5/18/17  Final Game as Head Coach for the Ole Ballcoach, U-20 World Cup, Discount Tix for Indy 11 at Home Sat, World Leagues Wrap-up Season’s, Full TV Schedule

So I put on the Head coaches shirt, hat and the ole orange and blue coaching shoes for the last time this past weekend as my son Tyler’s Carmel FC U18 boys wrapped up their season this past Sunday – Mother’s Day at Shelbourne Fields.  I have been blessed to have coached 6 years of my daughter’s travel teams and 7 years of my son’s travel teams over the past 11 years (not sure how many season’s that is with Fall, Indoor and Spring + All but 2 of their rec teams since 2000) but it sure has been a blast. I have included photos below of my last team, along with pictures of the first ever group of U11 boys to start playing for Carmel FC back in 2008 who played their entire careers for us and the boys we still have from the First team to win a Challenge Cup Final for Carmel FC – the U14 boys under head coaches Tom and Carla Baker.  Don’t worry I plan to still be around to help coach up the club’s Goalkeepers and cheer on Carmel FC as I continue to ref on the weekends so I will see you on the fields.

CFCU19B_U11s
First Carmel FC U11 boys who played entire career for CFC until U18.  Jake Madden, Tyler Best, Coach Best, Noah Swanson, Asst Coach Todd Beck
CFC_U18B_u11all
First CFC U11 Boys still playing at U18. Front Max Toubin, Mason Hester (Back) Jake Madden, Alesandro Theilmann., Tyler Best, Coach Shane Best, Noah Swanson, Asst Coach Todd Beck.
CFC_U18Bchamps
U18 boys who played on CFC’s first Challenge Cup Winning Team as U14 Boys on Coach Tom and Carla Baker’s team. (Bottom) Noah Swanson, Mason Hester (top L-R) PJ Grocki, Jake Madden, Nick Bartling, Cory Chitwood.

The U-20 World Cup starts this weekend from Korea on Fox Sports 1 and 2 with the US and coach Tab Ramos looking to win their group and advance to the Final 16.  (see full Previews below under US – sure would be nice to see the likes of Julian Green and Christian Pulisic on this squad – oh well. Still with Carter-Vickers of Totennham, Zelalem of Arsenal, and winger Brooks Lennon of Liverpool this should be worth watching).  The US plays all their games on Fox Sports 1 at 4 am on Monday, Thurs at 7 am and Sunday at 5 am.  (see in full TV Schedule below)

The Top World Leagues wrap up their regular season’s this weekend and while most have declared Champions –  the EPL (Chelsea), German Bundesliga (Bayern Munich), French Ligue 1 (Monaco), and Italy Serie A (Juve) races to see who claims Champions League (top 3/4) or Europa League slots and relegation (bottom 3) in some leagues are still up in the air.  Of course the Spanish La Liga comes down to the last day for Real Madrid (3 pts ahead) of Barcelona. Both games on TV on Sunday on beIN Sport at 2 pm.  The EPL features 10 games across the NBC family of channels on Sunday at 10 AM with Arsenal hosting Everton on NBC, and Liverpool hosting Middlesborough on NBCSN + 8 other games.  If Liverpool wins they get the 4th and final Champ League automatic spot, if they lose or tie and Arsenal wins they get it.  The gunners have finished top 4 for 25 years – while Liverpool looks to return to Champions League play under new coach Juergan Klopp.  Germany’s Final day is Sat with 4 games on TV including a relegation battle at 9:30 am on Fox Sport 1 between US Bobby Woods and Hamburg vs Wolfsburg- the loser moves down.  Champions Bayern Munich will host Frieburg who needs a win to stay in contention for a Europa League spot at 9:30 am on Fox.

The Indy 11 will host Miami at home this Saturday at 7:30 pm on MyIndyTV – join the 11 for Indy Car Night at the Mike and us this link for discount tickets.  Indy 11 Discount Ticket Link.  Oh and good luck to all those State Cup and President’s Cup teams playing this weekend.

Carmel Dad’s Offers co-ed Alumni/College age soccer in June/July on Tues Nights.

