Isle of Sodor Premier League – IN REVIEW – matchday 32 (4/13-14): Away teams reign, title race shifts

Sat., 4/13                              [The Featured Match, which was previewed, is in bold]
#7    E.C D.                            1   vs.      6     #8    Wellsworth
#19  Tidmouth City         4   vs.     13    #10   Suddery
#11   Lakeside                     1    vs.      5      #1    Dryaw
#5    Kirk Ronan                0   vs.      7     T14   Marron
T16  Ffarquhar                   0   vs.     4     T14   Brendam Harbor

Sun., 4/14
#4   Crovan’s Gate            3    vs.    5    #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
T16  Ulfstead                       1    vs.    2      #9   Glennock
#18  Brendam Utd.           6   vs.    5     #13   Vicarstown
#6    Junction & Sheds    7    vs.    2    #12    Castle Rolf
#2    Peel Godred               7    vs.    8     #3    Knapford Town

[The updated table is under the “More Noobishness” Pages.  Smexy link. ]

Review Highlights:  

*  Knapford Town moves into 2nd, dropping Peel Godred to 3rd

*  Dryaw wins again, remains four points clear of #2

*  New last place team!

*  A tie for 16th forces IoS FA to announce how they will handle possible end-of-season tie in the table

What a crazy weekend on the Isle.  In addition to the highlights above, seven away teams won.  Suddery blasted sad sacks Tidmouth City for 13 goals.  And Brendam United climbed out of the Relegation Zone, leaving two teams tied on the Cutline.  This last forced FA prez Abban Clague to release a long-awaited statement regarding possible ties in the table at season’s end: 

Image result for old man typingShould two or more teams tie for 1st, they’ll have a Playoff at the national stadium in Suddery.   The same will be true if there is a tie surrounding the Relegation Line.   No other form of tiebreaker will be used.  This includes Goal Differential, despite pressure from our cousins in the English FA to follow their model.

Why?  For our new international audience:   On the Isle, when a team is down in a match, it is considered poor form to stop trying to score, to shut the game down to keep the final margin small.  That’s not fun

So we start our new era of nationally organized soccer by  honoring this tradition.   Victory will be rewarded, but not the margins.  And if our cousins across the Walney don’t like it, they can mizzle for all of me!   *mike drop*

Why Mr. Clague thought a mike drop worked in writing is beyond Noob.   Sodor is a strange place ofttimes.

Oh yeah, and that Feature Match between Peel Godred and Knapford Town?   All 15 goals were scored in the first half.   Over the second half, 11 shots found woodwork.   Twice, shots hit the crossbar and a post before plinking away from net.   It was odd beyond belief.  By game’s end, everyone was creeped out and quiet.   Noob’s just not ready to talk about it.   I miss drinking in Dryaw with my friends.

Image result for sobriety sucks

 

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 29 – #1 gets road tested in the Capital

Sun., 3/9
#6     Wellsworth              vs.           #4     Kirk Ronan
T7     Junction & Sheds   vs.          #16    Brendam Utd.
#19  Tidmouth City         vs.            #3    Knapford Town
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.      vs.            #5    Crovan’s Gate

plus the Sunday Feature Match:   #1 Dryaw FC  face a Capital City road test

Seven points separate the ninth and tenth positions in the table.   For teams still vying for an uncertain top-half finish here in the PL’s inaugural season, that means its 10th place or bust.  This will probably fall to current  #10 Castle Rolf or today’s hosts – Suddery FC.

Related image#1 Dryaw opened up a four point lead with #4 Kirk Ronan, all but knocking them out of title contention.  This after a February where they played solidly, but tread water at best.   Will the little village that could have be able to muster up another road W?   Trap-match feel workin’ here.

 

Image may contain: textSuddery have one win their last three matches.  Goodness knows how — they’ve scored just one goal over that stretch!     Their issues on offense have always ebbed and waned.  They didn’t even manage three goals per match over the summer’s inaugural FA Cup.

The town of Suddery isn’t one of the two “Main Towns”, but it is the biggest one with just a single team representing it.  They’re on the inland end of the Isle’s southwest peninsula, with no main town or big villages anywhere near them competing for area talent.  So why aren’t SFC more successful?

  • Capital City Stadium, Suddery, is the home of the Sudric National Team (“The Sodor Strikers”).
  • Being the capital, this is the one place on the Isle where a lot of people are from somewhere else on the Isle; they bring their club allegiances with them.
  • More, Capital City Stadium has been home to countless tourneys and friendlies over the long pre-FA years.  Transplants get to see their hometown teams in person right in town Suddery.

