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East Bay Boys Soccer Notebook: Jan. 25

It’s hard to believe it, but the regular soccer season is over just about two weeks. The North Coast Section playoff seeding meeting is just under three weeks away. I think it’s time to look at the playoff situations.

Now the new divisions are Division I (formally 3A) and Division II (formerly 2A). The brackets are now 16 teams, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 16 teams will make it. A team has to qualify by finishing over .500 overall, in league, or against division opponents.
In the case 16 teams don’t qualify, some teams will get a bye. So, starting with D I:

Locked in: De La Salle, Richmond, San Ramon Valley, California, Granada, Castro Valley, Berkeley, Newark Memorial, Clayton Valley.

These teams would finish with a record over .500 in one of the categories even if they lost the rest of their games. That’s not likely, but in that scenario, they’d still be eligible.

On solid ground: Deer Valley, Freedom, Logan, Arroyo.

These teams just need to win a time or two more than they lose and they’ll be in. Freedom is practically a lock, but not mathematically. It would be the first ever playoff berth for the Falcons. Logan just needs to avoid going 0-3-1 (or worse) in its final four games and DV needs to win at least two and tie at least one of its final six games.

On the bubble: Alameda, Amador Valley, Antioch, College Park, Liberty, Mission San Jose, Mt. Eden, Pittsburg, San Leandro.

So there are 12 teams that appear to be in good shape, leaving four spots for the teams on the bubble.
I’ll try to explain each team’s scenario.
Amador Valley needs to just win one more time than it loses. Going 1-0-5, 2-1-3 or something to that effect would make them eligible.
Alameda, despite being just 4-11-2 overall, is 3-2-2 in league. If they finish over .500 in ACCAL play, they’ll be eligible. If there are more than 16 teams that qualify, Alameda might not get in, but if there are 16 or less, and they are one of them, then the Hornets are playoff-bound.
Antioch is in decent shape at 4-2-2 in the BVAL with a solid chance of winning the league. They have seven league games left and just need to not lose two more times than they win.
College Park just needs to win one more than it loses. Same for Liberty and Mission San Jose. Just one more win than loss.
Pittsburg and San Leandro are the longest shots. Pitt still has an outside chance at winning the ultra-competitive BVAL, and they are 3-4-2 in league and can creep to over .500 with a good run. The Pirates would need to go 3-0-3 (or a combination with three more wins than losses) in their final six games. They have three games that are winnable, but would need to pull off an upset or tie in the other three games.
I only listed Mt. Eden because I have them at .500 both overall and in league, but I am missing too many of their scores, since they don’t report. I really have no clue.

On to Division II:

Locked in: Albany, Acalanes, Bishop O’Dowd, Dublin, Las Lomas.

Again, these teams are ones that are already eligible for consideration even if they somehow lost the rest of their matches.

Solid ground: Alhambra, Campolindo, Kennedy-Fremont, Kennedy-Richmond, St. Mary’s, Piedmont, Ygnacio Valley.

I almost think Kennedy-Fremont is a lock, but don’t know it’s entire schedule. They’re in very good shape regardless and still very much alive in the MVAL race. Campolindo has rattled off six straight wins and just needs to not lose three more times than it wins.
Piedmont and Ygnacio Valley are both in in very good shape, but mathematically not quite a lock yet.
Alhambra, Kennedy-Richmond and St. Mary’s all just need to not lose two more times than they win.

On the bubble: Concord, Dougherty Valley, El Cerrito, Hayward, Salesian.

Division II is more muddled. I’m not sure 16 teams will make it. Here’s the situation for these teams.
Concord is 3-2-1 in league, so the Minutemen have a decent chance to finish over .500 in DVAL play.
Dougherty Valley is 6-5-2 overall so just playing .500 from here on out makes it eligible.
El Cerrito is at .500 in league and just a game under overall. A solid run for the Gauchos in the second half of ACCAL gives them a chance. Hayward is the other way around (.500 overall and a game under in HAAL) and has six winnable games left. Gotta like the Farmers chances if they play well.
Not exactly sure of Salesian’s overall record, but at 4-5-1 in BSAL play, a solid ending to the season gives the Pride a shot.