Also this reminder to All Seniors this year and current folks in College –gather a team or sign up as an individual just $95.  Please click here for the registration form Register – May 10- June 1 Commissioner: Alex Scott  scottaf2@gmail.com

Its almost Summer – Time to plan your Soccer Camps 

Post2Post Soccer Camps

Cost: $195 per camper  Location: Badger Fields   Goalkeeper Camp: May 30 – June 2, 2017        Field Player Camp: July 24 – 27, 2017

Former College Coach and Canadian National Team Goalkeeper & current Carmel FC & Carmel High Asst coach Carla Baker Provides elite-level training for youth players who want to become better technical and tactical soccer players.  Our camps focus on individual technical skills and game tactics in pressure situations using advanced training techniques. Come and join our staff of former Division I college coaches, National Team players, experienced youth, high school and college players for a fun learning experience.

Indy 11 Youth Soccer Camp at Carmel Dad’s Club

June 19-22 9 to 12 noon (ages 5-14)  $135

Carmel High School Soccer CampsJuly 17-20

(called Hounds Soccer Technical/Skills Camp and Hounds Soccer Tactical/Scrimmage Camp) and they are being held at Murray Stadium the week of July 17-20. The format will be where the morning session will run 10:00-12:00. This is the technical skills training – session runs 10 am till 12 pm and it will cost $85.   The afternoon session is the tactical/scrimmage session and will run 1:00-3:00 at Murray Stadium both run by Men’s Soccer Head Coach Shane Schmidt. Boys and Girls – 8-14 Cost: $85/per camper per session.

CFC_U18Boys
Coach Shane Best’s Final Travel Squad Carmel FC U 18 Boys.

GAMES ON TV

Sat, May 19

FIFA U-20 World Cup

1:00am Venezuela U20 vs Germany U20 Fox Sports 1

3:30am Argentina U20 vs England U20    Fox Sports 1

4:00am Vanuatu U20 vs Mexico U20        Fox Sports 2

7:00am Korea Republic U20 vs Guinea U20 Fox Sports 1

9:30 am Fox Sport2   Whip-Around Coverage Final Day of German Bundesliga

9:30 am FOX                  Bayern Munich vs Freiburg

9:30 am Fox soccer+                        Dortmund vs Werder Bremen (US Pulisic)

9:30 am Fox Sports1                         Hamburg vs Wolfsburg (US Bobby Wood – Relegation Battle)

7:30 pm  Myindy TV                Indy 11 vs Miami

Sun, May 20

FIFA U-20 World Cup

1:00am       Zambia U20 vs Portugal U20 Fox Sports 1

4:00am       Iran U20 vs Costa Rica U20  Fox Sports 2

4:00am       South Africa U20 vs Japan U20 Fox Sports 1

7:00a           Italy U20 vs Uruguay U20  Fox Sports 1

10 am EPL FINAL DAY ACROSS 10 NBC STATIONS –battle for 4th Place Champions League Spot 

10:00 a.m., NBC      Arsenal vs. Everton
10:00 a.m., NBCSN: Liverpool vs. Middlesbrough
10:00 a.m., USA     Watford vs. Manchester City
10:00 a.m., CNBC:                 Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace
10:00 a.m., MSNBC: Hull City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
10:00 a.m., Bravo:                 Leicester City vs. Bournemouth
10:00 a.m., Oxygen: Burnley vs. West Ham United
10:00 a.m., E!:        Southampton vs. Stoke City
10:00 a.m., Syfy:    Chelsea vs. Sunderland
10:00 a.m., Esquire: Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion

2 pm beIN Sport      Barcelona vs Eibar – (Final day of La Liga)

4 pm ESPN                       Minn.  United vs LA Galaxy

7 pm Fox sport 1         Orlando City vs NYC FC

Monday, May 22

FIFA U-20 World Cup

4:00am       Ecuador U20 vs USA U20  Fox Sports 1,

4:00am       France U20 vs Honduras U20 FS 2

7:00am       Saudi Arabia U20 vs Senegal U20 Fox Sports 1,

7:00am       Vietnam U20 vs New Zealand U20 FS2

Tuesday, May 23

FIFA U-20 World Cup 

4:00am         England U20 vs Guinea U20 FS1

4:00am         Venezuela U20 vs Vanuatu U20 FS2

6:00am         Mexico U-0 vs Germany U-0

7:00am         Korea Republic U20 vs Argentina U20

7:00am         Mexico U20 vs Germany U20 FS1

Wed, May 24

FIFA U-20 World Cup 

4:00am       Zambia U20 vs Iran U20  FS2

4:00am       South Africa U20 vs Italy U20 FS1

7:00am       Costa Rica U20 vs Portugal U20 FS2

7:00am       Uruguay U20 vs Japan U20 FS1

2:45 pm  Fox Sports 1   Ajax vs Man United – UEFA Cup Final

Thurs May 25th FIFA U-20 World Cup

4:00am       Ecuador U20 vs Saudi Arabia U20

4:00am       France U20 vs Vietnam U20 Fox Sports 1,

7:00am       New Zealand U20 vs Honduras U20

7:00am  Senegal U20 vs USA U20 Fox Sports 1, 

Sat, May 27 

12:30 pm Fox                Arsenal vs. Chelsea  (FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium)

