Wednesday, January 30, 2008

West Virginia Chaos Staffing News

The PDL’s West Virginia Chaos have made a move that looks new to me. I’ve been thinking about the PDL’s impact on the upper level USL leagues and MLS for a while, and this seems like another step in the right direction.

On January 29th they announced the hiring of a ‘international consultant’, Dave Beasant. Beasant was a goalkeeper for a number of english clubs and for the English National team (playing in the 1990 World Cup). With his links to Fulham (as a goalkeeping coach), his move to American soccer seems a natural fit.

What’s really appealing to me is the role that Beasant is supposed to play. Quoting from the press release:

Beasant will take an active role in Chaos camps and with talent evaluation through videos and personal visits to several matches this season that will help the Chaos place players on MLS, USL-1, USL-2, and potentially European teams.

The idea of a member of the FO working as a ‘reverse scout’ or a pseudo-agent is intriguing. It will be interesting to see how many Chaos players end up moving on to more senior sides because of it and how many other PDL clubs start doing the same thing.

In the same announcement, the Chaos also announced the hiring of another Brit, Jack Thompson. Thompson will be a player/coach and the Director of Chaos Camps. He’s 24 and holds a USSF ‘C’ coaching license.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Changing Face of the PDL Northwest

The face of the PDL Northwestern Division is changing. In addition to a brand new team this year (and one more for 2009), there are a couple of new coaches on existing teams. None of these coaches appears to be super well known, but here’s what I know about them.

Cascade Surge

The Cascade Surge have hired Larry Delamarter as the team’s new Head Coach. He has been a High School level coach for the last seven years, being named Coach of the Year for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. His Chieftains have posted an incredible 62-6-9 record over the last four seasons. He also coached the Azusa Pacific University and University of Tampa. (In fact, he coached current Surge President Dave Irby who played at Azusa and later made Irby an assitant coach there.) It will be interesting to watch Coach Delamarter’s transition to the PDL.

h2 Abbotsford Rangers

Last season, Coach Colin Miller joined the staff at Derby County in the EPL. Hehas been replaced by Shaun Lowther. Coach Lowther is a former Canadian mens’ national team player, and earned 14 caps. He played professionally from 1980-1988. He’s also been involved in managing soccer clubs in the CSL. Coach Miller is the only one of the three new coaches to have a page on wikipedia so far.

Vancouver Whitecaps Residency

The new team in the bunch, the Vancouer Whitecaps Residency, has named Thomas Niendorf, Managing Director and Head Coach. Quoting from their site:

Thomas Niendorf is a European coaching specialist who holds a DFB (German Soccer Federation)professional coaching license, and maintains an extensive network of contacts in Europe.

Coach Niendorf has a long history with Canadian soccer. He coached the Calgary Storm (and then Mustangs) of the old A League for a number of years, he also coached in Germany. He ‘discovered’ Owen Hargreaves, helping him get a trial with Bayern Munich when he was cut by the Canadian U17 squad.

It’s safe to say that Coach Niendorf has the best credentials of the three. It will be interesting to see how he does with a first year PDL team.

Victoria Highlanders

Since they won’t start playing until 2009, there’s not much to say about this club yet. Victoria is a great city though, and did well hosting U20 World Cup games. This should be a solid addition to the division. (Not to mention taking the ferry from Port Angelas, WA or Vancouver, BC will make for a fun trip—and a great pre-tailgate party.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

BYU's 2008 Schedule Released

The PDL has released its schedule for 2008. I’ve extracted the BYU games here:

Date Day Visiting Team Home Team Time (MDT)
May 16 Friday Cascade Surge BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
May 17 Saturday Spokane Spiders BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
May 23 Friday BYU Cougars Yakima Reds 8:05 PM
May 24 Saturday BYU Cougars Tacoma Tide 8:05 PM
May 30 Friday BYU Cougars Abbotsford Mariners 7:30 PM
May 31 Saturday BYU Cougars Vancouver Whitecaps 4:00 PM
June 13 Friday Yakima Reds BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
June 14 Saturday Tacoma Tide BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
June 17 Tuesday BYU Cougars Ogden Outlaws 7:00 PM
June 13 Friday Yakima Reds BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
June 14 Saturday Tacoma Tide BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
June 17 Tuesday BYU Cougars Ogden Outlaws 7:00 PM
June 26 Thursday BYU Cougars Spokane Spiders 8:00 PM
June 28 Saturday BYU Cougars Cascade Surge 8:05 PM
July 4 Friday Ogden Outlaws BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
July 12 Saturday BYU Cougars Ogden Outlaws 7:00 PM
July 15 Sunday Ogden Outlaws BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
July 18 Friday Vancouver Whitecaps BYU Cougars 7:30 PM
July 19 Saturday Abbotsford Mariners BYU Cougars 7:30 PM

This year, all of BYU’s games are against conference foes (unlike last year when the Colorado Rapids U23 played at BYU). Ahh, the joys of expansion.

I did see some interesting bits:

  • BYU plays the Ogden Outlaws four times in 2008
  • BYU plays Tacoma and Yakima each twice at home and once away
  • BYU plays all the other teams just twice, once at home and once away.
  • BYU begins and ends their season with Friday and Saturday home stands
  • BYU plays ten home games and only nine away games

This looks like a pretty exciting season. I’m really looking forward to mid-May when I can catch my first regular season game. Who knows, maybe I’ll b able to sneak in some pre-season action too.