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Messages - jknezek

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South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 17, 2016, 06:01:46 pm »
They showed 4400 for the W&L game last year. I was there and I doubt there were 3000 in the stadium. E&H does sell and collect tickets so they should be accurate but I think there is some inflation.

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 12:19:41 pm »

Howard vs Belgium was one of the best displays of athleticism I have ever seen.   Of course I took Belgium that game and lost my shirt, but it was just phenomenal.

It was. But Keller vs Brazil and possibly Meola vs England in 2003? or 2004? might even have been better goal keeping performances, though not on the same stage. I played against Howard in h.s. and club many, many years ago. We eliminated his team from the NJ State h.s. playoffs in a penalty shoot out his senior year (1997). Of course at the time he was playing in the field for his team, not goal. Some deal he cut with the coach to play. He was all-state in the field as well. I lost to his club team in the NJ State Cup one year when he was in goal. I don't remember him doing anything crazy, but I don't think we tested him very much either.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 17, 2016, 12:15:02 pm »
would never smoke a cigar around others, always seek away to an area where NO ONE ELSE is. I have those spots at HSC, obviously will not find one at GC. I have several such spots at W&L, in the woods between the creek and the field. Can see the game and security guards approve. GC and RMC are the only two that are difficult, but what the hell. Once my kids are done, I will not be traveling to the away games anyway.

It's been a while since I had a cigar but I used to enjoy them as well, so I'm just giving some gentle ribbing. A buddy and I used to go up on the roof of my 5th floor walk up apartment in NYC when I lived there 10+ years ago and smoke cigars and watch the city lights. Good times. I don't think I've had one in years now though.

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 11:25:05 am »
I hope Venezuela at the very least makes Argentina work for it. The winner will have 2 fewer days rest and an equally unattractive flight. Maybe a suspension or two will make it look less lopsided before the whistle. But the U.S. is going to need a crazy performance if it is Argentina. Think Kasey Keller versus Brazil in '98 or Tim Howard versus Belgium in '14. Yes there is a reason I'm focusing on goalies...

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:40:38 am »

Give Pulisic a shot in this one rather than Nagbi...

I doubt JK will start Pulisic. He's never started for club or country at the senior level. I do see him as an offensive sub, especially if we fall behind.

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:05:55 am »
Thought they were playing in Houston then NJ for finals?

They are. I was referring to finishing 1st or 2nd in the group. We finished 1st so we flew all the way to Seattle but got the great crowd. Finishing 2nd would have been a short drive to NJ, but a much more mixed crowd. I wasn't a fan of the travel to Seattle, but that crowd was incredible and I think important. We aren't going to have favorable crowds in Houston or NJ if we make it. Or in AZ if we end up in the 3rd place game....

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:02:39 am »
Likely to see...

          Dempsey Zardes

Bedoya Bradley Beckerman Zusi

Johnson Brooks Cameron Yedlin

vs Argentina I'd go:


 Bedoya  Bradley Beckerman Zardes
Johnson Besler Brooks Cameron Yedlin

Bedoya has two yellows. He's out.  I think we're likely to see this:

F Johnson  Bradley      Zusi
Besler Brooks Cameron  Yedlin 

Though I hate breaking up the back line again, F Johnson can help Besler. Zusi is a stabilizer for Yedlin. I hate pushing Bradley up but Beckerman can't play that role. He's a destroyer and even less of a creator than Bradley and he's just too slow. I don't see Nagbe playing in front of Bradley against Argentina. Maybe if it's Venezuela. But the Besler decision surprised me, so I guess I wouldn't be too surprised if F Johnson stayed across the back line and JK went with a surprise on the left side of midfield. I don't think he trusts Nagbe to play enough defense though, especially missing Jones.

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 09:49:46 am »
Thoughts on last night. The first half was excellent. Then the wear started to show. Brooks was dominant again, especially in the first half and the last 5 minutes of the game. He wasn't quite as strong in the middle of the second half and I think it had to be fatigue. That Paraguay game took a lot out of the guys. Kudos to Guzan. Another solid effort with one spectacular and necessary save. Not much he could do about the goal. Good decision making on when to come off his line all night on crosses.

I didn't see Besler coming in that role but he was serviceable. Ecuador had more speed on the flanks than even Argentina is likely to possess, though not the same skill front to back. Lot to be proud of for Besler playing an unfamiliar role. F Johnson did well also. They keyed on that side for a long time and he held his own considering Zardes did a lot of defensive hustle but he's not a great defender. FJ also got forward a bit in the first half. So he wasn't quite as anonymous as he was against Paraguay. It wasn't Cameron's best night. A couple flubbed clearances including one that should have cost us badly. He seemed a little slow as well, so I'm thinking fatigue as the night wore on.

Bradley was very, very good. He didn't get a lot of publicity but he snuffed out the center of the field from the box to the mid line. Granted Ecuador's strength was down the wings, but Bradley made sure that they had no shot coming up the gut. He connected well front to back, though I still think he takes the safe ball square or back too often. Didn't contribute much on offense in the first half but also didn't seem to tire the way the rest of the team did in the second.

Zardes still has no touch, but again he got what he needed done and he ran all night. I expect to see him start up top for Wood. We don't have another choice except Wondo and I just don't see JK going that route. Maybe Zardes will be more settled higher up the field, though we might miss his speed and hustle deeper back. Bedoya hustled all night but he wore out. JK is on the hook for his card and the foul that created the goal because Bedoya should have been pulled 10 minutes sooner. JK is rigid about subs. 70th minute, 80th minute, 88th plus minute. That wasn't good enough last night as Bedoya needed to come out in the late 60s. Ecuador still might have scored, they had plenty of chances, but they wouldn't have gotten the one they got.

