Monday, April 26, 2010

Flames Burn Hole in the Heart of Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators

There are teams with simple, solid names like the "Grandview Flames."

And then  there are teams with more complex, elaborate names like, for example the "Ladies Auxiliary of Weston Road Tea Party Barristers" or the "Worthington Crew Jr. Chiefs" or, to cite yet another example, the "Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators."

While there is no demonstrated empirical correlation between the unnecessary flourishes of a club's name and its success on the field, the simple grandeur of the Grandview Flames on Saturday once again demolished yet another North Columbus Club with an unfathomable name, as the Flames burned a hole in the heart of Worthington with a 7-1 away win over the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators.

Now, truth be told this correspondent was not physically present for said shellacking. But, based on numerous sources within the GF Fan Club, here is what transpired:

A perhaps over-confident Flames squad sashayed onto the wet home turf of the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators and gave up the early lead 1-0.

Another 15 minutes went by with chances on both sides before the Flames finally locked and loaded, with a left-footed goal from Ben K on the assist from Manny the Magician.

After that it was all Flames, as the Worthington Crew Jr.Gladiators collapsed like an elaborately constructed parlor trick.

First came the own goal on the cross from Derek. Then Derek scored on his own with no assist from the Gladiators. This was followed by a goal from the wily Iron Curtain, Ben D to close the half.

In the fourth minute of the second half, Manny stepped up for the PK, and a brilliant save by the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators keeper went for naught as Derek drilled the rebound to make it 5-1.

Ben D then netted his second, followed by the finale, a nice finish on the corner by Jake (his first of the year) with Indigo on the assist to end it at 7-1.

Manager James Gerdes summed up the performance this way: "I think it was the best they have played all season, especially in the difficult, wet conditions."

The Flames will look to continue their unbeaten streak and their extended road stand with a Sunday contest versus the Dublin United Force at Darree Field No. 16 at 1:50 p.m.

"Flame on," brothers and sisters. Flame on.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bruising Victory Over Shamrock Rovers Puts Flames at 4-0

On the wind-swept Darree Fields in Dublin, the Grandview Flames SC on Sunday afternoon began their extended away stand with a fourth consecutive victory to begin the 2010 campaign. The win did not come without its casualties, as there were several hard challenges from the physical Rovers that sent Flames flying, and one member of the Flames Fan Club was sent off by the referee near the start of the second half in a controversial decision.

The Rovers beat the Flames in their last meeting, but the Grandview Juggernaut dominated this stand-off for most of the 50 minutes, and the they won it 4-2 to go top of the Ohio Champions League U10 Boys.

The Flames struck early with a goal by Ben K. in the second minute, which resulted from good short passing that allowed the fleet-footed forward to penetrate close. The long-haired El Mellizo followed that up with a second enterprising goal to make it 2-0 in minute 5. But one minute later, the Shamrock Rovers' American-style physical game finally produced results with a goal in minute 6 that resulted in part from a defensive break-down from the Flames.

The Flames then settled in nicely and began dominating possession. They went 3-1 to close the half when Ben K. laid a clinical right cross to the foot of Wes who finished brilliantly in minute 12.

Early on in the second half is when things got interesting. Faced with a 3-1 score with only 25 minutes to play, the Rovers made a calculated decision to play an even more physical, state of nature form of soccer. What resulted was a spectacle akin to watching the beautiful passing football of Arsenal come up against the likes of San Jose Earthquakes with their "soccer is a contact sport" approach to the game.

As is so often is the case in these situations, the Force was with the team who played the game in the way it was intended: deftly, thoughtfully and precisely.

After one particularly reckless challenge that left Wes with a head wound, a credentialed media representative and member of the Grandview Flames SC Fan Club objectively and calmly expressed his opinion that the contact was so reckless as to warrant a foul.

The referee stopped play and berated the Grandview supporter, who in turn responded with words that in most neighborhoods would be considered tame, given the tone and posture that had been adopted.

