Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Barca Wins, Strikers Run Wild

This past weekend was a happy one here in teh land of Jedi Soccer, as FC Barcelona squeaked past Sporting Gijon in La Liga, while the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, my sole remaining domestic side with a chance for a championship, absolutely crushed FC Edmonton 5 - 0.

As posted by CNN sports,

"Barcelona went top of La Liga with an unimpressive 1-0 win at bottom side Sporting Gijon Sunday.
The reigning Spanish and European champions could not supply their usual brand of free flowing attacking football against obdurate opponents who belied the form which has seen them pick up only one point this season.

With top scorer Lionel Messi well-shackled, Barca's only goal came after 12 minutes through a deflected shot by Adriano and they struggled to add to their tally.

Eric Abidal went off injured after the break to add to Barcelona's defensive problems with neither Carlos Puyol or Gerard Pique starting.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas is also sidelined for up to three weeks through injury."

Despite this unimpressive showing, Barca now stands in first place in La Liga standings, one point ahead of Derby rivals Real Madrid.  Visca el Barca!

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers picked an excellent time to break out perhaps their best performance of the year, in the first round of the NASL playoffs.  According to SB Nation:

"From the opening kickoff the Strikers pinned Edmonton back and didn't let up. The Edmonton midfield was utterly overwhelmed with only NASL all-star team choice Shaun Saiko looking even remotely competitive. Edmonton's defense managed to fend off a few chances but for the most part it was down to 39-year-old goalkeeper Rein Baart to keep Edmonton alive. Throughout most of the first half he made a number of agile stops before his inconsistency showed; Baart allowed a frankly ugly Brian Shriver in first half stoppage time. In the second half, Edmonton showed only glimpses of quality and mostly let Fort Lauderdale do as they pleased, resulting in four more goals and a 5-0 romp...

Credit is due to Fort Lauderdale, who recognized their advantage and ruthlessly exploited it. After Baart's weak goal the Strikers kept up the attack in the second half; Shriver banged in another and Abe Thompson bagged a hat trick as Baart flailed helplessly. The taunts of the Fort Lauderdale fans to the defeated Eddies came in loud and clear and the referee blowing his whistle had the air of a mercy killing."

Next up for the Strikers are the Puerto Rico Islanders in Puerto Rico, which should be a tough match.  Next up for Barca is Racing Santander on October 16 in La Liga play.