56

East Bay Boys Soccer Notes: Top teams, players, rankings, standings, stats

Hope everyone is having a great holiday. Here is some stuff to discuss until everyone gets back to action.

Who are the best teams and the best players that you have seen thus far? Let me throw a few out. I’m not going to list everyone, but just a few that I have seen to get the discussion going.

Teams: I haven’t seen Cal yet, so the teams that I have seen, that impressed me when I saw them are Newark Memorial, Richmond, Campolindo and Bishop O’Dowd. Deer Valley and San Ramon Valley were a bit up and down when I saw them, but clearly, clearly talented and dangerous.

Players: Junior Navarro of Newark is the best player I’ve seen so far. I really like Newark’s center back Matt Cordeiro as well.
Deer Valley has a lot of impressive players, which include Zach Larson and Mike Ortlieb. I like Brandon Melera and Jianni Giusti of San Ramon Valley.
Richmond, O’Dowd, Monte Vista and Campolindo are very balanced, so it’s hard to single anyone out. I will say that Alex Mangels of Campo looks like a stud this year.
So who haven’t I seen that is standing out this year to you guys? Tell me about these teams and players.

Rankings

Not much to update until after the holidays, but there was a little movement. Newark moves up a few spots and Dublin is back in the top 15.

1. California (10-0-0)
2. Campolindo (11-0-1)
3. San Lorenzo (8-0-1)
4. San Ramon Valley (7-1-1)
5. Berkeley (6-1-2)
6. Newark Memorial (9-2-0)
7. Clayton Valley (4-1-2)
8. Deer Valley (5-2-3)
9. De La Salle (4-2-0)
10. Livermore (6-3-2)
11. Bishop O’Dowd (7-2-1)
12. Monte Vista (6-2-1)
13. Acalanes (5-2-2)
14. Richmond (5-3-1)
15. Dublin (6-3-1)

Others considered: Las Lomas (6-4-0), Pittsburg (4-3-1), Ygnacio Valley (5-1-0), Dougherty Valley (4-4-2), Heritage (1-2-4), Logan (5-4-2), Mission San Jose (5-4-2), Piedmont (6-1-1), St. Mary’s (4-1-0), Concord (2-0-1).

Standings

ACCAL
Team Overall League Points

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

BSAL
Team Overall League Points

Piedmont (6-1-1) 6-0-0 18
St. Mary’s (4-1-0) 4-1-0 12
Encinal (2-3-0) 2-1-0 6
Kennedy (4-5-0) 2-2-0 6
St. Joseph Notre Dame (2-3-2) 2-2-0 6
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (1-2-0) 1-2-0 3
Albany (1-2-2) 0-1-0 0
Salesian (0-2-1) 0-2-0 0
Swett (0-7-0) 0-5-0

BVAL
Team Overall League Points

Antioch (0-6-3) 0-0-0 0
Deer Valley (5-2-3) 0-0-0 0
Freedom (2-5-1) 0-0-0 0
Heritage (1-2-4) 0-0-0 0
Liberty (2-4-0) 0-0-0 0
Pittsburg (4-3-1) 0-0-0 0

DFAL
Team Overall League Points

Campolindo (11-0-1) 4-0-0 12
Acalanes (5-2-2) 2-1-1 7
Alhambra (7-4-1) 2-1-0 6
Dublin (6-3-2) 1-2-0 3
Las Lomas (6-4-0) 1-2-0 3
Miramonte (1-5-3) 0-2-2 2
Dougherty Valley (4-4-2) 0-2-1 1

DVAL
Team Overall League Points

Clayton Valley (4-1-2) 1-0-0 3
College Park (1-5-3) 1-0-0 3
Northgate (1-6-2) 1-0-0 3
Ygnacio Valley (5-1-0) 1-1-0 3
Concord (2-0-1) 0-0-0 0
Mt. Diablo (2-1-0) 0-1-0 0
Berean Christian (1-8-1) 0-2-0 0

EBAL
Team Overall League Points

California (10-0-0) 2-0-0 6
San Ramon Valley (7-1-1) 2-0-0 6
Monte Vista (6-2-1) 2-0-0 6
Livermore (6-3-2) 1-1-0 3
Granada (1-6-4) 1-1-0 3
De La Salle (4-2-0) 0-2-0 0
Amador Valley (4-6-1) 0-2-0 0
Foothill (4-5-1) 0-2-0 0

