got forward on numerous occasions to thread passes through to the strikers. Ayr were rewarded with three well taken goals in this period.
The first was scored by Jamie Martin when he received a pass at the corner of the box and cut in before sending a curling left foot shot into the corner of the net.
Soon afterwards Ayr scored their second when a corner wasn’t cleared and Graeme Swailes reacted quickest to smash the ball into the net. Ayr’s third goal wasn’t long in coming with Thomas Dunlop receiving a pass in the box, making space for himself before shooting past the Killie keeper.
Ayr continued to drive Killie back but weren’t able to convert any of their further chances into goals.
Coach Jack Martin commented after the game: “Once Ayr tightened up at the back and cut out the needless mistakes, we went on to dominate the rest of the match. We were pleased with the three goals and the fact that the team finished strongly.”
The Academy 13s went onto the pitch excited about playing in their first Ayrshire derby and the opening period started at a very high tempo with Ayr controlling the play and going close when Gabe Skeoch tested the young Killie goalkeeper.
The possession from Ayr throughout the first period was good but a short corner from Kilmarnock provided Ayr’s downfall when the visitors scored.  However that didn’t stop Ayr from making sure they let the opposition know they were in a match.
The second period didn’t start quite as well as the first but again this didn’t stop Ayr from competing for every 50/50 ball. Unfortunately an injury to Scott Wilson proved pivotal as a lack of players on the bench for Ayr meant they had to dig deep to give 110%.
The third period started with a change of formation to a 4-3-3 for Ayr and this proved good for the home side as it forced the opposition into defending a lot more and didn’t allow them the space which they had found in the second period. Ayr found themselves in the final third more often and were agonisingly close to scoring. The team showed good courage to adapt to the new formation and showed that they give 110% every week.
Ayr United 12s entertained Kilmarnock 12s at Belmont Academy on Saturday afternoon and the boys were very excited about playing their local rivals. All the players were up for the challenge and they were cheered on by a great support.
However both Ayr teams started slowly and conceded a couple of goals and it looked like the Kilmarnock players had settled more quickly into the match.
However once the nerves and excitement settled the Ayr players started to relax and take a grip in both matches. Ayr went back to basics by putting pressure on the Kilmarnock players when they were in possession of the ball and when the Ayr players won the ball back they showed great build-up play and created some great chances for themselves.
For all their hard work the Ayr players were rewarded with some goals. The goals didn’t stop and throughout both matches the players scored some cracking goals. Some of the goal scorers were, Adam Smith, Aiden Bradford, Declan McAulay, Tyler McAulay, James Maxwell, Robert Frew, Hamish Brown and Reece McLean.
The goals were coming thick and fast but this also came down to the great defending by some of the Ayr players namely Callum Bryce, Hamish Brown, Ross Love, Joe Barker, Lewis Kennedy, Adam Smith and Adam Mahoney. A special mention has to go to both Ayr goalkeepers (Logan Pipe and Jamie Walker) who were outstanding throughout both games they played. Not only did both goalkeepers stop the majority of shots coming at them but they also helped set up the play and both looked very controlled and comfortable on the ball.
Jordan Lusk and Declan McAulay were influential throughout both games but particularly in their last match. Both of their performances were very unselfish as they created opportunities for their team mates throughout the match. With their control on the game this allowed all the players to start to show their ability. Robbie Hannah and Callum Bryce were also another two players who worked hard throughout the matches and this had a knock on affect to the other players.
A special mention has to go to Kilmarnock. They played some great football and made the game really enjoyable and challenging. They were also rewarded with some goals. The crowd they brought along to the game were great and would have left happy having watched some great football.
After the games Ayr Coach Shaun Ferrie Said “Myself, Drew and Michael were very proud of the way the boys played today. The effort that was shown by all players was fantastic and to see the players coming away from the games looking tired and out of breath was proof in how hard they worked. I was concerned that some of the players would have got taken in by the occasion as this is always a big game for Ayr United no matter what level it is been played at. Sometimes big occasions can affect players. This was not the case and in some way it brought out the best in some of the Ayr United players. I also thought it was great to see some familiar faces in the Kilmarnock team as well. The majority of players playing in the Ayr and Kilmarnock teams were from South, North and East Ayrshire which was great to see and shows that Ayrshire has some great talented footballers out there. I can take a lot away from Saturday’s game and will be making sure the players keep improving.”
While the national news headlines were dominated by the up and coming Manchester United v Liverpool derby match in the Barclays Premier League, it was of no interest to anyone on the West coast of Scotland.  There was only one game in town…the AYRSHIRE DERBY!
A great crowd turned out to watch the boys on a gloriously sunny day at Belmont Academy on Saturday for the first Ayrshire Derby of the season.  It had been the talk of the week in the schools and at training and the boys was relishing the fixture.  Once again the boys were split into two teams for two 40 minute games.
Jason’s team started off with a great tempo and got the ball down to play some neat passing football putting pressure on the Kilmarnock defence.  The pressure finally told with Paul Smith forcing the defence into a mistake and he put Ayr ahead with a great finish. Ayr’s lead was soon doubled with yet another stunning Paul Smith strike.  Paul picked the ball up in midfield, breezed past two defenders and fired the ball into the top corner. Paul was having an absolute blinder and as a corner came in he tried an outrageous overhead kick that narrowly went wide.
However, careless passing from Ayr let Kilmarnock score against the run of play and they finished the half the stronger team.  Kilmarnock started the second half where they left off putting Ayr under pressure and they scored two further goals to take the lead. At this stage only another great performance from Lewis McSorley in goal and a goal-line clearance from Daniel Wood kept Ayr in the game.  The game was set for an exciting finish and the crowd got what they wanted with a late Kaylem Ferguson goal that earned Ayr a draw.  There were stand out performances from Paul Smith, Lewis McSorley in goal and, in particular Kaylem in the centre of midfield.
The second game was a more tired performance against a strong Kilmarnock team that resulted in a defeat.  However a great performance from Lewis in goal with some outstanding saves and a couple of late goals made the score-line respectable.
Ross’ team first game was more of the same as they got off to a slow start with a goal from Lewis Dean the only consolation.  The second game however, was an absolute cracker. Ayr started well with some good passing moves creating chances and forcing saves from the Kilmarnock keeper.  After Ayr had gone in front they were pegged back and eventually conceded after some good play by Kilmarnock. With the game tied and the clock ticking down up stepped Jay McManus to score a late winner for Ayr in front of an ecstatic home crowd and gave Ayr a well-deserved victory.
Overall, the coaching team was very happy with the performances, with some good football being played and chances created.  At this level the performance is more important that results but to get both was very pleasing.  There is still a long way to go but the team are
progressing every week and are on the right track.


You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba