Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gold Medal Game

Well, it is definitely bad news. We played very poorly and lost 0:3. The score is not indicative of the game with regards to shots. They had 5 good shots on goal to our 7. However, they finished and we didn't and that is the story of the game.

Early in the 1st half, we had a good shot from about 5 yards and hit it right at the keeper. We had all the momentum going and then the Brazilians wanted a water break and the referee gave it. It really was not very hot, but coming out of the break, we lost all our momentum and they countered and scored. Our keeper made the initial save, but we left a midfielder open coming on the back side it put it away. The score at half was USA 0, Brazil 1.

As we addressed our issues at half, I thought like all our other games we would make the adjustments and come back and win the game. However, it was not to be. We never made the adjustments. Our midfield play both offensively and defensively was non existent. Early in the 2nd half, they were awarded a penalty lick which was really questionable. They missed it and after missing it, the player who took it, punched one of our guys in the head and should have been red carded. The referee only gave him a yellow. Needless to say the referee did not beat us, but a sure red card should have been given. We started pushing forward and got plenty of good chances and that is even with us playing so poorly. When I say poorly, it really was only our midfielders. Our strikers worked really hard but had no support and our defenders did a great job, but with none of our midfielders tracking back defensively, it was difficult to defend properly. Their 2nd goal came exactly like the goal the scored on us in our first game. Our wind midfielder dribbled too much in the attacking third and lost the ball once again and they countered. However, the player scoring the goal was in an offside position when he received the ball, but again no call. So now we are down 0:2. We kept pushing and exposed our backs and they scored the final goal late in the game with only about 3 minutes remaining. So again, the final score was USA 0, Brazil 3. They won the Gold and we won the Silver. I must also mention, that in yesterday's hike, I was extremely disappointed in that we had to do this on the day before our final game. It was very hot and to hike for 90 minutes in the Blue Mountains, was a very bad idea as far as I was concerned. But, it was part of the trip and it would have been good if we could have done it at an earlier date. But it is what it is...

In concluding this blog, I must say, that the best team did not win gold. Just on this day, as in soccer they did. We won 5, lost 1 and tied 0. Brazil won 4, lost 1 (to us) and tied 1. So, I still believe we were truly the best team in this tournament and this team was and incredible joy to not only coach but be with every day. I am very proud of them and they showed class in losing as they did in all our wins! I want to thank each of them for making this an incredible experience for me and Aly. I do not know what I would have done without Aly being here and helping me and the team. She was such a blessing and I love her very much and can't thank her enough for being with me in this wonderful experience in Australia.

To my wonderful wife and family, we will be home soon. Love you all very much.

Best regards from Sydney,
Coach Goldfarb

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Game 5

This will be a very short blog today, as today was the final game of pool play. We beat Australia Blue. The score was 4:0. It was not much of a game, but at least we were able to play all our players that had not been starting in any of the other games. All of those players played the entire game and did a really good job. I was very proud of them. They had all played in every game at least a little less that half of those games and it was nice to get them an entire game.

We scored our 1st goal in the 9th minute from Noah Rothstein and it was an unassisted goal. The 2nd goal game 3 minutes later off a corner kick by Daniel Kohen where it went in the goal off the keeper's hands for an own goal. Daniel was credited with the goal. The 3rd goal was from Charlie Paris off a nice assist from Alec Botsford and the 4th and final goal came from Jason Hirsch off an assist from Adam Green. We scored 25 while only giving up 3 throughout the tournament. Our recored was 5 wins, 0 losses and 0 ties for 15 points. Brazil was 2nd with 10 points, as was Australia Gold, but Brazil advanced because of goal difference.

All that is left, is to play on Sunday for the Gold Medal against Brazil. I feel confident we will have a much better game against them than the previous one. It will be a hard game, but certainly a game we can and will win! I am extremely confident in our guys and their commitment to winning the Gold! It will be a fun game for sure.

Tonight is New Year's Eve here in Sydney and we will all watch the fireworks. Tomorrow we will go to the Blue Mountains and then Sunday is our game and the closing ceremonies.

I also want tell my wonderful wife how much I love and miss her and can't wait to see her on Monday! I miss my son Sean and love him very much and his fiance Sammy as well. I can't wait to see you all, as well as my brother and the rest of the family, especially our "Gang of 4".

So, until the next time I wish everyone the Happiest and Healthiest of New Year's!

