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East Bay Boys Soccer Notes: WSC Preview, Rankings

By Matt Smith
Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 11:03 am in Boys soccer.

The Winter Classic starts today. Who are the teams to beat?

Gold Bracket

Favorite: California

The Grizzlies have still not lost a match since the Division I NCS finals of the 2009-2010 season, so how can we go away from the defending EBAL and WSC champs? Palo Alto returns, and gave Cal a match last year, so look for a possible finals rematch there.
Newark Memorial and Logan, both ranked in the top 15, should be serious challengers as well, while Granada looks like it could be a solid side. The dark horse is Amador Valley. The Dons have a lot of talented youth and the only question is will they be very good right away, or will it take a little time.

Silver Bracket

Favorite: Acalanes

It’s hard to go away from a team that is ranked third in the entire East Bay and returns almost every starter. The Dons will not allow many goals, which is perfect tournaments such as this. I expect Acalanes in the finals.
Campolindo and Albany will provide the biggest challenges for Acalanes and I think it wouldn’t be a big a surprise if two of these three teams make the finals.
Alhambra, Dougherty Valley and Ygnacio Valley are all very talented teams. Alhambra is up and coming and the latter Valley’s are both on the verge of being very special programs. It wouldn’t surprise me to see any of these teams make a championship game run.
Antioch, usually a strong physical Division I team, could pose a challenge and reach the finals in this bracket.

Rankings

Not to much change early on. Richmond climbs a couple of spots, while Albany drops to No. 12 after a loss to El Cerrito. Albany may have been missing some key guys, and in my opinion will still be a major threat and a possible top five team by season’s end.

1. De La Salle (0-0-0)
2. San Ramon Valley (0-0-0)
3. Acalanes (0-0-0)
4. Clayton Valley (0-0-0)
5. Richmond (1-0-0)
6. California (2-0-1)
7. Dublin (2-0-0)
8. Campolindo (0-0-0)
9. Newark Memorial (3-1-0)
10. Mt. Eden (2-0-1)
11. Livermore (1-0-0)
12. Albany (0-1-0)
13. Berkeley (1-1-0)
14. Pittsburg (0-1-0)
15. Logan (1-0-2)

Others considered: Deer Valley (0-0-0), Bishop O’Dowd (0-0-0), Hayward (1-1-0), Ygnacio Valley (1-0-0), College Park (1-0-1), Pinole Valley (0-0-0), Granada (2-0-1), Dougherty Valley (1-0-2), San Lorenzo (0-1-1), Monte Vista (0-0-1).

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  • futbol101

    I had the pleasure of seeing a few of the WSC games…Got to see Alhambra vs Mission SJ, high pressure from SJ kept them in the game but a 1-0 win by the dogs was enough. The dogs have about 3 key play makers, with some of those players down… i don’t see the dogs with a deep bench to keep up all season.

    Northgate vs Piedmont
    I had read before about watch out for Northgate and NCS for them. They are working on it and still will need a lot of work. With teams like Clayton valley, Concord , College Park and Ygnacio Valley I just don’t see how they can pull it together.

    I didn’t get to see YV play yet so on Saturday i will. They are displaying a high power offense scoring 17 goals in 3 games. It may be that Dougherty Valley woke up a sleeping giant, lets see Saturday.

    I will also stay for the remainder of the Silver games. Alhambra vs Las Lomas & Campolindo vs. Dougherty Valley

    Good luck to all!

  • redandblue2

    Campolindo is looking to build on their success last season, finishing #1 in Matt Smith’s East Bay Poll. They lost a ton of talent to graduation last year, but appear to have reloaded; and without one of their top players (kicking for the football team) they have started well and are playing for the Silver Division Championship this Saturday against Dougherty Valley.

    The depth of the DFAL this season is amazing and they may be on par witht he EBAL this season. Looking forward to a very entertaining season this winter.

  • DFAL#1

    Matt-
    What are your thoughts on the classic’s results??