Not happy with the words he heard, the referee exercised his prerogative to eject the fan.

"You have 60 seconds to leave the field, or your team will forfeit," he said.

Several thoughts went through the fan's head at this point, most of them not printable in this family-friendly forum. Said fan exited silently stage left.

Not deterred by the street theater, the Flames flamed on, dominating possession with a disciplined and effective passing game the remainder of the match and pummeling the opposing goal with a half dozen shots.

One of these finally paid off, a well-deserved scorcher from Manny near the close to make it 4-2, which proved to be the final.

Sunday's win came on the heels of Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Worthington Crew Juniors Chiefs (Details and stats to follow).

The Flames now have four more consecutive away trips before returning home for the final two regular-season matches May 15 and 16.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flames Go 2-0 With Victory Over Dublin United Schalke

The Flames picked up a second consecutive win with a decisive 5-3 victory over Dublin United Schalke on Sunday at Anderson Field.

Schalke scored first in the 3rd minute with a hard strike that caught the Flames' defense by surprise. But Johnny Volker made his presence known immediately thereafter by stealing the ball at the top of the key, dribbling a few paces and drilling the shot past the diving keeper for the equalizer.

What followed was an onslaught by the Flames, as they pushed hard and had several chances including two corners before Ben K scored on a sliding touch just past the opposing keeper with about 5 minutes left in the half.

The Flames had several more shots on goal to start the second half and finally converted in the 5th minute in with a fine finish by Wes on a left cross from Johnny to make it 3-1.

Schalke tried to make a match of it, scoring a nifty goal off the right post in the 9th minute of the half to make it 3-2, but the Grandview home side came storming right back with a nice finish from Dylan on the right cross by Sam. This was followed by a hammer strike from Indigo at the top of the key at '21 to put the Flames seemingly out of reach at 5-2.

The talented little Osh for Schalke tried to bring his side back with an answer one minute later, but it was not to be for the Dubliners, as time ran out, and the Flames recorded 6 points in 2 games to start the 2010 campaign.

Goal Keeper: Jake
Central Defense: Manny
Center Midfield: Ben D
Striker: Wes
Right Wing: Derek
Left Wing Indigo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Old Nemesis Vanquished: Flames Win Season Opener 4-3

The Grandview Flames SC opened their 2010 campaign at home at Anderson Field on Saturday with a hard-fought win versus the Classics of Louis Center.

It was the Flames' first ever victory against the select club from up north who have figured prominently in all Ohio Champions League U10 competitions.

The teams were fairly evenly matched for the 2 p.m. showdown, but the Classics had more men to sub in and out, and the Flames began to dim near the end of the second half. But they held on for the 4-3 win. Jake made several key saves to keep them in it, and a little luck came in it too as the Classics blew several good chances and had several more go just wide or high.

The first goal of the match and the season for the Flames came on an odd high bouncer sent in by Manny from nearly mid field. The opposing goalie misjudged it, and it sailed over his head and in.

The Classics answered a minute later with a left-footed rocket from their talented forward, No. 21.

At about 15 minutes, Ben D. dumped a nice pass out right to Dylan at the top of the box who didn't hesitate and drove it near post and past the surprised keeper to make it 2-1 Flames.

Again the Classics countered, and again it was their left-footed attacker No. 21, who finished a beautiful corner from the right side that skimmed the cross bar and down at his feet.

The Classics then put the Flames on the ropes, taking the 3-2 lead with a goal by winger No. 20.

But a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half by Wes tied it 3-3.

The only goal of the second half proved the winner. About 10 minutes in, Dylan placed a nice right cross at the foot of Indigo who powered it in decisively.

The disappointment among the Classics fans was palpable, and some words were spoken in their duress.

The Flames management issued the following statement: "We finally beat them."

The team photo was taken immediately following, amid celebratory cookie bars from Becky. Included in this season's photo were the teams official and unofficial mascots.