Best regards from Sydney,
Coach Goldfarb

Game 4

To day was a very interesting game. The weather was extremely hot to the point the referee gave 2 water breaks, one in each half. It was very hard for us to find our rhythm and create the flow we have had over the previous 3 games, mainly because our passing and movement was not very good and we were a little intimidated by the name Brazil on their jersey. We were compensating by dribbling way too much and when we lost the ball, Brazil would seize the opportunity by counter attacking at speed. They had very good touch and movement when they countered off our mistakes and actually, that is all they did the entire game. They never attacked, only sat back and waited on the mistake in our attacking third. For the most part, we had the better of play, but could not score. They had 2 really good shots off the counter, but our keeper made 2 really good saves. The score at the half would be 0:0.

We addressed all of the above at half, especially the passing and also to keep the ball wide and then hit the cross to the back side. We started the 2nd half doing just that and in the 56th minute we scored the 1st goal. The ball was played out wide on the right and it was sent to Charlie Paris, who played it across to our attacking midfielder, Jason Hirsch making his hard run to the back post and he put the ball in the back of the net. USA 1, Brazil 0. We kept knocking on the door, but nothing was happening for us. We just tried to possess the ball and eat away at the clock. As the game went on, we started dribbling too much again and had the ball on the wing, when we dribbled and got stripped of the ball and Brazil had a classic counter attack to tie the game with 10 minutes remaining. USA 1, Brazil 1.

We knew a tie was really all we needed in order to be in the Gold Medal game on Sunday, but we wanted to send them a strong message that we do not lay down. With 3 minutes remaining in the game and a tie was almost a certainty, we struck again. This time the ball was sent to the back post by Justin Kamine where Jeff Zimering, our other striker was waiting on the ball. He then calmly played it across to our hard cutting other striker, Charlie Paris, who ever so calmly placed it in the back of the net. USA 2, Brazil 1.

We truly did not have our best day, but great teams find ways to win, even when it looks over. This team has great character and they jut would not lose. Brazil used all their tricks during the game to get us out of our game. They continually would dive and come in cleats up. I am so proud of our guys for just keeping their heads and not allowing them to disrupt us. While I know it was not our best day on the field, sometimes a game like this will be just what we need to be able to get back to our game of simple soccer. This was a good case where we were not over matched, but over intimidated by a name on a Jersey. We took stock of this at half and it will make us better for the finals. I feel confident we will meet Brazil in the finals again on Sunday at 2 PM.

Tomorrow is our last game of pool play against Australia Blue. We will rest most of our starters and play those that have not played quite as much as our starters in this game in order to rest them for the Gold Medal game. Hopefully, we will keep our unbeaten streak in pool play with a nice win tomorrow against Australia Blue. the game will be at 11 AM.

Tomorrow evening is New Year's Eve at it is supposed to be spectacular. I can't wait for the fireworks display over Darling Harbor. On Saturday, January 1, 2011, our entire delegation is going to visit some animals and then go to the Blue Mountains. Hopefully, it will not be too much walking for our guys.

So, from Sydney, I wish everyone a good night and I will have the results from tomorrow posted shortly after the game. I will also post about the fireworks.

Take care and best regards,
Coach Goldfarb

Monday, December 27, 2010

Game 3 from Australia

Today we played and old nemesis from Israel...Mexico. It was a good game for us, as we won 10:0. Not much of a game, but a really good exercise in finding our way in our system,especially being able to iron out a few problems offensively. We have started the same line-up now for all three of our games, with one exception and that being the goalkeepers. We are alternating them on a game by game basis. Both keepers are excellent and that is the only fair way to handle them.

Let's start with the scoring. IN the 4th minute now for three straight games, we have scored our 1st goal. Jeff Zimering scored off an assist from Jason Hirsch. This goal was created by a succession of 1-2's straight down the field, resulting the goal.The 2nd goal came in the 11th minute from a right side cross from PJ Chermak to a hard run from Charlie Paris, who put it in. The 3rd goal came off Adam Purdy's punt after a good save towards Jeff Zimering isolated up top, but the result was an Own goal by Mexico. The 4th goal came in the 42nd minute from Jason Hirsch with an assist from our overlapping back, Adam Green. The score at the end of the first half was US 4, Mexico 0. We were very pleased with the first half, but needed to pick up our intensity and play better and earlier balls.

The 2nd half began and we were awarded a Penalty Kick in the 46th minute. Zach Dixon and put it in the back of the net. Score now stands at 5:0. In the 66th minute, we had a free kick outside the box and Justin Kamine put it in to make the score 6:0. The 7th goal came off an assist from Brian Cohen to Justin Kamine in the 70th minute. The 8th goal came 2 minutes later in the 72nd minute from Brian Cohen off an assist from Zach Dixon. Our 9th goal was by Jeff Zimering in the 77th minute, off an assist from Brian Cohen and the 10th and final goal was again assisted by Brian Cohen to Alec Botsford for the goal, in the 85th minute.

