Downtowners kick it between the raindrops

Major 10

Sevilla vs. Valencia

The forces of Hurricane Kyle rained out Friday’s practices and Saturday’s games, but the Sevilla team was anxious to face undefeated Valencia Sunday morning.  Within minutes, the downpour started, turning the fields into muck and uniforms to brown. 

Valencia’s indomitable Jack McGreevy charged downfield, teased the goalkeeper out , and then smartly put one past him.  Despite several attempts by offensive stalwarts Jacob Roter and Elias Griffin, Sevilla was unable to score against goalie Sharoff. There were many impressive Valencia drives down the right side, unchallenged and leading to many crosses to the middle, disrupting Sevilla’s defense.  One such drive resulted in Valencia’s Niall Gallagher scoring goal number two.  Midfielder Tyler Rohan (a true mudder) played a tough game of defense, stopping a few breakaways by Valencia, though sweeper Lumia Nocito backed up the Sevilla defense, and Liam Fuerst’s unassisted goal brought the score to 3-0 at the half.  

The rain continued to come down, and after the halftime break, it seems someone turned on a switch for Sevilla.  The team regrouped into their diamond defense of Tyler Adams, Matthew Levine and Anthony Miguez (who challenged Valencia left wings throughout the game), led by sweeper Nicky Leong.  The adjustment solidified the Sevilla back, and allowed the Sevilla offense to dominate the second half with many drives and fast breaks. 

Midfielder Daphne Tsapalas returned many loose balls back upfield to Sevilla strikers throughout the game. Max Kong, also at midfield, helped fortify the Sevilla offense.  Striker James Carney’s shot on goal was mistakenly picked up by a Valencia player, who thought it had gone out of bounds and reached it before Valencia’s goalie Cole Barker could.  Carney took the penalty kick and sailed it over Barker’s head for Sevilla’s first goal. 

Soon after, it appeared the tide was turning in Sevilla’s favor when Carney blasted one from the corner to bring the score to 3-2.   Then a most amazing corner kick by McGreevy dazzled the drenched crowd and sailed over second-half goalie Elias Griffin’s head, adding another for Valencia. 

Sevilla tried to narrow the gap again when Roter dribbled past defenders, but he was unable to connect with Carney.  In the meantime, Sharoff took advantage of a breakaway, zipping by Sevilla’s Luke Marable in midfield.  Griffin came out of the box to try to stop him, but the deflected ball reached Valencia first, and Karyna Lambert squeaked a soft roller about an inch over the goal line, bringing the score 5-2.  Despite the loss and the rain, Sevilla played a more cohesive game than they did last weekend, and the team looks forward to the rematch on November 9.    

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Both teams fielded only ten in the early morning fog.  Play was strong from the starting whistle in a back and forth, tightly defended game.

 Real Madrid struck first about 15 minutes into the half.  Luke Dilworth finished on a nifty give and go with Ryan Porcaro.  The play was started with a nice through ball from Felix Parker. 

 Barcelona quickly responded.  Jonah Weinstein overcame a challenge by sweeper Fischer Bodwell and a strong finish by Jack Vegas knotted the score at 1-1.  Bodwell, injured in the exchange, couldn’t return to the pitch so Madrid soldiered on without substitutes for the remainder of the game.  Strong defensive play by Sophie Stoch and defensive midfielder Advay Sriram helped fill the gap.

In the second half, Porcaro, supported by midfielders Deejai Riangkrul and Simon Curtis-Ginsberg, orchestrated a number of strong runs at the Barcelona goal, often crossing to the weak side or working give-and-goes with Parker and Dilworth.  Their constant pressure resulted in a penalty shot, taken by Porcaro, who converted on the deflection.  As the second half wound down, the defenses opened up a bit and each team took two or three breakaway runs at the goal.   Barcelona goalie Benjamin Beaumont stopped a one-on-one breakaway by Parker. Madrid goalie Clyde Huibregtse made similar high pressure saves and steadied the tiring defense.  Late in the second half, Porcaro converted a loose ball high into the corner of the goal for the final tally of 3-1, Real Madrid.