Monday, March 31, 2014

Four on the Fly

7-3 Win Propels Battle to Fourth Straight Victory to Start 2014

The final score certainly isn't flattering to Gold Coast, but it doesn't tell the true story of the game.  In what was a much more contested fixture than the final score indicates, Alamo City continued their early season assault on the table.  The pivotal point in the match came when Vicente Sanchez and Sal Zizzo went to work down in Colorado.  Both men put a brace together (with Zizzo finding Battle teammate Benny Feilhaber on one of his assists) to help propel Alamo City past Gold Coast.  On the heels of the double double, the engine that is Mauro Diaz continued to purr right along with another goal.  Also pitching in was Obafemi Martins with another assist.  The hot start continues in San Antonio and the stage is set for the first true test of the season next week as the Battle will play the other undefeated squad as they take on Spartans.

Freedom Cup update: The Battle hosted partner side Club Leon and walked away with a 7-2 victory to stay atop the Freedom Cup standings.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Week 4 - Gold Goast

A Trip to the Gold Coast 

The first three weeks of the 2014 BSL season have been quite good to Alamo City.  The offense has come out of the gate strong and the club has put in three quality performances.  Even with the entire roster looking to be contributing each week, the club has made some moves to try and capitalize on unforeseen movement with MLS rosters early in the season.  Gold Coast exploded during First Kick but has been rather quiet the past two weeks.  Usually that means Alamo City is in for a rough week.  With the performance of the roster so far, the Battle will be expecting nothing short of another three points.  

It will be a tough test this weekend as the match doubles of game three of the Freedom Cup.  Alamo City will face their new partner organization, Club Leon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Alamo City releases Cristian (DCU) and signs Harrison Shipp (CHI).

Second to None - Battle Shutdown Second City

3-0 Victory Puts Battle at a Perfect 3-0-0 to Start the Season

It was the wily veteran, Vicente Sanchez, that got things going for Alamo City this week.  In a dreadful round of scoring for the entire league, the Battle still managed to find more than enough to gain their third straight victory to open the 2014 campaign.  As the minutes trudged along, Mauro Diaz continued his wonderful start before Obafemi Martins put the final touches on the match.  While not on the official score sheet, David Ousted did keep a clean sheet this week.

In roster moves, Alamo City released Tony Cascio/Alvaro Rey to make room form the newly signed Leonardo Fernadez/Daigo Kobayashi.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Alamo City releases Alvaro Rey - Tony Cascio and signs Leonardo Fernandez (PHI) - Daigo Kobayashi (NER)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Week 3 - Second City

Battle Look to Keep Hot Start Going Against Second City 

"The way it's worked in the past, is that they're ripe to kick our ass."  That was the take away line from Friday's press conference with Alamo City management.  Second City has a couple of injury concerns, one out with a red card suspension, and another out due to the schedule.  Toss on top of that, that two guys they figured would be regular contributors have been anything but ... and you're looking at a recipe for disaster for Alamo City if they can't stay on the ball.  It always makes you lose a little sleep when your opponent has a player that can beat you all by himself, and Second City has one of those players.  The Battle though, have every reason to be feeling good about the match this weekend.  With the entirety of the lineup producing so far this season, there's every reason to believe it'll take more than just one man to bring the Battle down.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Small Measures Part 2

Henry Captains Club to 7-3 Win in First Outing of the Season

In another small measure of revenge from last season, the Alamo City Battle sent a pretty strong message to Orange County and the BSL.  "Oh, it is game on," said club vice captain Gaston Fernandez.  After slotting home another late goal the playmaker joins Luis Robles as the first Battle players to record multiple points on the season.  Joining Fernandez and Robles on the score sheet this week were FIVE other players (including captain Thierry Henry) making it two for two on the season with the scoring distributed up and down the line up.  "It is exactly how we want to play," stated Henry.  "Most of us are either first line attackers or playmakers.  It is all in the design and the approach this season.  We expect that any number of us can score any week."  So far so good for the Battle.  While both Fernandez and Robles have scored in both matches thus far, each individual score in both matches has been by a separate player.  If the Battle can keep up this kind of distribution and consistency, people had better watch out.