HAAL
Team Overall League Points

San Lorenzo (8-0-1) 4-0-0 12
Bishop O’Dowd (7-2-1) 3-1-0 9
Hayward (3-1-3) 2-1-0 6
Castro Valley (1-5-2) 1-1-0 3
Mt. Eden (5-2-2) 1-1-0 3
San Leandro (1-7-0) 1-2-0 3
Tennyson (3-4-2) 1-2-0 3
Arroyo (2-8-0) 0-3-0 0
Moreau Catholic (0-3-1) 0-2-0 0

MVAL
Team Overall League Points

Irvington (1-5-3) 0-0-0 0
Kennedy (1-3-2) 0-0-0 0
Logan (5-4-2) 0-0-0 0
Mission San Jose (5-4-2) 0-0-0 0
Newark Memorial (9-2-0) 0-0-0 0
Washington (2-3-3) 0-0-0 0

OAL
Team Overall League Points

Castlemont (0-0-0) 0-0-0 0
Fremont (0-0-0) 0-0-0 0
Oakland (0-0-0) 0-0-0 0
Oakland Tech (1-1-0) 0-0-0 0
Skyline (0-0-0) 0-0-0 0

Statistics

Name, School Goals
Pagliuca, Cal 10
Aguila, Richmond 10
Parisi, Dougherty 10
Ulloa, Logan 9
Villa, Pitt 8
Fagenson, Cal 7
Reshke, Campo 7
Navarro, Newark 7
Nine players tied with 5

Name, School Assists
Hodges, LL 6
Vazquez, Pitt 6
Oranstil, BOD 5
Fagenson, Cal 5
Danielson, Cal 5
Tavecchio, Campo 5
Gomzez, Clayton 5
Shaiwany, Dougherty 5
Eight players tied with 4

Matt Smith

  • SoccerGuy

    Matt, glad you asked! Here’s a handful of players that certainly deserve mention:

    Matt Brown and Arman “Gordo” Salimpour are both very quick, creative players up top for Monte Vista. They pressure and work off each other well. Kevin Ho is one of the best attack-minded defenders in the East Bay.

    I like Melera and Giusti from SRV, as well. Giusti controls play from the middle or from the back. SRV’s best player is still Alex Chaussy. He’s their best passer and goal scorer. He’s creative, plays simply and has an excellent left-footed shot.

    Livermore’s got a lot of strong attack-minded players, and “Lalo” Aguilar is probably their most well-rounded, but their most dangerous is Jesse Moralez. The kid’s got pace, size and is very aggressive.

    Outside the EBAL, San Lorenzo’s Alan Michel and Hector Adan make for a very strong combination up-top. Deer Valley’s Ortlieb anchors a very strong defense and Larson pairs well with Aaron Huang up top. Huang is older and a little stronger overall, but Larson has some good pace and is very dangerous with Huang setting him up.

    All these players standout in part because they are on very strong teams overall. Other forwards such as Logan’s Gustavo Ulloa; Amador’s Brandon Ruiz, Granada’s Garret Foster maybe don’t get the credit they would with better support. For example, Foothill’s Jared Chin and Christian Clark are two midfielders that would be make ANY team much stronger.

  • EBAL spektator

    Matt,

    As far as players go you should also mention Guilermo Rivas from Cal, Gordo Zamora (academy player)from Monte Vista, Pagliuica from Cal. Aguila from Richmond.

    I would also agree with soccerguy, Chaussy has to be mentioned if you talk about San Ramon. Melera is legit as a distributing midfileder, with touch to match. Guisti is one of the most athletic midfielders in the east bay, standing at around 6-3 with very good jump…he owns the headers.

    The top Teams in the East Bay are currently Newark (only losses came in first two games of the season) and Richmond. These teams play the perfect balance of posession and direct futball, contention, if any, from the EBAL will likely be Cal or San Ramon, but presently no one is playing at the levels of Newark and Richmond in my opinion.

  • Soccer man

    Im from Castro Valley, I have no kids playing right now, but i enjoy watching these highschool games. Ive seen ALOT of games, especially from HAAL and ive seen many players in various teams that are great players in their club teams. Ive seen ACC Mavericks players, Sporting players, and Union City players. San Lorenzo and Arroyo seem to have the most of the players from U-18 UC Alliance Barcelona. Though, San Lorenzo’s players have come out to be more effective, since they have won 8 and only tied once. Their defense is very solid, seems like their # 27 and #4 (UC Alliance players) know how defend and coordinate others very well. well, I know more about SLZ than the rest because ive seen them play more than the rest, but im also trying to see Hayward in action, they have many good players as well.

