To compliment Phil Rolfe’s excellent Youth reports, CFCnet reader “Beth in Texas” has provided an update to Phil’s coverage of the Dallas Cup.
I am sad to report that the little boys did not get through, but not for lack of trying. They won yesterday 1-0 but needed to two to advance. And I have to tell you it wasn’t because of lack of heart, skill or talent! We were the best team by far, just ask any person watching, and most of them were neutrals. The boys played in 85 degree heat and wind gusts of 40mph or more, that challenged the way they played, but that wasn’t the worst bit. They got a ref that was seriously the worst ref I have ever seen, he nearly sent off a player for one yellow card, he got fouls wrong endlessly to the moans of the people watching (how do you get bundled over and still pick up the foul???), and when he sent off the opposing teams coach refused to make the guy actually leave, and allowed the worst amount of delay of game I have ever seen, and that wasn’t the worst bit.
The worst bit, was the team we played, from the start they were about one thing and one thing only, delaying the game (in this tournament they are only allowed a maximum of 4 minutes of stoppage). They took at least 2 minutes to complete a goal kick, endless time “losing” the ball on the sidelines for a throw in, booting the ball not only over here there and everywhere, but to a point that the ball was not retrievable, thought they would saunter away to try, and then have to be called back to start play again, I have never seen anything like it. Not just the last 8 minutes of the match, but nearly the entire match!! It was horrible, the folks on the side lines (and true lovers of the game and not Chelsea) were complaining bitterly about how unfair it was. But in the end the wind and the ref and the delay of game was more than we could climb and we didn’t get that second goal (yes it is hard to get beyond a bus!!!)
Marco scored the goal not 5 minutes from the start of play and it was a great goal. We were all over them throughout the match, they never looked half our strength or talent, which is probably why the reverted to cheating. Heimann, Aziz, Billy Clifford, Kaby, Daniel P (C), Pirez, Danny Mills, Sala, Marco, Kenny and Gokhan started the match, and all played some brilliant stuff. You know there could have been a ton of injuries, the heat was a killer and Monterrey were kicking out at folks (as they generally do in that country) and it is a miracle we left without an injury. Danny Mills almost was a victim, but got a yellow card instead (outrageous), luckily he is a tough lad and brushed it off in no time. At one point I heard one of the players scream “I have never seen a guy like this!” After the half Lalkovic came on for Kenny and they shuffled positions around, then Ince on for Daniel and Ben Sampayo on for Aziz, and they played just as tough and heroically. Their frustration was palpable, but they did the club proud, never lost their cool, and kept fighting on, a number of near chances, but always with the wind just a bit one side or the other. They had much to be proud of.
The boys were very down, but through all their frustration and anger, they never showed it on the pitch, they were consummate professionals, just trying to play and win, they did us proud!!
We had a good night out after and we are sending them back from America, confident and sharp and uninjured. They are definitely up for the FA Youth Cup Final, and have every desire to succeed.