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Showing posts from 2014

How Recent USL PRO Announcements Impact the Hammerheads

by Marissa Blackman This might be the offseason, but that doesn't mean USL PRO has been uneventful.  All USL leagues , including PRO, recently had their big annual meeting, and important decisions were made there. I’m going to explore what all this means for Wilmington Hammerheads FC. There are lots of new teams in the league, so USL PRO has been divided into two conferences- east and west. The Hammerheads will be competing in the Eastern conference along with FC Montreal, Toronto FC, Rochester Rhinos, Harrisburg City Islanders, Richmond Kickers, Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Saint Louis FC, Louisville City FC, and Charlotte Independence, and it’s a widely agreed upon rumor that the New York Red Bulls of MLS will be starting a USL PRO team before the season starts. Click here  for more details on the conference divisions. What does all of this mean for the Hammerheads? 1.        Familiar Faces Last season Toronto was Wilmington’s MLS affiliate,

The Story of Sideline Shindig

The Story of Sideline Shindig  By Marissa Blackman In Kindergarten, I learned how to read and write, and that knowledge has been fueling two of my passions ever since. At first, it was just reading. I couldn't get enough of it. I loved books! I started off reading children's books like Rainbow Fish and Junie B. Jones. By second grade, I was up to the fourth installment of Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate events. I've always loved reading, but the older I got the less it satisfied me. I wanted to control the story myself. That's when I started writing, and I started doing a whole lot of it. On those rare occasions when I clean my room, my attention is often diverted from the task at hand because I find some silly story I wrote years ago. I was simultaneously developing another passion-soccer. I played on a team when I was in second grade, and throughout my childhood, I attended several of my local team’s matches. I liked soccer then, but I didn't r

If the School of Football Was Real..

If the School of Football Was Real... By Marissa Blackman Genius Football  posted this  on Twitter, and it really go my creative juices flowing. Here’s a little fictitious thing I wrote… A few weeks ago I got a letter in the mail inviting me to attend The School of Football, and now I’m in London visiting the school to decide whether or not I’ll accept the invitation. I came here half expecting this school not to actually exist. It seems far too good to be true. The School is both a high school and a college. Some of the world’s most famous footballers attend, and Alex Ferguson is the principal. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, managers like Jose Mourinho are the teachers. Here’s the most unbelievable part: They want me to come to the school. Other than the fact that there were acres of football fields everywhere, it seemed like a normal school. When my cab pulled up to the school, SAF himself was standing at the doors. “You must be Marissa.” He shook my hand as he

Chelsea Lost But All Is Not

I've had some time to mull things over, and I've finally come to terms with what happened. Chelsea lost. I can't even... Chelsea lost! My geezer heart is bleeding.  I think I'm a bit of a spoiled fan, or maybe this is just normal... It seems that after one of the teams I'm fond of has a particularly good run, the first reality check of a loss is devastating. To make matters worse, I wrote a post  all about how this December didn't have to be the end for Chelsea. I even tried to prove statistically how unlikely that was. And now this. Mind you, I have not watched the game. I've been out of town for far too long, and I've been very busy. Although the hotel I was in had WiFi, I was disconnected from internet and television during the match. I only caught the last two minutes of extra time. In other words, all my knowledge of the game originates from Twitter. Nevertheless, I have a few (quite possibly unfounded) opinions: This shows just how c

If Messi Went To Arsenal...

There are reports that back in 2003, Arsenal was this close to signing Messi, Pique, and Fabregas all at the same time. It seems that no one really cares to ask way Pique didn’t go through, but Messi is said not to have went partly because Wenger wouldn’t give his parents an apartment.The club only managed to sign Cesc Fabregas, but what if…what if all three of those players left Barcelona and went to Arsenal? That one move could’ve drastically altered football as we know it today. Just imagine with me for a second. Zlatan Ibrahimovich would still be at Barcelona. If Messi weren’t there, Zlatan would’ve undoubtedly received all of Guardiola’s adoring attention. Without having to share the spotlight with Messi, Zlatan would be the unrivaled star of the Barcelona show, and that would make Zlatan very happy. If Zlatan were happy in Camp Nou, he probably would still be there to this day with an outlandish mega million buyout clause that made every other club in the world unable to ta

November is Here, Chelsea Have No Fear

While perusing through social media after Chelsea’s Champions League draw with Maribor, I observed that many Chelsea supporters are going into hysteria over November and December. Apparently, this draw signifies that, for Chelsea’s unbeaten record, the end is near. Although this sounds ludicrous to me, there’s said to be some history of Chelsea slumping around this time of year. With that being said, I’ve only been supporting this club for a few years, and I humbly acknowledge that my Chelsea is limited. To solve this mystery, I decided to do a little research. I constructed table below using fixtures from past seasons. Month/Season 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 August 14 16 5 14 2 4 18 3 10 6 7 5

Getting To Know the Roughnecks

Tulsa Roughnecks FC is one of the six new teams that will be joining USL PRO in 2015. In case you were wondering, the name Roughnecks refers to oil rig workers. This is of local significance because Tulsa is nicknamed The Original Oil Capital of the world. I was very surprised to learn that Tulsa Roughnecks FC is not a new club at all. This is actual a revival of a team with a long rich, history . The original Roughnecks competed in the NASL from 1978-1984. This was the heyday of the NASL back when legends like Franz Beckenbauer were involved and just a season after Pele retired. After the first game, the Roughnecks began pulling in crowds in the tens of thousands. Right after winning the soccer bowl (the championship of the NASL) in 1983, the team hit some serious financial problems. Fundraising by a local radio station kept the club going, but at the end of the lackluster ’84 season the Roughnecks ended. Now, the Roughnecks are back! The club’s colors are orange and navy b