  • ebal fan

    I very rarely go out of my way to watch any games other than EBAL. I think you’re rankings are correct.
    As for players to watch, in EBAL, the best players are Gordo Zamora from MV, Rivas from Cal, Livermore’s best player is Guerrero I think #12 who is just talented all around. SRV’s players that stand out are their goalie Jaye, and Chaussy who is their best player.

  • EBAL spektator

    Soccer Man,

    You make an interesting point, in that sometimes good club players do not stand out as much in high school as they did on their club soccer teams. I think that is because club soccer has become a heavy possession game, although beautiful to watch, they sometimes forget about the objective- scoring. While high school soccer is far more direct – vertical game, too direct sometimes. The teams that I see doing the best in both club and high school soccer often become a hybrid of both styles, possessing well but able to attack directly and quickly…this also becomes the game at the college level.

  • DFAL

    Go campo!!!

  • Scout

    A bunch of good juniors are at campo to back up the senior core. They seem too sub alot which shows they can put anyone in at anytime. Campo has those two palano boys that are very talented, both are very dangerous with the ball. Of course you have their defensive mid, a sophomore with great talent and no fear. A guy who just launches the ball goes on and off the field as a secret weapon of sort, pretty good, not too exciting except phenomenal arm and plays hard. Then you get into their seniors. The 2 center backs (seniors) are big and very physical. Also very skilled, I’ve seen teams struggle to get past them. The coach always seems to know what to do at the right time. They play with alot of heart. But from an inside source.. 11 rods.. I’ve talked to the team and I guess that works.. Figure that out.

    -connor

  • Matt Smith

    I definitely agree on the Cal kids and Chaussy, but I didn’t get much of a look at Chaussy at the DLS Showcase and I haven’t seen Cal yet so I was just mentioning guys I’ve seen this year. I’m glad you guys are bringing them up because they are great players who deserve mention.

  • SoccerScout

    To SoccerGuy(#1),

    Arman Salimpour isn’t nicknamed Gordo. Gordo is Rafael Zamora. He is a very intelligent center mid who knows how to create an attack.

    Guerrero from Livermore is also one of the best players around, I believe he won an academic scholarship from the SJ Earthquakes.

    Overall, Junior Navarro from Newark is handsdown the most lethal player to watch out for. Note that both losses Newark concieved was when he was ineligible to play due to club team commitment. Will be a good match up against SRV this week.

  • The Sweeper

    Matt, been out of town and just now catching up. Great dialog on players to watch. During this holiday week, what are the 2 or 3 games of the week in the East Bay?

  • Matt Smith

    I am going to be catching Pitt v. Clayton tomorrow, and I believe Newark plays San Ramon Valley on Thursday, and Newark plays Amador Valley today, I believe.
    It’ll be good to see how Pitt does against a top ten team, and I will be interested to see how the style of the two teams matchup.
    Newark v. SRV should give us an early indication of where both teams are at as far as being serious NCS contenders. Not a bad week for so few games.

  • Matt Smith

    Oh ya, and welcome back Sweeper. I had been wondering where you disappeared to.

  • GlobalSoccer

    Alfredo “Junior” Navarro- Newark, Rafael ” Gordo” Zamora-Monte Vista, and Juan Guerrero-Livermore, were/are Academy players that are D1 talent. They know how to play at the highest level. Zamora and Guerrero, both mids, fed Navarro the ball while at the academy. Zamora and Navarro played on the same team that won multiple state and national club championships.
    The biggest impact is that they make their teammates better. They certainly raise the level of play for their respective teams-just ask the head coaches. Too bad the academy did not allow these players to participate in HS last year. Big lose for us futbol fans.

  • John Q

    Deer Valley at Granada on Thursday, the SRV vs Newark looks like a good matchup since SRV is at home.

    The officials took Deer Valley right out of the Newark game so we didn’t see a good matchup. It was Deer Valley playing catch up with 10 men on the field in a one-sided officiated game. Hard game to evaluate when one team gets advantage early in the game.

    Newark did well to clog the middle and overwhelm the defenders. We’ll see how well they fare against SRV at home should be a good game.

