A Saturday night game, under the lights at Manhattan Village…not many better nights for soccer! This weekends game was again a game of two halves, except on this occasion a very strong bench helped seal a valuable 3 points for Doxa. Doxa started off strong and had several great attempts at goal, Mario Guerrero going closest with one shot hitting the crossbar and another the post. There was a legitimate PK call when Byrne was taken down in the area, while the keeper made a great save off a long range Steve Chirgwin effort. The first goal of the game came through Derk Droze. Captain Derk started the game at d-mid, and on his first venture forward he struck the back of the net. It was Guerrero who got the assist, dribbling the ball from half way before laying a ball out wide for Derk. Half time came with the score at 1-0.
Coach John Gerrard decided not to make any changes at half, instead giving his starting 11 the opportunity to win the game. This was a decision that paid off, as a sober Chirgwin made amends for last weeks performance with a screamer of a finish from 25 yards out. It was a Devon Toohey throw that started the move, Byrne flicked the ball to Pete Hazdovac and the big Albanian squared to Chirgwin who drilled the ball into the bottom corner. Another nominee for goal of the season. With a strong 2-0 lead, Gerrard took the opportunity to get some new faces in the game. And it definitely paid off! Matt Upton, playing in his first game of the season scored off a Sean Lockhart cross from the left. Lockhart was also making his first appearance of the season, and soon after had his second assist of the game when his shot was saved by the keeper only for Ilia Nazarov to score off the volley. Kyle Holland also got in on the act, bagging his second goal of the season off a Matt Upton assist. The game was wrapped up at that stage, but it did not stop Ryan Taylor getting in on the act with another nominee for goal of the season. After beating a few defenders and mis-touching the ball several yards in front of him, he beat the keeper to the ball, chipping it over him. The ball hit the under side of the crossbar, onto the post, bounced on the line and into the net! Taylor proceeded to keep his run going out into the parking lot, up the street to Grunions where he was later seen bragging about his wonder goal!
Finally, it was a successful night for Doxa goalkeeper Brian Burdue who was celebrating his 43rd birthday. The rookie kept a clean sheet, leaving his goals against at 0.
Next Sunday, Doxa will be playing Artesia DES at 1pm in Norwalk.
Starting Line Up:
Occupation: Operations Manager/Accountant
Tell us about you career before Doxa: Played club soccer in California then went to go play soccer for the University of Rochester. Played and started all 4 years, all conference player every year from 2004-2007 and was named to the region team 2006 and 2007. During college, I played PDL for the Indiana Invaders for two years. After college, I tried to play in the USL but nothing happened so I came home and have been playing with Doxa. Last January and February I was on trials with FSV Frankfurt which is a 2nd Division German team.
You missed last weekends game, why? How was it? Did not play last weekend because I was in Las Vegas with my friends for his bachelor party and his wedding. I don’t really remember the first 2 days but from what I remember it was a great time.
Favorite Player to play with: I like playing mostly with Nate Reeves because the guy is a machine. He loves playing, tackles hard and has fun with it, even though I think he is either drunk or hung over half of the games. Plus I cant stop laughing at the fact that he called a ref a donkey and started making donkey noises at him during West LA League.
- Challenge you for the ball: There is just not one person,everyone on the team is so competitive, they all challenge for the ball.
- Score an Own goal: Ryan Taylor
- Score a 90th minute winner: I would say either Derk Droze, Bryan Byrne, or Ilia…I think everyone usually depends on them to score at critical times and they usually do.
- Miss an open net: Probably Ryan Taylor because Ive seen him do it so many times during training
- Get a red card: Nate Reeves, Steve Chirgy, Omar, Craig Reynolds those are the ones off the top of my head. Ive seen these guys get red cards all in the same weekend.
Other sports/hobbies? I like to surf, wake board, and play tennis
Childhood highlight: When I was younger my parents paid me for every goal I scored, I love the weekends
Favorite moment outside of soccer: hahaha, so many but this my favorite. Senior year in High school, my friend and I were at our schools football game watching Mark Sanchez pick our football team’s defense apart…it was 42-0 at halftime. The other team brought their mascot (a diablo) to our home field, so my buddy and I talked to our schools mascotts (cougars) and some how got them to give us their outfits. We walked out on the field during half time and saw the diablo looking at us and taunting us with his schools flag once we stepped onto the field. My friend and I looked at each other and started charging at him and we straight up laid him out in the middle of the field, right in front of their football team. We tackled the mascot and took their flag and ran around until we were caught by our principal and Assistant Principal. Everyone in the crowd was chanting “Animal Rights.” Once we were released from being scolded at, everyone who was at the game was outside in the parking lot cheering for us.
