Inside the Brain of a Teenage Soccer Genius

Essays, Player Reviews, Scouting Reports, Events, Match Reviews, Statistics and Things of no Importance

Monday, December 31, 2012

What a Year! Bring on 2013!

It's been an incredible year for Soccer Boss! Here are some of my favorite and not-so-favorite-but-still-memorable moments!

January 1st 2012
Soccer Boss and some of her closest buddies put in a team in the extremely fun Kitsap Cup run by Futbol for Life to benefit orphans in Sierra Leone. Although we had about six people (enough to field a team... without subs) we made it to the final and placed second overall! It was a total blast and would be the last time I played soccer before my back injury.
January 4th, 2012
The Kitsap Pumas rang in the new year with a 9-5 win at home against South Sound Shock! Mr. Chad Bass and I also celebrated our birthdays at the game- thanks for the win boys! 
January 26th, 2012
I was finally able to announce that Tim Ream, the nephew of a dear family friend, had been signed to Bolton Wanderers. We were thrilled that he would be representing the USA (and the awesome Ream family) in the English leagues! 
January 27th, 2012
Madi made a life-changing trip to the emergency room and was soon diagnosed with a herniated disk. Life goes on though and a totally stoned FC Basel fan also blogged about the February 9th announcement that Xherdan Shaqiri would be leaving Basel for Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window. 
February 22nd, 2012
FC Basel celebrated an incredible home victory over the mighty Bayern Munich, the other FCB. Valentin Stocker's late strike gave Basel the 1-0 lead on aggregate and the fairy tale continued.
February 26th, 2012
Liverpool won the FA Cup! Which was both awesome (I've been a secondary Red's fan for ten years now) and terrible (my stepdad, a hardcore Liverpool fan, took it upon himself to gloat about the victory while I was still treading water in my own pool of tears following Basel's dismissal at the hands of Bayern). All and all it was a good day as a Liverpool fan after many months of pure agony.

