Soccer Spectating Report: Boston Breakers Home Opener


I only managed to watch one soccer game in the past week but I watched it live and in person at Harvard Stadium in Allston, MA.

Boston Breakers 1:2 Western New York Flash (17 April)

Western New York are a WPS expansion team but they have several good players (including some from defunct WPS champions FC Gold Pride) such as Canadian international star Christine Sinclair and rookie and #1 draft pick Alex Morgan.  They also have the best player in the world, Brazilian international Marta, but she was not available for this game.  Sinclair and Morgan seemed to be constantly attacking the Breakers’ nets and the Flash definitely played the better game.  In the first half there were several close calls including one shot that got past Alysa Naeher but was fortunately cleared at the last moment by Breakers’ defender Stephanie Cox.  Western New York’s inevitable first goal came in the 64th minute on a counterattack by the ever-pesty Morgan who fed the ball to Sinclair for the goal.  Gemma Davidson put it out of reach in the final minute of the game.  In stoppage time, Breakers fans did get to cheer Kelly Smith’s goal but it was too little, too late.

My companion for this game was my 3 1/2 year old son Peter.   Heading home from child care on Friday night we passed Harvard Stadium and saw it being set up for the Breakers.  From that moment on, Peter asked over and over again to go to the Breakers’ game.  I figured that we’d end up walking around the stadium, visiting the concession stands often and leaving the game early.  Surprisingly, Peter was entranced by the game, watching the whole thing and asking lots of questions.  He even made us move down to the front row so he could peek over the wall for a better view.  Late in the game he started cheering and shouting for the Breakers and every time the Flash approached the net he would shake and yell “Stop black team, STOP!”  His attention wasn’t totally undivided as he liked watching the drummers in the hardcore supporters section, the frisbee dogs at half-time, and taking dozens of pictures with my camera, but I was pretty impressed.  He enjoys playing soccer with  his friends in the playground which often ends up with them tackling one another to the ground and piling on.  He noticed that the Breakers and the Flash did not tackle one another like this, so perhaps it will inspire a new era of clean soccer tactics at child care.

Previous posts:

Beer Review: The Haven ‘Special 70’ Ale


Beer: The Haven ‘Special 70’ Ale
Brewer: Notch Session Ale / The Haven Pub
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.1 of 10)
Comments:  Boston’s first Scottish pub has introduced this wonderful 70 shilling Scottish Ale.  It’s a deep, dark brown with a thick head.  The scent is faint but the taste is warm and sweet with a hint of caramel.  A really nice, unique beer for the area.

I should mention that The Haven is a cozy pub with great food, great beer, and a friendly staff.  Owner Jason Waddleton is particularly personable.  I’ve only been there  twice but I want to make it my “local.”

Beer Review: The Bük


Beer:  The Bük
Brewer: Wormtown Brewing Co. / Bukowski Tavern
Source: Draft
Rating: ** (6.9 of 10)
Comments: A special beer being offered by Bukowksi’s, one of my favorite beer bars in Boston & Cambridge.  It’s a clear, golden-orange beer with a thin head.  There are light, fruity aromas that oddly remind me of freshly-sharpened pencil shavings.  The beer is well-balanced between hops & malt, sweet & bitter with hints of fruit and a basic earthiness.  The head vanishes but leaves a light lacing on the glass.  Overall this is a tasty & hearty, well-balanced brew.  Nice job, Bukowski’s!

Official description of the beer from the beer list:

“THE BUK” IS A COLLABORATION WITH WORMTOWN BREWING CO., AND THE STAFF OF BUKOWSKI TAVERN. IT IS A HOPPY RYE PALE ALE HOPPED WITH CENTENNIAL, FUGGLE, CITRA, AND CHINOOK HOPS. A STRAW-COLORED BREW WITH A HOPPY CITRUS NOSE, SLIGHT MALT SWEETNESS THROUGH THE MIDDLE WITH A SPICY HINT OF RYE AND A DRY BITTER FINISH.