Everyone in Suddery loves soccer.  But many only like the local FC.   SFC are not the sporting heart of the community.  Noob thinks that can’t help by permeate the team.

Noob calls it:     Noob’s biased, as village Dryaw is Noob’s singular fave place to be on the Isle.    But until SFC shows they can score, they’re not to be favored against a current top team.

1 – 5     Dryaw FC.   The magical title run continues.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 29 (3/9-10) – to Vicarstown for a new derby!

Matchday 29 (Sat., 3/9) Preview  (Sunday preview to follow tomorrow)

#10 Castle Rolf vs. #15 Brendam Harbor
#18 Ffarquhar vs. #2 Peel Godred
#9 Glennock vs. #12 Lakeside
#17 Ulfstead vs. T13 Marron

Plus the Saturday Feature Match:   New derby time!

Throw away the records and forget their positions in the table — it’s time for a new intracity derby!   Hello from Vicarstown, home of Vicarstown FC and East Coast Diesel (E.C.D.) FC.    The former will host, and does play on their own separate grounds.

While the teams have played over the years, of course, this is the first time they’ve met in this inaugural Premier League season.   They most recently did in last summer’s first-ever FA Cup  quarterfinals.  There, E.C.D. advanced with a 4-8 win.

For this year, at least, they’ve settled on the name “The Walney Channel Derby“.   (And remember to say it like it looks if you ever visit.  None of that “dahr-bee” foolishness flies here.)  Vicarstown is the closest point on Sodor to Britain.  In fact, V-town and Barrow, Cumbria, England are connected by a bridge over said channel.

Vicarstown FC are currently tied for 13th place with Marron.  There only point in the last month came at Castle Rolf in a 1-1 draw.  Still, the Vicars had enough success early in the season to at least have seemingly staved off any chance of Relegation.   They’re eight points ahead of #18 FfarquharImage result for church league soccer crest

The Vic’s have always traveled widely throughout the Isle over the years.  The Sudric style of soccer is one of offense by virtue of non-aggressive defense.  This team is welcomed everywhere for perhaps best embodying that principle.

East Coast Diesel, on the other hand…are decidedly NOT popular with the masses.   They do have fans everywhere, small patches in each of the biggest towns who admire their style of play.   That style is anything but classic Sudric.   “The Happy Hooks” play comparatively hard defense.  They’ve even been known to employ slide tackles (gasp!).

Image result for east coast diesel crestThey’d perhaps be even higher in the table than merely tied for 7th and out of the title chase, but they draw from a far smaller pool of players than their rivals.   E.C.D. draw almost exclusively from the dieselworks part of Vicarstown.  They are a surly, rough lot, and have rarely been invited anywhere over the years for friendlies or to play in loosely organised regional all-around days or tourneys.   In short, they are widely considered uncouth — causers of both CONFUSION and DELAY , in football and in general.

Image result for workington afc crestRumor has it that for years, E.C.D. has periodically ferried the channel to Barrow where they scrimmage factory teams and such.  And to do some pub crawling and brawling around Cumbria.  It’s been said they’ve even held their own against the Northern Premier League English seventh-tier side Workington AFC before.  The Sodor FA frowns on such going forward, wanting to keep their sporting separate from the more commercial, bigger leagues of the world for now.

Match Prediction:

E.C.D. have clearly had an identity crisis all year.   They’re aggressive on defense, but not as physical as was expected.  Perhaps being in the new, formal FA has muted their worst aspects.   But they haven’t in turn been able to score much at all of late.  Vicarstown haven’t had much early spring success, but they’ve been competent on both ends of the pitch at least.

Noob calls it:      VFC   4-2            The whole town seems tense over this first derby.   If the players feel the same way, the first half may be played pretty deliberately, without much scoring.   But I think in the end that E.C.D. need to decide next year if they’re going to play their previously trademark hard D or not.   Half-assing it isn’t working as their season winds down.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 28 (Sat., 3/2) preview – Who stays up, who goes down

Sat., 3/2
#3    Peel Godred         vs.     #16   Brendam Utd.
#11   Castle Rolf           vs.     #2     Knapford Town
#7    Wellsworth          vs.     #6     E.C.D.
#19  Tidmouth City    vs.    #14   Brendam Harbor
#18   Ulfstead                vs.    #17   Ffarquhar

Saturday Feature Match:   A drop zone battle royal!

Wellsworth – E.C.D. has the best chance today to be a truly quality match.    But the title race is really down to five teams now, and these two are on the outside looking in.  So, today’s most important match is about Premier League survival.