2 pm ESPN3                    Dortmund vs  Frankfurt (German Cup Final)  (US Pulisic vs Timmy Chandler)

2:30 pm FOX                  Seattle vs Portland

9 pm myIndyTV      Edmonton FC vs Indy 11

Sun, May 28

FIFA U-20 World Cup

2:00am       New Zealand U20 vs France U20  Fox Sport1

2:00am       Honduras U20 vs Vietnam U20     Fox Sport 2

5:00am       Senegal U20 vs Ecuador U20       Fox Sport 2

5:00am  USA U20 vs Saudi Arabia U20      Fox Sport 1

May 30-June 1 Tues/Wed/Thurs

FIFA U-20 World Cup Round of 16 Games 4 am and 7 am

Sat, June 3

2:30 pm  FOX       Juventus vs Real Madrid       Champions League Final

 U20 – WORLD CUP Schedule on Fox

Full MLS Schedule

Indy 11 TV Schedule

Confederations Cup Schedule June

Gold Cup Schedule In July

International Champions Cup July  Games in Nashville and Detroit

USA

U-20 World Cup Preview – US games start Sat.

US Coach Tab Ramos Previews US Chances

Full U20 Coverage on US Socccer

FIFA U-20 World Cup on Fox Sports – Early AM games –

https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/competition/u20-world-cup/standings

Road ahead for USA = Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle – MLS.com

Mexico Names Roster for US Game in June

 Champions League

Champions League Final is a Toss Up – Grant Wahl video SI

http://www.espnfc.us/real-madrid/story/3123680/sergio-ramos-sparks-will-fly-when-real-madrid-play-juventus-in-ucl-final

http://www.espnfc.us/uefa-champions-league/2/blog/post/3123681/juventus-vs-madrid-ronaldo-bale-and-buffon-the-key-storylines-in-ucl-final

http://www.espnfc.us/uefa-champions-league/2/blog/post/3123660/cristiano-ronaldo-and-gianluigi-buffon-star-in-champions-league-team-of-the-semifinals

WORLD

Relegation and Promotion Across the World Leagues

Power Rankings top Teams in World

Phillip Lahm – Germany & Bayern Defender Retires

Pique in Wife Shakira’s new Video

MLS

Toronto FCs Current Win Streak Impressive – Matt Doyle – Armchair Analyst MLS.com

MLS Save of the Week

Kaka’s Passion still strong in Orlando

Carmel’s Matt Hedges Injured in Head Collision in Dallas

Indy 11

Indy 11 Lose in 1st round of US Open Cup to PDL Side

3 things Indy loss to Miami

IMS Night – May 20

Indy 11 Discount Ticket Link

Parchman: Your 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament preview

May 16, 20175:04PM EDTWill Parchman

The biggest youth soccer tournament in the world is nearly here.Whatever the reputation of other youth tournaments, the reality is the FIFA Under-20 World Cup remains the standard for major youth tourneys the world over. It’s the uppermost rung on the youth-only FIFA tournament ladder, and considering the Olympics is open to overage players, it still retains its sheen of pure development. It’s also an enormously important scouting device for dozens of players from under-scouted countries.And for the first time, the US U-20 team is going as continental champs.The tournament officially kicks off in South Korea on May 20 with a match between Venezuela and Germany, and the US opens with Ecuador two days later. Fresh off a brisk run to the quarterfinals in 2015, Under-20 coach Tab Ramos and his charges have even loftier ambitions this time around. The question is whether they can reach them.Here’s a deeper look into what to expect in South Korea over the next few weeks.

MLS players at the Under-20 World Cup

Across the breadth of the tournament’s 24 teams, 15 players are either signed by MLS sides or are currently Homegrown eligible. Unsurprisingly, almost all of those are ensconced on the American roster, 12 to be precise. Within that subset, seven are currently on Homegrown contracts, the largest percentage of any American Under-20 World Cup team in history.