Freedom Cup Update: In the opening match of the Freedom Cup (last week) the Battle beat Lanus (coached by former player Guillermo Barros-Schellotto) by a score of 5-2.  The second match took place this weekend with Lanus beating Club Leon 1-0.

TRANSACTIONS:  The Alamo City Battle have officially released Olmes Garcia (the club's 2014 retention player) and Dilly Duka to make way for the signings of Sal Zizzo and Luke Mulholland. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Match 2 VS Orange County

Club Talisman - Henry - Ready to Lead Battle Into Week 2 Match Up

"The season is long, and the approach is geared to best facilitate winning.  We felt it was best that I stayed out of the first match.  We didn't like it, but it was the smart move.  Now, I'm a bit extra motivated as I'm getting a late start ... and well, the opponent certainly doesn't hurt my motivation."

Those were the words of Thierry Henry at the press conference Friday morning.  Having sat out the first week, the club captain has been itching to put on the new kit and step onto the field for the Battle.  Last week he stood with the owners in the visiting suite and watched as his teammates, new and old, put five on the board to defeat the defending BSL Champions at their place.  So naturally, after facing the defending champions, it is only fitting that the next opponent to open the season is the only other team to beat the Battle last season (and the only team do beat them during the regular season, sweeping the season series).  It is a long and familiar road for Alamo City but the pressure cooker has just continued to turn out diamonds as far as the Battle are concerned.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Magic Mauro Leads Battle To Win on First Kick

Midfield Maestro Strikes Golazo Free Kick to Spark Battle

Featured Match, First Kick, Clash of the Champions, a full 90 struggle, and it was all just week one of the 2014 BSL season.  In the showcase match on first kick weekend, Mauro Diaz put in a masterful performance to guide the Alamo City Battle to the full three points against defending BSL Cup Champion Burud Town.  The match was back and forth as both clubs came out swinging to try and get a leg up.  With Burud Town looking to take control of the match behind their duo from Vancouver, Diaz stepped up to the plate and made sure that didn't happen.  The rest of the club followed suit and, just like last season, the entire roster proved to be a threat.  The match ended 5-4 in favor of the Battle.  The club saw five different players on the score sheet.  This is becoming a familiar scene in Alamo City box scores, and it's by design.

With usual team captain Thierry Henry held out due to the playing surface in Vancouver, it was already on the rest of the roster to step up in week one.  Not a problem and it was never going to be if you had paid attention to the Alamo City off-season and draft.  It was all calculated from the get go and the roster performed magically.

Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Preview - First Kick

Alamo City 2014 Season Preview

It starts where it ended.  Alamo City will be in the First Kick featured match against defending BSL Championship side Burud Town.  The Stags ended the 2013 BSL campaign for Alamo City last year and has owned the historical match up.  That's just the way it seems to go for the Battle.

With a bucketful of records set last season, and a trophy case full of accomplishments, the Battle will look to capture the one thing that they didn't last season.  The aim for 2014 is quite simple.  Win the BSL Cup.  Win the league.  Leave no doubt.  The roster assembled for the 2014 season reflects the club's ambition to do just that.  Led by the talisman Theirry Henry there is a slew of playmakers, difference makers, and potential superstars ready to defend the legacy of the 2013 Battle.  It is a lofty perch but the club is more than up to the task.  The season ahead promises to be unforgettable.


First and foremost the club will attack the Bigtime Soccer League.  This is the point.  This is the goal.  Bringing home the BSL Cup and claiming the league championship is the ultimate prize and it's the reason this club exists.  It won't be easy as the league has proven to be as competitive as any league in the world.  From the savvy group of original members (Union, Gateway, Capital District, Alamo City), to the new blood that has proven to be every bit worthy of the title (Rose City, Orange County), to the clubs that have staked a claim in the league (Burud Town, Second City, Gold Coast), to the clubs searching for a league identity (Spartans, Pennsylvania), and on down to the expansion franchise (Ohio) the entirety of the league is looking to make a name at the expense of everyone else.  