Image result for Norramby crestHello from Ulfstead!  Here, just a month ago the local team’s Relegation fate appeared sealed.  But three wins against just one loss in February has them just out of safety, a point behind their closest geographic rivals today.

All season, their issue has been consistency,  They can score and defend well enough, but rarely managed both in the same match all winter.  Other than giving up a whopping 14 goals in their road loss to Marron, they’ve played better all-around ball of late.

A note about Ulfstead F.C. “Earls” –   Ulfstead is the town name here in west-central Sodor.  It is the home of the Isle’s Earls (the royal family), the Norramby’s.   But Norramby the town is on the east central coast.  They have their own team in the second-tier Championship (and are doing quite well!.

Image result for FFFC football crestThe road team today only had to travel a handful of miles east.  It will be a shame if Ffarquhar doesn’t survive the Isle’s first-ever Premier season.  It’s one of the larger towns on the isle, but only has the one FA club.  It’s also the one town people outside the country can name, if any —  being the home of Thomas of the fictional children’s tv show.

But this team’s season has followed it’s FA Cup performance from the summer.  They play everyone close, but play up and down to the level of their competition.  And they far from always finish off matches strong.  Still, a 2-1-1 February mark shows they’re learning and has kept them above the Cutline.

Fun FactFfarquhar are known as “the Anophas”, though the S is dropped as often as not.  The nearby Ffarquhar Quarry was known as Anopha Quarry, and so that name has been adopted by the club.  This, despite not a bloody soul in the town having the slightest clue what “Anopha” referred to or meant originally.

Match Prediction:   Noob thinks the battle to stay afloat in the Premier will go right down to the end of the season.  The teams will play true their forms of late and have a match of quality play.  4-4 or 5-5.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 27 – all results, updated table, new hotness

Matchday 27 in Review (2/23-24/19)

Saturday feature matchBrendam Darby goes United 0, Harbor 7

Image result for BHFC crest Saturday’s feature match may not have had league title implications, but a derby is a derby!   And sometimes a match can be a blowout, as Brendam Harbor took the first FA-official local derby 0-7 over Brendam United.

 

United are now in real danger of potentially sinking into the Relegation Zone after #18 Ulfstead‘s win.

KEPA HAS NOTHING ON SUDRIC GOALIE

Image result for sutton reserve goalie sitting The only drama came at 3′ when the match was delayed several minutes.

To honor retiring reserve goalkeeper Angus Waldroup, United chose to start him briefly.   When the planned time to pull him came, he sat, saying they could sub him out if they could carry him.  [Click to read the  ESPNFC article about Chelsea keeper Kepa refusing to be subbed out during yesterday’s FA Cup final.]

The solution?  Assistant Hugh MacDuff had the caterers set up the postgame food table early.  Word of that got Waldroup up off that fat ass and to the locker room at a terrifying speed.

Sunday feature match#2 closes gap on league-leaders

Image result for ktfc crest

Knapford Town rebounded from last week’s tough loss to defeat East Coast Diesel 2-8.  E.C.D. look wiped out after a grueling stretch of top teams faced in February.  KTFC lost their local derby last week 8-9, but their mettle was stronger.

 

Coupled #1 Dryaw FC‘s surprising home loss, Knapford now only trail the top table spot by two points.

—- ALL MATCHDAY 27 RESULTS, UPDATED TABLE ——-

Sat., 2/23
T15     Brendam Utd.          0   vs.    7      #14    Brendam Harbor
#13     Marron                       7   vs.    4       #3     Kirk Ronan
#19    Tidmouth City         1    vs.    5       #5     Crovan’s Gate
T11      Castle Rolf                6   vs.    0       #10   Suddery
T8       Junction & Sheds    1   vs.    2       #15    Lakeside

2/24
#20    Arlesburgh Utd.       0   vs.     1       #4    Peel Godred
#6      East Coast Diesel     2   vs.     8      #2    Knapford Town
T11      Vicarstown                4   vs.     7      #18   Ulfstead
#7       Wellsworth                5   vs.    4      #17   Ffarquhar
#1        Dryaw                          5   vs.     6     #9     Glennock

1 1 Dryaw 19 5 3 62 League Champions
B B Knapford Town 19 4 4 60
4 3 Peel Godred 18 4 5 58
3 4 Kirk Ronan 17 5 5 56
5 5 Crovan’s Gate 16 7 4 55
6 6 East Coast Diesel 13 7 7 46
7 7 Wellsworth 14 3 8 45
9 8 Glennock 12 5 10 41
8 9 Junction & Sheds 12 4 9 40
10 10 Suddery 10 6 11 36
T11 11 Castle Rolf 9 7 11 34
T11 T12 Vicarstown 7 10 10 31
13 T12 Marron 9 4 14 31
14 14 Brendam Harbor 8 6 13 30
T15 15 Lakeside 8 5 14 29
T15 16 Brendam United 7 5 15 26
17 17 Ffarquhar 6 5 16 23
18 18 Ulfstead 6 4 17 22 Relegated to Sodor Championship
19 19 Tidmouth City 4 3 20 15
20 20 Arlesburgh United 4 1 22 13

