Sunday, May 31, 2009

MATCH REPORT; New Fairfield 4 Madison 2

Away day blues continue for Madison

Madison lost their second consecutive away game today against a strong New Fairfield team leaving the coach the difficult challenge of trying to find a way to raise our game and replicate our successful home form when on the road.

Perfect playing conditions at the plush New Fairfield stadium seemed to inspire Madison Celtic to a whirlwind start. Some fine passing and possession play by the visitors allowed a number of early chances to be created. Although Madison were playing with some of their star players missing, notably Carlito and Enrique, ( and Behrooz !), they were holding the ball up well providing Jorge and Scotty some reasonable opportunities to run at goal. Strong defensive play by the Celtic back line, especially Ron the Toe, clearly frustrated the opposition attackers. Ron was first to every ball, putting his head and other body parts, into the line of fire when most other players would have pulled back. However, both New Fairfield strikers were fast and skillful, and quick to get shots on target when opportunities presented themselves.

With the Sun beating down relentlessly on fans and players alike, the first twenty minutes of the game seemed to crawl by. Madison were clearly the better team, but had no goal to emphasize their dominance. However, an unusual incident afforded the Celts a chance to take the lead, when a deflected pass back to the goalkeeper was harshly adjudged by the referee to be an intentional pass. He awarded Madison an indirect free kick just inside the New Fairfield penalty box. After what seemed an age, as the referee failed miserably to measure out 10 yards for the defensive wall, the ball was gently rolled to Scotty who slammed a shot into the net for a well deserved one nil lead for Madison.
The Celts continued to play strongly after their opener although New Fairfield were clearly getting back into the game. Unfortunately for Celtic all their fine play during the first half hour of the game was undone by, what many neutral observers described as, an outrageous decision by the referee to gift New Fairfield an exact same indirect free kick inside the penalty box for a pass back to the Madison goalkeeper. Even though the opposition striker told the ref that it was not an intentional pass back he was determined to give the foul. Indirect free kicks in the penalty box are relatively rare to see during a whole season let alone seeing two in the same half of a game! Again the referee struggled to give clear directions about where the 10 yard mark was and allowed the New Fairfield players to obstruct and impede the Madison defenders with impunity. Inevitably, from only 10 yards out, New Fairfield found it very easy to score for their equalizer.
Unfortunately for Celtic, their "old" failing of managing to self destruct during a game came to the fore after this set back. The defensive line was clearly disorganized for the last 15 minutes of the half because of an argument between team mates. This sad situation handed the initiative to New Fairfield and they grasped it with both hands as they slammed in two further goals before the end of the first half. A very disappointing end to a half which Madison had bossed until the last ten minutes.

The team got their act together for the start of the second half, playing good possession football, and pressing the New Fairfield players onto the defensive. Having said that, the opposition strikers were always fast and dangerous on the break and on at least two separate occasions hit the post and bar. Stand in goalie El Gutso also made a superb save from their best striker when he was clear in on goal. Madison kept plugging away and got their just reward when Scotty was scythed down in the New Fairfield box for a clear penalty. The somewhat erratic referee did not see fit to show a deserved red card to the offending last defender but at least Jorge kept his focus to slam the ball into the net to close the gap to one goal. Madison had a few chances after that to get the equalizer but to be honest, the Fairfield team really closed the game out with some good defensive play and counter attacking tactics. And as Madison tried to stretch the game to get the equalizer they left themselves increasingly exposed at the back. After another good attack by New Fairfield, which resulted in a corner, they swung the ball in and scored a powerful headed goal to finish the scoring.
The game ran its course over the last ten minutes with only a few fleeting chances coming Madison's way. The final whistle saw New Fairfield winning by 4-2 which was a bit flattering to them but over the piece the win was well deserved.

Madison now head back to home where they have a superb unbeaten record stretching back nearly two seasons. If they can get back on track and control the internal strife which seems to strike at the most inopportune moments they can still have a solid start to the season.

