Israel 2009

Video - 18th World Maccabiah Games
Overall Information Page
Football/Soccer Regulations 03/09/09
EF2 - Final Team Registrations



Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 11 - July 19, 2009

Brazil 1 - USA 0


Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 9 - Haifa July 17, 2009

USA v Argentina

Argentina 1 - USA 0


Day 7 - Haifa July 15, 2009


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 6 - Haifa July 14, 2009

Morning Training session at Neve Shaanan where the team worked on ball movement and tactics.
An hour training session and back to the hotel where a travel excursion was planned to the Sea of Gallilee to a mineral spa. A chartered bus brought the group and all in attendance had a great time. A quick stop at a Date farm on the way back to Haifa was a nice opportunity to see something very different for the athletes and families.

Others stayed in Haifa and went to Dado beach and then out to watch a couple of games, most notably USA Mens O35 team downed South Africa 2-0 and Great Britain's Open Woman's team beating Canada 2-0 on two second half goals. A great event and a beautiful day in Haifa.

Evening activities were limited as Game #2 for USA vs Great Britain was on tap for Wednesday morning at 11:00. An early night for the team who are focused and ready to go.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 5 - Haifa / Tel Aviv July 13, 2009

Today is Opening Ceremony day in Tel Aviv to be held at the Ramat Gan Stadium.
The day started with team training at a local field that resembled some complex found in world war II. Surrounded by a white concrete fence with overlying barbed wire. Training went well as we prepared to make changes in our style of play after our defeat to Israel a day earlier.

Back to the hotel for a quick lunch as we sorted out the travel arrangements to the ceremonies in Tel Aviv which is about an hour and 30 minutes south of Haifa. We load up the bus around 2:45 and finally the wait is over for the bug event. We're on our way with much anticipation for what the night will bring. It's a sea of people and traffic as we get near Tel Aviv only after a "pee" break and a load up of water and iced coffees for everyone. Whiel the trip took longer than expected, we get there in plenty of time for the athletes to make their way in to the special holding area where every country is held before walking in. (pictures).

The families were assisted with their tickets by our coordinator Shlomit and they made their way into the stadium in section 11. The atheletes however, were in the holding area outside the stadium where thy met with the other athletes from all over the world. An amazing experience as soem countries were represented by only 1 athlete like Uruguay and "Palau". Yes, Palau. A jewish family moved to Palau and 1 swimmer represented the island. Amazing. It was here that the traiding of cloting articles and paraphenalia began and certain items were hot right off the bat. Brazil's capri pants, along with Australia's hats and shirts made good trades. Other special items that members of our teams traded for were a Finland sweat top for a USA t-shirt (B. Kronick), and a full Sweatsuit for a USA opening ceremony "blue" shirt (E. Brief). One of the special items was traded for by our assistant manager, P. Fishel (fish) who traded his hat for an australia Yamulke with a kangaroo on it. A truly special one of a kind piece of judaica. Well done the "Fish".

After an hour or two, darkness descened on Tel Aviv and the families were treated to the beginning of the ceremonies. The parade of nations soon began and we were staged somewhere in the middle of the pack.
What a thrill to walk out with your entire team of 900+ athletes, representing your country and entering a stadium of over 40,000 people cheering you on. As we paraded around the track, nation after nation continued to fill the stadium infield until all the 60+ countries completed their entrance. As the athletes began to assemble, more clothing and articles were traded with more and more deals to be had as many team began to trade their ceremony clothes which couldn't be traded earlier. Hats and shirts were hot items again especially the USA hats and shirts.
Once completed, the ceremonies really began as music and speeches filled the sound system. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke briefly to the crowd as did other dignitaries on hand. Sir Bobby Charlton was scheduled to lead the Great Britain team onto the field but we couldn't see the track from our vantage point in the center of the field.

Soon the Maccabiah Torch entered the stadium and was passed on from athlete to athlete before being sent to the final location for a run up to the Maccbiah Flame which was being lit by Jason Lezak, the 7 time Olympic medalist and the final leg swimmer in Michael Phelps 8th gold medal. A magical moment to watch as the torch was lit and the games were officially opened. Many dancers and performers continued on as we sat and watched from the infield area.

After a long evening, we headed back to the Green 71 bus back to Haifa and returned in the neighborhood of 1:30am. A quick night sleep and it's back to training the next morning.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 4 - Haifa July 12, 2009

Game Day #1

Today is the first game for the USA Grand Masters Soccer team against the home country at 1600 local time. The day began with the lineups and positions being discussed along with tactics followed by a brief question and answer period at 9:00am.