Before our game Brazil defeated the Australia Blue team by the score of 12:1. Brazil also defeated Mexico the day before by the score of 4:0. They are a very talented and technical team, so our game on Thursday, should be a nice test for us and hopefully, a prelude to the Gold Medal game with them again on Sunday. It should be interesting to see how they handle our pressure and our size and athleticism.

Tomorrow we have an off day and it will be nice to be able to have a recovery day for our bodies before our game on Thursday with Brazil. The game will begin a 2 PM. This is another score we need to settle from Israel!

So far, we could not be happier with our team and the way they have accepted and embraced our philosophy of play. They are a real pleasure to be with each and every day.

Marie, Sean and Sammy, I love you and miss you so very much. I wish you were all here with Aly and me right now. My "Gang of Four", I miss each of you so much and can't wait to see you. And to my family, especially my brother, I miss and love you. This trip is incredible and made even more special by having Aly with me each and every day.

So until Thursday afternoon, have a great day and best regards from Sydney,
Coach Goldfarb

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Game 2 in Australia

We have now won our first 2 games. Today we beat the other US team by the score of 2:0. Our first goal came 4 minutes in when PJ Chermak scored off a great cross from Jeff Zimering. A few minutes later Justin Kamine scored our second goal off an assist from Jason Hirsch. The score at half was 2:0. We did not try to play pressure on them and just kept possession the rest of the game. It was a good training session for us, as it was only our third time to play together as a team, either in practice or games. It was a very beneficial session for us in preparation for our game tomorrow against Mexico.

We play a 1 PM against Mexico, which is a very physical and typically dirty team. We had that bad experience with them in Israel in 2009. We now know what to expect from them and I know we can give back to them what they try to do to us. I am not worried at all about that part of the game. We will keep possession and play high pressure against them and that should take care of the game for us. I expect Mexico and Brazil to be tough games from the standpoint of dirty and physical play. We will keep our composure and let our play do the talking. After tomorrows game, we have Wednesday off and then we play Brazil on Thursday. Friday we conclude pool play with Australia Blue.

I am extremely pleased and proud of our entire team. They have bonded very well in such a short time and having Aly here to help me is a blessing. She has been a big help and all the guys have accepted here as part of the team. I am quite thankful for that. This team is a real pleasure to be with and certainly to coach. They all will do anything for each other both on and off the field.

So until tomorrow, have a wonderful day and best regards to all,

Coach Goldfarb from Sydney

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1st Game against Australia Gold Team

USA 7, Australia Gold 2! A powerful performance by our team today. We controlled the entire possession and had errors that let both goals in for Australia. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse, especially if we left ouir starters in the entire game. Everyone got to play and contribute. The scoring was led by our 2 strikers with Charlie Paris netting a hat trick with 3 goals and Jeff Zimering conrtibuting 2 goals and 3 assists. Alec Botsford scored 1 goal and PJ Chermak scored 1 goal and had 1 assist. Steven Tenenzapf had 1 assist as did Michael Pourat and Justin Kamine with 1 assist. The guys adjusted well to the new system of play. Once we get it down pat, we should be really good. I ma quite proud of the guys for the effort.

We must continue top play possession soccer and we will be fine. Tomorrow we play at 11 AM against our youth team, why I don't know but we must play. Right now we are getting ready to go to the opening ceremonies. It should be really nice. I must sign off for now, but I will write a longer blog tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Best regards from Sydney, Australia,
Coach Goldfarb

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day One in the land down under Dec. 23, 2010

Hello from Sydney, Australia. Aly and I arrived with the entire US this morning about 9:30 AM. We are 17 hours ahead of the central time zone. It was the longest and most exhausting flight either of us have But, before we do, I will tell you a little about the day of arrival and our team.

Once we arrived we went to a delegation wide meeting and then to the hotel, which is the Novotel located on Darling Harbor. It is a very nice hotel that sits right on the harbor and where all the New Year's eve fireworks will take place. That will be a special blog for sure! After checking in, our team went to train for an hour by themselves, as all coaches had a meeting. Mainly the training was just to jog, stretch and play a little to get the legs moving about, especially since our training in Los Angeles was rained out on both days. After that we all had a walking tour of downtown Sydney. It was beautiful and seeing the world famous Opera House from across the harbor was a sight to behold.

I absolutely love our team. They have all bonded extremely well and I truly believe we will have a great run in the tournament. They are all very dedicated to the game and want to succeed. I know we will get their maximum effort every time they step on the field and I am so excited to be able to coach them in this great event in Australia.

So, it is time to sleep, so I will say good night until we write again. Our first game will be on Sunday, Dec. 26 at 10:30 AM against one of the 2 Australia teams.

Coach Goldfarb from Australia