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Post by DDdad 05/05/14, 05:26 pm

Without the fanfare of the older girls (U15 and above), the U14's had their Showcase event this past weekend in Kansas City (Overland Park). The weather was absolutely perfect and that complex has to be one of the nicest in the Country. 12 huge Turf fields that if they were not new, were all but new. Very nice complex. Lots of concern about turf burns and not playing on grass but I did not see a single turf burn all weekend nor hear any illicit stories of bad bounces, holes in the field etc etc. Out of the five teams, I'm aware of one twisted ankle in 15 games.

North Texas fared very well. The Showcase had teams from primarily the Midwest including Chicago, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona and several from the Mid Atlantic area.

As far as I know:
Sting 2 Wins 1 Loss to #4 Sockers 0-1
Texans 2 Wins and 1 Loss to #10 Michigan Hawks 0-3
D'Feeters 3 Wins including over the aforementioned Michigan Hawks 1-0
Solar 3 Wins including a win over the #11 Colorado Real 2-0
FCD I know of 2 wins. I have not heard on their game vs Colorado Real.

Thus, in 15 games, NT went 12-3 or 13-2.

I know that the Sockers had all they wanted and considered themselves lucky to take the win (from their parents).

Talking to a Hawk parent, they were very surprised by the D'Feeters and thought "this would be the easy game. They acknowledged that the goal was a solid goal.

I heard the Colorado Real was crazy skilled. Very Technical. Won the first half on style points. Got worn down in the 2nd half and talking to a parent who ONLY saw the 2nd half, Solar was "dominating".

Of the 16 teams that will probably be at Nationals, 5 were at this Showcase (Lonestar, Texans, Real, Hawks and Sockers) with Solar in the hunt.

All in all, a good weekend for North Texas.
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Post by dewyoxburger 05/05/14, 07:15 pm

i saw that the Solar ECNL team didn't make it to nationals. That's not fair. They had great showing in KC

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Post by DDdad 05/05/14, 07:25 pm

Has nothing to do with Kansas City and is totally fair. They are not eliminated at this point but they need to win and probably would not mind a little help. Based solely on season standings.
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Post by Packrabbit 05/05/14, 07:41 pm

Looking at the schedule, I'd say the Hawks were legit, having played 3 very good NTX opponents over 24 hrs, whereas most teams had one or two "easier" (per rankings) match(es) on schedule.

Hawks v Lonestar: 2–1 @ 11am
Hawks v DTX: 3-0 @ 5pm
Hawks v Defeeters: 0-1 @ 10:30 am

NTX's shared opponents:
Sporting Blue Valley: .92 PPG
SLSG ECNL: 1.25 PPG
SC Del Sol: .56 PPG
SLSG Metro: 1.25 PPG
Sereno: .69 PPG
Minnesota Thunder: .36 PPG

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Post by Tiger 06/05/14, 11:27 am

I was able to peek in on the Michigan Hawks team over the weekend. They are very talented up front. The D'feeters did a very good job playing the Hawks and did NTX very proud. I'm not sure what happen in the Texans game but I will admit, there was a difference in the speed of play by the Hawks when they played Lonestar Saturday morning and the D'feeters on Sunday morning. I know everyone played the same amount of games but I do think the Texans or the KC heat, as compared the low temps in Michigan, wore down the Hawks by Sunday morning - then add the dominant defense by D'feeters. The Hawks got see the Texas division gauntlet and I see why we are considered the toughest conference in the ECNL.

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Post by Tiger 07/05/14, 09:53 am

How is the Texan's Midfielder? The one that hurt her ankle. I hope she's doing well and nothing serious.

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Post by Packrabbit 09/05/14, 01:47 pm

Tiger wrote:I was able to peek in on the Michigan Hawks team over the weekend. They are very talented up front. The D'feeters did a very good job playing the Hawks and did NTX very proud. I'm not sure what happen in the Texans game but I will admit, there was a difference in the speed of play by the Hawks when they played Lonestar Saturday morning and the D'feeters on Sunday morning. I know everyone played the same amount of games but I do think the Texans or the KC heat, as compared the low temps in Michigan, wore down the Hawks by Sunday morning - then add the dominant defense by D'feeters. The Hawks got see the Texas division gauntlet and I see why we are considered the toughest conference in the ECNL.