Here’s the full list of MLS-connected players on Ramos’ 21-player World Cup roster.

Goalkeepers: J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown University/San Jose Earthquakes)

Defenders: Danny Acosta (RSL), Aaron Herrera (University of New Mexico/RSL), Justen Glad (RSL), Erik Palmer-Brown (SKC), Tommy Redding (Orlando City)

Midfielders: Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland/D.C. United), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union)

Forwards: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Brooks Lennon (Liverpool/RSL), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United), Sebastian Saucedo (RSL)

But that’s not all. Two MLS-connected outliers currently on loan aren’t currently with the US in South Korea. And both could have outsized roles to play.

Yangel Herrera, NYCFC (Venezuela)

Herrera’s contract is currently owned by Manchester City, but the talented Venezuelan holding midfielder secured a loan to NYCFC before the 2017 season. The timing of the tournament was somewhat awkward for Herrera, considering he was just rounding into form with the NYCFC first team as he left for Venezuelan U-20 camp. That’s obviously good news for Venezuela, which welcomes a rampaging central midfielder who displaced the mighty Andrea Pirlo in a starting lineup earlier this season. Herrera is all-action, and the fact that he was given Venezuela’s No. 8 jersey for the U-20 World Cup is an adequate reflection of his likely role in South Korea.

Douglas Martinez, New York Red Bulls II (Honduras)

Like Herrera, Martinez was secured on loan earlier this year by the Red Bulls’ USL team after an impressive trial late last year. Martinez’s loan from Honduran club C.D.S. Vida was just announced on April 26, but he made quite the impression in his first match. On May 6, he entered for his debut against the Harrisburg City Islanders with 15 minutes left and scored his first USL goal shortly thereafter. Martinez was a regular starter in qualifying and scored the ultimate match-winner in a 4-1 victory against Antigua and Barbuda. Expect to see him start the tournament as one of Honduras’s primary scoring threats.

3 US names to know

Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting KC

When Palmer-Brown was announced as a midfielder for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, you could almost see the eyebrows raise in chorus across the country. Palmer-Brown played there sparingly this cycle, but most allow he’s best at his natural position at center back. Ramos admitted as much in his pre-tournament press conference, and he also said he plans to move Palmer-Brown back to center back for South Korea. But the SKC man, who’s still trying to break in with the first team, proved his mettle at the No. 6 in qualifying, and his distribution obviously benefitted by tourney’s end. Palmer-Brown, who wore the captain’s band in qualifying, remains the team’s important emotional anchor.

Tyler Adams, New York Red Bulls

You could be excused for failing to realize Adams is one of the three youngest players on this roster. He certainly doesn’t play like it. Adams was arguably the US’s most critical player in qualifying, covering scads of ground and relentlessly pursuing possession like a computer-guided missile. Adams fits Ramos’ frenetic high press system better than perhaps any midfielder on the roster, and Ramos spoke almost lovingly of Adams’ progression during this cycle in his pre-tournament press conference. Adams has gradually morphed from a sitting No. 6 under Ramos into more of a box-to-box midfielder, and his constant pressing makes the US a continual threat on quick-hitter attacks. He’ll be an American keystone on both ends of the field in South Korea.

Josh Sargent

If there was any rippling shockwave when Ramos dropped his 21-man World Cup roster, Sargent’s name was at the head of the list. Just a week earlier, Sargent polished a nearly three-week adventure at the U-17 CONCACAF Championship, where he wore the captain’s armband and led the US with five goals in six games. Sargent, arguably the most talented forward in the USYNT system at the moment, was then fast-tracked to the U-20 World Cup just weeks later.

What will the XI look like?

Injuries make guessing at Ramos’ XI for Ecuador on May 22 decidedly more difficult. Justen Glad was a first choice center back in qualifying, but he picked up an injury at the tournament and hasn’t played since. Tottenham center back Cameron Carter-Vickers is also nursing an injury, and Ramos was unsure of whether he’d be 100 percent for the opener.Even still, I think we can take a paw at Ramos’ preferred XI for the opener. At least this is what I’d go with.

