International Soccer Network

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USWNT Routs Russia in 8-0 Victory

After letting Atlanta thaw from another major winter storm, the United States women’s team defeated Russia 8-0, Thursday night in front of 15,133 fans at the Georgia Dome. Scorers for the U.S. included Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, and Christen Press, with a goal each and were assisted with a pair of Russian own goals.

“The first half was more difficult in this game,” U.S. women’s national team head coach Tom Sermanni said if the match. “Two days stuck up in the hotel and we looked a little bit rusty. Russia had done their homework from the last game. The difference in the game was the two early goals in the second half and that opened up the game.”

Even though it was a delayed a day after Atlanta received major snow, fans still came out in full force and the game received the largest crowd for a friendly match in the state of Georgia. The United States dominated the score sheet, collecting 24 (17 on goal) shots, eight corners, and did not allow the Russians to get one of their four shots on net.

“Any team you want players to score goals, and if you look at last year, we had multiple players scoring multiple goals. It’s great when you have a team that scores goals, that’s how you win games,” the manager added.

The U.S. defeated the Russians the Saturday previous, as they demolished them 7-0 in Florida. Thursday night’s win moved the unbeaten streak to 42 games, and now are just nine away from tying their record set from December 2004 through September 2007.

“It’s not just the midfield, but we also have defenders that are able to get forward and get goals,” Sermanni said of the Americans being able to get a variety of their players on the scoring sheet.

The Americans would strike first, albeit from a Russian defender, but led 1-0 in the 12th minute. Whitney Engen took a shot from the left side that rattled off the near post. The fortuitous bounce knocked of the unsuspected defender’s shin and crossed the line for the own goal; that being the only goal of the half.
Whatever Sermanni said at the halftime break worked, as the U.S. pushed across three goals in a matter of ten minutes after the half.

“We talked about a couple of things at halftime,” Sermanni said. “We looked to stretch the Russians a little but more and we wanted to get behind them more. We started to do that and those two early goals, that’s what made the difference.”

Right after the halftime whistle, the Americans received another goal from Russia. Bad defending from an American cross saw the ball in the back of their own net again and USA led 2-0 at the 50th minute.

USA finally scored their first goal of the match as Amy Rodriguez put in a gorgeous scissor kick in the box as Heather O’Reilly provided the cross and led 3-0 just two minutes after the second own goal.

“I was really excited for tonight’s game,” Rodriguez exclaimed. “It was my first start back as a mom, my first game in about a year. We were looking for another win against Russia, I was really happy with the result.”

Goal number four was Abby Wambach’s 165th career and her assist came from Rapinoe in the 54th minute.

The lead swelled to five as the Americans played a well-organized play as Rodriguez played a short ball back to Morgan Brian. Brian took a long left-footed shot from outside of the box, with Rapinoe deflecting it with her head into the back of the Russian’s net. The Americans led 5-0 in the 65th minute and were cruising.

“We’re a 90 minute team, and we’ve shown that time and time again,” Sydney Leroux said of the match. “They got us for the first 45, but we wanted to compete in stride.”

Lauren Holiday added a penalty in the 80th minute as she took her own pk after she was brought down in the box. USA led 6-0. O’Reilly scored her first in the 83, as she had a quick tap in that came off the head of Christen Press, which came from a U.S. cross, as the Americans matched their seven goal tally from the weekend.

Not to be out done, Press added her first; as she dribbled through the box and put the right footed shot perfectly into the corner, giving the Americans an 8-0 lead with five minutes to go.

The United States will now head to Portugal for the Algarve Cup, where they will play Japan, Sweden, and Denmark in opening round play.

Living the Awesome Soccer Dream: Finding the Next Marta

Everyone agrees that Brazil’s Marta is among the greatest players in the history of women’s soccer.  What everyone can’t agree on is quite simple: Who is the next Marta? We’re talking about a player that is the best at every level, whether playing for club or country.  We’re talking about a player that can inspire a whole generation of female footballers.

Photo Courtesy of the Mujic Family

To find this special player and “the next big thing,” we have to travel to Malibu, California to see a soccer prodigy named Frankie Mujic.  She is America’s best shot at being the next Marta.

Frankie is not your typical 14-year-old for a lot of reasons.  The biggest reason is that she is poised to become the youngest player in Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) history.  This is quite a feat considering that that league’s alumni already includes U.S. Women’s National Team greats like Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, Heather O’Reilly, Alex Morgan, and Julie Foudy.

This summer is going to be an exciting time for the young striker.  She will be taking the field as a member of Del Rey City SC, a top-flight operation in both the WPSL and National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

“It’s a dream of mine to play professional soccer.  Now I’m a step closer to that dream. I can’t wait. It’s going to be amazing.”

This isn’t just any player; Frankie is a mature and creative, attacking player that is further along in her game than players five years her senior.