I am a little troubled that the first 2/3 of the "Texas gauntlet" gave up 5 scores while only scoring once. By all accounts, the weather was very mild, especially in the mornings when matches were played. What hasn't been mentioned, is that the KC officiating consistently didn't allow the rough & tumble NFL-style play allowed in NTX.  

I do agree the Texas conference is one of, if not the most competitive (top to bottom) conference in the league, but what does it mean when our top 2 teams were handedly beaten when they weren't allowed to play NTX "physical" style soccer and forced to rely on ball movement?

Just sayin'.

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Post by DDdad 09/05/14, 02:01 pm


Any time you travel, the officiating is different. I watched all of our games and 3 or 4 other NT games and can tell you that I never saw nor did I hear about officiating being the cause for anything. Just like any game, they did not call fouls that IMO were fouls and vice versa, they called some fouls that were too tight. Our game against the Shockers was just as physical as what we see here in NT and while I think the center official was terrible in that game, it was not from calling it too tight.

IMO, the officiating had zero to do with the outcomes.

Lonestar has a very good defense but they also still have games against 3 very difficult NT teams that can easily do damage to their GA avg. I haven't heard any Texans making excuses but I have heard that they would like another shot and don't feel that 0-3 was reflective of the overall game.

At the end of the day, the Hawks have two forwards that are as good as anyone in NT. Make no mistake, as a team, they are as good as anyone in the Country. Whatever 3,4,5 seed they end up with in the first round got a crappy draw and are in for the fight of their lives.

Congrats to D'Feeters for solving the riddle and holding Hawks scoreless. I think they were also missing a starter on defense which is even more impressive.

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Post by tex_gator 09/05/14, 02:25 pm

Tiger wrote:How is the Texan's Midfielder? The one that hurt her ankle. I hope she's doing well and nothing serious.

Heard she is in a boot of somekind with a bad ankle sprain.

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Post by Tiger 09/05/14, 02:40 pm

tex_gator wrote:
Tiger wrote:How is the Texan's Midfielder? The one that hurt her ankle. I hope she's doing well and nothing serious.

Heard she is in a boot of somekind with a bad ankle sprain.

No what I wanted to hear. So sorry for her. I hope she has a very speedy recovery.

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Post by Bicycle123 09/05/14, 04:41 pm

Tiger wrote:
tex_gator wrote:
Tiger wrote:How is the Texan's Midfielder? The one that hurt her ankle. I hope she's doing well and nothing serious.

Heard she is in a boot of somekind with a bad ankle sprain.

No what I wanted to hear. So sorry for her. I hope she has a very speedy recovery.

She had an ankle sprain from the first game in KC, and was in a splint the rest of the weekend.  Doing much better now, and should be able to play on Sunday.  Appreciate the concern.

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Post by Packrabbit 09/05/14, 04:58 pm

DDdad wrote:
Any time you travel, the officiating is different.  I watched all of our games and 3 or 4 other NT games and can tell you that I never saw nor did I hear about officiating being the cause for anything.  Just like any game, they did not call fouls that IMO were fouls and vice versa, they called some fouls that were too tight.  Our game against the Shockers was just as physical as what we see here in NT and while I think the center official was terrible in that game, it was not from calling it too tight.  

IMO, the officiating had zero to do with the outcomes.  

Lonestar has a very good defense but they also still have games against 3 very difficult NT teams that can easily do damage to their GA avg.  I haven't heard any Texans making excuses but I have heard that they would like another shot and don't feel that 0-3 was reflective of the overall game.  

At the end of the day, the Hawks have two forwards that are as good as anyone in NT.  Make no mistake, as a team, they are as good as anyone in the Country.  Whatever 3,4,5 seed they end up with in the first round got a crappy draw and are in for the fight of their lives.  

Congrats to D'Feeters for solving the riddle and holding Hawks scoreless.  I think they were also missing a starter on defense which is even more impressive.  

DDad, I don't disagree with any of your points in general, and whole heartedly agree to your reference to the differences in officiating-- teams have to adjust to how the game is being called.  However, my contention was that the overall officiating was called consistently tighter than here in NTX and the weather wasn't a factor for the U-14 group.

I wasn't (intentionally) taking away, providing excuses or congratulating anyone, nor did I think the officiating favored one group over another. But, I do think the showcase results demonstrated that the officiating was more beneficial to one style of soccer over another.