Beer Review: Hofbräu Oktoberfest


Beer:  Hofbräu Oktoberfest
Brewer: Staatliches Hofbräuhaus
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: **** (8.0 of 10)
Comments: A golden, bubbly beer with a thick head, this Oktoberfest special gives of a musty, yeasty and grassy aroma.  The taste is a smooth balance of grain and cream which is refreshing and light.  Some lacing appears on the glass and the head abides while the beer is quaffed.  A nice German beer for the autumn season

Beer Review: Baby Tree


Beer: Baby Tree
Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Source: 22 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7.6 of 10)
Comments: The beer is reddish-brown with a thick head, although the head quickly dissipates and does not leave lacing behind.  Sweet malts dominate the flavor with hints of fruits and kind of a caramel & alcohol aftertaste.  The aroma is a bit too sickly sweet which is a little off-putting, but otherwise this is another brilliant beer from Pretty Things.

Soccer Spectating Report 5-10 April


Barcelona 5:1 Shakhtar Donetsk (6 April)

Barça made quick work of their Ukrainian opponents with half the starting squad scoring goals in this laugher at Camp Nou.  [Note:  I didn’t watch the second leg, but Barcelona won it as well 0-1 for a 6-1 aggregate victory and a secure spot in the Champions League semifinals).

Chelsea 0:1 Manchester United (6 April)

I didn’t plan to watch this game, but it was on the TV in the pub.  I can’t find a rooting interest in the contest of these two clubs because it’s like watching the Yankees play the …. well, the Yankees.  I was impressed by the passing, ball possession, and up-tempo run of play though.  Got to admit that these sides have good quality.  Wayne Rooney score the loan goal.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1:1 New England Revolution (6 April)

A weird game which saw two Whitecaps and one Rev sent off.  Weirdest of all is Vancouver’s Eric Hassli scoring on a penalty kick and then being immediately red carded for removing his jersey (under which he was wearing an identical jersey).  The Revs were up 11 men to 9 for a good part of the game but failed to score.  Ilija Stolica scored a last-gasp goal in stoppage game to save a point for the Revs.  A point on the road amidst a wild crowd and crazy officiating isn’t a bad thing, but the Revs could’ve/should’ve done much better.

Atlanta Beat 1:4 Boston Breakers (9 April)

The Breakers opened their season with an impressive goal barrage in Atlanta.  Not that I got to see this game as there is no web streaming (is there any TV coverage at all?) so I just followed a web cast.  Jordan Angeli, Keelin Winters, Kelly O’Hara & Kasey Moore all scored.  The bad news is that Angeli has suffered an injury that will keep her from playing the rest of the season.

Real Salt Lake 2:0 New England Revolution (9 April)

The Revs undefeated start to the season came to the end with this loss in Foxboro.  Not surprising considering their weak performance and luck in previous matches not to mention that RSL is  one the top sides in MLS.  Still it’s disappointing as the Revs were anemic on the attack and poor at passing.  The officiating once again made itself too well known with three players (2 NE, 1 RSL) finding themselves red carded.

I haven’t been able to (wake up early enough) to watch my favorite European sides lately but they’re doing well.  Everton dispatched Wolverhampton 0-3 this past weekend to extend their unbeaten streak to 6 gamesAfter all the worries about relegation, Everton are now in 7th place with a chance of unseating Liverpool for 6th place, but hopes are slim to none for getting a bid in European competition.  Ajax are also on a hot streak playing 7-2-1 in a recent stretch.  They’re in third place, 3 points behind the table toppers FC Twente who will be there opponents in the final match of the Eredivisie season.

Previous posts:

Soccer Spectating Report 31 March-4 April


England 1:2 United States (2 April)

Bad news:  The US women’s team is clearly outplayed and loses to a much lower ranked England side.  Good news: It was just a friendly and the World Cup is still months away.  Bad news:  The US team lost to Mexico in the World Cup qualifying and should be getting their act together to avoid shocking losses.  Good news:  They played much better in the second half, putting a lot of pressure into the attack and just missing several chances at goal.  Bonus: England’s Kelly Smith played an excellent game and she also plays for the Breakers whose season begins on Saturday.  Also have to appreciate the really great goal by Rachel Yankey and the fact she scored it against the Yanks.

New England Revolution 1:1 Portland Timbers (2 April)

Bad news:  I was not able to find a stream to watch this game online.  Good news:  At least I got to hear the end of the game on streaming audio.  Bad news:  The Revolution failed to defeat an expansion team at home, played sluggishly, and passed poorly.  Good news:  They held on for a tie and continue their unbeaten streak to start the season.

Catania 4:0 Palermo (3 April)

Bad news:  Sloppy defense on Palermo’s part contributed to a second-half barrage of goals for Catania.  Good news: I really have no emotional investment in Italian football whatsoever.  Yay goals!

 

Previous posts: