Monthly Archives: June 2016

Jersey’s Matt Miazga On Debut

Matt Miazga couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to make his Chelsea debut in the English Premier League on Saturday, helping earn a clean sheet, playing the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 drubbing of Premier League bottom dweller Aston Villa.

The first American to play in the Premier League for Chelsea, Miazga appeared to do fine on the back line for the Blues, who shut out an opponent for the first time in 11 matches, despite missing veteran defenders John Terry and Gary Cahill due to minor injuries. Miazga nearly scored in his debut, seeing a header saved by fellow American Brad Guzan.

The Clifton, N.J., native and Red Bulls product transferred to Stamford Bridge in January for a reported $5 million fee.

The 20-year-old was not the only youngster to make his Chelsea debut as Brazilian Pato scored the second goal at Villa Park. The on-loan Brazilian struck soon after coming on as a substitute, converting a fine penalty after he was brought down by Aly Cissokho. Two goals by Pedro and another from Ruben Loftus-Cheek also helped make it an easy victory for Guus Hiddink’s side.

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Matt Miazga was transferred from the Red Bulls to Chelsea in January.

Miazga was coming off playing both legs in the U.S. U-23 team’s 3-2 aggregate loss to Colombia in a last chance to earn an Olympic berth next summer in Rio. The center back made his U.S. senior team debut last fall.

Despite stopping an attempt by Miazga, fellow senior team member Guzan continued to have a rough season with Villa, allowing all four goals in the loss.

It is believed Chelsea is considering sending Miazga out on loan next season to give him valuable first-team time with another club, but if his performance Saturday is any indication, the Blues may decide to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

Jersey soccer team honored

JERSEYVILLE Members of the Jersey High School girls soccer team were given special recognition for their contributions to the team at a recent ceremony.

The 2016 season was not an easy one for Jersey’s girls, losing a starter Anna Hausman at the beginning of the season after an auto accident. Coach Brad Kimble said while the season was difficult, his girls showed persistence and grouped together as a team to handle the tragedy.

“It was a season that really shows that soccer is sometimes just a place to get together and experience life together,” he said. “Having a tragedy at the beginning of the season made us focus on relationships more than the game. It took the girls several games to play soccer again. For a while they were just going through the motions.

“Eventually, they did start to focus on the game and dedicated the game to Anna. The girls felt that Anna would have wanted them to play their hardest, so they did. For us, the results off of the field were much more important than the results on the field. Of course, we want to win. But winning at life is much more important.”

Overall, Kimble said the girls learned many valuable lessons throughout this season.

“They are wanting to take those experiences and move forward with something special next year,” he said.

The girls honored are for their efforts on the season were:

Gabby Stephens, Rookie of the Year

Alli Bohannon, Most Valuable Player

Lauren Pace, Defensive Player of the Year

Hailea Tepen, Offensive Player of the Year

Nicole Maag, PAC Pride Award

Talk About NBA Jerseys

will be remembered as the day the NBA sold out. Maybe it’ll live on in infamy, because today, the NBA announced that its board of governors approved a three-year trial period for advertisements on its new Nike jerseys, beginning with the 2017-18 season.

But I personally don’t think either of those things will happen. Instead, as a longtime soccer fan, I think today be vaguely remembered as the day the NBA thrust itself into the modern global sports economy. Many NBA fans are claiming right now that the “integrity” of the league — the same league that survived the 2007 referee betting scandal — will be tainted forever. But the “integrity” argument misses the point: NBA jerseys have always been advertisements, and if anything, the league should be lauded for adopting sponsored patches in a less noticeable way than many soccer teams already have.

“It was a season that really shows that soccer is sometimes just a place to get together and experience life together,” he said. “Having a tragedy at the beginning of the season made us focus on relationships more than the game. It took the girls several games to play soccer again. For a while they were just going through the motions.

“Eventually, they did start to focus on the game and dedicated the game to Anna. The girls felt that Anna would have wanted them to play their hardest, so they did. For us, the results off of the field were much more important than the results on the field. Of course, we want to win. But winning at life is much more important.”

Overall, Kimble said the girls learned many valuable lessons throughout this season.

“They are wanting to take those experiences and move forward with something special next year,” he said.