The newsiest thing here is Sargent starting at the 9. I’m for it, even if Ramos probably won’t be. The US was poor in chance conversion in qualifying, and preferred No. 1 striker Jeremy Ebobisse didn’t score once despite a cavalcade of chances. Sargent, meanwhile, is bouncing off an incredible run of form in U-17 qualifying, and while going with one of the forwards who was here in qualifying is the safe option – Ebobisse or Emmanuel Sabbi most likely – Sargent is the best player of the three.Elsewhere I think the roster more or less picks itself. Luca de la Torre has been playing on the left to good effect for his Fulham youth side, and Brooks Lennon earned his spot in qualifying. The logjam at center back is unfortunate, but Carter-Vickers has to start if healthy, and Palmer-Brown at the No. 6 against World Cup competition might not go so well. Putting the much more spatially assured Derrick Jones there is a considerably better option.There isn’t a No. 10 here, but with Ramos’ preferred style that doesn’t much matter. Gedion Zelalem will almost certainly start and provide the possession metronome in the middle while Adams and Jones press for quick turnovers to lead attacking stabs.

What should the US expect?

This is not Ramos’ entire first choice roster. He was denied the opportunity to call in four European-based Americans, three of whom have been starting for Schalke’s winning Under-19 side. They’d almost assuredly be better across the board with their services, but this is still a quality side that should at the very least expect to get out of its group.  Ecuador is the obvious difficulty, and they’ll get that one out of the way off the bat. The Ecuadoreans hosted the South American qualifying tournament and pulled in second, a run that included a smashing 3-0 win over Argentina. Ecuador is clearly good, and most consider them the favorites for the group, but the fact that they hosted qualifying perhaps obscures just how good on a neutral field. The US should be easily competitive, if nothing else.Saudi Arabia and Senegal are more of a mixed bag. Senegal has been good enough to reach successive AFCON U-20 finals and certainly good enough to beat the US on their day. In March, this Senegalese crew reached the AFCON final before falling to Zambia 2-0.  The Saudi Arabians certainly look like the weak link of the four, but they opened some eyes in qualifying by dropping South Korea, which played in the AFC tournament but didn’t need to qualify, 2-1 in the group phase. They came within a breath of winning the whole tournament after knockout wins over Iraq and Iran (the latter in a 6-5 barnburner), and ultimately lost to Japan in penalties in the finale. Which means all three opponents reached their federation’s qualifying final.Each of these three matches provide some level of undercover difficulty for the Americans, but this is a winnable group all things considered. The base expectation, once again, should include progressing out of the group for just the second time in the last five U-20 World Cups. More loftily, the US has been to the quarterfinal phase in this tournament five times since 1989, and it’s never won two knockout matches in the same U-20 tournament in its history. Can this be the group to change that?

Armchair Analyst: Toronto FC’s winning streak enters historic territory

May 13, 20175:48PM EDTMatthew DoyleSenior Writer

D.C. United’s six-game winning streak came to a close on September 1, 2007. In the nine seasons since then, entering 2017, there were only two regular season winning streaks of six or more games, by any MLS team, in one season:

  • Sporting KC won seven games over 39 days to open the 2012 season
  • New England won six games over 46 days in the middle of the 2015 season

Toronto FC just won their sixth straight game, holding on for dear life with a 3-2 win over visiting Minnesota United at BMO Field on Sunday afternoon. They did it despite making three injury- or illness-related subs. They did it, for the second time this week, by bringing difference-makers off the bench. They extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference, and have now lost but once in their first 12 games.They entered the busiest part of their schedule, traveled cross-country to face last year’s MLS Cup champs and then to Ohio to face one of the most dangerous attacks in the league and then back home to host a team that dropped a very good Sporting side last week, and beat them all. They shut out Houston on a Friday then beat Orlando City on the following Wednesday. They played weekend-Wednesday-weekend-Wednesday-weekend, and won them all.Nobody’s put together a streak like this in the modern history of MLS. SKC’s took 39 days, New England’s 46. Toronto took… 22 days. They’re on only the third 6+ game winning streak of the past decade, and they’ve done it in a touch over three weeks.To add further perspective: Sporting’s streak, back in 2012, came to an end the first time they had a three-games-in-eight-days stretch. Same for New England in 2015. TFC just did it back-to-back.This is why I was nodding earlier this week when Greg Vanney asserted that his team is the deepest in league history, and certainly the ability to bring guys like Jozy Altidore and Victor Vazquez and Raheem Edwards and Tosaint Ricketts off the bench at various times in the past eight days was telling.

