To all MgoBloggers:
Sometimes life just reaches out and takes the air right out of your lungs. I know that we are all struggling during these trying economic times but I also know that this blog and it's users have shown to be caring and generous people.
Two nights ago a horrible story was shared with me about a very young family and a recent tragedy. A healthy 35 year old father of four boys and one girl (who is less than a year old) was just snatched from this earth unexpectedly.
Not to long ago his wife had posted on facebook that she was so happy that their daughter would grow up knowing her father. Her own father was taken from her at an early age. Unfortunately this was not to be!
These types of things are unexplanable and very confusing to me, and my only reaction is to try and give back and help.
I know that some folks here have more than likely also suffered unexpected personal tragedy and can sympathize with this horrible situation.
If not just thoughts and prayers, if you can afford to give something to help this family in this long moment of sadness it will be appreciated.
In Pia Sundhage's final game as US coach, the WNT gave her a fine farewell with a 6-2 victory over the Matildas.
Alex Morgan was great, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. In the 25' she chased down an errant clearance to the left of goal. Her cross went all the way across the box to the top right, where Heather O'Reilly got to it, and her low shot deflected off a defender's foot an into goal. The team went over to the sideline and strummed air guitars in reference to the signed guitar they had given to their coach.
The game suddenly changed several minutes later when speedy Lisa de Vanna ran onto a nice entry pass and poked the ball past Hope Solo for the equalizer in 32', then Aussie captain Sarah Walsh, in her last game, got the go-ahead goal in 34' when Kelley O'Hara missed a clearance attempt.
A few minutes before the half, Tobin Heath started a nice series of passes by putting one through the legs of a Matilda to Alex Morgan, who touched it wide to Kelley O'Hara, who cut it back to Alex, who took a couple of touches and put it in the far side of the net in 43'. It was good to go into halftime 2-2.
The second half was all US. In 53' a weak clearance deflected off another Matilda at the top of the box where Alex Morgan pounced on in, shooting low. It deflected off of Abby Wambach's foot high into the air, bouncing inside 6-yard line with a lot of topspin and into goal.
Alex got her 2nd goal of the night (34th international) in 63' when Heather Mitts crossed from the right corner, and Alex, not very closely marked in front of goal, headed it in.
In the next minute she settled a high long ball outside of the box, but her shot hit the left post.
Megan Rapinoe assisted on the last two goals, first on a corner headed in by Shannon Boxx in 69', then in 82' on a free kick headed in by Sydney Leroux.
There are a couple of friendlies scheduled with Germany on 10/20 (Bridgeview, IL, time TBD) and 10/23 (E Hartford, CT @ 7:30 PM ET), and the announcers talked about possibly a couple more TBD. No definitive timetable on hiring a new coach, but maybe by the end of October
The sideline reporter said she talked to some players about what they were looking for in a new coach, and they said someone who will earn their respect quickly. The announcers interpreted that as someone who will "crack the whip" when necessary.
PRE-GAMING WITH... DESMOND?
(Click the image to view full size)
Not much to say about ol' drunk Desmond there. Just want to thank Pat Stansik for his involvement and blessing, and encourage everyone to visit his YouTube and Facebook accounts. Keep up the good work, and thanks again for the Most Epic Song EVER.
OnThursday Tom runs into the typical Notre Dame fan.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog,
and at least every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to
check out Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
USA 2, Australia 1
Game 2 of the Fan Tribute Tour, and I thought it showed. That is, since the USWNT isn't in training for a major tournament or a WC qualifier, they weren't that sharp: passes at the beginning of the game weren't as crisp as you'd expect, often getting intercepted, and the urgency wasn't there. So the Matildas had better chances early, including a couple shots off the posts.
Alex Morgan, earning her 50th cap, did get behind their D a couple times, with one shot to the outside side netting on the left, and another shot just missing outside right. During the broadcast the announcers said Coach Sundhage was telling her to get behind their D more. She had another shot hitting the outside of the net just before the half.
Australia scored first in the 34' as the fastest player on the field, Lisa de Vanna, beat our fastest player, Christie Rampone, all the way from her side of the field (starts about 2:30 in the highlights vid below).
Kate Markgraf, former US defender, was calling the game, and said if it weren't a friendly, Rampone would have grabbed her shirt, fouled her, even if you draw a yellow card. She was asked how she would have defended de Vanna, and responded "grab her shirt, or just crack her," and the older guy mused that he wouldn't want to play in an NBC pickup game against her.
Morgan got her 32nd international goal at 55' (4:18 in vid). She took a pass from Heather O'Reilly on the right, her first touch getting her into the box, a quick cut to get room to shoot, and she ripped it home. In the 60' she drew a penalty, beating the D and getting tripped by the goalie, who came off her line to challenge. Shannon Boxx put it in for the winner.
Pia Sundhage pregame interview
The USWNT faces Australia again in Colorado on W 9/19 @ 10PM ET on ESPN2.
After the game Alex Morgan talked about being open to the possibility of playing overseas, if a league doesn't start up here. If it doesn't, I hope our players will find good opportunities and have the chance to work on their game against good competition.
Outside the Lines is airing a special on Latifa Cross, a Detroit native who grew up without her parents. She ended up being adopted by abusive parents and eventually became a track star while sleeping in parks and playgrounds. Her high school junior year she would be diagnosed with myloma.
Now at EMU, beating the odds.
Check it out and look for the re-air if you don't see it.
The onset of fall can only mean one thing: Fall Softball. I tease of course. However Fall Softball; FallBall as us coaches call it, is very important for development.
Michigan starts its Fallball season Sept 29 at the Traverse City FallBall Tourney. I have coached many a Tournament in TC and it is a wonderful place to play. The fall colors are spectacular. The girls will have fun.
This year we play the NPF All-stars. Former Pitcher and current Assistant Coach Nikki Nemitz will pitch for NPF. This ought to be fun for Nikki and our girls.
Fallball gives coaches the opportunity to play girls at positions and get game situation evaluations in. These games are not televised so coaches can experiment a little without putting too much pressure on the kids. It also gets the Freshmen a chance to show their talent.
I am looking for a good Fallball season this year. My break-out player is Mandy Gardner. She came to campus with high hopes two years ago. Now that she has been around, I cant wait to see her play. She should be our starting firstbaseman. She has Dorian Shaw power too.
Good luck ladies, dont get hurt.
|Traverse City Tourney|
|Saturday, Sept. 29||Western Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||10:30 a.m.|
|Ferris State||Traverse City, Mich.||Noon|
|Central Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||2 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 30||TBA||Traverse City, Mich.||10:30 a.m.|
|TBA||Traverse City, Mich.||12:30 p.m.|
|Thursday, Oct. 4||NPF All-Stars||Wilpon Complex||6 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Oct. 10||Eastern Michigan||Wilpon Complex||6 p.m.|