Alamo City management was polled after the draft and felt the top title contending clubs (not allowed to name themselves in any voting) were: Capital District, Gateway, and Rose City.

The Honors Trophy

It is the reward for being the best club through the season and gives you the top seed in the playoffs.  Alamo City captured it last season before being upset by eventual champion Burud Town.  The season is a grind and it takes a bucketful of variables falling perfectly to finish at the top of the table.

Alamo City feels the clubs most likely to take the trophy are: Gateway, Capital District, and Second City.

The Majors Cup

Two time defending champion Alamo City has no intention of letting this cup find a new home.  The BSL clubs have made this their own by winning all but the inaugural event.  Strong play throughout the season is crucial but it is especially important to finish strong as the second half of the season qualifies you for the competition.  Every season someone you wouldn't figure would, makes a run and gets in.  It is great incentive to clubs to keep fighting and play spoiler along the way.

Alamo City management feels the clubs that are geared for second half runs to the Majors Cup are:  Ohio, Second City, and Burud Town.

The Founder's Cup

It's the cup for the remaining founding members of the BSL.  All four clubs have massive amounts of respect for each other as they laid the foundation and built the league together.  

Alamo City thinks that the favorite to win it this season is: Capital District

The BSL Classic and Brass Cannon

The Classic is contested with Capital District and for the first time Alamo City claimed it last season.  Last season the Battle also claimed the Brass Cannon (2nd consecutive) by beating out fellow Texas clubs FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo.

As these are rivalry competitions there is no prediction.

The Freedom Cup

This season's iteration sees the inclusion of Lanus from Argentina, Flamengo from Brazil, and Club Leon of Liga MX (Alamo City's official partner club).  This competition has seen Liga MX clubs, Russian Premier clubs, and Allsvenskan clubs in the past.  For the first time the competition will have multiple leagues represented and Alamo City is hoping that this season will set the format going forward.

2014 BSL First Kick

As was stated earlier, Alamo City will kick off the 2014 season in the BSL Match of the Week.  The Battle will start their quest to claim another Honors Trophy along the way to a BSL Cup by trying to get three points from the defending champions.  Burud Town is a hot button around San Antonio right now and kicking the season off with a win would really improve the mood.  

"Of course we took time during the off-season to appreciate and enjoy what we were able to accomplish," said club mainstay Theirry Henry.  "What this does though, is remind us that for all we were able to do ... there is still something left undone.  It is the greatest motivation.  The one that got away last season was the one that matters most.  We have some key players back and we've added some significant talent.  Now we need to finish what we started."

There would be no better way to do that than to make a statement against the defending BSL champions.

Week 1 Lineup:

Theirry Henry
Obafemi Martins (C)
Gaston Fernandez (VC)
Mauro Diaz
Jairo Arrieta
Benny Feilhaber
Kekuta Manneh
Dilly Duka
Tony Cascio
Christian Fernandez

Luis Robles

Olmes Garcia
Vicente Sanchez
Alvaro Rey

David Ousted

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Draft - Offseason Review

Draft Complete - Battle Come Out of Offseason Swinging

For obvious reasons the Alamo City Soccer Club wanted to bring back as many players from their 2013 squad as they possibly could.  Henry, Martins, and Garcia were held on too by way of the DP and Retention player mechanisms.  In the draft the club was able to snag Mauro Diaz, David Ousted, and Luis Robles to bring the total to 6 players that suited up at one point last season.  While the opportunity for an additional 1st round pick (2nd overall) was enticing enough to allow the club to part ways with 2013 team MVP Diego Fagundez, it wasn't without heavy deliberation that the move was made.  In the end, having the selection of anyone they had on their draft board was worth the swap.  It ended up being a telling sign, for as the off-season and draft played out, the club ended up making several more trade offs.