Rankings

After a nine-week stay atop the rankings, to the chagrine of some, the Richmond Oilers have fallen from the No. 1 spot. After a brutal week which saw them face three teams ranked in the top five at the time, De La Salle is the new No. 1 after ending the week with a 1-0 win at Richmond on Saturday.
This is a big week in a few leagues and I expect some shake up next week.

1. De La Salle (11-4-1)
2. Richmond (9-1-7)
3. San Ramon Valley (9-2-5)
4. Albany (15-0-2)
5. Bishop O’Dowd (11-0-4)
6. Dublin (15-2-0)
7. Granada (11-2-4)
8. California (10-3-3)
9. Castro Valley (12-2-3)
10. Acalanes (12-2-1)
11. Berkeley (12-3-1)
12. Amador Valley (5-5-7)
13. Newark Memorial (13-4-2)
14. Las Lomas (10-4-2)
15. Clayton Valley (12-2-2)

Others considered: Logan (10-7-3), Freedom (8-3-5), Ygnacio Valley (8-3-2), Arroyo (9-6-0), Campolindo (9-6-3), College Park (7-7-4), Kennedy-Fremont (8-4-2), Antioch (4-6-4), Liberty (5-5-4), Piedmont (7-2-4).

League standings

ACCAL
Team Overall League Points

Berkeley (12-3-1) 6-1-0 18
Richmond (9-1-7) 4-0-1 12
Alameda (4-11-2) 3-2-2 11
El Cerrito (5-6-1) 3-3-1 10
Pinole Valley (4-10-1) 2-4-0 6
De Anza (3-10-5) 1-4-2 5
Hercules (1-8-0) 1-6-0 3

BSAL
Team Overall League Points

Albany (15-0-2) 9-0-0 27
St. Mary’s (8-6-2) 6-3-1 19
Kennedy (9-7-1) 6-3-1 19
Piedmont (7-2-4) 5-1-1 16
Salesian (4-6-1) 4-5-1 13
Swett (3-6-0) 3-5-0 9
Encinal (3-11-0) 3-5-0 9
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (1-7-0) 1-6-0 3
St. Joseph-Notre Dame (1-13-0) 1-9-0 3

BVAL
Team Overall League Points

Freedom (8-3-5) 4-1-4 16
Antioch (4-6-4) 4-2-2 14
Deer Valley (8-6-3) 3-3-3 12
Liberty (5-5-4) 3-3-3 12
Pittsburg (6-9-2) 3-4-2 11
Hertiage (2-8-0) 2-6-0 6

DFAL
Team Overall League Points

Dublin (15-2-0) 6-1-0 18
Acalanes (12-2-1) 5-2-0 15
Alhambra (6-4-3) 3-3-1 10
Las Lomas (10-4-2) 2-3-2 8
Dougherty Valley (6-5-2) 2-3-1 7
Campolindo (9-6-3) 2-4-1 7
Miramonte (0-4-3) 0-4-3 3

DVAL
Team Overall League Points

Clayton Valley (12-2-2) 6-0-0 18
Ygnacio Valley (8-3-2) 4-1-1 13
Concord (3-7-3) 3-2-1 10
College Park (7-7-4) 2-2-2 8
Northgate (2-12-1) 1-4-0 3
Mt. Diablo (1-4-0) 1-4-0 3
Berean Christian (2-14-1) 1-5-0 3

EBAL
Team Overall League Points

De La Salle (11-4-1) 7-0-1 22
San Ramon Valley (9-2-5) 4-1-3 15
California (10-3-3) 4-3-1 13
Granada (1-2-4) 3-2-3 12
Amador Valley (5-5-7) 2-2-4 10
Monte Vista (3-9-5) 1-5-2 5
Livermore (2-7-2) 1-5-2 5
Foothill (5-8-4) 0-4-4 4

