UCD 2 F91 Dudelange 2 1
UCD, or University College Dublin pulled off quite the upset in the opening round of the Europa League by beating a real live professional squad (albeit one from mighty. mighty Luxembourg)
Yes, the team is an actual college team of college boys. NO pros, or even semi-pros here. Think of an NCAA team say, Notre Dame or Providence playing the LA Galaxy or FC Orlando….or flying off to La Paz, Bolivia to play Club The Strongest.
UCD was not, by all rights, supposed to be playing in the Europa, let along advancing from the first round. University College Dublin was relegated from the Irish Premier League after the 2014 season. This season, they are are 3rd place in the League of Ireland’s 2nd tier. But…they qualified for the Europa League on the basis of their good sportsmanship in 2014. UEFA has a Fair Play League, where they tote up all the fouls, yellow cards and red cards over the season and the 4 teams with the least amount of those get automatic qualification for the Europa League 1st Qualifying Round. 2
A lot of sports pundits, who look like a right bunch of chumplins now, figured this shite team of college boys would would booted out by an aggregate of 10-1, much like the way La Fiorita got the boot by Vaduz3).
Instead, the negative punditry became bulletin board material in the UCD locker room. The lads played tough football in the opening round in Dublin and kept a clean sheet with a tenacious defense. But UCD didn’t park the bus, the played a fairly high line and attacked Dudelange and at the 45th, Ray Shaw scored what turned out to be the winner.
The Dudes were expecting a stroll through Belfield Park followed by a few pints. Instead, the College Boys taught them a stern sporting lesson. The away leg at was the toughest challenge UCD has ever faced. The final from Dudelange was Dudes 2 College Boys 1. But UCD moved on on away goal difference. And now, it’s time to separate the college boys from the men, or vice versa.
University College Dublin features such notable alumni as James Joyce and Archie Bunker a/k/a Carroll O’Connor, but I’m afraid their notable achievements and cultural patronage in the grand scheme will most likely be for naught at the end of the day.
Slovan Brataslava would have made a meal of Dudelange if they’d met in the 1st round. Instead, Slovan made a meal of Europa, from the mighty new UEFA nation of Gibraltar, by a 9-0 aggregate. [Europa finished 2nd in Gibraltar’s Premier Division behind the Lincoln Red Imps who are facing Danish club FC Midtjylland in their 2nd round tilt].
Slovan is taking UCD seriously. But UCD is a tough bunch of lads. They acquitted themselves well in the opening in Brataslava, but didn’t get that vital away goal. It would be amazing if they toppled Slovan in the return tilt at Dublin.
But I’m figuring it will more likely end in a noble defeat and a return to studies, pints, and girls. And not necessarily in that order.
Well, like a College Boy myself, I’m turning in this essay a bit late. No excuse, but all the usual excuses. So give me a B+ 4 Onward.
The upset of the decade, or the past week, was USA! USA!! USA!!! getting booted from the CONCACAF Gold Cup by the Reggae Boyz, thus screwing up all the evil machinations of a USA v Mexico final that everyone wanted.
Instead, it’s Jamaica who made the final. And they made it by actually beating a team fair and square, unlike Mexico who needed all kinds of help from the officials to make the final.
I don’t know what disgusts me more at the moment.
The spurious refereeing that helped Mexico snatch 2 undeserved victories from the jaws of defeat.
Or the absolute shameful and disgracefully stupid football USA played against Jamaica.
I’m going to be rooting for the Reggae Boyz to win the final on Sunday. I hope they dub it up blacker than dread!!
I was actually going to pad this post by about a thousand words by writing and raving making up all kinds of wild rumours and shit about all the Summer transfer window shenanigans in the Premier League, along with La Liga, The Bundesliga, and all the rest. I was figuring on having some entertaining and or vital insight on the weeks and days of speculation.
But I’m afraid I’ve got fuck all of nothing to add to the grand scheme of things here at the moment. After all sorts of childish and stupid mindgames and pronouncements from all sides, 19 year old Raheem Sterling spurns Liverpool for a the greener pasture of the blue side of Manchester….with too much £££ for a talent as young and in more ways than he realizes, unproven as his. Liverpool gets £49 million in return, and I’m sure they’ll find a way to piss it all away on a lot of nothing like they did when they sold Suarez.
Good luck with all that I guess.
So I’m 782 words short.
Ah fuck it. The Milwaukee Brewers traded Aramis Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league prospect Yhonathan Barrios.
Yeh, I don’t know either.
The Brewers will also pick up some of Ramirez’s salary.
Pittsburgh. What a place to retire to. 5
720 words short now. Close enough.
Oh well. It just wasn’t meant to be. Our lads from Dublin went down to defeat today by more of the expected scoreline.
After going down 0-2, Ryan Swan pulled one back at the 57th minute.
But despite giving it the old college try 6, it’s back to the books, the girls, and the pints.
As me, well…I’ll go for a pint.
- UCD wins on away goal differential
- West Ham United, from the EPL qualified via this route. Amazing!! Big Sam’s”direct football” and all, and the Hammers actually played fair!!
- The mighty team from Leichtenstein who plays it’s football in Switzerland’s Super League with the likes of Basel, Grasshoppers, and Young Boys.
- My Russian History professor in college would drop you one full grade if you turned in a paper so much as 10 minutes late. Needless to say a got a B+ on my paper on Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky.
- Nothing against Pittsburgh at all really. Honest. The rumour prior to this trade was that Ramirez would go to Arizona.
- Pun intended, of COURSE!