With only being able to swing the one deal before the draft, the club aimed at taking a mix of ability, potential, and placement when selecting the players for the 2014 season.  Eyeing the names on the roster for this season shows that that is exactly what the club was able to do ... select a very dangerous and potentially lethal combination of scorers.

Gaston Fernandez - The Argentine attacking player is able to play across the entire FWD line as well as a second ST if needed.  His versatility is the perfect fit for the pacey, attacking style in Portland.  Alamo City loves the fact that he will literally be everywhere.

Mauro Diaz - The young playmaker proved to be worth the transfer battle last season.  This season, he's been given the keys to the Dallas attack and Alamo City looks to reap the benefits.

Vicente Sanchez - The veteran weapon quickly acclimated to MLS/BSL play last season and promptly elevated the Colorado attack.  With young, talented offensive players at his disposal Sanchez looks to facilitate many a goal this season.

Jairo Arrieta - Higuain is the name that pops out when you look at the Crew attack, but it is Arrieta that is the point man.  A new coach and a new focus should make Arrieta the target.

Benny Feilhaber - He slumped a bit last season but the USMNT World Cup veteran has given glimpses of being every bit the threat he was in 2010 with the national team and 2011 in his return to the MLS.  Finally on solid ground and with the #10 shirt in SKC, he's poised to explode.

Kekatu Mennah - 764m and 8pts ... that pretty much sums it up.  Explosive, dynamic, and all the upside in the world.  Carl Robinson has stated he's going to let Mennah run wild, and that suits the Battle just fine.

Dilly Duka - A bit speculative has Duka is still raw, but the skill is there.  Chicago floundered until 'Highlander' Mike Magee showed up.  When he did though, Duka was a bit more free and had a skilled player to link up with.  If Magee continues his form and Chicago can find a regular forward it will be Duka that sees the most positive outcome.

Tony Cascio - All this kid has done, is show he deserves to be starting on the front line.  For whatever reason (and a niggling injury last season) he hasn't, but Houston has looked to resolve this issue.  In a three wide attack up front, the Dynamo found exactly what they needed in Cascio and Alamo City is going to hold on for the ride.

Cristian Fernandez - A veteran with both experience and an attacking mind coming out of the back line ?  DCU needs just that and so do the Battle.  Fernandez will be relied upon to overlap and create more attacking options and Alamo City believes he'll get it done.

Alvaro Rey - Quietly, Rey has remained the constant in the remake of the TFC line up.  A solid, dependable player that provides quality outside play ?  Yes please.  Of course, the additions that TFC has put into place will only benefit Rey as last season there wasn't anyone to take advantage of the chances he created.

Luis Robles - Alamo City knew he was good but a better opportunity found the club while Robles and the NYRB back line figured each other out.  Robles ended the season playing like the guy the Battle knew he could be.  This season he's here from the get go and looks to continue to shine.

David Ousted - The heir to the 'Resident Super Scandinavian GK' in the MLS, Ousted showed last season that he has all the tools and ability to play to the level that Alamo City Battle GK(R) Jimmy Neilsen did.

Offseason thoughts around the league:

- The move of the offseason went to Gateway United.  Finding a way to hold on to Federico Higuain was simply brilliant.  Donovan won't be as consistently available this season and will need to be rested.  Federico will be the key to their season.

- The best pre-draft trade went to Burud Town.  A 2nd rounder landed Tim Cahill ?  World Cup absence be damned, Cahill is a top 10 player in the league and getting him for a 2nd rounder is just stupid good business.

- The best draft picks went to Second City/Capital District - In round 4 Second City snagged Luyindula which was the player on the radar for Alamo City.  That scenario played out again in round 6 when Capital District took Omar Cummings.  Both of these players were on Alamo City's 'breakout' watch list and both are steals in these slots.

- The biggest leap in the draft goes to Pennsylvania - The first pick of round 2 saw the Stoners take newly signed ST Rob Friend of the Galaxy.  It's not that he doesn't have the talent and doesn't warrant the pick.  His situation in LA might lend to limited impact in the BSL.  That makes taking him with the 13th overall pick a bit of a stretch.