HAAL
Team Overall League Points

Castro Valley (12-2-3) 7-0-2 23
Bishop O’Dowd (11-0-4) 6-0-3 21
Arroyo (9-6-0) 6-3-0 18
Hayward (6-6-2) 3-4-2 11
San Leandro (4-6-6) 2-4-3 9
Mt. Eden (6-6-0) 2-2-0 6
San Lorenzo (3-5-2) 1-3-2 5
Tennyson (0-5-1) 0-4-1 1
Moreau Catholic (1-7-1) 0-5-1 1

MVAL
Team Overall League Points

Logan (10-7-3) 6-1-1 19
Kennedy (8-4-2) 6-2-1 19
Newark Memorial (13-4-2) 5-1-1 16
Mission San Jose (8-8-1) 4-5-0 12
Washington (3-11-2) 3-5-1 10
Irvington (5-9-2) 3-5-0 9
American (0-10-0) 0-8-0 0

Statistics

Here is the list of the players in the East Bay who are top ten in goals and assists.
Goals
Borges, Albany 21
Littleton, Piedmont 19
Thornton, Castro Valley 13
Ramirez, Albany 13
Chen, Las Lomas 13
Hoster, Dublin 11
Fuentes, Newark 11
Weir, Dublin 11
Romero, YV 11
Avila, Clayton Valley 11
Zupan, Albany 11

Assists
Gomez, Clayton 16
Borges, Albany 14
Montes, Richmond 11
Shiluck, Castro Valley 11
Swafford, BOD 11
Lopez, YV 10
Khorashadi, Albany 9
Hoster, Dublin 8
Arzate, Newark 7
Weir, Dublin 7
Avila, Clayton Valley 7

Computer rankings

The computer rankings are back for another week! Enjoy.

1. Dublin 15-2-0 66.47 pts.
2. Acalanes 12-2-1 65.83 pts.
3. Bishop O’Dowd 11-0-4 54.14 pts.
4. De La Salle 11-4-1 50.52 pts.
5. Albany 15-0-2 48.30 pts.
6. Granada 11-2-4 48.17 pts.
7. Newark Memorial 13-4-2 47.10 pts.
8. Castro Valley 12-2-3 44.90 pts.
9. Las Lomas 10-4-2 43.89 pts.
10. California 10-3-3 43.47 pts.
11. San Ramon Valley 9-2-5 40.82 pts.
12. Clayton Valley 12-2-2 40.54 pts.
13. Richmond 9-1-7 39..39 pts.
14. Berkeley 12-3-1 34.24 pts.
15. Arroyo 9-6-1 31.43 pts.

Soccer intelligence workshops

Luis Flores Aguilar, the owner of Soccer IQ Performance Innovations, is offering soccer intelligence workshops to adult and youth players. These workshops help players read the game and become more creative.
This class will be offered this Fall at Los Positas College, Community Education in Livermore.
For more information, go to www.soccer-iq.com, or contact Luis at socceriq@gmail.com, or at 510-325-8938.

For questions, comments, to report scores, update standings or statistics, please email Matt Smith at mhsmith78@gmail.com.

Matt Smith

  • Soccer Fan

    Where is Albany? Are they D1 or D2?

  • Out of pocket

    Nice “no loss” records this late in the season by Albany and O’Dowd. Very impressive.

    As are the three wins by DLS this past week. They are very deserving of the top spot. They have earned it.

    And good to see Granada emerge from their funk / slumber and notch a 3-2 win against Cal.

    A tough week ahead for “OTB” AV as they’re on the road tomorrow at #8 Cal (their five game road trip finally coming to an end) and home Friday against #3 SRV.

    And although the rankings may rankle some at Newark since they own a 2-0 non-league win over AV, the trend may favor AV right now and they’re probably at the right spot at #12 (slightly below my top ten projection, but close enough).