Lunch at 12:30 and the team gathered at 2:00 for the official picture session (pictures to follow) then off to the Avi Ran Soccer Complex for the pre-game warm ups.

After many bottles of water it was time to start the game. The teams were led off the field to line up as the ceremonies began. Led by captain Jim Benjamin, the starting teams walked back out side by side with the Maccabiah anthem playing on the speaker system.

The game started with a frenetic pace and never seemed to let up. By halftime, the Israelis had built a 2-0 lead and followed it up quickly in the second half with an additional goal. The USA managed only a handful of shots on goal but never really made a dent in the Israeli defense.

Special notice was given for Dave Parks for his exceptional prowess in midfield.
Final result at Avi Ran:

3 - 0

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 3 - Haifa

Early morning training was scheduled for 8:15 with the team caravanning over to Neve Shaanan. The team again worked together to enter the locked facility only this time exited using the same method approximately 30 minutes after starting.  See the videos for more details.

Once the practice was cancelled, the team met in the back of the hotel and did a cool down and stretch activity under the guidance of our two leaders, Russell Rosenberg and Cap Jim Benjamin.

Once completed, the team met for about an hour for a serious strategy discussion led by coach Goldenring. It was this meeting that set the tone for the following day discussing positioning on set plays and movement of the ball in open play. We should be ready to go on Sunday. Great spirit with a great team sense and attitude has really been at the forefront ovcer the last year and it really shows in our efforts leading up to Game 1 vs the host Israel. Lineups for the opening match will be posted once provide by coach Goldenring.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 2 - Tel Aviv/Haifa

Day 2 for the Grand Masters soccer team started out in Tel Aviv where the team congregated for breakfast and met to check out of the Kfar Maccabiah and boarded a tour bus for the 75 minute trip to Haifa. A smooth and scenic ride brought the team directly to the Neve Shaanan sports complex for a 10:15 am training session. A warm day with a cooling breeze was very comfortable and would be a good test for our (3) 11:00am games. Stretching and tactics for movement of the ball along with crossing and set plays dominated practice #1.

The team then traveled to their home for the next two weeks, the Hotel Dan Carmel in Haifa.
Lunch was then coordinated for the team in the Rondel Room at the hotel which had a spectacular view of the Haifa Harbor. The team was joined by the Masters (O35) team and had a chance to catch up with old friends and former (and future) teammates from all over the world. Stories were shared of tryouts and training camps as we came back together after several months since the last coordinated effort in Virginia back in August 2008. Our first Team Meeting was held in the Oren Room and Coach Goldenring welcomed the team and provided information on what the players could expect over the next two weeks. Team Chair Brian Kronick also provided logistic information as well and was looking to coordinate a trip to Masada and the Dead Sea as part of our journey. Other former Maccabiah participants gave their views on what the players could expect which should prove invaluable to all the team members.

A quick turnaround for the team as we met in the lobby at 4:00 for the afternoon training session. While not an approved time to practice, the team minus 2 made it's way back to Neve Shanaan training facility where we trained earlier in the day. The only issue with this plan was that Jared Lans and Gary Bernstein were coordinating a cooler and ice for the team and were left at the hotel. Trying to reach 18 guys in a foreign country is not so easy, especially on day 2 but the worldly Jared and Gary, trekked their way as the team carried on with their business. The horror of being left by the team you have begun to trust will stay with J & G for some time and possibly never recover from. Training continued with scrimmages and a penalty shootout practice, just in case.

Finally, we closed out the day with a Shabbat Dinner hosted at the Dan Carmel hotel by one of the local Rabbis and his wife. Singing and a buffet dinner was very well received and many of the team actually remembered a few tunes while others.........

Special Team Note: Eric Brief finally arrived during dinner aftera 27 hour journey that included electrical problems on the plan over the Atlantic, a turn back to Newark after 3 hours in flight, dumping of fuel, and a long bus ride from Haifa with the british team. Eric was in good sprits though and was greeted with open arms by all his team members. Welcome home Eric, we missed you. Now get some sleep and be ready to go at 8:15am.
End day 2

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Showtime in Tel Aviv

Wednesday / Thursday - July 8 and 9th

The team began to arrive on July 8th from all over the United States. The logistics changed at the last minute so the team will be housed in Tel Aviv at Kfar Maccabiah, the coordinating headquarters for the Maccabiah Games. This is also the main location for the pre-camp activities for the Youth, Junior an Open athletes as they prepared for the games.