  • Matt Smith

    A little surprised to see Acalanes not reach the final, but I feel like they play a similar style to Antioch, so a low-scoring draw is not a surprise. And Antioch is a Division I playoff caliber team, so that is not a bad result at all.

    Very impressed with Campolindo’s results. I’m wondering if they would be the best team in the gold bracket as well. Would have loved to see them match up with Cal or Granada. I also think Las Lomas, Alhambra and Dougherty Valley are making the DFAL look very, very good.

    I’ve been hearing good things about Granada, that they play with heart, and that is no surprise. Chris Salazar is a very good coach and his boys always play hard for him. I’m expecting them to go all out against Cal.
    Lastly, I think Cal is impressive. To lose all the fire power they lost, but to still be unbeaten to this point is something to be proud of.

    The WSC is showing me that there are quite a few good teams out there, and it will take a while before only a few standout above the rest.

  • Matt Smith

    Gotta give some love to Miramonte as well. The DFAL is deep.

    I also agree with an earlier statement about watch out for AV. I knew they were upcoming, and by January, nobody will want to play this team.

  • OLDHAALDUDE

    Heyy matt

    Whats the deal with the teams that arent playing in the Winter CLassic? Especially for the teams in the HAAL??? Ive been a little out of it now that i have Finals Coming up, Im actually mostly curious about MT EDEN and SLZ…how are they doing??

  • Matt Smith

    San Lorenzo is 0-2-1 after a recent loss to Alameda. I think Alameda is much better this year. SLZ should probably still factor in the league.
    Mt. Eden is 3-0-1 after a tie in their first game, have won three straight.

    And I hear you on finals. Law school finals are taking place right now.

  • The Truth

    The DFAL has been a very competitive league for the past 5-6 years.In spite of the generally smaller schools size the caliber of the player is,and has been,very high. Looking at starters I think they have always matched with the large school EBAL teams when looking at first 11( with some exceptions of course). The difference is,and will be, the subs coming in.But, that being said the DFAL is a top notch league.

  • http://aol BigDog

    The EBAL is putting lots- read my lips- lots of players to cellege- there is no comparison with the dfal- all-star score between leagues 49-00.

  • SoccerFan11

    BigDog
    There is no doubt that the EBAL is the strongest league, but who are the lots of kids you are referring to? Last year I can only think of 4 that went on to play in college, and only a handful from other years.

  • DFAL#1

    How is the EBAL the stronger league? DFAL has 4 teams representing them in the consSolations and finals.

  • OSU

    Livermore came in last and would win the DFAL. Enough said!

  • natural righty

    I heard a kid from Granada just verbally committed to Cal Berkeley with a scholarship.

  • EbalDad

    DFAL #1
    the DFAL is a very strong league, no question.
    in this years winter classic
    4 DFAL teams in SILVER (Lower) bracket
    4 EBAL teams in GOLD (Higher) bracket

  • http://aol BigDog

    socreer fan- we’re talkin’ football here.
    Last year major college Atkinson twins ( ND)
    Renard- dls ( Boise) wynn- dls (OSU) previous yr- foothill- marion(OSU) ward- dls ( OSU)
    Monte Vista- they have several at Stanford – nottingham, erytle, linemen from MV and San Ramon
    a host of others from dls to smaller schools( sac st, reno, etc.)
    these are just guys coming to mind- there’s more.
    Previously, kellar and wright QB’s. also several kickers from MV, SRV and DLS.

  • Soccer Guy

    You’ll have to excuse BigDog, as he is on the wrong blog. Run along De La Salle worshiper and go back to the football blog.

  • Tack

    Dublin 7 -1 (pk) Salesion

    Good warm up for Dublin heading in to league as no one really knows much about them since they did not participate in the WSC.

  • SoccerFan11

    BigDog
    Oh I thought you were talking about soccer. Yea, it’s crazy how many kids the EBAL sends do division 1 schools.

  • oldfart

    Anyone have the score for the YV vs Miramonte game and Antioch vs Piedmont?