Man of the Match; Ron the Toe; An awesome display by Ron marking his best game ever for Madison. He got his body in play for almost every ball that came his way and really disrupted the forward play of New Fairfield. Great play Ron!

Ron struts his stuff!

Fans, and a dog cheer on the Celts!

The fans flock to their fav Celtic players!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NEXT GAME; Sunday 31st May, New Fairfield!

After some significant doubt and concern we finally have a squad for Sunday! By Roniildo's latest count we have 12 players and another 2 still to confirm. Tim, Kevin, El Gato and Tom J can't play and Enrique and Hamid have still to confirm. Of course Ro Ro is fast becoming a name from the distant past but we will still list him as not confirming until he gets back in touch....we miss you Ro Ro!
We are playing New Fairfield away this weekend and they are a very good team. Having said that, we played them four times last year in the B division losing both away games but winning and drawing our home games. Again, this is a team that can be beaten if we are confident from the start of the game.....think Barcelona when you step onto the field! Think of it.... Carlos is Messi, Jacques is Xavi, Jodi is Iniesta, Jorge is Et'o, Rob is Puyol, Danny is.....Danny. You get the picture ! Good passing, team work and the confidence that you can achieve! It goes a long way.

A lot of guys will meet up at the Madison circle at 8am this Sunday for the ride up there. I will be up that way anyway, so I'll see you on the field!! And I think Danny is bringing the good stuff for the after match discussion!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PLAYER FOCUS on....."Fribeka!"

Yes, it's time for Fribeka or "La Boca junior" to step forward and take the heat, because it's his turn on PLAYER FOCUS! What can we learn about Fribeka that we don't know already? This tight shirt loving, central midfielder has played a few years with Madison and is a regular fixture in the team....Yes i know, fixtures don't usually move. But his uncanny ability to turn on a dime...and keep turning until the whole team is dizzy is just one of his many talents. If he was fitted with a GPS it would be telling him to turn around at the first available opportunity every five minutes. Of course, he learned his soccer skills while playing ice hockey in Canada....and it shows. He is the Wayne Gretzky of the Madison Celts and our team would not be the same without him. Fribeka....take us away....

First time you played soccer? With Madison FC??? But seriously I do recall kicking the ball with my Father in our backyard when I was a little bambino!

Favorite Team? Any team as long as they show beautiful Football:
On the domestic side, Man U!
On the international side, in the 80s Brazil; today, Go Oranje!
( All i can remember is Scotland 3 Holland 2, in the '78 World Cup! )

Fav Player? I may have one for every decade! Zico was one the most fantastic player to watch! But since I wear #5 - Zizou Zidane! ( He is a big head butter... )

Fav Music? Every "genre" for every mood! I like to dance so, Salsa, Meringue….
I have my relaxing moments so I listen to Classical music and Enjoy the voice and look of Sarah Brightman! When I'm in my car mostly my favorite bands - Pixies, NIN!
( What do you listen to when you are in crazy, Fribeka, La Boca Junior mood??)

Fav Movie? Movies that I would watch everyday: Ferris Buller day off - Pulpe Fiction - Woody Allen; Love and death, Sleeper, Bananas movies - the Bad, the good and the ugly (I've seen the bad and ugly when you play, when is the good coming along? )

Best moment on a soccer field? Every time I survive a game without injuries! ( One of these days you will spin around so fast you will screw yourself into the ground...then you can be the referee )

Nickname at school? Black magic, given to me during my playing time in Hockey! Oh! how time goes by fast! ( hey, you are still manage to disappear during every game!)

Motto for life? We only live once, make the best of it! ( you can't say that to El Gato, he thinks he has nine lives )

Something we don't know about you? I have a black belt in Karate (Chito Ryu) and an orange belt in Tae Kwon do - I was once rank #5 in Canada in Martial art competition! I stopped ~25 years ago when I got my ass kicked by the 3 times World Champion in full contact Reynald campbell, and he was teaching me! ( wow, number 5 in Canada! that's like being ranked number 178,678,152 nd in the USA....)