  • Matt Smith

    Albany is D II.

  • Dougherty Valley Fan

    I’d venture to say YV is likely in at D2 as well based on their overall record.

  • socccccer

    computer rankings. yessss dublin is number 1

  • zona

    Matt is right about there being some big games this week that could shake up the rankings…

    MVAL: Logan plays both Newark Memorial and Kennedy, which should sort out the top team in the MVAL…or it could just further confuse things

    ACCAL: There’s a huge game in this league this week and that is Richmond @ Berkeley. Richmond may be the heavy favorite, but they’ll have to travel to Berkeley to solidify their league title. I think the Oilers are prone to an upset this week, due to their disappointing loss to DLS and the fact that they seem to have struggled to win away games… I predict: Richmond(2)- Berkeley (1)

    EBAL: I think DLS will have to really bring their A game to beat Granada. Granada has come off a good win against Cal and has home field advantage. Theyre a dangerous team and I think they have a really good chance at upsetting DLS… I predict: DLS(2)- GHS(2)

    HAAL: The game of the week in my opinion is Castro Valley @ BOD. Both are undefeated in league, but I believe Castro Valley is the better team and should prove it with a win at BOD. BOD is a really strong defensive team, but lacks offensive firepower. At the beginning of the season I would have picked BOD, due to the disorganized Castro Valley defense. However, Castro Valley has really come along and has allowed very few goals in league play. Castro Valley is very talented and have a very effective counter-attack. BOD is very organized and physical. Both teams know that if they lose they will most likely have to settle for second place in the HAAL… I predict: Castro Valley(1)- BOD(0)

  • u-mustbeinsane

    DLS will have no problem with Granada and plz stop referring to their win against Cal as “impressive”. Lucky… yes; impressive not in the least.

    Yes, there were 3 goals scored for Granada. For 2 of those, the only Granada player that touched the ball was the player performing the throw-in. Not one Granada player was involved in those 2 scores. Cal outplayed them and lost only due to misfortune.

  • underrated

    Maybe the way Granada beat Cal was not impressive, but the fact that they beat them is impressive… I’m pretty sure I predicted that Cal would drop in the rankings as the season progressed. They are only the third or fourth best team in EBAL

  • DFAL

    Matt,
    what is in your opinion the suprise team/story of the season?

  • Matt Smith

    This is a great question, DFAL.
    I can’t call Albany a surprise because I had them highly ranked when the season started. I still think they’re a great story.
    I think Clayton Valley, Las Lomas and Kennedy-Fremont have been impressive stories, but I lean towards Cal as the best story so far, even with the recent mini-slump.
    This would be a great thing to talk about after the year.

  • BernieBernard

    Granada 1- DeLaSalle 0 Final

  • Futnol!

    Granada 1-0 DLS

    U-Mustbeinsane,
    No problem with granada huh? Granada outplayed DLS in the middle winning most of the middle and head balls. It seemed Granada came out ready to play while DLS were still celebrating their win over Richmond. Although many of the calls seemed to be leaning towards DLS it was a well fought game by both teams.

  • The Sweeper

    Amador 1 – Cal 1 final. It was a lackluster game except for the last 30 seconds when a questionable yellow card tackle gave Cal a direct free kick from 30+ yards out. Give Cal #10 credit for converting, but it was a 50:50 play that did not warrant a penalty or a yellow card. There was a yellow for unsportsmanship, rolling a dead ball away from the spot and another when the Cal scorer ran to the sidelines and took off his jersey. That was classless, as he should have been grateful/humble for the gift free kick, and not boastful. Two out-of-the-top-10 teams. BTW, congrats to Granada for stepping up against DLS. Would love to hear comments on that game.

  • BernieBernard

    Granada was playing a very physical game. Not Dirty though. First half Granada held their own. About 50/50 possession. Jared Silver scored on a skim from, once again the long throw from Ryan Thomas. Sweet goal.