Photo Courtesy of the Mujic Family

There are even more things to like about her as a player and person.  She’s not selfish. She is an incredible teammate. She is a student of the game.  She is the complete package in terms of skill set; she is a technical, thoughtful, and confident playmaker.  And most of all she lives and breathes soccer.

“Soccer is a lifestyle.  It’s everything I’ve done and it’s everything I’m going to do.”

As you can see she lives and breathes the game, constantly watching games from around the world and talking soccer with anyone who will listen.  You can say that the beautiful game is a family tradition with her father and maternal grandfather both being former pros.  Her father Edi played in Germany with Mainz 05, TuS Medenbach, and SV Wiesbaden as well as HNK Sibenik in Croatia.  Her grandfather played with Portsmouth in England and also is one of the lucky ones to have played with Pelé in Brazil.

Frankie has an incredible knowledge of the game and counts Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and of course Marta among her favorites.

“Real Madrid is a great team that plays well together.  Ronaldo is not the whole team; he wouldn’t be anything without his teammates. Ronaldinho is just amazing and Marta is a girl that plays like a guy.”

Photo Courtesy of the Mujic Family

This is certainly not a bad list of players to idolize or emulate.  And she likely will be joining them in the professional and national team ranks.  She hopes to be play professionally, hopefully in a country like Sweden (again like Marta), in addition to seeing time with the U.S.national team.  That is certainly a possibility as she is already being watched closely by national team and foreign scouts.

For her father, this is an exciting opportunity, one that she has been waiting for since she was very young.  He recalls her stepping on the pitch at the age of seven or eight and everything stopping for her.  She was completely absorbed by the game and entranced by the feeling of freedom on the field.

“When she walks onto the field, it’s the liberation of her soul,” Edi Mujic stated.   “For her, it is not a game.  She brings poetry to the field and makes sense of the beautiful game.”

Her mother Maxine Mujic, a successful actress for many years, was quick to agree.

“When I see a game played beautifully, it’s like a ballet.”

And her daughter is the star of the show (or pitch in this case).  Who knows what Frankie is capable of?

Frankie certainly knows.  When asked about her future in the game, she simply replied, “People are going to know who I am.”

We certainly believe that is going to be the case and we are excited to see what she becomes.  Maybe the next Marta is right in our own backyard.

Awesome Soccer believes and invests in American soccer. Awesome Soccer is helping to build and popularize American soccer throughout the United States and the world. Awesome Soccer builds and manages soccer clubs, helps others to build and manage their own at the local level, and develops software to promote and manage soccer leagues, clubs, and teams. Awesome Soccer’s Del Rey City SC (DRCSC) in Marina del Rey, California competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Their club FC Playa Vista (FCPV) is a highly competitive recreational team, and their club LA City F.C. is building its path in Los Angeles. It’s not Awesome, it’s Awesome Soccer! Visit

U.S. Women’s National Team Rolls to 7-0 Victory Against Russia in Boca Raton, FL

Led by two-goal efforts from midfielder Carli Lloyd and forward Christen Press, the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Russia 7-0 at FAU Stadium in the first meeting of a two-game set.

Midfielder Heather O’Reilly and forward Sydney Leroux also supplied a goal each and world goal scoring record holder Abby Wambach tallied the 164th of her career in the second half.

The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak at home to 79 games (69-0-10) and extended its unbeaten streak overall to 41 games (35-0-6), dating back to March of 2012.

The USA and Russia square off again on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be live on Fans can also follow the U.S. WNT on Twitter@ussoccer_wnt.

The Americans thoroughly controlled the run of play against Russia, dominating possession from the start, and opened the scoring deluge in the 29th minute.

Lloyd, who missed the USA’s 1-0 victory against Canada on Jan. 31 while serving a red card suspension, beautifully split a pair of Russia defenders on the dribble to give herself a free look at goal. She then blasted her shot past Russia goalkeeper Elvira Todua and into the upper right corner for a 1-0 lead. Lloyd was set up by O’Reilly, who terrorized the right flank before exiting the game for Florida native Erika Tymrak in the 68th minute. The assist was the 48th of O’Reilly’s career, passing Carin Gabarra for sole possession of seventh place all-time.

In the 32nd minute, O’Reilly found herself in the right place when a cross from the left deflected off of Russia left back Marina Pushkareva and ricocheted to the U.S. midfielder. O’Reilly blasted her shot into the upper right corner for a 2-0 advantage and her 38th-career goal.

With O’Reilly’s early dominance, Russia head coach Sergey Lavrentyev was forced to replace left back Pushkareva with Elena Medved after little more than 30 minutes.

The move did nothing to slow the U.S. attack, and in the 37th minute Lloyd scored one of her signature blasts from distance. After bringing down a Stephanie Cox pass from the left side with her chest, Lloyd dribbled laterally until she found some space for her world-class right foot. With a strike reminiscent of her game-winner against France at the 2012 Olympics, she drilled her shot into the upper left corner to make it 3-0 lead.