Isle of Sodor – matchday 27 (Sun., 2/24) – Feature Game: #2 Knapford Town’s tough road test

Sunday, 2/24
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   vs.       #4     Peel Godred
#6     E.C.D.                       vs.       #2     Knapford Town
T11    Vicarstown            vs.       #18   Ulfstead
#7     Wellsworth           vs.       #17   Ffarquhar
#1      Dryaw                     vs.       #9     Glennock

Sunday Feature Match:  #6 E.C.D. hosts #2 Knapford Town

Image result for Sodor map Vicarstown Knapford Knapford Town weren’t expected to necessarily vie for the title here this first Premier season, but were certainly seen as a club likely to be in the table’s top half.   But no one saw the team everyone would be chasing was tiny Dryaw FC!   East Coast Diesel have slightly exceeded expectations by being firmly in the table’s to half.   Competing for players with intracity rivals Vicarstown FC could always potentially make E.C.D.‘s life a little tougher.

Image result for ktfc crest  Knapford Town— How will they bounce back from last week’s 9-8 loss to Junction & Sheds?   Since Dryaw only managed a draw last week,  a prime opportunity to all but catch up to the table’s #1 was missed.  KTFC is a side that feasts on lesser competition, but seems to lose close a lot against better teams.  Here in February, they’re 2-0-1.

 

Image result for diesel crestE.C.D. — This month has been a real test for Diesel, facing clubs all in the top half of the table.  1-1-1 wasn’t bad over this stretch.  But like KTFC, this club missed their chance against Dryaw earlier in the month.  Advancing to the Semis in the summer’s FA Cup was quite the feat, but they’ll need a remarkable run and some help to get that close to the League title.

Match Prediction:      E.C.D.’s offense suddenly disappeared last week, as they only managed a single goal in drawing at Glennock.  Still, that score looks like an outlier.   Knapford Town ought to be spent some after their tough loss last week.  But with only #1 Dryaw ahead of them, their title aspirations should motivate them plenty.

Noob calls it:       4-4          KTFC will have to hope Glennock, can play Dryaw as tightly as they did against E.C.D. last week.

Image result for noobstradamus

 

Pshaw.   You can’t even spell “prognosticate” without Noobstradamus’ help, Noob.

Or wait.  Maybe you just did.   I….didn’t think this through…

Isle of Sodor Premier – matchday 27 (Sat., 2/23) Feature Game: A new Derby!

Saturday, 2/23
T15  Brendam Utd.        vs.       #14  Brendam Harbor
#13   Marron                    vs.         #3  Kirk Ronan
#19  Tidmouth City      vs.         #5  Crovan’s Gate
T11   Castle Rolf              vs.       #10  Suddery
T8    Junction & Sheds vs.        #15  Lakeside

Saturday Feature Match:  The Brendam Derby

Image result for derby hat funnyGet out your best derby hats!

These are historically two of the best teams in the country.   One might’ve hoped that at least one of the two would make a move up the table in the season’s second half.  Instead, Harbor and United are mired in 14th and 15th place.   Still, it’s the first ever Premier League Brendam Derby!

And since this isn’t England, they even pronounce “derby” right.  FA President Abban Clague:   “We couldn’t think of any other words right off  where an ‘e’ was pronounced with an ‘ahhh’ sound.  We’re not doing it.  Silly English tw**s.”

Image result for BHFC crestBrendam Harbor surprised no one in winning the inaugural Isle of Sodor FA Cup last summer.  Yet they’re perhaps the least-liked team on the Isle, as their success generally comes via hard-nosed, aggressive defense.  Such is  considered uncouth at best on Sodor.   Here in the first PL season, they’re giving up goals like most other clubs, but not scoring more themselves.

Some observers have told Noob they’re having an identity crisis.  They’re trying to play “nicer” and not continue to be painted as the “bad boys” of Sudric football as the League hopefully gains international exposure here starting out.

Image result for Boleyn fc crestBrendam United, meanwhile, didn’t make it out of the Group Stage in the summer’s Cup.  They’re problem has been simple – they can’t score.  And if you can’t score on Sodor, you’re losing a lot.  Because almost everyone else is.

