Gedion Zelalem Invited Into Germany’s U-18s – Will Packwood Scores 1st Goal – Andrija Novakovich Makes Reading FC Debut – Another Yank Into FA Cup Semis – USMNT U-17s Qualify For World Cup – Youngster Gaines To Wolfsburg On Trial – AJ Soares Injured –

It looks like Ze Germans are not giving up Gedion Zelalem without a fight.  Die Mannschaft have invited the Arsenal midfielder into their upcoming U-18 camp for a pair of friendlies.  Hopefully the 18 year old will turn them down again like he did the last time he was invited into their side.

Portsmouth FC crest 2008.pngVCheltenham Town FC logo.pngWill Packwood scored his first professional goal in a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth.  The 21 year old center half has made 2 straight starts since his loan to Cheltenham Town FC that have both ended in draws.  He was subbed out late in the second half after a knock to the head.  His manager said it was only precautionary and expects him to be back for the next match.
He opens his scoring account with a header at 0:36 of this highlight.

Badge of Bolton WanderersVBlue rampant lion above the word Millwall in blue letters.Tim Ream earned an assist when he played a spot-on, 50 yard ball leading to Reading’s opening goal in their 2-0 over Millwall.  The win put Bolton a full 10 points above the relegation zone so that just about ensures the Trotters place in the Championship next season.
Ream’s assist comes at 0:28 of the highlight below.

Reading FC.svgAfter impressing at both the U-18s and U-21s at Reading FC, Andrija Novakovich made his first team debut when he came on as a 86′ substitute on Saturday.  I don’t think we’ll see him as a fixture with the senior side as Reading’s manager was resting the majority of his regulars in anticipation of the FA Cup replay two days later.

FA Cup logo (2014).jpg  Bradford City AFC.pngVReading FC.svgIt turns out that resting his starters was effective as Reading ended Bradford City’s cinderella run in the oldest association football competition in the world on Monday.  Danny Williams and the Royals were too much for the League One side and cruised to a 3-0 victory advancing Reading to their first FA Cup semi-final since 1927.  They will take on Arsenal at Wembley next month.

Bradford City AFC.pngAnd since so many of us have Minor League Baseball roots, this is right up our alley!  I stumbled across these videos after watching Bradford City AFC in the FA Cup because I couldn’t figure out why the fans were singing a John Denver song.
During my search, I realized that the third tier club mirrors what we did in the minors by offering very reasonable ticket prices compared to the top 2 tiers in England.  The Bantams put together a very creative season ticket campaign by incorporating their passionate and very vocal fan base in the process.  Maybe I’m skewed by my love for the supporter songs, but I think these are just brilliant.
I’ve embedded my favorite ones below, but if you’d like to see them all, you can check them out here.

…and here’s the John Denver song I was talking about…

2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.png2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.pngWell, they didn’t make it easy, but our U-17s, by way of a penalty shootout, advanced through the CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the World Cup this summer in Chile.  After a 90′, scoreless draw with Jamaica, hey won 5-4 in the shootout.

crestFresh off the heels of that win, a member of the U-17s looks like he is heading to Germany.  17 year old winger Orrin McKinzie Gaines is rumored to be on his way to VfL Wolfsburg for a trial.

Viking Stavanger.pngThis poor guy!  After being submarined at Helles Verona by Rafa Marquez and after several trials, AJ Soares finally signed a contract with Viking FK in February.  Then, only a couple of weeks later, the defender suffered a knee injury and will miss about 2 months.

MLS logo (2014).pngIt’s quite obvious that the English Premier League has become quite popular here in America.  What you may not know is that for some reason, MLS is actually being aired in England this season and it looks like they’ve had a pretty decent showing.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Logo.pngShirt badge/Association crestVShirt badge/Association crestBreak up Bhutan!!!  Last week I told you about the little, eastern Himalayan country Bhutan who were dead last in the FIFA rankings.  After a 7 year losing streak, they beat Sri Lanka in their 2-legged World Cup qualifier 3-1 on aggregate, and now, they’re on a 2 match winning streak!



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