Anything else you want to add to spice it up: Believe it or another one of my friends and I have won several beer pong cash-tournaments around Orange County , I noticed Nate likes to play beer pong, so if Nate wants to really get hammered just play my buddy and I.
In what was a case of two halves, Doxa were unlucky not to take all 3 points in the second league game of the CSL season. After a pretty poor first half that saw Doxa 2-0 down at half time, Coach Derk made some tactical changes and sent the team out in a 3-5-2 for the second half. And what a great decision that turned out to be!
The first 10 minutes of the game was pretty even, but PSA quickly took control by taking their chances. The first goal came off a PK after Nate Reeves tried to dislocate ex-Doxa player Sam Allen’s legs from his body! It wasn’t quiet that bad as Reeves did win the ball, but he will be the first to admit he had other things on his mind! The second goal came in the last minute of the first half off a ball oer the top.
The second half was a completely different story! With 3 subs on the bench, Doxa were able to freshen things up bringing in Captain Derk, Kyle Holland and new signing Matt Ogden. With the big back 3 of Reeves, Elminoufi and Koubouras defending the lines, Doxa were able to concentrate on attacking more than defending! The first goal came off a Brandon Avery clearance, Elminoufi was sitting in midfield and flicked the ball on with a diving ’back header’ to Holland who beat the offside flag and finished into the far corner. The second goal came from a corner. The ball was knocked in, Mario Guerrero jumped with the keeper and flicked the ball up towards goal, where Derk Droze out jumped everyone and bundled the ball into the back of the net! With 15 minutes still to play, it looked like Doxa might snatch all 3 points, and probably should have on several occasions. With a few seconds left to play, Matt Ogden shot from about 10 yards inside his own half only to see the ball bounce off the crossbar. Any lower, and the ball was in the back of the net! Even though Doxa dominated the second half, Brandon Avery still played an important roll, and he did a great job in saving several good PSA opportunities.
Finally to finish, Steve Chirgwin said he would probably win the yellow jersey before the game started, and he wasn’t too far wrong!
Starting Line Up:
Garden Grove Gunners 1 Doxa Italia 7
Doxa opened up the CSL season with an emphatic 7-1 win away to the Garden Grove Gunners. Despite starting the game with 11 players and 0 subs, the team put in a quality performance to get the job done and take the 3 points. After around 3-4 missed sitters (Nazarov, Droze, Byrne), Craig Reynolds decided to take charge and scored what could be a contender for goal of the season! A little bit reminiscent of a young Paul Scholes, Reynolds pick the ball up around 30 yards out and hit a half volley rocket into the bottom corner. Soon after, he was at it again! This time, Reynolds played a one two on the right hand touchline, dribbled like a 16 year old past two defenders and lofted a cross shot over the keeper into the back of the net. Rumor has it Sven Goran Erickson and Notts County are on the look out for a new defensive mid after Sol Campbell’s departure a few weeks back, we might have rest Craig for a few weeks after those two! The Gunners got back into the game shortly before half time with a well taken goal. They were sent down to 10 men when after leaving the field of play, the left mid got a yellow card. Soon after, he was shown red for some off the ball argy bargy. Ahem.
In the second half, Doxa really took charge. The third goal came off a quick corner kick. Andrew Villalobos and Bryan Byrne played a short corner, Byrne lofted the ball into the back post where Mario Guererro met the ball at the back post for a goal on his debut. Soon after, a carbon copy play saw Byrne cross the ball to Nate Reeves who drilled the ball into the back of the net. There was a dispute about the goalscorer, especially after Reeves and Guererro were fighting over who scored. Several minutes later, Doxa had number 5. Andrew Villalobos and the ever effective Eric Meister dribbled around a few players before crossing to Steve Chirgwin who applied the finishing touch for his first of the season. The 6th and 7th goals both came from the right, where Byrne set up Mario Guererro for his second of the game, and then Andrew Villalobos. Man of the Match Villalobos went off with 5 minutes left to go with a nasty ankle injury. Here is hoping he won’t be out for too long so we can have him for a few weeks before he goes to try out in Germany! The game ended with Kyle Holland having a discussion with the referee. I am not sure what happened, but I do now know that Kyle is a qualified referee who knows the game inside and out (yellow jersey nominee)!
All in all, it was a very effective performance.
Starting Line Up:
12. Mario Guerrero
Andrew Villalobos is one of the ‘newbies’ to the team, but that didn’t stop him from getting the yellow jersey this week. He was rewarded for two missed penalties in two games (although he wasn’t the only one who missed). He did take a step in the right direction tonight though, by drilling a PK into the bottom left corner!