Neither team as earned a win in February.  Still, neither is in much seeming danger of being Relegated.   That said, if 18th-place Ulfstead can make a run, the Brendams would be two of five additional teams in the mix to get sent down to the Championship.

Match Prediction:  Cool, dry weather should make for pitch today that invites both sides to play with some real pace.  United are the designated home team, but since they share a pitch, no advantage there.  The Harbormen have show some occasional flashes of their big offense potential.

Noob calls it:     Brendam Harbor  5-7

Image result for Noobstradamus

 

Oh, so now that the site’s format is IoS PL and some lampooned new stories, you think you can just predict matches without me?

Noobstradamus will see you rue the day.   You’ll be a … day-ruer?   OK, that was weak.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – Featured game for matchday 26 – A “Clasico” of their own

“El Clasico” is known to every football fan in the world.   Here on Sodor,  Image result for Sodor map there are big rivalries as well, and they tend to be intracity.   Welcome to Knapford, where things will get nasty on Sunday (2/15). (Well, as nasty as things get on Isle.  Might see a slide tackle or two attempted!   Remember:  hard defense is considered here to be more than uncouth.)

For this year, they’ve settled on calling this the Yards-Sheds Classic.    Junction & Sheds have never been known as anything but.  Knapford Town changed from Knapford Yards FC when the FA came into being a year ago, wanting to differentiate themselves from the more purely blue-collar branding of J&S.

Knapford Town have had the better of things in league this season, just moved into 2nd place, five behind surprising league leaders Dryaw FCJunction & Sheds are in a tie for 8th.  Getting more than a couple positions higher will be hard for them, as the top few have some space in the table between them and the pack now.

How do the teams play?   Their League campaigns have pretty much reflected their FA Cup runs from this summer.

Image result for KTFC crestDuring the inaugural FA Cup of summer 2018, Knapford Town tended to win but lose close.  They made the Round of 16 before falling in the penalty shootout to E.C.D. (East Coast Diesel) of Vicarstown.

Junction & Sheds (#1 supporter Alexi Lalas) advanced just as far.  They suffered the same fate in losing to eventual champion Brendam Harbor, going down at the shootout.    They scored tied for second in Group Stage scoring at 17 goals over the three matches, with just tiny shocker Cabalnoo getting more (18).

Image result for Junction FC crestWin lose or draw, J&S work hard to score and that’s about it.   (They   conceded 14 in that Group Stage.   No team plays the classic Sudric 5-5-good luck back there! formation quite as religiously as Sheds.

 

Their first meeting this year ended in a 5-5 draw.  Rumor has it that J&S will pull the goalie at select times and play a 6-5-void formation.   When it comes to offensive-mindedness, good luck outdoing the Sudrics generally.  KTFC can keep up with a lot of teams in a game like that, but probably not against J&S and they know it.  They’ll look to play things comparatively closer to the vest most of the match, then try running wild if it’s tied or close late.

’10 to Track’ Relegation Monday (1/14) matches – more Suckitude than you can handle or deserve!

Monday’s world league scheds are exceptionally light today.  So, before we dig into Matches of Suckitude – ones that feature teams about to get Relegated for their poor performances – we start with some match mini-previews of happier import.  Enjoy.

1. Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers – English Premier League
  • UEFA league rank: #B
  • Table positions: #B, #11
  • Stakes: top 4 go to Champions League
  • Time of season: middle

The defending runaway champs can retake the league lead today with a win. They’ve reeled off four straight wins since a two-loss speed bump that allowed Liverpool to move into 1st. The last two of those were by a combined score of 16-0, though over non-Premier foes in Cup tournaments.

Wolves are in 11th, but would move into the top half of the 20-team table with a draw and jump to 8th or 7th with a win. How is a team that was just promoted doing so well? Money infusion from the Chinese conglomerate that bought them. (Thank you to the Bros Talking Soccer podcast guys for the answer to that one on their Slack.) They win with smallish ball – low scores for everyone. It’s not likely to work today…but “defense travels” is an axiom for a reason!

RESULT:   City   3-0

B. U.A.E. vs. Thailand – Asian Cup

The Group Stage of Asia’s national team championships is nearly done. The pods of four are playing just a single round robin, all matches in the host Emirates. The top two from each Group automatically advance to the next round. The four best third place finishers will also move on.

U.A.E. have already mathematically advanced. Thailand are tied with India for runners-up, but down to them on head-to-head tiebreaker. The AFC ranks homers U.A.E. #4 and Thailand #8 (FIFA ranks #79 and #118). But no matter – the Thais are so far the best of the third-place sides, are all but certain to advance as well.