  • SoccerGuy

    Got to see Newark and Amador Valley’s today. I was surprised by Newark’s lack of size, which played into AV’s stregnth’s: set pieces and throws into the box. AV scored in the first few minutes on a free kick inside that was flicked on nicely for a goal.

    Navarro was fun to watch, especially for a 15 minute stretch midway through the first half, but completely disappeared in the second half. He had a handful of touches but was clearly not a major factor, which can happen to forwards at times. Despite this, Newark created a number of chances in the 2nd half, including one off the post. AV was able to counter well and maybe could have put another goal away.

    End result: 1-0 AV. As for Thursday, I see SRV taking Navarro out of the game early. San Ramon’s counter will be very difficult for Newark to handle. I can’t see SRV losing this one at home.

  • The Sweeper

    Thanks to all for the comments on the soccer players and matches to watch. Guerrero, Navarro, Rivas and Zamora are definitely on my bucket-list to see each play at least twice this season, and then in the playoffs.

    Is it true that the Newark match on Thursday at SRV starts at 1PM? Togos & soccer while hopefully catching a break from the rain.

    BTW, it sounds like DLS traveled well to SoCal: 2-shutout wins with 4-goals scored versus two opponents that only played one match each yesterday.

  • soccerfann

    I’ve been to quite a lot of games this season and I agree with these players mentioned above to be players to watch out for. I think Junior Navarro from Newark is the best player out there right now. Rivas from Cal and Guerrero from Livermore also Catch the eye.

    I have also had the chance to check out some DVAL teams which no one seems to talk about. I have seen Concord, CV, CP and YV. First off, I want to say that Clayton is way too overrated and that out of all the DVAL teams the one to really look out for is YV. They have a very good,young and solid team with only 2 seniors holding a starting spot and one of them is their GK. They play the ball very well and at a very high pace. With this being said, I definately don’t see why YV isn’t in the top 15 and why Clayton is up there so high.

  • love the game

    wow……. Newark loss to Amador is an upset, it looks to be one of those years, whereby the team that stays healthy and gets hot in February may win it all, Parity is rampant in the NCS. No Academy player will make the difference, it takes a team to win…..and this is soccer where the best team does not always win…..

  • eastbaysoccerfan

    Liberty 1
    Collegw Park 0

    Just thought Id give that update. Yea upsets are on the menu this season….

  • cokito

    Much wisdom from Love the Game, imho.

    The HS game allows us to see players who do not get their chance through the club system, because of monetary and support reasons. I think most academy players and ODP players are already known in the mainstream soccer community. There are players out there who are just as good and who are made visible by the HS game. Luis Camacho and Erik Montes of Richmond are typical examples, and I am sure there are others.

    Also, imho, the best compliment one can make to a good team is that there are no outstanding players. But it’s just me!

    Happy New Year to you all, Feliz Ano Nuevo, Bonne Annee!

  • Old HAAL Dad

    This year definitely has the potential to be one of the most interesting NCS tournaments in a while, I mean they’re always good but there is so much talent out there and not just in the EBAL. The NCS selection meeting will have real entertainment value the year. Going to catch SRV vs Newark tomorrow as it might the last dry day for a while. I see DLS is doing pretty well in SOCAL, does anybody know how good the competition is in that tournament?

  • Football Fanatic

    What time is the Newark vs SRV game tomorrow?

  • Matt Smith

    I think the game is at 1:00.
    And as far as DLS is concerned, none of the teams they have beat are ranked in the top 50 by ESPN Rise, but my research leads me to believe that Cathedral Catholic is pretty good.
    I would say it’s a very good showing by DLS down there.

  • The Sweeper

    #21. – Maxpreps and the SRV web sites have the match scheduled for a 1pm start Thursday at SRV.

  • The Sweeper

    Hey Cokito,

    Nice shout out for Camacho and Montes. I see that Richmond is playing @DLS, @MV and SRV on consecutive Saturdays in January, 3 matches that I hope to see.

    Catch you all in 2011!

  • soccerfan

    Acording to MaxPrep the combined record of DLS’s first 3 teams they faced is 5 wins 10 losses and 3 ties after DLS beat all of them. Their next game the teams record is 6-1-0.(just facts)

  • Matt Smith

    Cathedral Catholic is a good team.

  • Matt Smith for president

    Two of Berkeley’s defenders are very good as well. I’m not sure of their names but their numbers are #3 and #2. Both have good speed and tremendous on the ball defending. Berkeley should be a tough team come playoff time.

