Thursday, September 23, 2010

End of the season?

How did it get to be almost October and the end of the season already? Glad we have the playoffs to look forward to although it will be a little while longer before we discover our first opponent. It would be great to have a large crowd this Saturday for our final regular season game, even better if we get our revenge on St Louis.

I was surprised to see the Rowdies part company with Head Coach Paul Dalglish with two games still to play. No-one knows better than us how difficult that first season can be - it takes time to adjust to a new stadium, players, front office management, fans etc. not to mention the travel schedule. Not to boast, however, the wait-and-see/give-him-a-chance policy paid dividends for us. We've had a fantastic season, being in the top spots every week, scoring some amazing goals and seeing some wonderful football. Thank you Adrian.

Sorry for the gap in blogs by the way, I've been in Borneo with my kids, James and Nikki on an adventure holiday as a 21st birthday gift. We stayed with an Iban tribe in the middle of the jungle - they catch most of their food, gather fruits from the forest, keep chickens and pigs and generally lead a simple life. However, one subject we had no difficulty communicating with them about! They had been able to go to the nearest small town by boat and watch some of the World Cup so they knew all the big names - Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka. They had a trophy they had won playing against the team from the small town. Quite glad to see that instead of the other trophies their tribe used to collect - heads!

See you all on Saturday!


Friday, August 27, 2010

On the road

I am writing this from beautiful Portland - we had a relaxing day after the tension and excitement of last night's game. The Timbers fans create a great atmosphere, very recognizable to us Brits with singing and chanting. There were 12 of us, including Aztex director Mike Shultz and his wife Karen, director Gary Mellor and his son George over from the UK, friends and fans Tim and Lori Moran, Buck & 'T' Craig and Alliance/Chantico's Army members Chase Hoffman and Matthew Gray, resplendent in kilt and Aztex jersey. It was an action packed and, towards the end, tense game - apologies that the stream was so difficult to watch.
I won't do a match report, it's already been done but I was interested to see the match stats. Apparently, Portland had 13 shots on goal, seemed a bit of an exaggeration to me. I looked online at their overall total so far - 320 shots on goal with just 24 converted. The Aztex have had 281 with 41 converted, pretty much double their percentage. Maybe statisticians need a short lesson on what counts as a shot on goal - just a thought.

Today, we are in Seattle to watch the Sounders v Fire. We're really looking forward to taking in the atmosphere and learning from them how they have made it so successful. Phil, Mike and Gary have a meeting with the Sounders guys so should be interesting.

Then tomorrow, we take the train to Vancouver to join up with the Aztex again - a depleted squad but not depleted spirit. Lawrence Olum made the trip back to Austin along with Yordany, who still has some travel restrictions.

Excuse some of the tense changes in this blog report, didn't have time to finish one bit before we were moving on again!

Go Aztex!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Well, it seems we have been sadly neglecting the Aztex blog, apologies! It's been over a month but I know everyone keeps up with most of the news via the website, Facebook or Twitter.

It's great to be STILL top of the league with 2/3 of the season gone. I know the 'magic' playoff points total is 40 and it would be crazy to think we won't make it. Wish there was a bigger prize than bragging rights for if we finish as League Champions but heyho!

We have added to our player roster but lost some of our interns. Cody Poteat has returned to Nebraska - he's been training with Miguel and Sean so look out for Hastings College results this season. We will also lose our camp interns, Anna, Taylor, Mason, Ben and Amanii, at the end of this week - they have done a stellar job working alongside Brian Pederson and the players. We have had so many wonderful emails and phone calls praising the way the camps were run, how much the kids learned and how much fun they all had. I can't leave this section without mentioning Joe Levy - he has been running our merchandise store for us and doing an excellent job.

It's no secret that Phil has been at the USSF meeting today in New York - he's on his way home right now so I'm not exactly sure of all the facts yet and what he is allowed to divulge. There are always other sources to check out anyway ;-)

We'll be at Mr Tramps tomorrow for the game along with the Free Beer Movement and American Outlaws - should be fun.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nervous? Heck yes!

There are a couple of BIG games going on tomorrow and without going into all the possible permutations, let's just say both teams HAVE to win. It's no good relying on others to do the job for you so good luck to both teams - I'll be crossing everything. The office and Soccerettes will again be at Cuatros so hope to see you there!