RESULT:   1-1        The Thais advance as the Group runners-up!

Image result for letter B cartoon sword

 

 

Number B is back, and the quest to be rid of Number Two in lists is ON.

3. Newtown vs. St. Paul’s – St. Kitts and Nevis Premier
  • CONCACAF league rank: they don’t really do them
  • Table positions: #B, #3
  • Stakes: top 4 play for the title
  • Time of season: over 1/3 done

Two similar teams chasing Village Superstars for the trophy!

RESULT:   1-1

4 and 5.

Gotta be honest. It’s late here on Sodor where Noob is wintering. Gotta save time for continuing to put together the coming Isle of Sodor Premier League page.

So. The Coppa Italia (FA Cup is in its Round of 16. Also, there’s also a second division Portuguese league match you can Google up, should the Spirit move you.

And now, Matches of Suckitude!

6. Aris Thessaloniki vs. Lamia – Superleague Greece
  • UEFA league rank: #13
  • Table positions: #8, #14 (of 16)
  • Stakes: bottom 3 Relegated
  • Time of season: middle

Lamia are a fair bit better than the bottom two teams. They are one of three teams realistically trying to stay out of the last Relegation slot. That said, the fourth-to-last place team will play the 4th-place D2 team for the right to play Superleague next year. Lamia can’t score worth a darn, are likely to stay right where they are.

Noob doesn’t think they can even compete for a draw today. Thessaloniki score twice as much, are just as good on D.

RESULT:   Thess   1-0

Image result for Lamia football

 

 

 

Aaaaand stab yourself in the head.

7. Alki Oroklinis vs. AEL Limassol – Cyprus Premier
  • UEFA league rank: #18
  • Table positions: #9, #3 (of 12)
  • Stakes: bottom half do Relegation playoff
  • Time of season: middle

Worst offense and defense in the league. How A.O. are higher in the table than three clubs is beyond Noob. They’ll be doing well to keep this to a one-goal loss against the #3 side.

Fun Fact:   The team owner re-named the club after a fave of his that had just gone bankrupt and dissolved.   What the cuss?

RESULT:   AEL L   1-3

8. Hapoel Tel Aviv vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv – Israel Premier
  • UEFA league ranking: #27
  • Table positions: #12, #1 (of 14)
  • Stakes: bottom 8 do Relegation playoffs
  • Time of season: middle

Side note: This league has dropped a tied-for-worst nine notches in the European rankings this last year.

HTA aren’t likely to escape the Relegation playoffs at season’s end. Their small-ball ways aren’t working out. Ten draws in 17 matches have kept them from the table’s very bottom. And MTA are going to put up with none of their nonsense. Undefeated, best offense and defense in the league.

RESULT:   1-1

Image result for hapoel tel aviv funny

 

We’re not taking you seriously with those stretches, HTA.

Get a Peloton for warmups.   Something.

9. Glacis United vs. Boca Juniors – Gibraltar Premier
  • UEFA league ranking:          #51
  • Table positions:                     #7, #9 (of 10)
  • Stakes:                                        last place gets Relegated
  • Time of season:                      middle

#51 of 55 leagues? Hey, it’s a rock with about the pop. of Ames, Iowa and they’re not #55. Noob’s actually more impressed that they even have a Second Division to which a team can be sent down.

The 9th-place finisher will have a playoff with the #B from the second tier. I’d say their offense is the worst thing ever, but last place-Lions only have two goals on the entire season to Juniors’ six. Truth be told, Glacis aren’t light years better, but at least they’re not giving up buckets of goals.

Fun Fact:   Argentinian Boca Juniors called and they’d like their name back.  Like, now.

RESULT:   Glacis   6-1

10. Red Star vs. Lens – Ligue 2, France
  • UEFA league ranking: n/a, second-tier league
  • Table positions: last, #5
  • Stakes: bottom 3 get Relegated
  • Time of season: middle

Two other league clubs are as poor on defense as Red Star, but those play a little to a lot more offense. Red Star might climb to 19th over no-goals Nancy, but won’t get higher.

Lens are well-enough balanced to stay in the top five and participate in the Promotion Playoffs later, if not so good as to be a threat to the top two and get automatically moved up.

RESULT:   1-0

Image result for saint-ouen flea market huge

 

So long from Saint-Ouen (greater Paris), home of Red Star FC.

HUGE flea market, but is super-“professional”.

’10 to Track’ returns — Relegation Monday! plus CONCACAF and other goodness

After a semi-farewell and long holiday break, Noob returns!     Twitter: @SoccernoobUSA

The plan remains to feature exclusive Isle of Sodor Premier League coverage here.  Soon!  I’m still wintering on Sodor, putting things together, even as the season is half-finished.   To get a feel, check out this site’s Page for last summer’s inaugural Isle of Sodor FA Cup.

But I’ve missed doing the near-daily Tracks, previewing the most important matches from the U.S., all CONCACAF, Premier League, continental Europe, and the world!

So for now, I’m bringing back Relegation Monday and Globetrotting Friday – the most unique content I provided.   So enjoy!   Today, several matches feature teams about to be Relegated, from “important” leagues to those far-flung.  Then there’s a few matches of happier  import.    Dig in.

1. Celta Vigo vs. Athletic Club Bilbao – Spain:  La Liga
  • UEFA League Rank:     #1
  • Table positions:            #14, #18 (of 20)
  • Clubs relegated:             3
  • Time of season:             middle

Noob’s return to at least Tracking on “Relegation Mondays” starts with a realistic upset chance! Athletic have only lost one of their last six matches. I’m not saying they’re storming the league and going to make a move on a midtable position, but only allowing one goal in their last four matches is a big step forward.

Celta Vigo, at home, should be favored. Their goal differential even indicates they may be worthy of a higher table slot. But they’ve not scored in two matches. Noob senses this is a bad matchup for them.

Fun Fact:    Bilbao are The Lions.  Their stadium was built near a church which was named for Saint Mammes, a Christian saint thrown to the lions.  He pacified them.  

So they named themselves after tamed animals?   Never mind from before.  You’re getting Relegated.

RESULT:   Athletic   1-2        The Lions climb to 17th place, above the Drop Zone for now

B. Moreirense vs. Aves – Portugal Primeira Liga
  • UEFA league rank:        #7
  • Table positions:             #7, #17 (of 18)
  • Clubs relegated:             3
  • Time of season:              middle

Aves have the worst defense in the league, and it’s not particularly close. That said, they’ve only allowed one goal in each of their last to matches, against excellent competition. They didn’t win either, though, and haven’t done so since late November.

Moreirense seem to be overcoming a dreadful start to their season when it comes to goal-scoring. They’ve won three of four matches running and scored multiple times in all of them.

RESULT:   Moreirense   1-0

Image result for letter B pumped up

 

 

The Quest for Number B to displace worn out Number 2 in lists is back on!

Clearly, the people want their Number B.

3. Ermis Aradippou vs. Enosis Paralimni – Cyprus First Division
  • UEFA League Rank:         #18
  • Table positions:                last, second-to-last
  • # of Clubs Relegated:      1
  • Time of Season:                 middle

One of Noob’s first ever Twitter (@SoccernoobUSA) followers is a Cypriot mother of two First Division players. This league will always have a little piece of my heart. Thankfully for Mom, her boys play for far better clubs than these sad sacks!

Aradippou have earned points in just three matches all season so far. They won their last match, but that was in their FA Cup. Against a Second Division club that is considered a “refugee team”. That haven’t played in their home city since the Turkish Invasion of 1974. Aradippou haven’t beaten a league foe since November.

Paralimni have earned draws in their last two league matches, lead Aradippou by five points in the table. Road wins may be tough to come by, but Noob wouldn’t be able to call this in upset even so. Both teams are just so lousy.

RESULT:   0-0          That seems more than fitting

4. Mont Bleu vs. Muungano – DR Congo First Division
  • CAF league rank:        #3
  • Table positions:         #12, last place of 16
  • Clubs Relegated:         3
  • Time of season:           uncertain

Last season, the Linafoot may only have been about 14 matches. This season, some clubs have already reached 15. The format also seems to have changed from three league divisions to one.

So what does Noob know? That Muungano have won just once and drawn not at all in their 11 outings. This is one of three teams that play far worse defense than everyone else. None of them look likely to climb out of the Drop Zone no matter when the season ends.

Mont Bleu are a bit better on both sides of the ball, though not nearly good enough threaten climbing to midtable.

RESULT:      ppd

Image result for OC Muungano

5. Ndanda vs. Ruvu Shooting – Tanzania Premier
  • CAF league rank:        #24
  • Table positions:         #17, #16 (of 20)
  • Clubs Relegated:         4
  • Time of season:           middle

Ndanda may be on the edge of daylight, but their goal differential is the worst in the league. If they had a strength, maybe they could climb. But they’re bottom-three in both O and D.

Still, a win today would move them above the Cutline (for the moment). Ruvu score a lot more, but sport the league’s worst defense for it. If Ndanda want to prove Noob wrong, this is a home must-win.