Jones is a hot head. It's the chance you take with him. And it hurt. Instead of coasting to a win up a man, he was just stupid enough to fall on the wrong side of a "point of emphasis" for the tournament. Exactly the wrong thing to do at the wrong time, especially for a veteran. Losing his work rate is going to hurt. Especially against a team like Argentina. We don't have a good replacement though I suspect Beckerman will get the nod. That makes us slower and less likely to get up field, or it means Bradley has to be more advanced where he never seems to shine.

Wood has been incredible. He's not getting goals, but he is the force that is causing defenses to fear our ability to score. He has kept Paraguay and Ecuador honest and prevented them from bombing forward. The card wasn't the worst one for the U.S. on the night, but it hurts. I also think it was a little chintzy from the ref but he was trying to regain control after the double ejection fiasco. Players have to know the next moderate tackle is going to be punished, and Wood was the unfortunate one to do it. I think Zardes can do 85-90% of his role up front, but I wish Wood was eligible.

Dempsey -- fantastic again. Creative force, goal scorer, worked for the assist. Tracked back when needed but got forward. This might be the best tournament for an American attacker that I can remember.

Happy to have a few extra days rest. These guys are going to need it. It's going to be another long flight, but the crowd in Seattle was worth the distance. In NJ I'm not sure that game goes the U.S. way. I feel like the crowd kept the team on its feet when we were being shelled at the end.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 17, 2016, 09:28:44 am »
what the hell is this world coming to ?????

A world where we try not to poison those around us inadvertently?  ;D

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 16, 2016, 11:48:43 pm »
Ecuador is the better side and will win this game. In fact I am rooting for Ecuador to win this game so we can clean house and fire Sunil Gulati and Klinnsmann.

JK is going to Russia as long as we qualify. Big win for the US but selection dilemmas abound. We don't have a replacement for Wood other than moving Zardes up. That requires replacing both wings. Zusi is obvious for one. But do you push F Johnson or Yedlin up on the other side? Besler did well tonight so I guess you can rely on him again. Mighty thin though now.

Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 16, 2016, 04:41:19 pm »

USMNT likely to come out with a 4-4-2, absorb some pressure and pick spots going forward.   Looking at how much they've travelled the last few weeks, opponents played, and projected XIs... I give the edge to Ecuador to advance.   Up and down game with flow possibly disrupted by tactical fouls...   

2-1 Ecuador in extra time...

There is no extra time in Copa America games. Goes straight to penalties. I think a pro-U.S. crowd in Seattle gives the U.S. the edge. 2-1 U.S.

It'll be interesting to see how IWU plays against the Mexican team. They provided a significant portion of the team that just crushed the American team at the World University Championship of American Football. Yeah, the American team was a bunch of college guys paying $5K to get a few more games and a neat experience, but the Mexican team pretty much buried us in the finals. I wonder how the Monterrey team will do against a real DIII school.

East Region football / Re: FB: Empire 8
« on: June 15, 2016, 02:54:17 pm »
It is interesting that 3 of the 4 finalists are DIII.

As an ODAC member alumnus, I need to support Sweet Briar. Not sure I could turn my back on the Vixens anyway. I mean, the actual definition is either a female fox, or, according to the Old English Dictionary, "an ill-tempered quarrelsome woman; a shrew, a termagant." Only later did we add some different connotations and denotations like flirty, fun, sexy, or attractive.

It should be noted the Vixens' website touts "quarrelsome", but for some reason stays away from "shrew" and "flirty." Can't imagine why.

Regardless, need to support the ODAC women!

It's Pep's understanding that all of the original 32 in the contest are DIII schools. Which one is NOT DIII?

ha. I didn't pay that much attention! I didn't think UC Santa Cruz was, but apparently they are. My mistake!

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 15, 2016, 12:17:58 pm »

I was referring only to football related facilities but I enjoyed your narrative. I think W&L can afford to spend the $$$$, so what's the holdup. Every college should have its own golf course !!!!

Yeah. Somehow I don't think that one is happening. Land for a softball field was laid out in the last master plan, though not funded or planned, so I think that is a matter of some time only. But I think quirky Lexington Country Club is going to remain our home golf course for a while, even as we've now moved on to both men's and women's teams. Kind of a shame, since we generally are very good in men's golf, and every few years, like this year, we are superb, but I bet we could be consistently superb for both men's and women's if we had a less quirky home course. Oh well. Golf isn't really played home/away so much as it is various scattered large tournaments. I can't imagine it would be worth the construction and, especially, maintenance money.

I haven't been around the ODAC in many years, so I can't really compare facilities. But my trip to E&H last year showed some good ones. Given you E&H and W&L at the top, I guess I can infer the rest. Though I do love H-SC without the track. Such a more intimate game day experience.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:06:33 am »
thanks for the feedback. how would rank the odac facilities from top to bottom. My list would look something like this:

1) W&L
2) E&H
3) HSC
4) RMC
5) SU
6) GC
7) BC
8) CUA

It's funny because when I got to W&L in the late 90s we were so far behind. But the school has dumped a fortune into facilities, and when the new natatorium (swimming facility) opens it only gets better. Scaling down Wilson Field and giving it a facelift was a massive improvement. As was the new weight room in the student center, as the old one in the gym was embarrassing. The locker rooms under Wilson were completed right before I arrived and that was the start of fixing some really outdated issues. Adding the new housing behind Wilson should improve the game day atmosphere as it brings the field into campus as opposed to being out of the way. But by and large, I think W&L has done what needed to be done and more. It just cost a small fortune. Now if we will just finally get around to adding softball, and either get some improvements done at Lexington Country Club or build our own course, and add a small field house for the soccer facilities so teams have somewhere to go at halftime, we'd have it all!

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