Carlos Blog

An Update on A Soccer Addict

In the early months of 2013 I was asked by Jorge Martínez to write an article for his magazine, CentroDeportivo. Before I knew it, I was covering club and international soccer matches on a regular basis and had been appointed the magazine’s English Editor. After being exposed to the world of soccer communications, I decided to pursue a serious career in soccer communications.

Two years ago, I sat down with Terry Lawriw – CEO of AFC Cleveland – and heard him describe his vision for the team. It didn’t take much to convince me and I joined as the team’s Media Relations specialist, embarking on a journey that led me to work under Gary Moody as the National Premier Soccer League’s Communications Coordinator.

USA vs. Mexico: “Dos a Cero” curse comes to an end

by Carlos D. Mojica ()| Photo by Jorge O. Martínez

On a cold November night, the U.S. fell to Mexico to the tune of 2-1 thanks to goals by Miguel Layún and Rafael Márquez. The game was heated from beginning to end, and was only won in the dying minutes as Márquez headed in the winner off a corner kick.

“We expected a strong team, a team with several players that are playing at a high level,” said Jozy Altidore. “This is a lesson for us.”

Rolling out a 3-4-1-2 formation, the U.S. was faced by a Mexican side that was methodical and put pressure on the Yanks from the very first minute. With Christian Pulisic playing behind Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore, it was evident the Americans were still getting used to their new formation.

Mexico fired off a few warning shots before scoring, hitting the woodwork early on. In the 20th minute, Layún fired off a rocket that beat Howard, giving El Tri the lead and putting an end to the fabled Dos a Cero.

What has changed since 2013? A look back at the last “Dos a Cero”

by Carlos D. Mojica () | Photo by Jorge O. Martínez

Although U.S. – Mexico matches happen rather frequently given the dominance of the two teams in the CONCACAF region, there is something special about their World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ) encounters in Columbus.  As most American fans know, the U.S. is undefeated against Mexico in all four WCQ matches that have taken place in Columbus.

To add to the folklore, every match has finished 2-0, thus creating the now famous (or infamous if you’re a Mexico supporter) moniker of Dos a Cero. But, while the scenario might be the same, a few things have changed since the last time the two squared off. Here are some of those differences:

1. There is less at stake. While facing Mexico always provides enough of an incentive for American players come game time, last time around Klinsmann’s squad had the chance to secure a berth to the World Cup by defeating Mexico. But unlike that match, Friday’s game is part of the first set of CONCACAF’s Hexagonal matches, meaning that should the U.S. drop any points there is plenty of time to make those up.

2. Landon Donovan is no longer in the USMNT picture. It’s safe to say that despite his recent decision to come out of retirement, Donovan’s prospects of being called up the national team any time soon are slim to none. With that said, this will be the first time that Donovan is not even on the bench for a WCQ match against Mexico.

How should U.S.A. line up against Mexico in Columbus?

by Carlos D. Mojica () | Photo by Jorge O. Martínez

Jürgen Klinsmann recently released the U.S. Men’s National Team 26-man roster ahead of its match against Mexico. While the names in the roster should not surprise anyone who’s been following the American squad this year, there may be some questions regarding who should be in the starting XI.

With this in mind, here’s my take on who should start for the Stars and Stripes come November 11.

Formation: 4-1-3-2

GK - Tim Howard: While Howard may not be in his prime anymore, he has continually stepped up for the U.S. when the team has needed him. If any goalkeeper can keep a clean sheet for the Yanks, it’s Howard.

RB – DeAndre Yedlin: Over the past two years, Yedlin has made the right back spot his own. His time in England has helped remedy the defensive woes that once plagued him. No surprise here.

CB – John Brooks: Sidelined by injury during the previous set of World Cup Qualifiers, Brooks returned for last month’s friendly against Cuba and has made six starts for Hertha Berlin. He is back to his best, which is good news considering Mexico’s attack.

Kitsap Soccer Club Joins the NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Kitsap Soccer Club (Bremerton, WA) has joined the league as an expansion team.  The club will compete in the West Region’s Northwest Conference.

“We enthusiastically welcome Kitsap Soccer Club to the National Premier Soccer League,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “We look forward to their contributions in the Northwest as we continue to grow and support the sport in this region.”

Kitsap Soccer Club is led by owner Robin Waite, head coach Cameron MacDonald, assistant coach Shaun Scobie, performance analyst Keith Sargent, and goalkeeper coach Liviu Bird.  

Waite is a life-long soccer fan, a former co-owner of the USL Seattle Sounders, and is widely known for his expertise in stadium development and construction with a background in commercial real estate. He is a firm believer is promoting the Kitsap Peninsula and strongly supports the community in which he lives.

Redskins defeat Browns 31-20 at home

Redskins defeat Browns

The Washington Redskins score their first at-home victory of the 2016 season:

  • The Washington Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns, 31-20, and earned their first home win of the season in front of an announced crowd of 76,249 people at FedExField on Sunday.
     
  • The Redskins entered the fourth quarter trailing 20-17, but outscored the Browns 14-0 in the final frame to earn the victory.
     
  • The Redskins have now recorded come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter in consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 13-14 of the 2012 season.
     
  • The Redskins evened their record this season at 2-2 and leveled their record against AFC opponents this season at 1-1.

 

Another Frustrating Outing for Columbus Crew SC

Finlay speeds away

by Carlos D. Mojica () | Photo by Richard Kruszynski/ISNSoccer.com 

When your leading striker screams in frustration after a match, you know you’re in bad shape. If that weren’t enough proof of the disgruntlement felt by members of Columbus Crew SC following their 3-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps at home, take into account the fact that Head Coach Gregg Berhalter apologized for his team’s performance.

“I want to apologize to all the people that stayed around and watched that, because I didn’t think we gave a good enough performance for them,” said Berhalter. “We didn’t give them enough, plain and simple.”

With only two wins in his last ten matches and little to show for their efforts on Saturday, it’s easy to see why Berhalter is frustrated. It wasn’t just that the Black & Gold lost, it’s how they lost. An early lead and advantage in possession weren’t enough to overcome Vancouver, who were aided by a Gaston Sauro own goal before adding two late goals to walk away with the three points.

The game was – in the words of Whitecaps’ Head Coach Carl Robinson – “a game of two halves”, the first of which was dominated by the hosts, despite their own goal. Ola Kamara opened up the score for the hosts in the 11th minute kept the pressure on, impeding the visitors from managing a shot on goal during the initial 45 minutes.

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