The Hawks are the real deal, (IMO) more so than World Class. The Hawks demonstrated that they can play physical or small ball style and expect to win. My surprise (personally), was that the top 2 NTX teams didn't show they could do the same thing. I imagine their match with the the DFeeters could have gone either way, but from the reports I received, the ball movement was excellent on both sides and wasn't the slugfest of the 1st two matches.

As for Lonestar, I also agree with you. It will interesting to see how they do coming to NTX. Personally, I think any of the 3 NTX teams will do better in nationals than Lonestar.

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Post by textigerfan 09/05/14, 06:12 pm

Not in ECNL...but agree. That complex in Overland Park is the nicest I have ever seen.
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Post by DDdad 09/05/14, 06:46 pm

Pack. I have been to out of town tourneys where I thought the officiating was difficult for us (Vegas where they don't call grabbing and holding but will call every shameless self promotion) and I've seen plenty of teams come to NT and be shocked and wish they had mouthpieces. Just for this weekend, at the few higher level games I saw, I didn't see either side materially disadvantaged. As I said, the Shockers were not shy at all (Hawks division) and I've not heard that the Hawks were shy. I know Eclipse is not so I would suspect that they have embraced "Midwest soccer".

Yes. Hawks are very real. I suspect the Blues are as well but have not seen them. Carolina is interesting but soft conference. Shockers are solid but can be beaten by our better teams. Agree on WC. There is a formula to beat them IMO but they are dangerous. Agree w you on Lonestar. I think the NT teams wi far better at Nationals. Question is whether it will be one from NT or two. .
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Post by dadof3 09/05/14, 07:28 pm

What I have seen through my years is that once the ladies get to a certain age and level, the matchups and the tightness of the calls make a significant difference in the games...As the roles of the ladies are more defined, there are specific instances where a good coach will realize they are going to be more or less successful according to what is transpiring on the pitch. Also, the weather will make a difference if it is iextreme, but the fact that your starters have played 70 or 140 minutes against that quality will be more significant to their legs than the temperature etc.
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Post by DDdad 09/05/14, 08:37 pm

Agree w all that. Personally, I don't think the heat or officials impacted the results. As you stated, the greatest impact was the number of minutes played over two days which does not happen at Nationals. It was noteworthy that of the teams we are discussing, only the Hawks had three A Level games to play. With these games counting for WC status, that seemed very unusual to me. Every other team seemed to have an A, B and C game. I'm pretty sure our schedule changed from what it was in Sept. I'm not saying anything impacted the results but if it was anything, it was the total minutes at that level. I know all other teams were able to sub a bit more.
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Post by dadof3 09/05/14, 09:01 pm

DDdad wrote:Agree w all that. Personally, I don't think the heat or officials impacted the results. As you stated, the greatest impact was the number of minutes played over two days which does not happen at Nationals. It was noteworthy that of the teams we are discussing, only the Hawks had three A Level games to play. With these games counting for WC status, that seemed very unusual to me. Every other team seemed to have an A, B and C game.  I'm pretty sure our schedule changed from what it was in Sept. I'm not saying anything impacted the results but if it was anything, it was the total minutes at that level. I know all other teams were able to sub a bit more.

I don't disagree about the refs impositions...I wasn't there, but I didn't hear any huge ripples, and if there is a significant issue, someone will come on here and "gently suggest" that the officiating was questionable. One interesting point you make is the A, B, C games...By the standings, Feet may be a B or a C...but if you actually pay attention, you realize they are a hairs breadth from the top of the stack...I am glad to see all the NTX teams' success. Both teams were on the field for the Feet game, so kudos, and if it helps them somehow sneak in the back door, well, good for them! Goes to show that the top 4-5 here are really in the mix across the board nationally...

On another tangential note, I think the (relative) heat and the minutes over 5 days got to WCFC in DIGC vs Solar, though I also think that Solar is just better and would beat them any day...I also feel that Feet would have beaten them if Feet had gone through Solar. Just matchups from what I saw.
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Post by DDdad 09/05/14, 09:13 pm

I don't think there is any doubt that WC got worn down. I thought their bench was shallower and I don't think they play those wars every weekend like we do here. Too many easy games. Texans didn't match up as well as Solar and I think you are right that Feet could have matched up w them as well. I will say that the Solar CB's ability to take away the WC forward threat was a huge advantage and fun to watch.
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