I’d also argue that Minnesota’s overly cautious fullback play made them a touch culpable (volume up for analysis):

Michael Bradley – who’s played every minute of this streak – was a step slow due to fatigue, and the Loons could’ve found paydirt earlier had they been willing to push the pace and swarm him with numbers. Once they did so (Marc Burch and Jerome Thiesson played much higher in the second half), they regularly troubled the Reds. Vanney even said “that second half was too exciting for my liking.”  Had MNUFC been a bit more adventurous from the opening whistle, this one might’ve been different. But they weren’t, and it wasn’t, and so Toronto FC have set their club record in the blink of an eye. It’s a remarkable three-week stretch, and nobody’s seen the like in a decade

Ok, a few notes:

  • The official league record winning streak is 15 games, set by the Galaxy from late 1997 to May of 1998. The single-season record is 12, set by the 1996 Galaxy.

Those are all in the FARB, which I encourage you to peruse. But note that those two streaks, as well as the only other double-digit winning streaks in league history, came during the Shootout Era (1996-through-1999) when games couldn’t end in a draw. So I give them each an asterisk, and no I won’t change my mind about that.

  • In the post-shootout era Sporting’s seven-game streak is the longest single-season streak on the books. It’s also part of a longer, nine-game streak since they won their final two games in 2011 – and that, too, is the record for the post-shootout era.
  • The Red Bulls had a six-game winning streak ended in March – the last four of 2016 and the first two of 2017. They host Toronto this coming Friday in Harrison.

Philipp Lahm: Germany and Bayern defender the best of his generation

MUNICH — Philipp Lahm is the best defender of his generation, and his retirement at the age of 33 will leave a massive void, not just at Bayern Munich — a club he led with intelligence and always by example — but also within the game.Lahm’s unswerving brilliance helped him to eight Bundesliga titles (sharing the record with Mehmet Scholl, Oliver Kahn and Bastian Schweinsteiger), six DFB Pokals, the 2013 Champions League and then the World Cup a year later. World-class in at least four positions across the backline and midfield, his tactical nous and discipline made it look all so easy.He was a supreme professional — one of the few remaining role models in the unscrupulous world of football — and, remarking on his consistent performances over the years, Scholl described his former teammate as “75 percent outstanding, 25 percent world-class.””To compare him with Paolo Maldini is correct,” Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti told ESPN FC ahead of Lahm’s final game as a professional this Saturday.”Both players played for one team their whole career. There are so many similarities in quality, professionalism, attitude, personality and character. It’s a compliment for both to be compared with each other.”He’s really important for the club, the manager and a great example to his teammates. I love his professionalism and his quality. If we had 20 Philipp Lahms we would have no problems.”Bayern were his club and, as a son of the area, he knew not to mess with what he had. Lahm could have played for any team in the world but recognised that he was living the dream of so many young Germans. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to not seeing No. 21 Phillip Lahm on the team sheet for Bayern next season.– Derek Rae, Bundesliga commentator for ESPN.PERSUADED by a friend, Lahm attended his first training session at the age of 5 at local club FT Gern, where his father, Roland, used to play and his mum, Daniele, ran the youth department.Childhood dreams of becoming a baker and a banker fizzled out and Lahm settled on a new career choice at Rudolf Diesel School in Munich.”He repeated time after time, I want to make it as a professional footballer,” Lahm’s teacher Bernd Mainhardt once said.Signed by Bayern from Gern in 1995, aged 11, Lahm enjoyed the added responsibility of being a ball boy at their home games at the Olympiastadion and was on the side of the pitch when Borussia Dortmund beat Juventus in the 1997 Champions League final.Graduating serenely from the youth teams, a paltry crowd of 22,000 witnessed his first-team debut, entering the fray as a substitute in added time in Bayern’s final group game of the atrocious 2002-03 Champions League campaign — the Bavarians finished bottom of a group containing AC Milan, Deportivo La Coruna and Lens. However, Lahm found his immediate path to the first XI blocked by France international full-backs Willy Sagnol and Bixente Lizarazu.Considering his prodigy too good to languish in the reserves, coach Hermann Gerland arranged a two-year loan spell at Stuttgart, where Lahm made his Bundesliga debut as a substitute on the first day of the 2003-04 season in a 2-0 win over Hansa Rostock.He quickly established himself (at left-back) as a regular in Felix Magath’s young side, also leaving a lasting impression on Sir Alex Ferguson who wanted to sign him after his first Champions League start against Manchester United.nder Stuttgart’s Matthias Sammer (now a former Bayern sporting director), Lahm endured an injury-ravaged second season, suffering both a right foot fracture and a cruciate ligament tear, which curtailed his loan spell in Swabia. But, returning to Munich, Lahm finally made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern under new coach Magath against Arminia Bielefeld in November 2005 and hasn’t looked back since.In 516 games (soon to be 517), Lahm collected the same number of club titles as his shirt number (21), just behind the number of yellow cards (24) in his Bundesliga career. He even enjoyed over a year of serene Bundesliga action without even committing a foul, in 24 games between September 2014 and October 2015.Incredibly, he’s never even looked like getting sent off in his career, despite playing predominately as a defender and then in midfield under Pep Guardiola, who dubbed him “perhaps the most intelligent player I have ever trained.”