    In the second half, the ref couldn’t put his whistle down. The fouls were at least Granada 20 DLS 2. DLS had the ball down in front of Granada’s goal for most of the second half but couldn’t score. Huge win for Granada.

    I heard that was DLS’s first loss in EBAL, ever. could that be true? I know it’s only been 2 or 3 years but still. KUDOS to Granada!!

  • 925

    im gonna say it.. SRV’s record is 9-2-5. how ironic. from central county to east county to the san ramon valley, who doesnt find that somewhat amusing? lol

  • 925

    Richmond or De La Salle, both should consider themselves a hard candidate for #1 seed in NCS. DLS has looked beatable in EBAL, and Richmond played the toughest schedule so they shouldnt feel too bad about losing to DLS. They dont get the 2 chances like say SRV gets, but in NCS having played one team already makes it that much more competitive and difficult to stay on top throughout the game. I expect we all see some great matches upcoming! good luck to the top teams in the poll, finishing strong is the main thing and showing up for another exciting NCS post season!

  • BernieBernard

    925- don’t sleep on Granada’s schedule either. It’s been as tough as Richmond’s. They’ve done well considering they face EBAL competition 14 times this year. Richmond only gets it 4 times.

  • ebal fan

    scores from ebal today?

  • Matt

    Matt et al,
    Has anyone noticed that there are zero, ZERO, EBAL players in the top ten in goals or assists.
    thoughts?
    mine are that no other league is as tough from top to Bottom, period.
    And, that those stats, just like these computer rankings without any idea of the applied algorithm, are basically useless. If all the leagues were equal in strength and schedule, the information would be valid. They’re not, it isn’t.

  • bambam

    DLS 0 GHS 1

    Classic let down scenario for DLS. It seemed that the spartan boys had very little of their typical high pace energy. Maybe they thought it was a lock and you should never do that especially with a good oponent playing on their home field. GHS maybe had 2 shots all game and one of them was a goal on the long throw in. DLS had the ball in GHS defensive end about 75% of the game, more so the second half. GHS won many balls in the air due to their size and they were called with many fouls by using their size to take advantage. Hats off to Granada for coming to play and for turning their ruff 1st time through EBAL around by playing better the second time through the schedule. That is why EBAL should be considered the toughest league. 1 thru 8 can beat each other while other leagues only the top three can compete. With some leagues having a few exceptions of course.

  • SRV DAD

    SRV 5, Livermore 2
    2-0 at half, and 4-0 with 25 minutes remaining in the game. Livermore was totally outmanned, but give them credit playing hard for all 80 minutes. Their roster looked thin at tonight’s game so perhaps they have several kids out ill or out with grade problems (unfortunately they have been hit with academically ineligible kids in past years). Good to see all SRV players get into the game tonight including all three goalkeepers. Wolves at Amador on Friday and will try to improve on their draw earlier this month.

    Congrats to Granada on their DLS win tonight. DLS has had some close EBAL games this and last year, but they always seem to pull out the these games. Kudos again to the Mats for fending off a very good DLS team. I’m just glad we’re not the next game of DLS’s schedule.

  • The Sweeper

    Bambam and SRV Dad, thanks for the updates. Timely and insightful. Agreed that the EBAL is competitive, and unlike any league in NorCal. At this point: 1a DLS, 1b SRV, 2a Granada, 2b Amador, 2c Cal and 6,7,8. Cal got a gift tonight.

  • Matt Smith

    Matt,
    Great point about the EBAL kids not being in the stat leaders. I think you are 100 percent right. It’s a very, very balanced league, and it’s also a league that preaches organization and defense. The EBAL kids close in on the ball like no other.

  • ebal fan

    The Sweeper,
    What do you mean by 1a 1b. Cal should clearly be ahead of amador. Cal beat them at Amador and even if they got a gift yesterday I heard they hit post about 3 times.