Fun Fact:  Ndanda’s Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium has a capacity of 15,000.

RESULT:   Ruvu   0-1

6. Muslim FC vs. Karachi Port Trust – Pakistan Premier
  • AFC league rank:       #46
  • Table positions:         #11, #13 (of either 14, 15 or 16)
  • Clubs relegated:         2, 3 or 4
  • Time of season:          very late

The number of league teams is higher now than when it last seemed to have played, in 2014-15. Assuming they’re still playing a double round robin, this season is on the verge of finishing. It started with either 15 or 16 teams. One or two of them aren’t playing for financial reasons. Bottom line is, just 14 appear to be actually playing and two of those will be Relegated.

And so, welcome to the worst-ranked league in Asia! Hey, they’re playing. Love football? Want to see it develop, improve everywhere. Noob’s got your back, Pak.

KPT and one other team are vying to stay in the country’s top flite. Baloch Nushki are playing, but have long since been mathematically cooked. And if it weren’t for Baloch Nushki, KPT would have the worst defense in the league.

Muslim are not much higher, yet appear safe in their position. They play small-ball, neither scoring nor conceding many goals at all. KPT won’t get one on them today, and they will go down a league.

RESULT:   Muslim   2-0

KPT FC Logo

 

 

We hardly knew ye

7. Rayo Majadahonda vs. Las Palmas – Spain’s Segunda Division
  • UEFA league rank:         n/a – second-tier league
  • Table positions:             #19, #11 (of 22)
  • Clubs relegated:             4
  • Time of season:              middle

Majadahonda are in a three-way tie for 18th through 20th in points in the table. But they’re one of the four worst in goal differential, simply must score more if they want to stay afloat. Try for at least a goal per game, fellas. It’ll work wonders.

Statistically, Las Palmas are perfectly average in every way. Yet strangely, they haven’t won a match since October, mostly achieving draws. High or low-scoring, doesn’t matter. They can’t seal the deal. Look for a 0-0 draw today, and contain your excitement, Noobites 😛

Fun Fact:   This is the highest Majadahonda have ever been in the Spanish football pyramid, having just been promoted this year.

RESULT:   0-0

Non-Relegation Matches of Treeemendous Consequence!

OK, might’ve oversold that.

8. Lille vs. Sochaux – Coupe de France

The French FA Cup is in it’s Round of 64. This is the only match for the event today. Lille is the current #B team in Ligue 1, while Sochaux are barely above the Relegation Line in Ligue 2. The only reason this match might not be a blowout for the home side is that Noob’s read this FA Cup is considered by clubs even less important than other top European leagues’ clubs consider theirs, which is so-so at most.

Here’s the link for the event. Hopefully your technology translates it for you readily.

RESULT:   Lille   1-0

9. Waterhouse vs. Cavalier – Jamaica Premier
  • CONCACAF league rank:        don’t think they do them; #B  Caribbean maybe
  • Table positions:                       #B, #3
  • Stakes:                                          top 6- league playoffs bracket, top 2 get byes
  • more Stakes                               Top two will have option to play Caribbean Club                                                           Championship.
  • Time of season:                        2/3 through regular season

#1 Portmore and Waterhouse have the offense. Cavalier boasts the top D. Unfortunately for them, Waterhouse is almost as good in that regard. The home team today is probably the most talented in the league.

Even given the relative table positions, a Cavalier win should be considered an upset. But given that they were just promoted to top flite this season, they’re performing incredibly.

RESULT:   Cavalier   0-1         So be it – upset!     These two are now tied in the table on points.  Cavalier is still in 3rd on GD.

10. UNDEBA (Banda Abou) vs. Scherpenheuvel – Curacao Sekshon Paga
  • CONCACAF league rank:                gotta think it wouldn’t be high
  • Table positions:                               #3, #1
  • Stakes:                                                 top six make the playoff subdivision
  • more Stakes                                      at least one club will have option to play in                                                                      new second-tier 2020 Caribbean Club Shield
  • Time of season:                                very early

Welcome to the former Netherlands Antilles! The top at some point the top six will be moved into their own Championship Subdivision. It’s unclear to me if at some point the top four from that will have their own bracketed playoff not. But the season is just a few matches in, so there’s all kinds of time to figure it out.

Scherpenheuvel are undefeated, outscoring opponents 12-1 to date. Banda Abou’s GD is 18-9. Can’t think their lack of defense will serve them well over a full season, but that 3+ goals per game average sure is shiny.

RESULT:   1-1

Image result for stoba goat papaya

 

 

Be inspired to find or make some stoba, a traditional stew from these parts.

And be bold!   Do the goat with the papaya.