Sunday, November 28, 2010

PLAYER FOCUS....on.... "Arniesto"

After a long break to get us through the intensive soccer season Player Focus is back.....and back with a bang, see..... And I don't mean any small bang, I mean one of those glorious huge big bangs that sound like the Universe has just rebooted and life is worth living again. Yeah, and this time we focus on that Sam Spade loving, Faulkner kissing son of a gun called Arnie,....yeah, that's right, Arniesto to his friends. And will it be funny? Who knows, and who cares, alls i know is that when you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!

First time you played soccer? In High School--
Galway Golden Eagles in upstate New York--went to states three years, twice to semi finals. ( Arggghh, so close to the final! "All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible" )

Favorite Team? Barcelona ( Whatevah.... )

Fav Player? Fabregas (hoping he'll make it to Barca). ( Keep dreaming... )

Fav Music? Like many many things--Dylan, Nick Cave, Classical guitar--especially Segovia, Bach... Richard and Linda Thompson, Susan McKewon, Van Morrison.... ( What?? No Lady Gaga? )

Fav Movie? Hard to say--love all Film Noir (taught a course in Noir for years)... Touch of Evil right up there. Gun Crazy. Out of the Past. Kiss Me, Deadly. ( .....are those films names or are you really trying to tell me something?“I didn't recognize you. You should lay off those candy bars.”..... “How I detest the dawn. The grass always looks like it's been left out all night.”)

Best moment on a soccer field? Still waiting for it to happen... ( yes, we all are! Spring season will be here soon!)

Nickname at school? The Goog. (Long before Google--after comic book character Barney Google.) (any relation to our Goggs? )

Motto for life? Hmm. You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose... (Well technically you can.... not sure why you would want to, but you could! )

Something we don't know about you? Played lead guitar for a punk rock band of graduate English lit students called The Sound and the Fury (after Faulkner's novel).... ( lemme guess....I bet you were The Fury? Maybe should have called yourselves the Compson brothers?)

Most famous person I've met? Spent an afternoon with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's wife waiting for him to arrive. He got stuck in traffic, and I never managed to meet him, but had a lovely visit with Mercedes, and a tour of his studio, gardens, house, etc. (did he know you had spent the afternoon with his wife?? Is this something you want to admit on a global blog, did you both have cholera?? )

Thanks for the great interview! But.....Don't be so gloomy Arniesto. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock! So long, Arnie...... ;o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guys, hope you have a great few days stuffing some turkey and eating it....after that we should think about an end of year get together and then plan for the new indoor season. Next week I will send out some suggestions for us to get together for a few beers and plan the new year.

Tano is acting as the team conscience right now by trying to get some of us to go out and practice.... I'm impressed Tano, you are trying to motivate us like Maradona!!... but I'm sorry that you are not getting the response you deserve....If the weather holds out maybe some of us can play a few hours before the indoor season starts?

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Atlantic Rovers Road Trip 2010! Part 3

And so to the final Road Trip report! A tour of Celtic Park and also a trip to Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland, to see the castle and drink some more beer!

The trip to Edinburgh was fun as we went into even more depth analyzing Scottish beers, food and culture,.... and yes, there is culture in Scotland! Jodingo!! started acting like an American tourist as he nearly caused a fight in one bar by asking where Caledonia was and suggesting that it was near Bulgaria! He then nearly got run down by a bus as he stepped into the middle of the road to take a photograph. But apart from that, and another run in with the police, the trip was a nice day out! The trip to Celtic Park was also great fun as we first tried to buy up the Celtic store ( El Gato woud have loved it! ) and then went on a fairly full access tour of the stadium. Unfortunately, no one signed us up so we are all still available to play for Madison.

All in all, it was a great road trip and a huge amount of fun! I would encourage any of you who are thinking of going next year to start saving!

End of September 2011 for the next Atlantic Rovers tour!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Atlantic Rovers Road Trip 2010! Part 2

Time for Road Trip part 2! I left you just as the Atlantic Rovers were heading off the field after a creditable 4th place finish in the tournament. All that was left was a drive back to the Hotel to get ready for the party later that night. Unfortunately five minutes into that journey we ended up in a slight car accident that wrote off our car! Unperturbed we managed to get to the tournament party later that night and a great time was had by all right through to 4 am! Jodingo!! and Roniildo impressed everyone with their chair dancing. Both BOR and Jodingo!! showed off their talent for drinking 18 year old malt whiskey in one gulp. And by the end of the evening there were few women left that had not been chatted up by the dingo....