  • EbalDad

    Today’s Tri-Valley Challenge Scores

    Clayton Valley 4 – Pittsburgh 1
    San Ramon Valley 1 – College Park 1
    Monte Vista 4 – Deer Valley 1
    Berkeley 2 – Castro Valley 1

  • The Truth

    Hey #82- nice finish by Livermore in the Winter Classic. Better get that fire going since it looks like a long winter in the EBAL cellar

  • The Truth

    I did mean post # 62

  • http://campshaffar@comcast.net EBAL FAN

    Cal 4 – 0 over Granada 2nd half
    Amador won a thriller over Foothill 1-0 on penalty kicks
    after Overtime play(3rd place).
    California looks really strong.

  • DFAL#1

    Campo has one their SECOND straight WSC championship. Beware the cougars..

  • Matt Smith

    I know YV beat Miramonte 3-1.

  • AnyGivenDay

    YV beat Miramonte 3-1.

    Acalanes tied Albany 2-2.

    Las Lomas beat Alhambra 1-0.

    Yes, Campolindo beat Dougherty Valley 2-1 in the final, but they were outplayed by Dougherty and Dougherty played the better game overall. However, that’s how the game goes sometimes, and credit to Campolindo for getting the result. Watch out for Campolindo and Dougherty.

  • http://www.fjphotoguy@gmail.com Chris Goodman

    Good morning East Bay soccer fans. I am a semi-professional photographer who happens to have a son on the Cal team so I regularly post photos of the games I attend.

    I have some good shots of the PK’s from the Amador – Foothill game available on my website:

    http://www.fjphotoguy.com/CalHighSoccer2011-2012/Winter-Classic-Amador-Foothill

    Pictures of the finals should be put up by the end of the day.

    Couple of hints: If you want to get a print it is probably cheaper to order the image for download and then print it at Costco (you also then have the file to post on Facebook etc..). I also have made pictures available for EBAL teams for end of year banquets. Please shoot me an email at fjphotoguy@gmail.com if you are interested.

    Chris G. the FJ Photo Guy

  • DFAL#1

    Dougherty outplayed campo in the first 20 minutes of the match and it looked like they would get the result however.. Once campo got goal #1 Doughertys heads dropped. They were never able to counter after that which caused goal #2.. They tried to make a late run with 10 minutes left but just didn’t have enough.. The officiating was awful throughout the match. 1 red card was given to each team. Set pieces was a problem for Dougherty all night long.. Escpecially those thrown ins from distance. They created a cluster in the box and caused problems all night long. Take nothing from campolindos victory. They have proved not to be in a rebuilding year winning 4 straight and defending their WSC championship. Dougerty was a tough team and seems to be a contender. Look for those two teams follows close by acalanes and Dublin for the DFAL league. MATT keep up the great work hope to see some updated stats and rankings soon. SEE YOU AT THE PITCH!

  • futbolbay#1

    Matt,

    New to the blog and I believe you do a great job on our bay area high school soccer. I was able to catch the Pitt vs Clayton and Berkeley vs Castro valley game this weekend. Pitt looked real good the first half and seemed they would pull away. A couple of key misses and clayton was able to put away a nice free kick. 2nd half cv brought the fire and was able to score in the last 15mins and then 2 more with Pitt pushed up. Great game Clayton is a real contender and Pitt will be really good once the year gets going.

    Berkeley was just too much for Castro to handle. Once Berkeley gets healthy and everyone back they will give Richmond a run for the league and make it interesting. They have good size, fast, and good touch.

  • Matt Smith

    DFAL#1, you’re the man! I think you might be taking over for Matt Smith For President as my No. 1 guy ;) I think he must be gone.

  • DFAL#1

    I just love reading your notes and putting my opinions in! Can’t wait for the update in the stats and rankings!

  • Matt Smith

    Stats, records and rankings coming this week. Probably tomorrow morning.
    I’m studying for Evidence today, but I have a good idea of how the rankings will look.

