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Showing posts from 2015

USL 2016 Roster Announcements

by Marissa Blackman

USL clubs are starting to reveal who will be on their roster next season! Here’s a list of all the players that have been announced by each club so far. (NOTE: This list does not necessarily include full rosters for each club. This is simply a list of players that have been announced. There are undoubtedly some players, perhaps ones returning from last season, that play for certain clubs but have not been announced.) I will continue updating this list as more information becomes available.

Arizona United SC Blair Gavin Sam Garza Brock Granger Julian Ringhof Tony Cascio Nick Costa Freddy Ruiz Jordan Stagmiller
Tyler Blackwood
Luke Rooney
Bethlehem Steel FC Derrick Jones Boluwatife Akinyode Michael Daly Gabe Gissie Ryan Richter Samir Badr Nick Bibbs Amoy Brown James Chambers Seku Conneh Josh Heard Keasel Broome Cory Burke Fred 
Charleston Battery Shawn Ferguson Justin Portillo Alexander Tambakis (on loan) Emmanuel Adjetey Maikel Chang Odisnel Cooper Kevin Corby Ricardo …

Hammerheads Tie Montreal

by Marissa Blackman

For the second time this season, the Wilmington Hammerheads FC  competed against FC Montreal.

Although the first half of the match was competitive, both teams were lacking at times. There was a bit of disconnection in passes between the Hammerheads in the early minutes of the match which lead to some preventable turnovers. Montreal certainly made its presence known by maintaining a fair share of possession, but the Canadian club never did much with the ball. Each time Montreal attempted to approach the goal, the Hammerheads cleared the ball. There were virtually no moments in the first half where Montreal made a real threat of a goal. The Hammerheads made several goal attempts but none were successful. Although the first half was a goalless one, the Hammerheads seemed much more likely to score.

In the second half, Montreal had a larger presence. Though FC Montreal maintained possession in the first minutes after half time, the efforts did not force Hammerheads goal…

#GameDayEve Rochester Rhinos Edition

by Marissa Blackman

Tomorrow, Wilmington Hammerheads FC competes against table leader Rochester Rhinos.

The Hammerheads and the Rhinos have only met once this season when the clubs played to a 1-1 draw back in May. Since then, the Hammerheads have sunk to the bottom of the table while the Rhinos have ascended to the top with the closest competition, Louisville City FC, three points behind.

Statistically, the Rhinos and the Hammerheads are polar opposites. The Rhinos have scored 26 goals and won 12 times this season, and the Hammerheads scored 16 goals, a quarter or which occurred in the recent victory over NYRB II, and won three games, two of which were against NYRBII. (For more on why the Hammerheads seems to do so well against the Red Bulls, see my comments here) These number paint the picture that the Hammerheads should be easy pickings for the Rhinos, but the match will be far more competitive than the statistics imply. Here's why:

The Hammerheads are coming off of a 4-2 victo…

Hammerheads Win At Home

by Marissa Blackman

Tonight's match marks the third time this season that the Wilmington Hammerheads played against New York Red Bulls II. The last time the two clubs met, the Hammerheads lost at home by a one goal deficit. From the opening seconds of the match, the Hammerheads were determined not to allow a similar result.

Before a full minute passed, the Hammerheads attempted a goal. Although that first shot was far off target, it established the rhythm of the match. The Hammerheads maintained control, and had chances, whether from corner kicks or in open play. One of those attempts hit the target in the 19th minute when midfielder Stefan Drefregger scored the first goal of the match.Though the Hammerheads continued to maintain possession, the Red Bulls were able to get the ball and break through the defense to equalize in the 35th minute. The Hammerheads regained the lead  when Drefregger, assisted by Qudus Lawal,  put another goal on the score sheet. Just ten minutes later, La…

#GameDayEve New York Red Bulls II Edition

by Marissa Blackman

The USL regular season continues on steadily. The year has seemed to fly by, but this season is already in its final full calendar month. Wilmington Hammerheads FC plays its twenty-first game of the year tomorrow against New York Red Bulls II.

This is not the first time these two clubs have met. The Hammerheads earned the first 3-0 victory of the season against the Red Bulls back in April. In June, the Red Bulls defeated the Hammerheads 1-0.

Currently, NYRBII sits in fifth place with a total of thirty-two points, and the Wilmington club sits in twelfth place with a season tally of twelve points. The most recent Hammerheads match was a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds that occurred last Saturday. This Wednesday, the Red Bulls drew two all with Charlotte Independence.

The Hammerheads have seen a few roster changes in the past weeks. Most recently, Hammerhead forward Nick Zimmerman retired  and has become a coach at Columbus State University. The Ha…

WILvLOU

by Marissa Blackman

Tonight Wilmington Hammerheads FC took the field for the nineteenth time this season. The club played against Louisville City FC.

The initial pace of the match was rather fast. Both teams had stretches of possession but, for a time, neither was able to maintain total possession for very long before the opposite club took the ball. Before halftime, each club took control of the game for a period.

