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Wyatt's 2016-2017 season v2.0

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And that's a wrap for the season.  They played their last game yesterday and par for the course it was really competative.  The third keeper kept restraining his pulled muscle at tryouts and practice, so he was on the bench for the game.  Two other B squad players were having travel plans before the game had been rescheduled.  So the coach asked the other keeper to play the last game and offered him the first team slot to entice him.  Wyatt was a little put out, but in the end was happy that he was there with his B squad team mates for the end of the season game. The coach for next year was there to observe the boys some more to continue sorting out players, so Wyatt was happy he could help the boys on the bubble in the second squad have a chance to show well.  The first team had a rather un-inspired game, and the new coach wasn't to happy with the way they played.  The two best performers were both 05 boys who are playing up this year, but going back to the 05 team next year.  One in the midfield pretty much controlled the midfield and kept the other team out of the defensive third most the game, while the other a forward scored a brace to secure the 2-1.  The single goal against was scored off a shot from about 20+ yards out that the keeper got caught ball watching all the way into the back of the net for the only chance he had to make a save all game.  

Wyatt's game was pretty back and forth.  At first his squad controlled possession. Then they started playing the long ball up the side and the and cutting back into to runners up the center relying on their size and speed.  Wyatt and the center back got really busy after that.  They had the big kid from the fight last time cut in and take a shot across the goal low with another one running in on the back post.  Wyatt made a nice dive to his right to collect it at the feet of the other other player.  Then popped up and rolled it out before they could react to get a counter started.  A little while later he passed a goalkick out to his left back who held it and sucked in two players before backpassing it back to wyatt who drew in the left forward and attacking mid while he passed it out to his left wing who took it up the outside in the opened up space.  He came out and collected a long throwing to the box, then followed it up with a nice aggressive collection of a long cross into the box to see the half out 0-0.  Second half the Dynamo started puttingthe pressure on really hard and our boys started feeling the efffects of the physical game and heat.  The forwards were having a hard time getting past the back line and they were countering more with the boot and run attack that got them more shots on frame.  Wyatt faced a 1v1 and the shot went low and to his right, he dove and got a hand behind it to flick it out of bounds.  He set a nice wall that did its job to see off another free-kick when his defense had to make the professional foul to stop a break-away.  Wyatt spent alot of time coming out and getting big and seeing shots go wide because of it, so he had like 10 goal kicks in the second half.  He made two excellent blocks back to back during a frantic effort to clear a ball from the box off a short corner.  He made the first one point blank and then popped up to make the second with his centerback collecting it and clearing it out.  Final save of the game was a free kick that dipped over the wall and saw wyatt get airborn to deflect it out and off a opposing player for the final goal kick of the game.

End of game the coach started gving the boys his end of the year speech, then stopped and said but first, and walked over and shook Wyatt's hand and told him great game.  The coach for next year told him that he played excellent, but that he expected nothing less from Wyatt.  Even the other team gave him kudos when we bumped into them after game getting a drink, with their coach telling him he was the only reason that his team didn't lose the game.

For the rest of the week Wyatt continued with his morning conditioning and skill training.  During the week he had one tryout session, he got a little time on the field for that, but the coach said he already knew what he was getting with Wyatt and he needed to look at the other keepers to find one good enough to be Wyatt's backup.  The third keeper got some time in the net too, because the lower divison coach wanted to look at him to see if he wanted him for that team.  That is when he got hurt again.  Had another boy taking a bad fall from a tackle as well and get a compound fracture in his lower arm, so I got to spend the session talking to the paramedics and helping them in and out of the facility.  Coach called a practice Thursday to get them ready for the last game and Wyatt spent the whole time playing solo in the goal through out the striking and finishing drills, and the scrimmages while they learned a new formation for the weekend.

So now we have one more week of tryouts with Wyatt helping choose his back-up, then training training training to get ready for Europe.