  • DFAL#1

    Good luck with your studying!

  • The Sweeper

    Matt, good luck with that Evidence stuff. Evidently, you are sticking with that law school thing. I am looking forward to your update this week.

    One trend that I am noticing is that there seems to be more red cards this season, more than in recent memory. Has something changed this season to “short leash” the players? Is there any legitimate evidence to support my observation, or am I just imagining this?

    BTW, FJ Photo Guy in posting #77 does a fabulous job capturing matches from the sidelines. Despite those Grizzlies ties, it is great to review pictures from a match that you watched, and recall various captured events frozen in time. Keep up the good work Chris.

    See you at the pitch!

  • DFAL#1

    Sweeper-

    There were two red cards at the WSC final (1 per team)
    Campo vs piedmont had 2 both towards piedmont.. 1 towards a player and a coach
    I am noticing this as well.. None of the cards were red worthy either

  • http://www.fjphotoguy@gmail.com Chris Goodman

    In followup to post #77, pictures of the finals match are now online.

    Granada pics – http://www.fjphotoguy.com/CalHighSoccer2011-2012/Granada-Winter-Classic-Finals

    Cal pics – http://www.fjphotoguy.com/CalHighSoccer2011-2012/Cal-Winter-Classic-Finals

    Thanks for the compliment Sweeper, I will always do my best to post pics of both teams on the pitch.

    Enjoy!

    Chris

  • Red Solo Cup

    Red Solo Cup, I Fill You Up.

    Red Solo Cup loves the Sweeper and Matt Smith (you both know who I am). You are soccer gods. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. That being said…

    This is my first post to the blog. My soccer knowledge has grown in the last four years since my son played at a local high school and has since moved on to play college futbol. I, therefore, am not a soccer officiando nor do I profess to be an expert. I am a fan of the game whose knowledge is limited. Truth be told, I’m a baseball guy and can win many bets (bar and otherwise) with my obscure baseball knowledge. With that, I’d like to comment on The Sweeper’s last post regarding red cards.

    I was at the WSC Silver Division final and do have first hand knowledge of why more red cards are being handed out. It’s the violence, baby.

    Yes, NCS has dictated that there should be less violence (we call them fights) in the HS soccer game. One way to do that is to hand out red cards as the game nears conclusion. Huh?!?!? That’s right. When the game is drawing to a close and players start to “slow down the game” by needless fouls, red cards will come out. At the Silver final the last red card was a result of a Campo player taking down a DVHS player. According to the center ref (here’s my first hand knowledge), he felt that the foul was worthy of a Red Card under the new rule interpretation since most fights break out in the final stages of HS games. Now those of us that were there might question whether this was a foul or not. One thing we can’t question and should all support is any attempt to reduce the amount of fights that occur at HS sporting events. I don’t believe that this is misquided. In fact, I believe it to be a good rule, in spirit. What I fear is that we will have a plethora of red cards coming out at crucial times in matches that could determine the outcome of a game. I say, let the boys play but be firm and consistent from the opening whistle to the final whistle. That will make for a clean, well-played game.

    Thanks to Matt for all he does to promote this sport in the greater Bay Area and for his ongoing promotion of the players who play.

    I fill you up…

  • Matt Smith

    Thanks to Futbolbay#1 and Red Solo Cup for chiming in for the first time. I hope to hear a lot more from you guys.

    My thoughts on Red Cards is this. I feel like giving out cards, red or yellow, should be used as a shield, not a sword. I don’t think they should be used as a way to attack, but a way to protect. I feel like they have always been too liberal in handing out cards, and now with this new rule it appears they will be even more liberal. That’s no good.

  • The Sweeper

    Hey Matt, With all of the Evidence presented regarding Red Cards, I guess that I was not just imagining it. I vote to keep the liberals our of HS soccer! And…NO, I am not a (Red) card carrying member of the communist party.

    Hey Red Solo Cup, Welcome to Matt’s world. Do you play (root) beer pong? I see you at all the matches…Cheers!