Saturday, November 12th
THE camera doesn’t lie, of course, so you can be forgiven if you mistook the group pictured above for a MLS team in disguise rather than the club coaches who took part in the Fall Coaches’ Game.
Like many a MLS club, however, the teams did feature a mix of homegrown talent together with an aging band of overseas players still vainly chasing that last hurrah.
Once again the two teams were captained by former Club Presidents John Madeira (Orange) and Bert Mukkulainen (Black), who this time had managed to free himself from his airport car service commitments for the night.
Before the game Bert had been complaining that the Orange team looked too strong (being Swedish he never expects to win any soccer match) but the game turned out to be extremely close-fought and ended in a 4-4 tie.
After early pressure from the Orange team, Black opened the scoring through Deric Truckenmiller who struck an unstoppable shot from the corner of the penalty box (I was in goal so virtually anything was unstoppable) before Brad ’Bites your Legs’ Greenwald managed to wrestle the ball past Orange keeper Jay Varrato to level the scores.
John Madeira put the Orange team ahead and with man mountain Obai Hurdle a commanding and diverting (it’s a long way round) figure at the center of their defense the Orange team took a 2-1 lead into half-time.
The Mukkulainen team talk was obviously the more effective, though, because Deric Truckenmiller soon tied the scores for Black before Bert himself bamboozled new Orange keeper Rich Schantz with a ball that slipped between his legs. Bert said afterwards that he’d been working on the shot in practice and the secret was the deceptive spin while Rich said that as he helps coach three teams he thought it a good opportunity to show his own keepers how easy it was to give away simple goals.
All the drama was not over, however, with Jay Varrato keeping out a Trevin Berger penalty (memo to the u10 Boys team - he may well tell you not to kick it straight at the keeper but guess what) before Trevin redeemed himself by levelling the scores at 3-3.
Guest player Vic Nunes (proving that not all Portuguese players are show ponies of the Ronaldo and Madeira ilk) then slalomed his way past several Orange defenders to put Black ahead again before Kratzer Third Grade teacher Jason Figueroa hit back for Orange.
Finally our thanks have to go to Ben Jago and Tyler Madeira from the u14 Boys’ team for refereeing the game, though doubtless Tyler will be made to pay for that dodgy offside call he made on his father.