JP’s Prematch Report (5/20/2017)

Photo Credit: Rob Kinnan-NCFC

North Carolina FC at Puerto Rico FC — 7:30 PM EST Saturday May 20.2017

Well, that is one way to bounce back from a defeat. NCFC took down a previously unbeaten Jacksonville Armada team on Saturday night with a scoreline of 3-1. The Armada got on the scoresheet quickly when a player with two first names, Jack Blake, converted a penalty after a soft foul in the 12th minute. 15 minutes later, James Marcelin (back in the team, thankfully; maybe Colin Clarke read my pleas last week) equalized with a strike from outside the box.

From then on, it turned into the Lance Laing show:

I don’t care if that was meant to be a cross, because that turned out to be an awesome goal. It’s an unwritten rule that a goal becomes better if it hits a post on the way to the back of the net. Even the Jacksonville goalkeeper had to give a thumbs up to Laing. I don’t know about you, but as a fan it’s always great to see a player point or kiss the badge on their jerseys after a goal. It really does seem that Laing is having a great time in NC. He capped off a NASL Player of the Week performance with a penalty in the second half.

I don’t know what it is about our blog, but we somehow manage to really get under the skin of fans of lower division soccer in Florida – specifically fans of the Jacksonville Armada and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. When we posted our articles on ranking the MLS expansion teams, it was always the Rowdies fans who were quick to leave a pleasant comment on reddit or tweet at us. When last week’s podcast came out, Armada fans were quick to take offense and berated the fashion choices of the RCS staff, amongst other things. Granted, we did say they were shit.

Why are they so quick to jump on the defensive? It’s not even limited to the realm of men’s soccer, I even saw some Pride fans saying some ungrateful things about our hospitality when they came to Cary in April. I was just in Florida – specifically just outside of Tampa – and I had a pleasant time. Chill out, Floridians. Go to the beach or something.

Speaking of beaches, NCFC is once again back on the road to Puerto Rico to play the Syracuse Orangeman/Carmelo Anthony FC. NCFC beat them last month 1-0 courtesy of a Steven Miller headed goal. Hopefully more than 200 people show up this time around, and the ESPN feed doesn’t crap out.

Players To Watch:

Yuma,Puerto Rico FC : In the last match against NCFC, Yuma choked Nazmi Albadawi with no consequence and was a general menace in the midfield. Let’s see if goes with the same strategy this match.

Matt Fondy, NCFC: Fondy scored on Wednesday and had a couple of assists.  Maybe Fondy will benefit from the confidence after sitting out the game against Jacksonville.

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 NCFC

North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars– 4:00 PM EST Sunday May 21, 2017

The Courage’s winning streak of four games in a row came to end on Sunday. The Orlando Pride beat the Courage 3-1 through goals by Chioma Ubogagu,  Jasmyne Spencer, and Camila, the second most-disliked Brazilian on the Pride. In the span of about  ten minutes, there were three goals scored and a red card. Courage Captain Abby Erceg had to hit the showers early when she picked up her second yellow, leaving the team in a bind. On the bright side, RCS favorite Debinha scored her second goal of the season.

But that’s okay because the Courage are still top of the table in the NWSL heading into this weekend’s game against the Chicago Red Stars. The Red Stars are middle of the table with seven points – five off the Courage.  They are currently winless against teams that the Courage have beaten this season (Portland and Boston).

Predicted Outcome: 2-1 Courage

Song of the Week


Beer of the Week

JP indulging in the Beer of the Week

I will be journeying down to Texas next week, so Fitz will have to fill in for me for next week’s Prematch Report. For this reason, the Beer of the Week will be Lone Star tall boys. But don’t worry, I’ll be back soon. Time is a flat circle, after all.


Question of the Week

Kurt Russell is having kind of renaissance of late. What’s the best Kurt Russell movie? – Steve

I’ve actually thought about this recently when I saw this this article. Between Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Fast & Furious 37, he will probably be involved in two box office smashes this summer. If you look at his filmography, he’s been in some good ones (Escape from New York, Backdraft, Tombstone) and some bad (Tango & Cash, Captain Ron). The best Kurt Russel movie is The Thing. Hands down.

That opinion is obviously not ground breaking or anything, but I think people don’t realize how awesome The Thing is. I recently watched it on Blu-Ray and I was still transfixed and entertained, even though I had seen it about four or five times before. Russell is an absolute badass in it as well. He wears a cowboy hat AND wields a flamethrower. You can’t top that.