“For perhaps the world’s best full-back to be made into a midfielder as he approaches 30 is unusual. That the same player should make such a success of it that his national team adjusts to accommodate his new role is something else — and in the case of Philipp Lahm, indicative of not only his extraordinary application and professionalism in making a great job of both positions, but his integral importance to every team he played in, club or country.”– Andy Brassell, European football expert.

HOWEVER, it’s a huge injustice to the man to single him out as purely the prim and proper professional. He possessed the inner strength to stand up for himself and his team, questioning the direction of the club in 2009, having the gumption to criticise Bayern over transfer policy — earning himself a record €50,000 fine in the process by backing then-coach Louis van Gaal.Having reportedly rejected offers to join both Barcelona and Manchester United, Lahm blasted Bayern’s transfer policy, costing him a hefty fine in an uncharacteristically forthright interview.The defender said at the time: “Other clubs have a system, a philosophy, and buy the players accordingly. We don’t. It’s not enough to buy good players — we have to build a team.”Now ask yourself whether it’s a coincidence that ever since Lahm’s verbal shot in the arm, Bayern have become major players in the transfer market.He was also enough of his own man to snub a new role as the club’s sporting director. Lahm implied president Uli Hoeness wasn’t quite ready to hand over sufficient control to him in organising Bayern’s team affairs.”Generally, you can only influence things in and around the team when you hold that responsibility,” he said.Lahm appeared on ESPN FC’s ‘Perfect Player’ for his mind

WHEN he announced his retirement from football, Lahm said: “I’m sure that I can deliver top performances until the end of the season, but no longer than that.” And recently we’ve witnessed a few signs that suggest old father time may be catching up with him after 22 years at the club.A rare blemish gifted Borussia Dortmund a winning goal exquisitely taken by Ousmane Dembele in what proved Lahm’s last ever DFB Pokal tie. Typically, he fronted up after the game, admitting: “I made the decisive mistake.”He also made an uncharacteristically clumsy error in last Saturday’s 5-4 Bundesliga comeback win against Leipzig — taking a heavy touch in the box, which Timo Werner capitalised upon.But Gerland, one of Lahm’s mentors, insists performing at such a high level for such a long time has raised expectations for every game.”Philipp went on to win almost everything there was to win. He only failed to win the European championship,” he told the official Bayern website.”The only sad thing is that he hasn’t been named Player of the Year, which I don’t understand. Sure, Philipp doesn’t play in a spectacular manner. But if he’s sidestepped only once or plays a bad pass everyone’s asking: what’s wrong with Philipp today? That’s the mark of an extraordinary career.”So after the dust and Weissbier settles following his farewell game on Saturday against Freiburg, what’s next?From December at Munich’s Residenztheater, the retiring skipper is set to become the subject of a play — unsurprisingly titled “Philipp Lahm.” Lahm is “the symbol of the Noughties,” says playwright and Bayern fan Michael Decar.”He embodies Germany like no other and his life is a reflection of modern times. He’s super correct, super intelligent — so boring that it hurts.”But the man himself will take time out of the game to spend more time with his wife (who is pregnant with their second child; they also have 4-year-old son, Julian), play a bit of golf and ski more in the winter, commit to his extensive charity work and attend to his various business interests. “My wife is already a little afraid. I’ve set myself the goal of getting to grips with cooking,” he said. “It promises to be very, very exciting.”However, a mind as keen as Lahm’s needs to stay busy. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back at Bayern in the future, perhaps in the boardroom when Hoeness is finally ready take a backward step.Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

INDY ELEVEN FALLS IN SECOND ROUND OF 2017 U.S. OPEN CUP

“Indiana’s Team” drops 1-0 contest to PDL side Michigan Bucks at Ultimate Soccer Arenas-May 17, 2017

