Saturday, June 25, 2011

League of Ireland's Champions League and Europa Leagues competition

teenage sensation Murphy of Bray Wanders
            Let me say this before you ready my remarks. I do not view the League of Ireland games at all. I have become interested in the League after becoming a fan of the Irish International team. The international team has had a lot of media attention lately that has captured my attention. Ireland went out and obtained the famous Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni in 2008. “Traps” has the national team trying to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012 and has them in good form. Not only does he have the team believing in themselves he has many of us fans believing that he can do it also. The qualifying competition has keep a favorable spotlight on the national team.
            After reading all about the national team I became interested in the League of Ireland. To my surprise the League of Ireland does not have anywhere near the following the national team has. The main reason is most Irish follow a club in the English Premier League. The EPL is continuously broadcast throughout Ireland. The EPL dominated the soccer sports coverage in Ireland. Even Irish newspapers cover the EPL much more that the League of Ireland. The feeling is you can watch the best players in the World on TV, in the pubs or even go across the Irish Sea to attend EPL games. The League of Ireland can not compete against the media attention the EPL gets. Also the League of Ireland clubs does not have the financial resources to compete against the EPL or other European Leagues. The League of Ireland can not keep their young stars of the future. In the states for example a (American football), fans get to see many players develop into supers stars like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Fans are not only attached to the team but also the players. Fans will buy the jersey of their favorite player and the connection is made. Even the MLS drafts college eligible players and the clubs fans get to watch the progress of their young players develop. The League of Ireland does not have this benefit. Young stars like the current teen age sensation Conor Murphy of the Bray Wanders will soon sign outside of Ireland. Conor Murhpy could be a huge building block for the Bray Wanders Club but they will not be able to give him anywhere the $ he will make playing outside of Ireland. This will rob Bray Wander fans of future potential success in the league without this quality player. Most League of Ireland clubs suffer from this predicament.
            To combat this problem is to continue to develop Ireland young players and to do well in international competitions. The 2 main competitions I am talking about are the Champions League and the Europa League.

The Shamrock Rovers are the current League of Ireland Champions and they will represent the League in the Champions League. The Shamrock Rovers will be playing Estonia representative Flora Tallinn July 13th and July 20. It is important for the League of Ireland Champion to advance in this tournament. If the Shamrock Rovers advance they could be hosting a famous team like Roma or Lazio from Italy, Sevilla or Athletic Bibao from the Spanish League, or even their marketing competition from the English Premier League Totterham Hotspur or Birmingham. Playing these other top league clubs bring great exposure to the Irish league. Now if the Rovers could advance and beat the multi million clubs with multi million players……this would go a long way for the Irish League. It would prove to the Irish apathetic fans base that they quality clubs that are worth watching. Advancing in these international competitions throw light on your top teams and your league. Over the last 10 years the Irish clubs have done well. They have increased their league co-efficient from 41 in 1991 to 31 today. The co-efficient ranks your league against another European Leagues co-efficient. So as the argument/banter goes the Irish League is the “31 best” in Europe. The League of Ireland wants more exposure domestically and internationally and the Champions League and the Europa League will provide this badly needed exposure.

2011 UEFA Europa League  (St Patrick Athletic, Bohemians, Sligo Rovers)
The 3 other clubs from the league are the St Patrick Athletic, Bohemians, and Sligo Rovers. These 3 clubs will be playing in the 2011-12 Europa League. St Patrick will play in the first round which is the easiest round in the Europa League. They will play a home/away against Iceland’s representative IBV Vestmannaeyar. I am expecting St Patrick Athletic to advance here. St Patrick is currently on a 14 game unbeaten streak in the League and just jumped over the Shamrock Rovers for 1st place in the League of Ireland. They are in good form.
Bohemians were placed in the Second round since they were the #2 seed from Ireland. They will play the winner of Siroki Brijeg (Bosnia Herzegovina) and Olimpija Ljubjana(Slovenia). The Bohemians will do well if they can advance here. They started the season well but only have 3 wins in last 7 games. The are currently in 5th place out of 10.
The Sligo Rivers currently sit in 3rd place in the League. They are placed in the Third round and are awaiting their opponent. They qualified for the 3rd round since they are Irelands’s Cup winners. This round is very difficult to advance from. Of their last 9 games their only loss was to current 1st place club St Patrick Athletic.  

           These 4 teams will represent Ireland it the clubs competition. The League wants to build on it co-efficient ranking and gain more media attention. If the clubs do well in these international competitions more attention will be placed on the clubs, it’s players and the League in general. We will see just how far the League has advanced for last year.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rev's new addition Ryan Guy ...from St Patrick A.C.

Ryan Guy from St PArtick Athletic

            Ryan Guy is the newest member of the New England Revolution. The Revs are the team that I follow in MSL since I live in Boston. When the Rev suck they are hard to watch.,,,,and they suck now. I liked them when Taylor Twellman for a scoring force in the league. They also had Clint Dempsey and  Steve Rolston. The rev are a far cry from what they were 5 years ago.
         The revs need help all over the field. Ryan Guy will assist tem in this area.  Ryan Guy was born in San Diego and is 25 years old. He was selected in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft 22 overall. Ryan chose to go overseas to develop his game. He signed with St Patrick Athletic in 2007. He had breakthrough years in 2009 and 2010 seasons. He was chosen for the Airtricity League XI. The best 11 will played Manchester United at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This was a great accomplishment for Ryan in 2010.
            The move does not appear to be money. Ryan enjoyed his experience playing in the top Irish league. He was the starter for St Patrick that was in the fierce Dublin Dervies against I Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and Shelbourne but also other European teams in the Europa League. . “Over the last four years I've had the pleasure of seeing St Patricks Athletic play Premiership sides, host European giants, slay Swedish powerhouses, and travel to the far reaches of the continent.”
I think he got a little home sick and wanted to apply his trade in MLS. MLS has grown in the states over the last 10 years.  

“But, as it does for most footballers, the time has come for me to say my goodbyes. In all honesty, this last four years at
Richmond Park have been the best of my life.

“A return to good auld
America is on the cards for me now, leaving one family to be closer to another.”
 Ryan is a wide midfielder. He will challenge Sainey Nyassi and Zack Boggs on the right side. He can also play the left side where Chris Tierney has established himself.
          Ryan Guy will add dept and experience. “He is a guy who can play on either side, but he has played more on the right.,” Rev’s coach Steve Nicole said.  “He has some experience playing in Ireland. He’ll push guys.” A