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A special thanks to all of our fans and dedicated readers that checked our web page out during the year. Don't expect us to post much for indoor cause indoor is really not soccer but a lab where I experiment. :) We will, however, post updates of our progress and we will let you know what tournaments we intend to play so you can have your teams join us. We are still one of three teams in the state that everyone wants to beat. :) I don't know why, we are such a warm and loving team. ------------------------------------------- After having clinched first place in the table last week, we were hoping to have some clarification on our semifinal opponent. Unfortunately, Nether was unable to execute a win and now we must wait for Concord to post results against GCVSA and Philly Soccer. Both are good opponents but I would have preferred to have played Nether on Sunday the 11th. So much for that now. A formidable Concord breaths new life. On our end, we beat Liverpool 4-0. Slowly but surely the kids begin to get a truer picture of what we wish to accomplish. I was scouting the T/E - Spirit match today (which Spirit won 2-1) and one of the T/E parents told me that they thought our defenders were our Achille's heel. I couldn't help but giggle to myself since our defending has actually been quite sound. It's our possession play which has troubled us this year especially with all of the boot and run play we're forced to defend against week in and week out. Given the amount of boot and run, our defenders are often forced to play 1 v 1 and they show their prowess and technical training by not allowing goals in. The kids have been instructed to play soccer and not whack back! This is often difficult to do when other teams' defenses are pounding the ball, their forwards are pressuring our fullbacks, and we're trying to play out of the back. But of course, mastering this artform now will only make them into State Champions later, and that is ultimately our goal.
The mighty Vélez team continued their developement of total soccer this weekend beating the 1st and 3rd place teams in the league (2-1 against T/E and 4-0 against Spirit). In both games, it took a while to establish a flow with the Spirit game being the toughest game of the weekend. Even though T/E had us 1-0 early on, we really were never out of control holding most of the possession and the dangerous runs. The Spirit game proved to be totally different playing our first game at the VERY wide South Ardmore field on a bright sunny day where players literally could not find each other in their sky blues. Second half, with the sun at our backs, Vélez took over possession and established itself with four goals. Both Spirit and T/E were formidable foes and so the victories are sweet ones. But believe me when I tell you, the boys still don't really understand just how good they will be when their brains grow a just a little more and they are better able to understand what we are trying to accomplish. I expect this spring's Vélez team to be the best to date.
In what has to be the best game that we have played this year, the mighty Vélez rekindled their scoring prowess after two very successful practices that have helped the boys better understand the big picture of what we are trying to accomplish as a team. Team passing was superb without compromising our spacing in scoring opportunities. We are no longer attacking the corner flags while the build-up from the back is awe inspiring if not breath taking. We have taken another step in the direction of our soccer destiny. We will have to reinforce what has been learned without adding any new elements of confusion. We need a couple of more outings like today's before we get the consistency that will be the marvel of U10 soccer this year. Nether are a formidable opponent with excellent coaching. We are extremely proud of our result as we beat a foe worthy of our utmost respect. At this point, let's just hope the awakening giant doesn't hit the snooze button.
The mighty Vélez are still struggling to find the chemistry that will return them to their rightful place in the soccer world. Not to take anything away from Concord, who played a very brave and inspired game, but I know my boys and they are totally uninspired, confused, frustrated, and not sure of how best to support each other. The new tactical scheme has opened an infinite world of possibilities that has everyone confused. The kids are being forced to make such complicated decision that well, it's just a headache for them. Clearly they were not ready for this tactical adjustment. One of the side-effects of coaching two teams in different age brackets. Repetition will lead to understanding. Understanding will lead to chemistry. Chemistry will lead to confidence. Confidence will lead to excellence. Excellence will lead to success. Vélez will NOT move backwards! For our well-wishers, please hang in there. You will not believe how good we will be when it all suddenly clicks.
(Revision after video analysis - see addendum below) In what was really not a surprise to the coaching staff (we have been flat for the past three weeks), the mighty Vélez team was handed its first loss since the Bethesda Roadrunners beat them 5-3 in Virginia back in March. But don't despair, more is learned from a loss than from a win. We should consider ourselves lucky to have such fine coaching in our age group. It can only make us that much better. North Union had a very savvy attack with its wingbacks and Vélez was simply not willing to make the necessary adjustments. This becomes a great learning experience for the talented Vélez players: to what point is personal glory more important than team glory? We will now make a swift correction in the direction of the team. It's time to go back to the more Latin style that the kids crave so much, even if it means losing more games. Because in the end, having fun is what will keep us together long enough to mature to the point where winning becomes more important.