Friday morning the team will be shuttled to Haifa where we will begin our training activities prior to Sunday's opening match with Israel.

Gary's Personal Log (10:30am 7/9/09)
I arrived at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport ahead of schedule at 5:00am local time and there was Maccabiah signs everywhere. Met some of the Mexico athletes as they met at the registration desk by exit 24, the main information center at the airport. I was then shuttled over to Kfar Maccabiah in Tel Aviv and was presented with a wonderful room with a view overlooking Tel Aviv. After a buffet breakfast, the plans are to wait for the other team members who arrive later this morning.

Training Clips - Tel Aviv

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maccabi Team Members


Monday, May 18, 2009

Team Captain Announcement

Congratulations to the newly appointed team captain Jim Benjamin from Atlanta Georgia.

After a successful weekend in New Jersey for the Israel 2009 Maccabiah Games, Jim was named captain by Coach Goldenring prior to the final game of training camp.

Jim inspired all of the team members over the weekend with his tenacious defense and gutsy performance after sustaining an injury in the weekends first game. The team now has a solid leader who can motivate and lead by example.

Again, congratulations on a well deserved appointment.


Graeme Macrae said...
I have in the past played with Jimmy Benjamin and against him. The last time I saw Jimmy I played against him, he was at Brown University where he captained his team and if I remember correctly he was puking all over the field that day, yet he still played on. Unfortunately also that day Brown University went down in defeat against the team I was playing for. All that being said I cannot think of any other finer individual to lead you into battle than Jimmy Benjamin. I am sure he is still as tenacious, hard hitting, focused, intelligent and funny as he was when we were winning New Jersey state championships in high school, (along with Eric Brief and Steve Goldenring). It is no accident that a lot of the players who played on those 1978 and 1979 Columbia High School soccer teams’ went on to be a who’s who list of future leaders. Looking back on it now, I was really fortunate to have been a part of it. Good luck to you all at the Maccabi games.
Goldy Steve Goldenring said...
Graeme you rock star!! great to hear from you...hope you are well....thanks for checking in here...can u send me your email adress?? all best my email address is above.. goldy (steve goldenring) ps it was lafayette college Benj played for and we(at Bucknell) kicked his but too!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Official Uniform Sets for Israel 2009 Unveiled

Team management is pleased to announce a partnership with Adidas that will enable all members of the 2009 Maccabi USA Men's Master's Soccer Team to train and compete in the latest Adidas uniform styles and apparel.

Each member of the team is responsible for selecting sizes for three sets of jerseys, shorts and one team warm up suit.


Maccabi USA Memo to Participants

January 8, 2009

TO: Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel Friends and Family
FROM: Ron Carner, General Chairman, USA 18th Maccabiah Team

I hope that this note finds you well. My personal best wishes go out to you and your family for a happy and healthy New Year.

I have been thinking a great deal about the Maccabiah Games in July and am very excited that we will have a USA Team of well over 950 as part of 9,000 athletes from 60 countries worldwide. Some of our top leadership will be in Israel in February for the Maccabi World Union Plenum where we will work on the final details of the 18th Maccabiah.

As we are well aware of the situation in Gaza, we maintain daily communication with the leadership of Maccabi World Union, and they are in touch with the highest levels of the Israeli Government. We are also in touch with officials at the USA Embassy in Israel and our own State Department.

Please rest assured that the safety and security of the Team and Mission participants is our highest priority and will be on the agenda for our meetings in Israel in February. As Jews in the Diaspora, I feel that now more than ever, it is time for us to stand together in support of Israel. You should also know that our Executive Committee and I are committed to bringing the USA Team to Israel for the Maccabiah. The Games will be held and we will be there. I plan on staying in touch with you on this issue, and will be writing again from Israel at the end of January and during the meetings in February. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Feel free to contact me ( or Jed Margolis, Executive Director ( or 215/561-6900 x 121) with any questions or concerns.


Tryouts 9/8/2008
Virginia participants: Left to right - Top Row (S. Goldenring, S. Bialostozky, P. Fishel, F. Fuller, L. Schipper, J. Cohn, M. Lichtenstein, A. Rothman, D. Freidman, B. Gudelsky)
Bottom Row (G. Bernstein, H. Glancy, S. Berkowitz, D. Stone, B. Kronick, I. Shapiro, R. Rosenburg, D. Kent)