Wilmington played well throughout the first half. The club forced consecutive corners, and, with two forwards up top, the team really pressed for a goal. There were also great clearances from the Hammerheads, especially from Martinez and Moose. When Louisville broke through the defense, goal keeper Andre Rawls successfully guarded the net. The team's effort came to fruition when Brian Ackley converted a penalty kick, scoring the first goal of the game.

After the goal, the Hammerheads seemed to sit back a little, which could have been strategy or the result of playing at…

#GameDayEve Louisville City FC Edition

by Marissa Blackman
Wilmington Hammerheads FC is about to play it's nineteenth match of the season against Louisville City FC. The clubs have only played each other once before in a May match which resulted in a 3-0 win for Louisville.
The two clubs are statistically very different.
Louisville is third place in eastern conference standings and has won most of it's matches. Wilmington is twelfth place in standings and has lost the majority of matches. Louisville has scored 32 times (averaging 1.88 per game) while conceding only 15 times (averaging .88 per game). Wilmington has scored only 11 goals (averaging .61 per game) and conceded 24 goals (averaging 1.33 per game).
In the past month, Louisville defeated the Richmond Kickers, Charlotte Independence, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds. In the same time span, the Hammerheads tied St. Louis FC and lost to both the Harrisburg City Islanders and Charleston Battery.
There's no debating the fact that tomorrow's match will be o…

USA Rout Japan, Crowned 2015 Women’s World Cup Champs

Wow…just wow.
This writer was blown away by the USWNT’s performance in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. The USA routed Japan 5-2 in the final at BC Place in Vancouver, with four of those goals coming in the first 20 minutes of the first half.
The game started out with a bang-- in the 3rd minute a corner by Megan Rapinoe was taken beautifully by Carli Lloyd with the outside of her boot to give the US an early lead.
But Lloyd didn’t stop there, oh no.
Two minutes later in the 5th minute, another corner found Lloyd capitalizing on a scramble in the box to put home her second goal. The USWNT took advantage of a shell-shocked Japanese defense, and in the 14th minute Lauren Holiday won the ball after a Japanese defender lost control of it. Holiday then volleyed the ball home to put the US 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes.
Then, in the 16th, Carli Lloyd scored possibly the goal of the tournament. She also made history by scoring the first ever hat-trick in a Women's World Cup Final. Holdi…

HARvWIL

by Marissa Blackman

Tonight's match between Wilmington Hammerheads FC and Harrisburg City Islanders did not lack in entertainment. The match had potential to end in the favor of either team down to the final minutes.

From the kickoff, Harrisburg kept possession and had most chances. Although many of those chances were either cleared or well wide of the goal, Harrisburg was so relentless that the ball barely ventured to the right half of the field for the Hammerheads to even make an attempt at a shot for most of the first half. This trend continued down to the 40th minute. At that point, the Hammerheads began having longer strings of possession and converted well placed passes into a few good chances.

In the second half, the Hammerheads were able to retain more control of the game. Harrisburg had significantly less opportunities to take back to back shots, and the Hammerheads created decent goal scoring opportunities. It was after one of said goal scoring opportunities that the sin…

#GameDayEve Harrisburg City Islanders Edition

by Marissa Blackman

Four points separate Wilmington Hammerheads FC from the Harrisburg City Islanders, the Carolina club's latest opponent. Sixteen games into the season, Wilmington has attained 2-8-6 record, and Harrisburg has accrued four of each possible result in twelve matches.

The last time the two clubs met was back on May 2nd when Harrisburg defeated the Hammerheads 4-0. Since then, the Islanders defeated New York Red Bulls II and Charlotte Independence, and tied with St. Louis FC and Rochester Rhinos. In the midst of those games, Harrisburg lost by a mere one goal deficit in a thrilling battle with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds that resulted in eleven goals.

Throughout the season, Harrisburg City Islanders has proved to be a team that knows how to score. The Islanders have hit the back of the net twenty ones times, and the only teams that have scored more have also played at least two more matches than Harrisburg. Though the Hammerheads have played four more games than the I…

USWNT Advances to Women's World Cup Finals

In a hard-fought match, the USA triumphed 2-0 over Germany to secure a spot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. The semifinal in Montreal was an incredible match, #1 Germany versus #2 USA duking it out in a high-energy, high-stakes thriller. With a handful controversial moments, there is no shortage of talking points. Starting out the match, US coach Jill Ellis finally switched to a 4-3-3 formation, a move which was widely called for by analysts and pundits. And it would seem to work out; with Carli Lloyd in a more offensive position, the US attack clicked much better than it had been in previous matches this tournament. The first 10 minutes of the first half were very fast paced, and this tone would continue throughout the game. Both teams pressed high and put on a lot of pressure, forcing a lot of turnovers. The first half was very much an end to end affair, with both sides attacking and counterattacking at high pace.
The first great chance of the game was in the 15th minu…