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Tryouts wrapped up this week, always a drama filled time of the year.  About have of Wyatt's group advanced to the next year of the Academy program.  The new headcoach made a few waves as well with the team.  He started off by only signing about a 1/3 of the players and waiting on the rest to see how they did versus the new talent coming into the club for tryouts.  Several boys who thought they had a lock on spots were moved to the next lower divison team and several who thought they were going to that team found themselves still in the Academy.  We picked up 3 really good forwards which are really needed and a good mid to replace the one we lost to the younger Academy squad.  Wyatt had fun helping sort out the keepers.  The third team keeper basically swapped sport with the lower divison keeper.  The coach had a long talk with thekeeper and his mom about pecking order and expectations, then had them talk directly to Wyatt about his training regime so they understood what the coach was expecting if the new keeper wanted to ever challenge for the starter spot.  Overall the new keeper isn't as good technically as the old third keeper, but he is much more active and aggressive.  The club trainer that Wyatt works with has already given Wyatt the warning not to rest on his laurals and that he needs to keep pushing to keep the gap growing and hold the starter spot.

Tryout wise the coach was already starting to form the roster spots.  To keep Wyatt sharp he was always facing what looks like the starters squad of the field players, with the potentials and reserve players to make his life intereting.  He did fairly good, and is picking up the change in play style the coach wants.  He likes the ball played out of the back on the ground as the first option, then throws, and final punts or kicks down field. Wyatt is getting the hand of it, but also needing to learn not to hold the ball as long on backpasses.  He skilled and out dribbled several of the forwards and mids, which the coach likes the skill that takes, but the coach doesn't want him going to that as his first option and would rahter he clear it out under pressure.  He did a good job of communicating that to Wyatt, but buffered the remark with the comment that he doesn't want wyatt crushing the fragile strikers egos by getting out skilled by the keeper.

Wyatt also continued his daily morning skills and conditioning trainings sessions as well.  Those will run through this week, then its him and his mom working out on them until he leaves for Europe.  He also will continue with his keeper training.  This week he is also supposed to help out with the junior academy summer camp in the evenings to get more time on the ball, but also to help build his leadership skills.

WE got the group assignments for the Gothia Cup tournament in Sweden, don't know to much about the eruopean teams but they got placed with European Football Academy (ENG-London), Upsala IF (SWE) and Staffanstorps GIF (SWE).  Looks like a total of 212 teams registered in Wyatt's age group ith a good mix of clubs from around the world.  


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Well, first week of Watt's European adventure is over in Spain and the team is in Sweden now.

The IberCup Barcelona had 14 teams including Wyatt's in the B14 age group (he is playing up with the squad as the reserver keeper).  

Game 1 vs. CF Os Belenenses (Portugal)

Wyatt did get to go in for this game as his team lost 0-2.  First goal was off a PK when the centerback pushed the opposing striker down in the box.  Was a well placed kick from the striker on the PK.  The keeper guessed right side but went low and under the shot.  Second goal was of a loose ball in the box, shot came in hit the crossbar and came down in the box to an unmarked player on the back post after get hacked around a bit.  Nice easy touch to put it away and get the 0-2 result.


Game 2 vs. Escola Sao Poala FC (Brazil)

Wyatt got the start in this game and held it to 0-0 through the first half.  Had to collect a few rollers and some back passess but nothing to major as the other team was trying to play the long ball over the back line and run onto it.  Second half the older keeper came in and had to deal with a high bouncing long ball.  He hesitated on moving to collect it and called it wrong, with it almost bouncing over him.  He managed to get a hand to it, but slapped it down to the foot of the chasing striker for a goal to make it 0-1.  The team rallied though and put the pressure on to finish it out 2-1.


Game 3 vs. Brommapojkarna Red (Sweden)

Wyatt started again and liek the last game was mostly just picking off through balls and sweeping.  Turned it over at the half up 4-0 to the other keeper who saw it out to 6-0 with not much more to do.  The team was physical more dominated and did a better job of controling the ball.