Thanks Fribeka! See, that wasn't painful at all was it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

PLAYER FOCUS on.....TJ..."The Judge"!

Time for Tom Judge to step under the player focus spotlight. Tom's first season with Madison was blighted with injury and he rarely made it onto to the field. However a fit and lean TJ started the new season in fine fettle and has made a great start to his "new" team. Two goals in his first two games was a great welcome back. So what is there to know about TJ? Read on....

First time you played soccer?
Played Gaelic Football from the time I was a kid until my mid-twenties, got to travel to Ireland with an American team from NYC. First played soccer in 7 th Grade (13), moved from NYC to Long Island.

Favorite Team?
Talk about leagues first. Best league in the world, far and away is the English league, followed by the Italian League, the Spanish League is a distant third, may not even be as good as the German league any more. Favorite team used to be Man U before they purchased the world, more recently Chelsea, now they have purchased the world, so I will have to find a new favorite team. I hardly seams fair like a fair game with all of the talent these teams buy. ( Excuse me but i think you may have left the best team in the world off your list....hint...they play in green and white hoops? )

Fav Player?
Best player in the world, hands down is Kaka. Favorite players are Michael Essien (his play has fallen off the last year) and I hate to say it but, Cristiano Ronaldo ( What about Fribeka?? )

Fav Music?
Once again, sad to say but, Country music (YEEE Ha! )

Fav Movie?
Go for the war movies, Braveheart, Gladiator, Glory in that order ( Escape to Victory??? )

Best moment on a soccer field?
Scored 3 goals in an indoor game last winter. ( And 2 goals already in the outdoor season!)

Nickname at school?
TJ ( makes a lot of sense, not hugely original, but accurate....)

Motto for life?
20% of people in the world are assholes, so just expect 1/5 of the people you meet to be an asshole. ( So that's about 4 people in our squad....hhmm wonder who they are? )

Something we don't know about you?
I have coached youth soccer for 11 years.

Thanks TJ... You country music loving, war movie watching, Irish footballing, confused Chelsea fan......

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NEXT GAME; Sunday 18th May, Prospect

A message from our coach;


Hope you all enjoyed Mother's day off! This Sunday we are scheduled to play against Prospect and this is another Away game for us. We need to be there no later than 9:30 am.

Please Google the directions from your location to Hotchkiss Field in Prospect.

If you interested to carpool, we can meet at Madison Circle Pizza parking lot (Rt. 79/80 circle). Please be there by 8:30 am

Please let me know if you are meeting me at the Madison circle or going there directly"

Thanks Tom,

I will be in the UK this weekend so will miss the game. Hopefully someone will take extensive notes so I can blog the match update. Usually Jodinho or Fribeka take the opportunity to express themselves…..

Prospect are a tough team and in the 19 games they played last year they won 9, lost 6 and tied 4. In the four games they played Bridgeport they lost all of them to scores of 4-3, 6-0, 6-2 and 4-3. In the recorded scores against Guilford they fared better winning three and drawing one game. They finished in second place in the league last year but, if we play to the great form of our first two games and have a full squad I think we can win!

Don't forget to send me an e-mail of the result plus any commentary!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Funny Caption Competition!

No game this weekend for Mothers day so let's have a bit of fun....

OK, I'm not sure what Scotty is doing in the middle of the field but that's the whole point of a funny caption competition...... post your caption on the comments section below and let's see what one makes us laugh...

I'll start with the obvious one.....

" Did anyone bring some toilet paper?"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

PLAYER FOCUS on...Carlito..."El Flaco"!

Yes finally, it's the return of player focus! And the first player up for a grilling is our very own Carlito! He is a fast tricky dribbler who can sail past defences as though they are not there. He is a lean, mean running machine who is tough in the tackle and can take on guys several feet bigger than him at corners! Sometimes he is even kind enough to come back into defence to give us some tips and guidance!

He has scored some fantastic goals over the last year as well as setting up some great assists.

So what more do we need to know about Carlito? Read on....