PONTIAC (May 17, 2017) – Indy Eleven’s run to the 2017 U.S. Open Cup was put to a halt as it began in a 1-0 loss to USL PDL club, the Michigan Bucks.  Advancing to the Second Round of the historic competition following a 1-0 win over AFC Ann Arbor in the First Round, the Bucks welcomed Indy Eleven fresh off a 3-2 defeat to Miami FC. “Indiana’s Team” brought a side to Pontiac that featured defenders Nemanja Vukovic and Anthony Manning, both of whom earned their first starts since their return from injury, and kept young forward David Goldsmith up front with Justin Braun in place of the injured Eamon Zayed.The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides get the lay of the land with neither creating a quality opportunity. However, in the 16th minute, Indy brought their attack to the match in the form of David Goldsmith. Linking up with Braun, the former Butler standout received the ball near the top of the box and shifted quickly, rifling a right-footed shot off the inside of the right post and out. In the right place at the right time, Braun was able to send a secondary effort at the Bucks ‘keeper Drew Sheperd, but the shot-stopper was equal to both. Just after the half-hour mark, Indy found their second chance of the half on a Tanner Thompson set piece. As the IU product connected with another former Hoosier in Brad Ring, the latter could not keep his header on frame.In the 35th minute, the hosts would take their first real opportunity of the night and capitalize. Forward Francis Atuahene shot up the flank and got on the right side of defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe. In cutting inside, the Michigan man struck a low ball towards Cardona that the Indy ‘netminder couldn’t get a finger to, and gifted his side a first half lead.Coming out of the halftime break, Indy replaced midfielder Daniel Keller with Ben Speas and came out flying. Creating a couple of opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Indy’s best look came from Tanner Thompson. Settling a pass from Jason Plumhoff, Thompson elected to take on a curler from just outside the box, but his shot could not come around in time to find the side of the net.At the hour mark, Indy brought on defender Marco Franco in his return from injury. In the fifteen-minute span that followed, Indy would create three chances – one for Speas, one for Thompson, and one for Braun – but none would level the scoring. As momentum shifted the way of Indy, the Bucks found success on the counter-attack and nearly doubled their lead in the 81st minute. Substitute forward Elliot Collier broke in on goal and tested Cardona, but the ‘keeper made an incredible save to prevent a two-goal deficit. On the follow-up, substitute midfielder Ivo Cerda would also see his shot saved and then cleared off the line by Watson-Siriboe.Though they pushed their press to the final whistle, Indy did not find another solid look at goal and their 2017 U.S. Open Cup run would be brought to an end on the 1-0 line.The “Boys in Blue” return home to IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium to host Miami FC on Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 P.M. ET. Tickets for the game – and all remaining 13+ NASL matches at “The Mike” in 2017 – can be purchased for as little as $11 online at www.IndyEleven.com or by phone at 317-685-1100.

NASL Spring Season
Michigan Bucks 1 : 0 Indy Eleven
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Ultimate Soccer Arenas – Pontiac, MI

Scoring Summary:
MGN – Francis Atuahene (Jordon Snell) 35’

Discipline Summary:
MGN – Ivo Cerda 49’
IND – Anthony Manning 88’

Indy Eleven line-up (4-4-2, L–>R):  Keith Cardona (GK); Nemanja Vukovic, Anthony Manning, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Lovel Palmer; Daniel Keller (Ben Speas 45’), Brad Ring, Tanner Thompson, Jason Plumhoff (Marco Franco 61’); Justin Braun, David Goldsmith  IND bench: Christian Lomeli (GK); Brandon Poltronieri

Michigan Bucks line-up (4-3-3, L->R): Drew Sheperd (GK); Alexi Souahy, Mo Kaba, Daniel Mukuna, Jared Timmer; Jordon Snell, Brad Dunwell, Tom Owens, Grant Stoneman (Ivo Cerda 46’); Francis Atuahene, Andre Landell (Elliot Collier 66’)  MGN bench: Anthony Mwembia (GK)

From U11 to U18 my Little Goalkeeper-my son Tyler has grown into a fine young man.

ATP_Gen_350x250

Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

Proud Member of the Brick Yard Battalion – http://www.brickyardbattalion.com , Sam’s Army- http://www.sams-army.com , American Outlaws  http://www.facebook.com/IndyAOUnite

 

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