  • THUG LIFE.M

    ALBANY ALL THE WAY!!!! NO ONE CAN STOP ALBANY!!!

  • The Sweeper

    Ebal Fan, I flipped the coin again and Cal won and I agree with you that Cal should be ranked ahead of Amador. In my opinion, Amador outplayed Cal last night with more hustle and better ball control, and but for the questionable foul call in the last 30 seconds Amador would have won. Cal has a better overall record but they are clearly in a slump since the loss at SRV (1-3-1, and 30 seconds away from 1-4-0). They can redeem themselves with a convincing win over DLS or SRV, and no upset losses the rest of the way. Otherwise, Cal could end up on the road in the playoffs.

  • Matt Smith

    I just wanted to chime in for a second here.
    Cal did have a little bad luck last night, hitting the right post twice and having the ball sail high on what was basically an empty net.
    With that said, I thought the two teams were very even and Cal will stay ahead in the rankings just based on the fact that they are already ahead.

  • Scoreboard

    Congrats to Granada for getting the victory! Based on the fact they didn’t lose last year-I think that was DLS’ first loss to an NCS opponent since SRV knocked them out of the playoffs in 2008. That is a pretty amazing run-topped only by Monte Vista’s back to back in 06&07(I think those were the years)..On another note this has been a crazy year in terms of parity. There isn’t one truly dominant team which makes things really exciting heading into the final stretch. This could be the year where a new program enjoys the NCS plaque resting on their campus..Predictions???

  • u-mustbeinsane

    I am eating crow over the Granada win over DLS. Good job shutting down the Spartans. Another throw-in for a score, huh? Did a Granada player at least touch it this time?

    As for Cal-Amador, Cal won the 1st half battle by clearly outplaying Amador and gaining the best shot opportunities. Amador won the 2nd half with better hustle and ball clearing. Other than the shot that scored, I don’t remember AV getting another quality shot on goal. Cal had 2 off the post and another cleared at the crossbar by an excellent save by the AV goalie (who, btw, can punt the #@*# out of the ball).

    Cal’s #10 needs to learn how to beat a double team (here’s a hint… stop standing still!) or Cal needs to learn how to capitalize on the man advantage.

  • proudmama

    Yes…a granada player not only touched the throw in but headed it beautifully into the goal…no luck involved!!

    It was a hard fought game and Granada earned their win. The Spartins played a hard game, but Granada came out to win! Kudos to the GHS defense for shutting down DSL offense.

  • EBAL all the way

    To 29-
    A double team used to create space for others, two men on one guy should let the other center mid dominate the game, from what I saw of the Amador game #10 played one and two touch for the majority of the game trying to get the other center mid involved because the space was there for them since both of AV center mids were dropping with #10. Cal will struggle if they only rely on one player to do the job. Someone needs to step up for them.

  • bambam

    Proud Mama

    Per our what the DLS goalie stated. The ball went off of a GHS players back not head. None the less it went in and your team seems to have perfected the long throw in. One of our players shpould of headed it prior to hitting your player in the back. Our bad and your good of course.

  • defense_mom

    Thanks for the kudos for Granada they earned every win doesn’t matter how you get it in the goal as long as you WIN…. Granada has some good talent on the field and our D-line is strong being able to shut out an awesome team DLS. Granada was looking for a victory and we got it! My hats off to the boys. The refs were for DLS last night but it didn’t matter we held the game at a 1-0 victory.

  • Mr. Incredible

    matt,
    Can you give me your prediction on Who do you think will win NCS for D1 and D2 schools?

  • Mike

    Can we get updated league standings soon?

    I’m confused who’s beaten who already in league

  • Matt Smith

    Haha, Mr. Incredible, you are trying to set me up! Lol. If I make predictions, people would go nuts on me!!
    So what I will do is tell you that I think the road to the Division I crown goes through De La Salle. They are the team to beat. In Division II, Bishop O’Dowd is the team to beat.
    And Mike, I’ll have the new standings up on Monday morning.