When did you first play football? When i started kicking in my mothers belly, i was very young! ( But you were actually still in your mothers belly, right?)

Fav Team? What do you think? Barcelona! Great team with some fantastic players like Messi and Xabi. I also liked the Argentina side of the late seventies, also great players and skill. ( The Argentina side were great that year, they all had hair! )

Fav Player? Don't really have one but i liked Mario Kempes and Luque from the Argentina world cup winning team. ( What about Jimmy Johnstone from Celtic's 1967 European Cup winners??)

Fav Music? Merengue, Salsa, Mambo ....all the music that makes you move your body! ( what about heavy metal? you can move your body to that too!)

Nickname at school? El means skinny boy ( Do you have a friend called El Gordo?)

Something we don't know about you? I like young girls! ( not sure what to say about that! )

Thanks Carlito!.....some softball questions to start this seasons' Player Focus....more to come from Fribeka, Roniildo and many more!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

MATCH REPORT; Bridgeport 3 Madison Celtic 1

Madison falter away from home

The taste of defeat is always bitter no matter what way it comes to you. And on the face of it, losing away from home to the current Div A champions is not a reason for triggering a lasting depression, but the lingering feeling after this game is that Madison could have won it and at least were deserving of a draw.
Some questionable decisions by the referee early in the game set the tone as every clash resulted in the whistle being blown. This created a very stop-start feel to the first 30 minutes of the game and it seemed to affect our team more than it did the champions Bridgeport. It was also clear that Celtic's game was off it's early season form and most of the disjointed play was coming from Madison Celtics inability to make passes that found any of their players. Having said that, the opening skirmishes were even so it was something of a shock when Bridgeport scored. A corner out on Celtic's right hand side was whipped in to the box at the near post and the defence seemed to react in slow motion as the ball fired straight into the net. An unsettling start was compounded by the Celtic defence's inability to control the tricky fast play of the Bridgeport no 20. He had skill and speed in abundance and at times was turning the Mad Celts defensive line inside out. It was no surprise then when he reacted the quickest to a long ball into the Celtic penalty box, controlling it on his chest before swiveling round the last defender and firing the ball into the net. Although the score at this point was 2-0 it did not feel that Celtic were out of the game and just before half time after a period of good pressure a Bridgeport player handled the ball in the box presenting Celtic with a clear penalty. Roniildo coolly slotted the ball into the net to close the gap to one goal. As the half ended Madison Celts had clawed their way back into the game and looked in the ascendancy.

The second half started with the star no 20 player from Bridgeport threatening to score from almost every attack he made at the Celtic defence. Luckily, the accuracy of his shooting was inversely proportional to his speed. At times it looked like he would have missed the proverbial barn door from just a few feet. He was not the only Bridgeport player in on the act though and several good shots were well saved by the impressive Kevinho. After this initial onslaught at the beginning of the half Madison worked their way back into the game and started to take control with several great chances going wide or over. With little more than 15 minutes left on the clock it looked inevitable that Madison would equalize but fate would decide otherwise. Two shocking decisions by the referee changed the game for Madison. A lobbed shot by Jorge that sailed over the goalie and over the line was not not given as the ref believed the last defender had managed to get to it. If that was bad worse was to come, when Carlito moved down the Bridgeport left hand side cut inside with only the goalie to beat and was slammed to the ground by the onrushing goalkeeper in what was the most clear stonewall penalty you could imagine. Unfortunately the only person on the field who did not see the incident was the referee and that was that. Even though Madison continued to fight it was clear this was not going to be their day. In the last minute of the game Bridgeport scored a third through an unfortunate own goal.....

A tough defeat and a scoreline that clearly flattered Bridgeport. They will still be tough to beat when they visit Madison's home ground but if the Celts play the way they did in the second half and even get a fraction of the luck that deserted them today, that bitter taste should be replaced by the sweet smell of revenge.

Man of the Match; Kevinho, with a string of great saves that kept Bridgeport at bay when they were having a good spell in the game