In which the hosts of Barrel Proof banter back and forth about UofL and Kentucky soccer via email:
Taylor: You want to talk a little college soccer?
Tim: [a bunch of logistical stuff that has nothing to do with college or soccer]
Taylor: So before last Tuesday night’s match, Kentucky was on a very good run a form against ranked opponents, having beaten Notre Dame in South Bend and drawing Furman last Saturday afternoon in Lexington. Frankly that’s a heck of a lot better than I was expecting going into the season. How has UofL’s season played out thus far?
Tim: Good question. I’ll need to catch up on my stats a lil. They’ve played to packed crowds in their new stadium thus far and are now in a power-soccer conference.
Taylor: Well, as you know, Kentucky is in the power conference of all power conferences, the SEC. Which doesn’t sponsor soccer. So really they’re in Conference USA, which actually isn’t that bad now that New Mexico is in it. The Cats open up conference play this weekend against FAU, who I’m guessing is terrible despite having all that Florida talent nearby.
Tim: Ha! Well UofL is currently 4-1-1 overall. They lost to St.Louis who evidently have a good team this year. The UK game seems to have been close but you may say different. They thrashed the Dookies 5 – 0, but are only winng games by a goal. Plus U of L fouls. A lot. They only have 11 games left too. I thought they played a longer season but the playoffs themselves are about 5 – 6 weeks in length.
Taylor: I’d say the UK game was close, but the Cards were the better team and deserved the win. They played much better in the attack in that game, while Kentucky seemed content to sit deep and play Route 1 ball in the attack, which was a little frustrating from my standpoint. The Cats’ best player in that game was Napo Matsoso who kind of plays central midfield but, thanks to a lack of help from his counterparts, seemed like he was trying to play destroyer and central attacker all at the same time, and other than Justin Laird, didn’t have much help. Kentucky’s formerly rock-solid defense was a mess, despite all 4 defenders playing 90 minutes, and both goals for the Cards were fairly straightforward finishes. Kentucky’s gotta get some guys more comfortable with the ball in the attack to get to that next level for sure.
Looking forward to conference play, looks like the birds have already opened up their schedule. Who worries you out of the ACC?
Tim: So I’ve had very little chance to watch the ACC games and I wouldn’t call myself the biggest U of L fan but some of our old Big East rivals scare me the most. You guys dispatched Notre Dame which tells me the Cats have fight in them. ND is 3-1-2 so your guys have given them the only loss. Syracuse or Scare-acuse frightens me the most. They’re 7-1-0 and their keep, Alex Bono has 7 shutouts. I mean dang……Virginia Tech and N. Carolina are the other 2 big boys so far this year. I need to research them more before I figure who really scares me.
Taylor: Dig. From a Kentucky perspective, Conference USA sports newly minted powerhouse New Mexico and No. 25 UAB in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25, which is a lot of tops in one moniker. Unranked Charlotte is 5-2-1 and hosts New Mexico this weekend, so that should have a lot to say about conference supremacy as the short season ramps up. Outside of the top 4 in CUSA, which includes Kentucky, the rest of the conference is just so-so.
FAU hasn’t won a game yet. Old Dominion and FIU are right on .500 in out of conference play. Charlotte is a goal scoring tornado (17 in 6 games), but is a bit leaky in defense, too, averaging a concession per contest. South Carolina went on a three game losing streak to basically nobody before righting the ship Tuesday night against…UNC Greensboro. UAB is ranked, but hasn’t played anybody, really, out of conference. New Mexico’s lone loss was 1-2 at home to UCLA, so nothing to sniff at. They’ve only given up four goals all season, which is very good. So CUSA is good at the top, and not so great at the bottom. I think Kentucky can compete for the conference crown if they can just hold onto results against Charlotte, UAB and New Mexico, and flatten everybody else.
Just perusing the ebays today and noticed that Louisville City FC has recently announced via their website that the club intends to hold open tryouts on November 22 and 23 in advance of the 2015 season.
“Open tryouts?”, you might have asked yourself. Yes. Open tryouts. Believe it or not, this is a fairly common practice in lower-division US Soccer, and frankly, MLS teams sometimes scout these events just in case they might have missed a player in their own combines, etc. As we still really have no idea how many players LCFC will get from Orlando’s USL Pro castaways, this is a great opportunity for local talent (and out of town talent, I suppose) to show the club their stuff and try to make a pro roster.
Tryouts run from 9-11 both days, and since I don’t see anything on the LCFC website saying they’re closed to the public, feel free to go watch some dudes try out in the cold while you drink beer from a paper bag and harass them as warranted. Wait, don’t do that, that’s mean. The harassing part, anyway.
The 2014 USL Pro playoffs kicked off on Saturday night, and, given the way the regular season went, one would have been excused for being confident that Orlando City SC was well on its way to going out of the league with a bang, i.e., a third USL Pro Championship. The Harrisburg City Islanders had other ideas, though, prematurely ending OCSC’s playoff run with a 0-1 victory at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex, dashing the hopes of central Floridians everywhere.
While the result is a bummer for OCSC fans, it means now that the club can begin its transition period in earnest. Orlando, which has already been ramping up operations in advance of its first MLS season next year, will be building up its roster and staff to compete in the big league, while figuring out what remnants of its squad that won’t make the MLS roster can be transferred to Louisville City FC, and which players won’t. Let’s have a look at the 2014 roster and make some wildly uneducated guesses, shall we?
Looking for Premier League games and times? Try Google. This is for much harder-to-find MURICAN SOCCER. Your weekend smorgasbord:
The “Your Soccer Weekend” post is coming later today, but there are a few things we wanted to cover before putting a bunch of dates and times in your face:
1. Holy cow, Seattle Sounders 6-0 Chicago Fire in the US Open Cup semifinals last night. That’s ridiculous, and will probably send Fire head coach Frank Yallop packing at the end of the season. Big time ouch for a team that needed something for fans to cling to as it’s looking tough for Chicago to make the playoffs this year. On the other hand, looks like Sounders have their offense figured out again.
2. A few USL Pro teams can clinch playoff spots this weekend. Orlando City and Richmond Kickers are already pretty much a locks, and are playing for home field advantage from here on out. But LA Galaxy II and the ever-in-the-news Sacramento Republic FC can clinch spots if the cards fall right. For more on how, check out this post from Reckless Challenge.
3. Local college soccer exhibition season starts this weekend, too! Kentucky’s mens team travels to the really gray Highland Heights to face Northern Kentucky on Sunday, and UofL’s mens team hosts Rio Grande TOMORROW at their new soccer complex on Floyd Street. The entire river. Right there in the stadium.
4. Oh yeah, some little league in Merrie Olde Englande starts this weekend, too. Look out for a sidebar in the future for watch parties with the local Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham supporters clubs.
Taylor’s flying solo this episode! He dishes on the latest news from Louisville City FC, USMNT v. Ecuador, and local stuff. Listen!
Taylor couldn’t make it (again) this week, so Cooper’s Capo Commando Augustus Waiters fills in and eviscerates his own team, plus Manchester United before calming down and talking USL Pro Championship and MLS Cup with Tim. Listen up!
Recorded and produced by Maplex Monk at the Creative Community Studios.