In the second half, the USA picked up right where it left off with Lloyd crossing from the left to find Press, who redirected the ball with her head past Todua in the 51st minute.

Leroux made it 5-0 just three minutes later as she thundered into the penalty area to latch on to a well-weighted slip pass from Lauren Holiday. While fighting off a defender, she lunged for the ball and cut her shot past Todua on the ground and inside left post. Holiday’s assist was the 27th of her career, passing Brandi Chastain for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time WNT assists list.

Press grabbed her second goal of the match and 10th of her young international career in the 58th minute after a corner kick bounced out to Ali Krieger at the top of the box. The right back’s shot smacked off the chest of the Russia goalkeeper and Press was first to the rebound to tap it home for a 6-0 lead.

U.S. WNT head coach Tom Sermanni replaced Leroux and Press with Amy Rodriguez and Wambach, respectively, in the 60th minute, and seven minutes later the fresh forward tandem connected for the final goal. Rodriguez supplied a nifty back heel pass to Wambach on the left side and she finished into the open net for the final margin.

Russia had to play the last 20 minutes or so with 10 players after defender Valentina Orlova took down Rodriguez on a breakaway and was shown a straight red card for being the last defender.

The seven-goal victory was the USA’s most lopsided win since a 7-0 rout of Mexico on Sept. 3, 2013, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Want to see the USWNT take on Russia in Atlanta? Leave a comment or retweet/share on social media for your chance to win tickets to see this great match on February 12 at the Georgia Dome. Even if you aren’t a winner you can still follow Robert Ivory’s live coverage of the match here on ISN!

Sarver Named 2013 ISN Coach of the Year

International Soccer Network, LLC is proud to announce Stark County native Keri Sarver as the 2013 ISN Coach of the Year Presented by Korrio.

Photo Credit

Sarver currently serves on the University of Akron women’s soccer staff in addition to her duties as the Director of Coaching at Internationals Soccer Club.

The Jackson HS graduate was a star player at every level, finishing her high school career as a Parade All-American and the school all-time and single-season record holder in goals, assists, and points.

Her collegiate career at the University of Maryland was that of legends, finishing as a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick and an All-American selection. Sarver helped the Terrapins to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and graduated holding the school record in every major offensive category. She was also named the University’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year and received the ACC’s James Weaver-Corrigan Award in addition to being selected for the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team.

Sarver is a player that has given back to the careers of so many thanks to a successful coaching career that has her placed among the nation’s best at the club, collegiate, and national team levels. Her work in the coaching field has been second to none.

The trophy case at Internationals SC is filled to the brim thanks to the work of Sarver and Zdravko Popovic. The club has captured more state championships than any club in Ohio North in addition to numerous regional and national titles, including eight Super Y-League championships. This hardware has helped Internationals become one of the most respected programs in the country.

Internationals SC are currently competing at the highest level of youth soccer through the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).  A majority of their players move on to some of the best athletic and academic institutions in the country.  In 2013 they had five players involved with U.S. Soccer national team camps from U-14 through U-23.

Under the expert tutelage of head coach Vernon Croft, Sarver has been a major player in the revitalization of the Akron women’s soccer program, showing her versatility and talent in the coaching field.

Sarver is also involved with shaping the careers of U.S. national team players as an assistant coach with the U-18 Women’s National Team in addition to serving as a U.S. Soccer National Scout and U.S. Soccer Market Training Center Liaison for the Ohio Market.  She will be part of theU.S.coaching staff at the Ten Nations Tournament inSpainthis March.

Sarver is just the second winner of the ISN Coach of the Year award, following AFC Cleveland head coach Andy Hoggarth, who won the award last year. The award is made possible by the support of Korrio, a cloud-based service for organizing youth sports.

About Korrio

Korrio unifies and amplifies the sports life of every athlete. Korrio provides the tools required for a contemporary sports experience and elevates the level at which sports are played by automating the things that get in the way — like registration/payment, team formation, rosters, scheduling, communication and web hosting. Korrio is easy, safe, integrated, and mobile. Korrio is transforming sports at every level for the 100 million+ Americans who participate. Visit, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

The Little Book of Gaelic Football (Review)

Cover Art Courtesy of the History Press

I have to be honest that my knowledge of Gaelic football was pretty limited until I stumbled upon the Skylight Financial Group NACB Gaelic Games this summer in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.  What I found was an exciting sport, one that provided a very unique experience for the spectators.

I sought out The Little Book of Gaelic Football by Andy Watters and Neil Loughran to learn more.  It turned out to be much more than just a little book, but rather a definitive guide to the game.  The sport’s history, important players, notable teams, even stadiums are discussed in enough detail to wet the appetite.

I gained an understanding and appreciation for the game thanks to this “little book.” It’s well worth the small investment to make the purchase.  Maybe you will have the same experience.  It’s certainly a strong possibility thanks to a book that is clear, concise, and above all entertaining and informative.