Vegas 2012

The King Cup Team - 2012

Front Row (L-R) Steve Goldenring, Craig Sheftell, Adamo Zweiback, Don Kent, Dave Stone, Brian Kronick, Dave Parks, Simon Mermelstein
Back Row (L-R) Gary Bernstein, Stu Hochberger, Bruce Marcus, Ben Bressler, Brian Kerriberg, Jim Benjamin, Eric Brief, Bob Larkinstein, Jim Maddowitz, Ramin Lalezari, Dan Indech, Jeff Cohn.

King Cup Results - Sunday 01/15/2012

For our final game of the 2012 tournament, we were without some of our players due to other commitments.  Jim Benjamin took the reins coaching for his first game in charge so we could free up previously unavailable players.

The lineup looked like this to start but we quickly got back into the rotation mode to keep players fresh.

 The remaining player pool was still strong but we had less to choose from. 

King Cup Results - Sunday 01/15/2012

MUSA loses 0 - 2 in final game of 2012 King cup.
Game report to be posted shortly.

King Cup Results - Sunday 01/15/2012

Another gorgeous day here in Las Vegas but a bit earlier than yesterday with the team congregating in the Monte Carlo lobby at 8:30 for a 10:00 kickoff at the same field as Saturday.  We made our way over in the usual manner by pooling our vans, cars, cows, donkeys etc just to get everyone taken care of.

Our opponents today were the Gibos team from Conejo Valley in Southern California.  Gazza, having played them the week before in a pre tournament warmup knew they would be challenging but beatable.

Our tactics today were to continue on with the progress we made on day 1 and be more forward thinking and play simply across the vast green wasteland.  While the pitch is a bit more narrow than we have played on in the past, it seemed difficult to use it as we wanted.  Sometimes theory doesn't understand reality.

We established the following lineup with the intent of getting some early momentum built up supplementing the original 11 with fresh and proficient legs.

Substitutes for the game today:
We added Dave Parks to the list of available players as he was able to free himself up from the rigors of an AYSO coaching clinic where he learned what a wall pass was.  We asked him to show proof of this skill before the game and he seemed to get it right.  Well done Dave.  One unique thing about the tournament this year is "official AGE" wristbands which show you've been cleared to play from an age not skill perspective.  Glad we weren't checked for the latter.  Dave not having a wristband made a mad dash for the scorers table across the park just in time to come back to a 0-1 deficit.  After 2 minutes we played sloppy passing and were exposed by a player who appeared to be contained by Adamo, got off a quick shot to the far post.  1 nil to the Gibos.

We were being pressured for the remainder of the half as we freely substituted players in and out to keep players fresh and keep the rhythm we were starting to feel.  The half ended with a 0-1 deficit but we were getting more play on the ball.

The second half started and we made some small player adjustments and continued to move forward.  After successful ventures into the penalty area with shots just missing wide, we were awarded a penalty kick after the referees just barely noticed the flagrant handball in the box on the far side.  While both refs saw the infraction, they still failed to award a PK until the walked across the field where Brian Kronick remained standing at the site of the foul.  


After discussions between forwards, Dan Indech stepped up to take the PK, waited for what he thought was the whistle and scored just to the left of the keeper.  While there was a whistle, it wasn't meant for the kick to be taken but to move players out of the area.  When have you heard of a whistle being blown for that?  Anyway, Dan remained ready and the second attempt was placed in the same spot but was saved by the opposing goalkeeper.  The rebound came out and Dan sent the ball high over the cross bar and the score remained One Nil to the Gibos.  We continued to press forward and really put the pressure on but just could not get the ball into the goal.  

On defence, we continued to play solid with a combined back of Jim Benjamin, Ben Bressler, Eric Brief, Jim Madden, Ramin Lalezari, Dave Parks and Adamo Zweiback.  Little made its way through to our always available goalkeeper Jeff Cohn who made some key saves when needed in both the first and second halves of the game to keep us within striking distance in spite of the missed PK.

Excellent play also from our diamond "shape not age" midfield of Brian Kronick, Bruce Marcus, Brian Kerrigan, Jim Madden and Don Kent.

Our outside midfielders and forwards really began to assert themselves in the game with Steve Goldenring taking up a more midfield position than his usual striker role along with Craig Sheftell, Bob Larkin, David Stone, Stu Hochberger, Dave Parks and Dan Indech.

