Fugly: Valhalla 2 O’Brien’s 2 (7-13-09)

It’s taking some time for Valhalla to come out of the fog of the Cup Championship it seems. 3 draws and a loss to start LAPL XV and plenty of bad play to go around.  Truthfully though, there’s been planty of good play as well. O’Brien’s was clearly outmatched but unlocking new ideas in the offensive zone seemed tough for Valhalla without the likes of Simone Totti and Mike Cowan.

With the super grudge match against Celtic coming up on Saturday, one can only hope the hard driving, raping and pillaging Vikings make an appearance. A solid win against the shamrocks could really jump start the season.

Payback!: Valhalla 2 Dinamo 3 (7-9-09)

With injuries and absenteeism mounting, game 3 of LAPL XV was another disappointing affair for the Vikings. This time it was Dinamo (truly a team of plumbers) who were gifted 3 tallies by shoddy defensive play and skipped off like they’d won the World Cup. Unfortunately, losing was what Valhalla deserved for missing so many opportunities and making so many errors. But what they didn’t deserve was the unbelievably poor sportsmanship of their opponents and the lackluster officiating courtesy of a ref that really belongs overseeing AYSO.

The LAPL is a great league: organized, private and sporting with a higher level of play than any other like league in the country but it rests on a balance. The balance is struck, whether one likes it or not, on the generally fair and consistent officiating of Alex Gorin.

As a caveat, Alex was recently asked by the NCAA to ref a private friendly between NCAA All stars and Inter Milan. Anyone that thinks he is not one of the best referees in the country should think on that. Of course, laziness may be another issue, but let’s face it, he knows the game.

Now if Valhalla could just get back to playing it at the level they’ve enjoyed recently…

Good Enough: Valhalla 2 Hollywood United 2 (6-21-09)

As it was 3 days ago against Avanti, Valhalla was severally hindered by injuries to their so called first XI. On the growing injured reserve list were Bove (ribs), Snell (ankle), Weaver (thigh), Jones (foot), Bartlett (acl) and O’Donnell (neck). In addition, Pearce, Kelly and Totti were not available for the game leaving Valhalla dependent on loyals Hom, Huss, Funke , Espinosa, Ongert and Wilborn as well as new recruits Ian Preikschat and John Cole.

Once again, the team the Vikings fielded gelled quickly, particularly the defense. Odin’s Boys opened the scoring with yet another great piece of work from Golden Boot hopeful Cowan. Hollywood equalized on a rare defensive breakdown but Ongert deftly one timed a strike past fading Hollywood star LaPaglia shortly afterward. Unfortunately, another scramble in Valhalla’s box (not that box Russo) brought the score even and there it stayed until the final whistle.

The Vikes spent many minutes on the back foot but in the end, it was a gutsy performance by a bunch of guys that just refused to quit. This group even had the mental fortitude to believe it was worthy of the win, putting their opponents under serious pressure in the final minutes.

Two games against last years #1 and #2 seeds to start the season and 2 satisfactory draws. Heads should be held high moving forward,Valhalla has emerged as a side with a depth not before seen but now clearly battle tested and ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

Georgian Court Man of the Match: George Russo

Honorable Mention: Johnny Huss, Jason Wilborn

LAPL XV Season Opener: Valhalla 3 Avanti 3 (6-18-09)

Avanti has now not beaten the Vikes in 3 games. Poor sods, they threw everything at Valhalla in the first half but missed almost all of it. From the sideline, Sir Alex Ferguson opined that the Persians should’ve been up 5 instead of 1 by the break. In years past, Valhalla heads would not have rallied, but times have changed and the weak are now strong. Valhalla stormed back to a 2-1 stance but Acanti equalised. With 2 minutes left, Cowan blasted in what in hockey terms would be called a ‘roof daddy’. However, the mercy of Alex Gorin reared it’s head and the final whistle was postponed just long enough for Avanti to tie it again and soon after the final whistle blew. Missing several starters to injury and having not played well, everyone on the good side agreed that this was a good result on the day.

Georgian Court Man of the Match: Mike Cowan


Valhalla placed 3rd in the  LAPL XIV regular season but were still hungry.

After handely beating the top 5 seeds in the runup to the playoffs as follows: vs Coyotes 5-4 / vs. Hollywood 5-3 / vs. Avanti 5-3 / vs Dinamo 5-nil, the vikings felt they were on a hot streak. This proved to be true just in time for the LAPL Cup Tournament. After a second round scare against Dinamo (3-3), Valhalla imposed it’s will on Avanti in a 2-nil gladiator fight semi-final and then met Coyotes in the final on June 11th. 1-nil to the good at halftime, Valhalla saw the finish line and dug in for the hardware that evaded them a year and a half previously. Victory was a sweet fruit and the team celebrated at sponsor Sonny Macleans after the champagne at the field.

There were smiles all round and real feeling of accomplishment but everyone agreed there was one more thing to do…

win the regular season crown.

LAPL XV awaits.

Valhalla 3 Penmar 1

Valhalla storm to another victory! The  Nordic gods dominated another game without putting up double figures on the scoreboard. Valhalla should have been 10 goals up by halftime, but missed a series of easy chances. The unfortunate news was that during one of his misses Peter Bartlett was knocked to the ground and fractured his left collar bone. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

The second half did not start well for Valhalla, conceding an early goal after gifting away possession to easily, but this sparked Valhalla into action. New signing Steve Marlet raced away to tie the score, a deft near post finished helped regain Valhalla’s composure. This was swiftly followed by a MacLeod belter from fully 2 yards out! Valhalla confirmed the win after Marlet skipped passed his defender to l slot an inch perfect pass to the on-rushing Michael Weaver  who duly obliged with a neat finish.

Valhalla keep their run going as they rise to third in the table.

Valhalla 4 Cloverfield 3

Despite the scoreline, Valhalla cruised to an easy victory.  After a rousing pre-game team talk on mutual respect from Coach Weaver, Valhalla stormed off to an early two goal lead. The passing was exquisite as teamwork prevailed. Billy Kelly opened the coring with a brave header, quickly followed by a composed finish from Mike Cowen. Valhalla had 90% of the possession but could not force any more goals in the first half. The players and coaches are still scratching their heads wondering how Pete Bartlett did not score with an open goal in front of him and 5 minutes of time to slot it home. He dragged his shot wide to gasps of astonishment! A lack of concentration in defense allowed Cloverfield to grab a goal just before half time, which made the scoreline closer than the actual game.

Valhalla started the second half with aplomb as Vladamir the magic one scoring two minutes into the half. Valhalla kept the pressure on with Mike Cowen scoring his second after Andrew Pearce found him open in the box with a deft chip across the field.  Unfortunately Valhalla took their foot of the peddle and allowed two late soft goals which gave Cloverfield a way back into the game. The final whistle came just in time and the Valhalla machine rolls on!

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