However, as Carlos and Jorge know all too well, partying to 4am before a game the next day is never a good idea. But, we bravely got up the next morning, after 3 hours sleep, and downed another huge breakfast before heading to the field for the noon kick off. The game after the tournament is called the "survivors match" and is usually a challenge match against the hosts the Elgin Marbles. The Atlantic Rovers were bolstered by a few extra players due to injuries to Roniildo and my bro prior to the match. It was a cold but sunny morning and the bleary eyes of everyone around told you how this game might go. But after a very sluggish first five minutes everyone was wanting to win it. Jodingo!! and BOR were having a great game going past stupified players and providing great crosses as the Atlantic Rovers looked like the most likely team to score. And score they did! Without going in to all the gory details the Rovers won the game 7-5! The big surprise of the game? A ridiculously good performance by Johnaldo who scored with almost every touch of the ball claiming 6 of the Rovers goals! Yes I said 6 goals!, and there were some really great ones in there too !! As you are aware, I know Johnaldo pretty well and even he was surprised by this burst of attacking flair....maybe he should be tried out up front for the Celts in the new season??

After the game, we had to make our quick goodbyes and head to Inverness Airport in a recovery truck to get a new rental car. A gorgeous sunny day accompanied us all the way back to Glasgow allowing Scotland to be seen at its best. Stage 1 of the tour had finished and all that was left was a visit to Celtic Park and then a trip to Edinburgh! More of that in the final Road Trip report to come!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Atlantic Rovers Road Trip 2010! Part 1

I promised a trip report on the Atlantic Rovers first outing at the Hopeman Soccer Tournament in Scotland, so here it is!

Roniildo, BOR , Jodingo!! and Johnaldo were the intrepid foursome who set out from Newark airport to represent the Mad Celts at the tournament combining with my brother and friends from Glasgow to form the Atlantic Rovers. This was an awesome road trip with lots of soccer, lots of beer and lots of fun! The journey up to Hopeman was a long one as we flew to London, then Glasgow then drove to Hopeman arriving about 24 hours after we had set off from Connecticut! After no rest at all we headed straight to the local bar where there was a fantastic reception from our hosts the Elgin Marbles. A Scottish piper was there to welcome us into the bar, we each received a gift of some nice Elgin Marbles polo shirts and we had lots of beer flowing to the wee small hours of the morning. BOR even attempted to blow the pipes! Perfect preparation for athletes!
The next morning, after a huge Scottish breakfast, we were ready for the games to begin. The main tournament was an outdoor 7 a side competition that had 7 teams from around Scotland and the Atlantic Rovers. The format of the tournament was two groups of 4 teams playing each other once over 15 minutes. The top two teams from each section then played in the "Champions league" section while the bottom teams played for the consolation trophy. Our main aim was to survive against some of the teams that were clearly made up of players under the age of 40. To our surprise we came through the first three games undefeated and qualified for the Champions league. Some great goalkeeping by BOR had kept us in the games at times but we had also scored some great goals to beat a good Edinburgh side and draw with two of the local teams. The next section was a lot tougher and we were well beaten by the two teams that would eventually contest the final, including an RAF Airforce team that took no prisoners, as Roniildo found to his cost when he was nearly halved in two by a particularly meaty challenge! We tied our last match in the section to finish fourth overall! A credible outing in our first tournament! We were the only team that played with no subs and after several hours of playing we were exhausted but ready to party that night..... more to come on that, and the next days "survivors" challenge match in Road trip report 2!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Prize For the Guys!

A great end of season prize giving night was had by all at Saray's Turkish restaurant last night. Great food, great prizes and great company!

Each team member of the CARSL 2010 winning season received a Championship medal! Player of the season awards were also given to The Hulk ( Defender of the Season ), Roniildo and Halil ( Midfielders of the season ) and Tano ( Forward of the season ). The other Defender of the season award for Goggs and Goalscorer of the year award for Jorge will be given out during the indoor season in January.

Every member of the Championship winning team has a medal waiting for them when I see them next. And finally a special "unsung Hero" award was given to El Gato for all his hard work during the season! And thanks again to El Gato for organizing the event last night which should become an annual event in our calendar!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Are The Champions!

We never really took the time to celebrate our winning of the CARSL Div B championship this Summer. We won it by one point from Bridgeport with 3 games to spare! Only one defeat and two draws in a strong season of ten wins! For those of you turning up on Friday night at the Turkish restaurant there will be some prizes given out! We are now voting for the Striker of the season during this Spring/Summer. The most goals were scored by Jorge but maybe you look for other things in your strikers like most assists, best goal, most laughs.... go ahead and vote.

I also made a little end of season video to celebrate, it's on Madison Celtic TV and right here;