Up front we were looking to Simon Mermelstein, Brian Kerrigan, Dan Indech and Don Kent to work to slot one home but the opportunities didn't materialize as we expected.

In the end, a hard fought game we should have at least tied but we end up with no points on the day and most likely remain in 4th position in a 5 team group.

Our next game is at 4:15 local time as we look for a respectable finish.

We are hoping that a number of our dual team players continue to play with us to finish up the tournament as we are possible down 2 or 3 with some minor injuries.  In previous years we have had more self inflicted wounds through celebrating the Vegas lifestyle but this year, as we prepare for a Maccabiah, I'm happy to report that none of our team stayed out past 11:00, drinks were held to a 2 drink minimum, and the many sponsor calls from the Betty Ford Clinic have kept us on track.

Well done so far and keep up the great work.  I was able to talk to our Brazil Captain (Rosenberg) late this morning who sent us great words of encouragement.  "Go Win"!

King Cup Results - Saturday 01/14/2012

A gorgeous 60 degree day in Las Vegas as the team gathered to begin the King Cup Soccer tournament.  Expectations were high as the team met in the lobby of the Monte Carlo Hotel at 9:30 prior to our departure for the Ed Fountain Park in North Las Vegas.  

Today's 11:15 game is against OC Spurs from Chicago with MUSA in White and OC Spurs in Red
The team was chosen with a 4-4-2 formation as shown.

Substitutes used for the game were:

The MUSA 48's were under pressure at the outset and hung tough to just before halftime when a goal was scored from a run down the middle of the field.  Dribbling through a couple of players with only our keeper to beat, the forward slotted the ball neatly into the bottom right corner of the net for a half time deficit of 0-1 to OC.

The second half saw more of the same as the MUSA 48's remained under pressure and failed to get any momentum going forward.  Despite numerous substitutions and fresh legs, the pressure eventually resulted in a second goal scored from the right side from 35 yards over our goalkeeper and into the left side netting 0-2.  Finally a mistake in the back gifted OC their final goal and all 10 points for game #1.  A hard fought game by all players but in the end, the lack of a cohesive tactical display was MUSA's undoing.

Game 2 was scheduled for 1:55 and got off to a late start as the Referees were cleaning their reading glasses, binoculars, telescopes or any other seeing device they would need as their poor display continues to haunt this tournament.  No signifiCUNT calls so far but I'm sure there will be more time to f-up.
The weather was again gorgeous, with a warm 62 and sunny day with no wind.  During the one hour break the team discussed the many issues in the first game and we decided to change our formation to get us to move forward and press in the final 3rd of the field.  We moved to a 3-5-2 layout with the following players assigned to man the various green spaces of finely mowed Astroturf.  

Who cuts this stuff so evenly?  I have a lawn in LA that needs some tending to if they can make themselves 282 miles southwest.

Anyway, here is the lineup for Game 2 vs the NoCo Zombies from Northern Colorado.

Substitutes for the game today:

The new formation paid off immediately as the team seemed to gain confidence going forward and pressed early.  The defenders had significant play knocking the ball across the back line to open up space on opposite sides of the field.  Quick and efficient passing flowed more easily and the team spent most of the first 15 minutes in the opponents half.  Within 20 minutes, the breakthrough the team was looking for came with some great passing and a final finish by Brian Kronick who, from the left flank, scored in the right side of the net.  Excellent play all around from the MUSA 11.  We continued to press forward making good decisions but lost some of the momentum just before half time as the NoCo Zombies began to move forward. The half ended 1-0 for MUSA.

The second half saw a re-shuffling of players back to the way we started the game as we went forward to score again.  We pressed, but could not take advantage of our superior play.  We shot high, wide, crosses cam in and were cleared but rarely troubled the opposing goalkeeper.  The game ended unceremoniously with MUSA finishing 1-0 for our first win in 2012. 

In the end, we felt disappointed for not having score 5 more, but it was still a win which gave us 8 points.  We now need some help from the other teams in the group to finish near the top of the group and have a place in the Semi's.

More to come tomorrow from Sunny LV.  What happens here, stays ...........  on the blog.



01/12/2011 - Schedules Announced

01/12/2011 - Roster

12/15/2011 - 2012 Roster
Chairman Jeff Cohn is putting the final touches on the roster. We expect all players to be signed by Dec 18th.

Congrats to all for getting through the grueling tryouts.