Placentia, CA — This past weekend we were paired against Murrieta. The game began with a MW formation that We hoped expressed the boy’s skills more acutely, well it didn’t take long to reap dividends. Jadon down the right flank found the incomparable Blake who with the touch of a “Crack” (South American expression to describe a virtuoso of the beautiful game) beat two and served a Elijah who ensured are sidelines celebrated the ultimate expression the game has to offer in our first goal of the season. We have a very good side full of “Cracks”, but they play like islands and not as a team at times. My job was simply to put together all the work Reuben has done and make them play together. Around minute 12, Victor was the consummate player delivering a scorching shot to once again bring the sidelines to erupt in a frenzy of delight celebrating our second tally of the day. Not long after Max delivered a corner that once again Elijah found tempting and buried our third of the day. Around this time we injected another dose of pain for Murrieta with “Jojo” as #9. “Jojo” is a devastating player that continuous to gain experience in the club scene, wait till you see him at season’s end as he matures in the game. Our team had settled down by now and were gaining confidence with good passes and distribution. Ben playing as a #3 contained the opposition well and his transition to offense made him look like a seasoned professional. In midfield, Rome and Victor were a sight for sore eyes continually demolishing any build up by Murrieta and launching the attack. Up on top Max playing as a #11 was brilliant and his ball handling a delight to the senses. Blake playing the role of a #9 was a nightmare for the defense with his “Jogo bonito” in full display. Lastly, Elijah was a phantasm with burst of unbelievable speed playing as #7, sharing with Max a plethora of balls sent in deep into our opponents defensive third. Adrian as #4 was in control and Benny alert to occasional incursions into our side. Around minute 27th Max devastated his mark beating two and cutting inside to deliver a well placed blow for our fourth of the day. Around minute 30th Victor decided to show his skill and blew past his mark for his second goal of the day. I hear he is a better goalie than player, uhm… I am going to have to see this jewel in goal someday! The first half ended with our boys with a comfortable lead. The second half began with what we hoped was the same intensity as the first half. We had some incursions into our side, but they were quickly dissipated by Adrian, Ben and Jadon. At one point we thought it was going to be Murrieta’s opener, but they didn’t know Benny was sending the message “Not today”! Victor and Blake now comprised the midfield combining well and delivering impeccable touches up front. Around minute 32’ Jadon having disarmed the opposition served an incomparable ball to Elijah, who in turn served Max on the far post for Max second of the day, delightful to the senses. Around minute 36th a direct shot was awarded and Victor was determined to take. Outside of the 18 yard box the delivery was exact and exquisite beating the goalie up high, A brilliant placement. No doubt in my mind Victor meant to put it there. Luck is not for those with the Midas touch. Not long after Murrieta decided to go forward with all their might and cut through our well manned “WM” formation. Finding space Murrieta unload a tremendous shot that rang of the crossbar, very nice by Murrieta. A minute or so later Murrieta broke through again, but this time Adrian was impeccable disarming the forward and launching our attack. Adrian has poise, control and that innate ability to know when to step up. “Jojo” not wanting to let his colleagues take all the credit decided he was getting involved in all the action. Around minute 39th , “Jojo” entertained us with his “Jogo bonito” dancing through the defenders with the finesse of a Rudolf Nureyev interpreting Tchaikovsky’s Nutcrakers Suite. Just a minute or so later we had a break on Ben’s side, but Ben was overpowering and took the ball away with ease distributing to Adrian and on to Jadon for our attack. Rome came in to play alongside Blake in midfield determined as ever to deny the opposition the ball. Rome is a truly great defender and one of the best I have seen through my years. Rome is still playing with his instinctive nature and will be a name to be heard of in the future. With Blake and Victor in midfield I could not think of a better trio. “Jojo” again struck on a solo run around minute 41’ and minute 50. Delightful show by such a young man. Overall, we have been working on playing as a team instead of islands. I am reinforcing possession with a purpose and the fact the team is bigger than any one player. The boys are working hard and are getting to understand Rule #1. Regards, Al