  • Old HAAL Dad

    Didn’t Berkeley beat or tie Richmond already this year? Both of their web sites are bad.

  • Matt Smith

    Berkeley and Richmond have not yet played.

  • Matt Smith

    Sorry about not putting this in the boys soccer category. I just realized. I was wondering why there had been so few comments.

  • The Sweeper

    Richmond plays 5 prime-time matches against @Berk, @DLS, @MV, SRV and Berk in an eight match stretch Jan11-Feb3. The Oilers will be battle-tested like an EBAL team come playoff time. What say ye Cockito? Matt?

    Here’s to a great 2011!

  • Matt Smith

    I agree. Richmond will be, and is usually, battle tested. They always play an incredible schedule outside of league, and this year, like last year, there is a primetime team in their league.
    Los Aceiteros will be prepared for the playoffs, and this team is just getting better.

  • Old HAAL Dad

    Sweeper & Matt, I couldn’t agree more, kudos to the Richmond coach for scheduling these top notch teams and to the EBAL coaches who scheduled Richmond as well, as if they didn’t have enough to worry about in their own league. These guys aren’t dodging anybody which will make East Bay Soccer just that much better and will make for a very entertaing NCS tournament.

  • John Q

    Anybody know the score between Clayton Valley and Pittsburg?

  • Matt Smith

    2-2 draw. Clayton scored in the 78th minute to go up 2-1 and Pitt scored a minute later. It was a good match.

  • mvalteacher

    How good is cv and pitt, Matt? Are they contenders for ncs? I saw pitt early in the year and they looked good vs newark. I saw cv against antioch and they looked pretty good as well.

  • Matt Smith

    I think they are both very good. For the most part, CV stays disciplined and keeps a good shape. They have some playmakers up top and have decent size.
    Pitt is very quick and athletic and moves the ball very well in the midfield, when things are going right for them. Christian Villa is a legit goal scorer. He always seems to find a way to be around the ball.

  • Closeup

    Just got back from the SR vs Newark game. Very entertaining. Newark up 2-0 at the half but momentum switched when a PK in SR’s favor was called in the early minutes of the second half. Newark gave up three goals to go done 2-3 but came storming back at the end to win 4-3. My first look at Newark and they look for real, especially their midfield and forward play, skillful, unselfish and #22 up top deadly if left unchecked. Except for the 10 minute span in the second, San Ramon was clearly outmatched. Newark is vulnerable at the back though, backs are big but slower. Even with the loss this week to unranked Amador, I think they deserve their higher ranking, at least higher than San Ramon, Berkeley, Deer Valley and Clayton Valley.

  • The Sweeper

    Closeup, good recap at #39 of the very entertaining Newark v. SRV match. Newark survived SRV’s physical play by scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes, or so, including the winner with 2 minutes to play. Two very different styles, and I would like to see a rematch just for the entertainment value.

    Evidently, there is a new rule that I have not heard of: cited by the ref during the match, if you foul a player four times, the 4th foul draws a yellow card. SRV had a player sub in the match for less than 5 minutes, he committed a ticky-tack foul and was given a yellow because it was the 4th time that Newark player had been fouled. Does that make any sense? What happens on the 5th foul, or does it take 4 more fouls to equal another yellow? The ref did not refer to this rule after that instance, even though SRV fouled that player several more times. Can refs just make up and enforce rules like that?

    The ref also ignored/overruled his ARs on at least 3 occasions, when the AR was much closer to the play: six eyes watching become two eyes which are not enough to ref these matches, and the ARs stop bothering to make calls…not good.

  • ebal fan

    I caught the SRV vs Newark game as well. Sweeper is right on with the referees, how do you give the kid a yellow card for that? SRV did manage to put 3-4 solid knocks on Navarro when he would touch the ball. Newark is for real, they are well rounded all around except in the back where they lack speed. On the other side, a young SRV team that appears to be in their rebuilding phase which is amazing as they are still a top squad. The only thing that bothered me with them, was how much they hit, and come after players instead of just playing soccer.

    I would love to see a rematch, two very different teams that will be in the thick of things in NCS. However, I do not see a strong defense like that of MV and CAL giving up 3-4 goals.