Game 4 vs. Manchester 62 FC (Gibralter)

Another start for Wyatt.  Really had nothing to do and got relaxed.  Finally the other team got a free kick off a bad call outside the box.  Wyatt got a little nervous and overreacted to the shot, missing the ball in the air when he got to it a little to early.  Loose ball bounced in the box and the right back tried to clear it off the line, but tapped it in for an own-goal.  The coached pulled Wyatt out right after that and put in the older keeper.  He didn't really get to mad at Wyatt, just said he couldn't have either keeper making mistakes since the squad was having trouble finishing and scoring.  By the end of the second half though the boys had got it together and were up 3-1, so Wyatt went back in and finished the game out.


Game 5 vs/ Michigan SA (USA)

Wyatt got the start depsite expecting to be benched after the last game.  He madea  couple light saves and the usual sweeping to turn it over 1-0 at the half.  Second half the the boys put away two more to end it 3-0.  The win had them at third in group, with the last game agsinst the team in second, winner of that game would advance to the winner's bracket semi-final (top 2 teams from each of the 2 groups).  


Game 6 vs. FC PSF (USA)

No time in this one for Wyatt as the coach went with his starters since it was a win to advance to the winner's group game.  Final score was 3-1 with the goal coming over a bad decision by the keeper.  Win saw them take second in group and more on to the winner's group semi-finals.


Game 7 vs. Oakleigh Cannons (Australia)

Wyatt sat this one out as well, again with the coach going with his starters.  The final score was 2-1, with it being fairly close right up to the end.  The coach was going to put Wyatt in but tournament rules didn't allow keeper subs on the fly and the coach didn't want to break the moment on the field after the boys pulled ahead.


Game 8 vs. CF Os Belenenses (Portugal)

Rematch of the first game.  Wyatt was pretty sure he wasn't going to get the start, or any field time right up until the 4th minute when the older keeper tripped a striker after getting beat.  Player came in and the keeper tried to slide tackle him and got skilled.  Lashed out with his hand and brought the striker down.  So Wyatt went in to face a PK right away.  The coach also pulled the right back and put in another attacker to try and keep pressure up high with the team a man down.  The PK was well placed, Wyatt made a try but got beat.  Not a minute later after the restart the team lost possession and in a very confused manner due to the loss of the man and the follow-up change let an unmarked player get a back post shot in.  Wyatt made the dive and almost had it, but it found the net to make it 0-2.  Wyatt buckled down and started getting onto the defense and coordinating them more to hold that score well into the second half.  Finally though the left back messed up on an offsides trap and wound up chasing a winger back to goal.  Wyatt set up and cut the angle, but the kid played a beautiful shot to beat Wyatt to make it 0-3.  The boys finally started to rally near the end and got some looks, but only netted one to end it 1-3 and take second over all in the tournament.  Wyatt played well though in the game and did a marvealous job of keeping the team in it and giving them time to try and recover.  The boys and parents realized that and had lots of kind words for him after the game and the next day.

Sunday they moved on to Sweden and played their first game this morning in the Gothia Cup.

Game 1 vs. Staffanstorps GIF (Sweden)

Wyatt again was expecting to not start and maybe get not time in, but luck is weird at times.  The older keeper got sick and had to go to the hospital to get checked out, at first they thought it was his appendix, but looks like it was the results of dehdration and exhaustion from not taking care of himself the previous week.  So Wyatt found himself owning the net for the whole game.  They stream them live so I was able to watch it.  He played well, made some really good saves, and was very agressive at sweeping, charging down and clearing a few balls, one right at the top of the box right before the striker got to it.  He faced a cluister of corners and free kicks well in the second half to hold the shut out and see his team to the 4-0.  That puts them at the top of group where they play the second place team tomorrow.

This tournament should be very interesting, in Wyatt's age group there are 213 teams in 53 groups.  After groups playout the top 2 teams go into the winners bracket and the rest into the loser bracket.  From there it;s straight knockouts until only one team is left, which means up to 7 more game starting Thursday with finals on Sturday.  Last year the team went deep into the knockstages and wound up playing 3 games in a day at one point.  So more oppuritunities for him to get time on the pitch.



