Monthly Archives: November 2016

From The Pitch When No One was Watching

I also bought Carli Lloyd’s memoir and it was an outstanding read.   It is not a how to manual to becoming a soccer star.   It was about how to deal with disappointment and success.  She was very honest with her relationship with her parents,  teammates, and her coaches on the national team.   I remember the phrase ” I Don’t Do Fake” from the book’s prologue.  The phrase means that she stays being true to herself.   Several chapters talk about the relationship with her coach/mentor James Galansis.    When Carli was ready to quit her father introduced her to Galansis, and the rest is history.  The main things I got from this book is that you have to pay the price to become a success.  Also, that you have to be true to yourself.   She was willing to give up her personal and social life to win the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2015.   She also part of the wage discrimination suit against U.S Soccer late last year.


From The Pitch Abby’s Book

A few months ago, I bought “ABBY” a memoir of Abby Wambach.  It is much more than a book about her legendary soccer career.  It is about a woman who had to deal with a lot of issues in her life. It goes from dealing with family to teammates and to relationship problems.   She talked about her DUI arrest in April in great detail, and how it was the catalyst to change her ways.    She does admit to use of drugs during her career, but it never affect her play on the pitch.  She is a complex woman who is like to be a flawed person.    However by doing this book she wanted inspired people and reminded them to defy labels and speaking out for what is right.

From The Pitch Change of Command

Bruce Arena replacing Jurgen Klinsmann as Head Coach of the United States Men’s National Soccer team was a long time coming.   With the team slow start and Klinsmann being the Technical Director as well as coach hurt the team’s on the field performance.   Having Arena back at coach should help this team qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.   What about the long run?  Who should the United States hire as a full-time head coach after 2018?   Should the U.S also have a separate technical director who should be in charge of the youth programs.    What about current U.S Soccer President Sunil Gulati?   Should he stay in charge or they going in another direction.   Gulati is also dealing with the Women’s National Team and their CBA that expires at the end of the year.   However, that issue will be discussed in another blog.

NFL Week 13

Here are my NFL Week 13 picks.   Cleveland and Tennessee have byes.

Dallas beat Minnesota

Atlanta beat Kansas City

Detroit beat New Orleans

New England beat LA Rams

Denver beat Jacksonville

Philadelphia beat Cincinnati

Baltimore beat Miami

Chicago beat San Francisco

Oakland beat Buffalo

Pittsburgh beat NY Giants

Washington beat Arizona

Tampa Bay beat San Diego

Seattle beat Carolina

Indianapolis beat NY Jets

Week 12 Vs Colts

It was a good game for the Steelers and it was a total team effort.   The defense had two goal line stands, 3 sacks,  2 interceptions, and stopped the Colts running game.   The offensive line opened the holes for Le’veon Bell and didn’t give up of a sack.  Bell rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown.  Ben Roethlisberger threw for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Antonio Brown caught 6 passes for 91 yards and got all 3 touchdowns from Roethlisberger.

Special Teams gave up a 35-yard fake punt pass from Pat McAfee and some good kickoff returns to the Colts.  They have to work on those things and have to cut back on the penalties.   They have ten days to work on those things, plus get healthy.   The Steelers take on the NY Giants on December 4th at Heinz Field with kickoff at 4:25 P.M.

Week 11 Vs Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers broke their 4 game losing streak by stopping the Browns running game holding them to 32 yards.  Le’veon Bell rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown.   Ben Roethlisberger threw for 167 yards and had no interceptions.   The defense had a season high 8 sacks and an interception.  They were able to control the ball for 33:58 and the offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage.    There were some problems during the game.    There were too many penalties and the red zone offense only scored once.   That was due to two Browns penalties on the last play of the first half and Bell scored on a 1 yard run.   It will be a short week for the Steelers as they take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday night with the kickoff at 8:30 P.M.

NFL Week 12

Here are my NFL Week 12.

Detroit beat Minnesota

Dallas beat Washington

Pittsburgh beat Indianapolis

Tennessee beat Chicago

Buffalo beat Jacksonville

Baltimore beat Cincinnati

Atlanta beat Arizona

NY Giants beat Cleveland

New Orleans beat LA Rams

Miami beat San Francisco

New England beat NY Jets

Houston beat San Diego

Seattle beat Tampa Bay

Oakland beat Carolina

Denver beat Kansas City

Philadelphia beat Green Bay

Week 10 Vs Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger had an amazing game throwing for 408 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Antonio Brown had a sensational game 14 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.  Le’veon Bell was held in check with 57 yards and a touchdown.   The defense had two sacks and one turnover, but could not make big plays late in the game to stop the Cowboys.   There were two costly penalties to led two Cowboys touchdowns in the 4th quarter.  There were both personal fouls, and very dumb.   Mike Tomlin went for two points conversion after every touchdown and none were converted.

As much there were some mistakes by the Steelers you have to give the Cowboys credit for making all of the plays.   Dak Prescott threw for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 114 yards and had two touchdowns, plus had  an 83-yard reception for a touchdown.  Dallas won the game 35-30, and as for the Steelers the question has to be asked can they bounced back from a 4 game losing streak.    Next Sunday, they take on the winless Cleveland Browns at First Energy Stadium with kickoff for 1:00 P.M.  Will see if the Steelers have the resolve that champions have?

NFL Week 11

Here are my NFL Week 11 Picks.  Atlanta, Denver, NY Jets and San Diego have byes.

New Orleans  beat Carolina

Pittsburgh beat Cleveland

Dallas beat Baltimore

Detroit beat Jacksonville

Tennessee beat Indianapolis

Cincinnati beat Buffalo

NY Giants beat Chicago

Kansas City beat Tampa Bay

Arizona beat Minnesota

Miami beat LA Rams

New England beat San Francisco

Seattle beat Philadelphia

Green Bay beat Washington

Oakland beat Houston


From The Pitch California Love

U.S Women were playing a 3-4-3 formation in their second match against Romania.  This was their last match of 2016.   There were some good chances, but no goals.  Then in the 21st minute, a Crystal Dunn shot was deflected by Romania’s Teodora Meluta for an own goal and 1-0 U.S lead.   Despite Romania playing, a more disciplined game they gave another goal.  In stoppage time,  Christen Press gave a pass to Dunn to give the U.S a 2-0 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, Christen Press took a feed from Tobin Heath and scored in the 54th minute to increased the U.S lead to 3-0.   Then on a penalty kick, Morgan Brian scored in the 88th minute to give the U.S a 4-0 lead.   Sam Mewis closed out the scoring in stoppage time to give the U.S a 5-0 win.

Romania was not much of test for the United States, but  a lot of young players got a chance to play.   The U.S finished with a 22-0-3 record, but they still remember the lost to Sweden on penalties kicks in the Olympic quarterfinals.   FYI, FIFA doesn’t count penalty kicks as a loss.    What happens next?   Well the CBA expires on December 31st, and will there be games next year?    Will Hope Solo be back after her suspension ends in February?   As they say on television stay tuned.