  • John Q

    Deer Valley 2-1 over Granada. Deer Valley dominated this game and should have been up by at least 2 more goals. They need to finish better if they want to advance in the stacked East Bay. Granada showed some fight late in the game and finally got one past DV keeper. Granada had some size but were being outplayed throughout the game. Game got scrappy at end with fans influencing calls with their oohs and awes.

    Looks like Newark beat SRV. Newark can definitely score goals aplenty, they use their mids in their attack and can overwhelm good defenses. Don’t take them for granted they have a good team over there.

  • eastbaysoccerfan

    Deer Valley over Granada 2-1. I agree with the above posts. Newark is a great team but if there is a weakness, it is the speed of the back 4. Against decent to average teams they will be fine, against top 10 teams, they may be exposed.

    Clayton Valley has an exceptional central midfielder named Josh. Played club ball with U18 DFC, an age older than he is eligible for, and was one of the better players within the league.

    Pittsburg has a scrappy athletic team. Villa is a decent goal scorer and does well when served from the mid field through Sosa.

    BVAL should be Derr Valleys to lose with 2nd place in the league being a crap shoot…

    Just my thoughts.

  • mval

    A lot of talk about Navarro so far, but dont forget about Edward Ramirez of Newark. 2 goals and 2 assists in the win over SRV. He will definitely be the big playmaker for Newark in the midfield this year.

  • bambam

    I have only seen a few games but it seems that EBAL’s
    dominance over the other leagues has dropped off a little this year. This should make the NCS playoffs very interesting.

    Matt – Your rankings job just became a tougher task and will surely open up this post for plenty of criticism.

  • GlobalSoccer

    I agree with MVAL comments (#44) about Newark’s Ramirez. He took SRV’s mid-field (Melara and Guisti) out of the game early. He is physical with a big left foot and can play. Ramirez also played on the same championship club team as Navarro (Newark) and Zamora (Monte Vista).
    I’ve seen Newark play 4 times this year and their strength is their interior midfield and forward. Their defense is very suspect and vulnerable to counters.
    I’ve also seen SRV play several times now as well. They do not have any consistency and flow to their play. They will have some success because they do not give up and play hard.

  • Closeup

    With academy players allowed to participate, this is probably the highest level of high school soccer I have witnessed in past years. Its a great showcase of all the young talent the Bay Area possesses and refreshing from all the club/academy politics that have segregated our area talent. Some of these boys have crazy skills and touches and the “offensive minded” high school soccer vs “possession” soccer of D1 has allowed these boys to really have fun. In the SRV/Newark game, it was also a great display of why soccer is so fun to watch, i.e., where good ol’ hard work and grit goes a long way to neutralizing crazy soccer skills and on any given day, anyone can win, especially as it seems, in this high school season. Let’s fill up the stands even if our kid isn’t playing. Matt, would really appreciate your recommendations on matches of the week, from week to week. Happy New Year all, this is a fun forum!

  • The Truth

    Number 47 makes a few good points but I disagree with the premise that the 5-10 academy players make that big of a difference in total.The academy is simply a marketing function of a few powerful clubs looking to make brand improvements.Oh yeah, if YOU are willing to play like a robot and have above average skills you too could make an academy team,Just pony up the 5g”s and your in.BTW, the academy team is not very good relative to their competition.
    All in all,starting about 4 years ago,, the quality of the high school play has improved.Not because of a few very good players but because the sport is attracting better athletes over all, there is a focus on skill development at an early age and because the local clubs are developing consistent coaching philosophies and developing all of their teams, at all levels of competition,in the same way. So this is a ground up development manifested by local competitive clubs and not a top down improvement because of an “academy” allowing the players to participate. That is why you are seeing the higher quality of play.

  • richard marnhout

    The caution that sweeper was refering to was for persistent infringement.If the referee notices a player committing a number of fouls-including trifling ones to which he has applied advantage,the perpetrator is cautioned for persistently infringing the laws of the game
    OR,if he notices a pattern of fouls committed against a particular player(frequently a star striker or wing)he may caution a player for the same offence. Though it is traditional to inform the captains of the offending team that a pattern of fouls against a particular player has been observed and will not be tolerated, it is not mandatory, and the referee may act without said warning if he deems it necessary to protect the fouled opponent.

  • Closeup

    Truth: Just to be clear, my primary point was to be able to see the “collection” of talent vs dispersed talent in different leagues. For the most part, I don’t see much disparity at all between “club” and “academy” talent. That said, the definition of a good player for me is one that raises the quality of play of those around him, or even against him.