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Game 2 vs the European Football Academy (England)

Older keeper was healthly and back in the line-up, but Wyatt got the start and whole first half.  His team dominated most the game so he focused more on communications and constantly yelling at his left back to keep marking the right winger for the other side who kept finding space on the flank to receive balls.  Nothing really came out of it thoug.  He had to collect one ball that was played long and bounced into the box.  The right winger charged in after it and Wyatt had to get u over him to collect it.  He transitioned forward quickly, almost too quickly not letting things settle down and rolled the ball out short to his centerback.  He forgot to keep an eye on the winger and the kid came in from behind and pressured the roll, but the centerback got it out and forward before anything else could happen.  He turned things over 3-0 at the half, and the older keeper had less to do to see it out 5-0.

Win keeps that at top of the group and the gaol differential will most likely keep them even with a lose tomorrow.  So they have clinched a birth in the winner's brackets for the round of 64 that starts Thursday.  A win tomorrow will solidifiy that and get then a bye in the round of 64, and most likely a game versus a club from Malaysia in the round of 32.

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Game 3 vs. Upsala (Sweden)

Last group game, and they had already clinched 1st, so playing more just to keep the sweep.  Wyatt got the start and whole first half.  The other team played possession in the back and then long balls over the mids for the forwards to run onto, so lots of sweeping and very little keeping for him today.  He did nicely collect one ball that went long and bounced into the box, but the rest of his time was spent playing keep away and back passing with the back line.  He got pressured a few times and did well with the ball at his feet, a little better then I think the attacking forwards were expecting.  He had one back pass distribution that the coach didn't like where he cleared it up the field into traffic, but the man he was looking for wasn't moving nad had cover on him, so Wyatt went with the safer bet.  Turned it over at the half 3-0.  The older keeper took over and had a few back passes, but by then the coach was playing the reserves so they were pushing up high all trying to get a goal.  Game ended 6-0, to see then sweep the group and get a bye in the first round of the winners' bracket knockout rounds.  

They will know later this afternoon who they are facing in round 2, but looks like it may be a squad from Malaysia who where pretty dominate in their group.  Depending on how they do, they could have up to 3 games tomorrow as they hopefully work their way through the knock-our rounds.

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Game vs. Zaba FC (Malayasia)

After gettign the bye for the first knock  out round, this was the teams first knock game.  Zaba FC had done pretty good in their bracket and had a convincing 9-0 win in the first knockout round so was expecting it to be a close game.  The coach opted to bench Wyatt for the start of the match and go with the older keeper in the first half.  Zaba played possession in the back, then would make fast breaks up the sides and cut in to create 1v1 or 2v3 with the keeper.  For the first half things were pretty tight with Wyatt's team's getting a chance to take the lead off a PK, but they missed it.  Zaba responded by going 2v3 against the flow of play on a bad punt by the keeper and forced him to commit and then beat him to make it 0-1.  With them down going into the half the coach decided to keep the older keeper in for the second half.  The team rallied some and starting getting looks, and finally managed to get it 1-1, then missed a second PK for the go ahead.  They followed it up though quickly with a second goal to make it 2-1.  As the game wound down, Zaba FC started frantically attacking and managed to generate another 2 v 3 wit hthe keeper.  Keeper came out like the time before, blocked the shot sending the ball towards the back side where a Zaba player had made the run and finished it off to make it 2-2.  With minutes to go they broke away again and one of the denfenders fouled in the box to give a PK that saw it go 2-3 for the final.

Wyatt was in a wee bit of a foul mood, he felt like he could have made one if not both the saves other then the PK.  And he commented that the PK could have been avoided by the keeper coming out, but after getting bear twice on pseudo break aways he hesitated and stuck to his line focing the defneder to try and make the tackle.

They've got a couple days left over there so he is doing the tourist thing and hanging out with players he has met while he has been there.  He definitely has gotten a taste of playing soccer in where it is "the sport of sports" and absolutely wants to do it more.  I think it has fired him up to work even harder now so he can get more chances to play outside the US.

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