Tuesday, August 24, 2010

July 25th, 2010 - Czech Cup (Ondráškova Cup) - 1st round - Výškov 2 Zlín 1

July 25th, 2010
Czech Cup - 1st round
Vyškov 2 Zlín 1
Attendance: 250
Admission: 40kc

I finally made the trip to the near-by town of Výškov last month to see a Czech Cup game. Over the past three years I have been meaning to get to a game here, only because it is 20km from where I live.

The stadium is on the far end of town, but only a 10 minute walk through a park from the train station. Unfortunately, it has a huge track around the pitch, so the main stand sits a ways back. There was only only stand with bench seating, but it looks like there was a terrace bowl at some point.

The home team currently plays in the 1st division, while the visitors play in the 2nd division. They were recently relegated from the Gambrinus Liga not to long ago. Despite the difference in the level of play, Vyškov took the game to their hosts and were well deserving of their 2-1 victory. Zlín brought about 10 fans to the game,

It is a decent place to watch a game, only if you are in the Czech Republic for a longer stay than a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

July 25th, 2010 - Gambrinus Liga - Sigma Olomouc 4 Jablonec 1

July 25th, 2010
Gambrinus Liga
Sigma Olomouc 4 Jablonec 1
Attendance: 5000
Admission: 70kc
Beer: Gambrinus

It had been a few months since I last went to a Sigma game, so I decided to head to Olomouc for the game against Jablonec. It is great to see that the more 'modern' end of the stadium is almost finished. I heard it should be ready for the 2012 Euro Qualifier - Czech Republic vs Latvia. The new stand looks much more impressive than the old one.

Jablonec were considered by some to challenge for a top place finish this year, but Sigma took it to them throughout the game. They were unlucky not to win by more goals. A few Jablonec fans made the long trip to Olomouc.

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 6th, 2010 - Ottawa Carleton Soccer Leagues - Old timers (35+) Division 2 - Perth United 2 Vitosha 4

August 6th, 2010
Ottawa Carleton Soccer League - Old timers (35+) Division 2
Perth United 2 Vitosha 4
Attendance: 15

First of all, I should clarify that this is Perth, Canada and not Perth, Scotland or Australia. I grew up in Perth, Canada and played my football here as a young boy. It is a town of 5,500 located about 80km south of Ottawa.

Perth has a lovely football complex, with two full size pitches with lights. The grass was in much better condition than I remember. The facilities were quite basic, with a few benches around the pitch, which is enough for the parents or friends who come and watch the games.

The Perth United Soccer club has teams ranging for age 5 to senior, boys and girls. As I was desperate for football, I decided to check out the Perth United old timers. The team plays in the second division, out of eight, so the football was actually pretty good. Vitosha was team filled with Bulgarians who now live in Canada, and I could tell some of them played a decent level when they were younger. The game itself had a few nice goals, and plays, so it was well worth the visit.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July 31st, 2010 - PDL Eastern Conference Semi Final - Ottawa 2 New Jersey 0

July 31st, 2010
Premier Development League (PDL) Eastern Conference Semi-Final
Ottawa 2 New Jersey 0
Attendance: 500
Admission: $12
Beer: Sadly none :(

Since I am home in the Ottawa, Canada area for a few weeks, I have decided to try to get to a few games. Back in 2005, 2006 I went to almost every Ottawa Fury game. This is when they were first established, and played at Keith Harris Stadium at Carleton University. Now, they are playing on a fieldturf pitch at Algonquin College. The facilities are basic, with just a few metal stands around the pitch, but they are very close.

The PDL is basically an U23 league with a smattering of over 23 players. Most of those who play in the league, compete with NCAA D1 teams, but there are some who don't. There is quite an international flavour to the teams, because of the players who come over to play in the NCAA. There are 67 teams scattered across North America. They all play in regional divisions until the conference semi-finals. The winners of the four conferences advance to the North American 'final four'. The PDL is considered to be the 4th division of soccer in North America.

I must say I was really impressed with the skill level. Certainly much better than I remember from a few years ago. It doesn't hurt that the game tonight was a playoff match, so I was watching the best teams. If I had to guess, I would say the level was around the 4th division in the Czech Republic.

New Jersey started off well, and pressed for the first 30 minutes. They had one glorious chance, but the striker made a mess of it. From then on, Ottawa dominated and fully deserved the victory.