March 4th, 2012
The Kenya Soccer Project is born! Madi and Lexi skyped with our new connections in Kenya and got to work organizing a game plan for football club development in Africa.
March 5th, 2012
Soccer Boss goes under the knife! Obviously I made it out OK and was able to pick up blogging again straight away. Maybe with a slightly less sarcastic tone to my writing... I was extremely grateful for the amount of soccer on the DVR to keep me company while I recovered! (photo is of the lively gifts I received from friends and family!) 
March 13th, 2012
FC Basel's Champions League campaign came to a cruel and abrupt end with a 7-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena. Still not sure how I survived that one, but I'm assuming the Vicodin helped. 
March 17th, 2012
Soccer Boss was devastated to report that Fabrice Muamba had suffered from cardiac arrest on the pitch for Bolton and was in critical condition. What a year he made 2012 for the world of soccer! He fought back, inspired and is now making dramatic changes to the game with his incredible story. It was a humbling reminder just how lucky we are for every moment we are on the pitch in good health.
March 31st, 2012
Benjamin Huggel announced his retirement. I cried. 
April 10th, 2012
I was happy to attend, photograph, and report on the Sounders Reserves vs Timbers Reserves match. What fun! Two of our good friend's clients were on the bench for the Timbers and it's always exciting seeing some of your favorite Sounders in close proximity. I love the cozy atmosphere of Starfire as well. 
April 18th, 2012
Chelsea shocked Barcelona (and the rest of the footballing world) by securing a victory in the Champions League! I've always hated Chelsea (don't ask why... it was bred into me), and I adore Barcelona for their style and finesse so to see it shut down in such an unorthodox manner was both fascinating and agonizing. 
April 20th, 2012
"Monchengladbach Secure Xhaka Agreement" simple title, simple news that all Basel fans saw coming but for whatever reason, that ridiculously short article would go on to get the most views of ANY Soccer Boss article to date! Surely that's thanks to the millions of aspiring "Mrs. Xhaka"s trolling the internet... either way, I'm not complaining. Thanks for all the hits #GX34! (photo likely responsible for all of the hits...) 
April 24th, 2012
As FC Basel youngster Kofi Nimeley so kindly reminded me (2012 was a year of making foreign frienemies), blue was the color. Chelsea shockingly defeated Barcelona and advanced to the final. What the f*ck? The next day Bayern Munich followed Chelsea's lead and defeated Real Madrid in an intense match that went down to penalty kicks. The Germans kept their cool and Ramos skied his PK, creating a flow endless opportunities for soccer meme makers all over the world.
April 27th, 2012
Pictures came through from Africa! The official Nehemiah FC crest was drafted and photos of the men who would later make up the ranks of our team were posted. I was over the moon! 
April 29, 2012
FC Basel became Swiss Champions! FCB were able to clench the title early when it became mathematically impossible for the other teams to catch up... hehehe :)
May 5th, 2012
From the sunny Hawaiian Islands, Soccer Boss cursed over the slow hotel internet connection to bring you news of Chelsea defeating Liverpool in the FA Cup final. Blue was once again the color (and it wouldn't be the last time...). Liverpool then defeated Chelsea that weekend but unfortunately it got them nothing but points, no shiny trophy.
May 13th, 2012
Soccer Boss brought you Man City’s late EPL winning victory from the airport in Lihue, Hawaii! What a match! I was sad I missed it in real time. 
May 16th, 2012
FC Basel complete the Swiss Double! So far it had been a frustrating year for Soccer Boss so the dominance of Basel was a nice counterbalance for the repeated failures in physical therapy. The win was an emotional one as FC Basel fans prepared to say goodbye to their beloved youngsters Xhaka and Shaqiri, the exit of Abraham and for the retirement of Huggel, Chipperfield and Columba. Yann Sommer secured the trophy with some creative and entertaining goalkeeping when he put on a display of hilarious faces that likely would have thrown even the most composed of penalty takers. Still one of my favorite soccer moments ever :)
May 19th, 2012
Chelsea defeat the mighty Bayern Munich in their home stadium, an impressive achievement for the club who looked like a sinking ship under Andre Villas-Boas at the beginning of the season. Surely an awe inspiring moment for soccer spectators all over the world and a glorious day for Chelsea fans.
May 20th, 2012
My season with the Kitsap Pumas kicked off! What a fun day! I made new friends and started to get a hang of the whole photography thing. Those guys look at least 100 times faster when you're looking at them through a minuscule lens. 
May 22, 2012
I got up early to cry over the touching goodbye ceremony put on by FC Basel to send off their exiting players. Let's not think about that.
June 2012
Soccer Boss quickly got tied up with the fast-paced PDL schedule, EURO 2012 and most importantly, helping pack up the large number of donated shoes we collected for our club in Kenya! Lexi (my co-president) and I were able to send thirteen soccer balls and seventeen pairs of cleats to Africa along with tons of old jerseys. At this point, I also saw a turning point in my recovery process- things were definitely looking up!
July 3rd, 2012
The Kitsap Pumas secured the first ever Ruffneck trophy! What a great game with a dramatic late goal from Justin Robbins! I was so glad to be right on the touchline to capture his celebration and cheer a little myself :)
July 15th, 2012
Soccer Boss and Puma Superfans Alison and Ian made the trip to Portland to cheer on the Pumas against the Portland Timbers U23s. Unfortunately, the Pumas were defeated by an unlucky goal that should have been called back due to a hand ball. It was a bit emotional on the field after that game. The somber faces in the team huddle broke my heart, but I know that many of those warriors will be back next season and the retiring Puma legends will always have a place in Puma history.
July 18th, 2012
The Sounders played Chelsea FC in a friendly match and I was able to capture this snap of Eden Hazard that would later become a meme and a major hit on his google images search. Sweet :)
July 28th, 2012
I was lucky enough to live out my childhood dream of seeing Liverpool FC play! My mom, stepdad and I flew to Baltimore, Maryland to watch the Reds play against Tottenham. Unfortunately for the inhumane temperatures in the stadium, the match was a bit like watching paint dry but Steven Gerrard is just as memorizing when he's dragging himself around a stagnant pitch than he is in action at Anfield. I also enjoyed taking pictures of some of my other EPL heroes! 
August 6th, 2012
With the Champions League qualifying and Olympics in full swing I was all tied up! I did have time to tune into the USA women's dramatic victory against Canada and cheer on the USA to the final for their rematch against Japan. I never got around to blogging about the final, as life caught up to me and outside obligations took over. 
September 2012
September was a month of focusing on Kenya. With some help from a complete stranger, we got a snazzy new website, a twitter account, and a good-looking Facebook page! Our team was regularly playing in games on the weekend and was starting to make a name for themselves locally! We also partnered with Redeeming Soles (PLEASE check out their website!), a fantastic organization in the Seattle area that takes shoe donations and gives them to the homeless. Since cleats don't make very functional shoes for anything other than soccer, we were gifted some 100 pairs of cleats that had been stored by the organization. (Photo with Scott Sowell of Redeeming Soles and Kerry and Steve- family friends responsible for introducing us!)
September 11, 2012
Soccer Boss had been cautiously and quietly anticipating the World Cup Qualifier between Switzerland and Albania, knowing that it was either going to be a fascinating display of passion for the beautiful game or a total disaster. Luckily, on the pitch it was the first of these two. The ethnically Albanian Xherdan Shaqiri netted Switzerland's first and graciously celebrated with his teammates (including Xhaka and Behrami, also of Albanian descent). Switzerland went on to win 2-0. There was a shitstorm, however, it just occurred off the pitch. Some smartass over at Schweizer Fernsehen decided to make a scene about Xhaka missing the net (to his credit, it was one of the most horrible misses I've seen in my years of soccer spectating) claiming he didn't want to score on the Albanians. It was resolved in much drama that involved several prominent Swiss footballing figures jumping to Xhaka's defense, him writing a very (surprisingly?) rational and eloquent open letter to the press. #drama
October 2012
October was a month consumed in school. So much went on in the footballing world it would be exhausting to talk about all of it. However, young Tony Watt at Celtic gave the press something to babble about when he helped the Glasgow side defeat Barcelona. His thoughts on the match ("It was better than losing my virginity!" - hopefully the lady who was his first wasn't aware of it...) and the all-around historical meaning made it a very special night for Celtic and soccer fans all over the world. Except Rangers and Barcelona fans. 
November 17, 2012
Soccer Boss was behind the camera yet again as the Pumas kicked off their indoor season with a charity match against the OC Allstars. The Pumas won and much fun and laughter was had. I enjoyed mingling with the fantastic characters in that soccer community!
December 1st, 2012
The Pumas then topped off the preseason success with a victory against the Tumwater Pioneers. What a fun game! And welcome to the league, Pioneers! (Photo is coach and keeper Dustyn Brim with superfan Owen Milbrot)

That concludes Soccer Boss's review of 2012. What a year it has been! My resolutions include more blogging- the chaos of the school year and coaching in the fall interfered with my FC Basel reports. I am looking forward to traveling this year and hopefully seeing some of the Soccer Boss readers abroad in person! Happy New Year!

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