Sorry to see the hosts South Africa bow out but not sorry to see the back of France - just my personal opinion by the way! Phil has Uruguay in the office sweep so he's pretty happy right now.

Good to see Jamie Watson make News 8 Athlete of the week and also to see a great article in the Daily Texan today - We had a reporter in the office today from the same newspaper to interview Max Griffin, he of the 'perfect' hat trick (one with his head and one with each foot) The players all signed the match ball for him and Coach Heath presented it to him. It's an impressive feat for someone in his rookie year - I'm sure there's more to come!

Good luck to the guys tonight as they take on Arizona Sahuaros in the second round of the US Open Cup.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Soccer Fest!

So, the big match up finally arrived and ended in the result that keeps the Rawlins house happy! It was great to see so many people at Cuatros, must have been 800/900 crammed in. What a contrast from even four years ago plus so much TV coverage. Times magazine had a World Cup special with some really interesting, in-depth articles including one entitled "Yes, Soccer Is America's Game" It begins:

"Please stop lecturing us. We know that it's called football everywhere else and that it's the global game, the beautiful game. Americans call it soccer because there's a perfectly great sport here already called football, one that is not inclined to surrender its moniker anytime soon. So don't get your football knickers in a twist about it." Read more here -

After the craziness of Cuatros, it was on to House Park - a disappointing result which I guess shows how far we have come as I felt they were probably the best team we have played so far. We have the Cup game this Tuesday which will see Adrian return to the bench. It seems to be a particularly harsh rule that the coach is not even allowed in the stadium. We have all seen Sir Alex sitting up in the stands now and again due to a 'misdemeanor' but he at least is allowed to be that close.

I have drawn Denmark in the Aztex World Cup draw - the first game is the Netherlands who have always been one of my favorites. There have been tales of Dutch dressing room bust-ups so John Nelms (ticket sales), prepare to be taken down! I hope a familiar face, Stoke City's very own Tommy Sorensen gets his opportunity to shine.

See you on Tuesday for the Open Cup game, 7.30 pm as usual.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Top of the League, who will be Top of the World?

Writing this the morning after our game against the Timbers, the Aztex sit top of the League and six points clear! I have been asked in several interviews over the past week what accounts for such a dramatic turnaround in fortunes from last year? I’ll do my best to answer the question.

Well, truth is we weren’t as bad last year as our record suggested. We were the dominant team on many games only to lose in the last few minutes or concede a late goal to give up a tie. We played good football and paid a high price for inexperience. This year, Adrian has rectified that, bringing in experienced players like Kevin Sakuda, Leonard Griffin, Jay Needham, Lawrence Olum and Lance Watson to add to our young talent. The combination, so far, has proved to be a winning one!
Winning also helps and right now the boys are playing with confidence and flying in training, long may that continue.

This week will test us. We have three of the best teams in the League at House Park, Puerto Rico, Portland and Vancouver coming to town. Last night’s game against Portland wasn’t pretty but sometimes during a 30 games season you have to dig-in and win a point when you aren’t playing at your best. We will have to be better to beat Vancouver but the boys will be ready.

Friday sees the beginning of the World Cup in South Africa and the fight for the World’s biggest prize. Who will be champions come July 11th? My personal bet is Spain; I think they have the talent and mental toughness to win it. Of course I would love to see England win it and I do believe that under Capello’s leadership they have really begun to believe in themselves, something I never thought they did under either McClaren or Eriksson. They should at least make the semi-finals.

More important though for me than who wins the Jules Rimet Trophy is how well the US team can do in South Africa? It is important for the further development of the game in this country that the US boys do well. If they can progress to the knockout stages and even to the final 8 then interest and excitement about the game here will mount. That can only be good for the game that we all love. So for that reason I am going to have dual loyalties over the next few weeks, shouting hard for both England and the USA.

Come out and watch the tournament with me, Kay, Coach Heath and the boys at one of our many watch parties.

Friday, May 21, 2010

First days in Austin

My name is Cody Poteat and I am originally from the great state of Nebraska. However recently I have joined the Aztex team as a Marketing and Communications intern. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from some very gifted people about the things it takes to have a prosperous and successful career in this field. This is exactly what I want to do with my life down the road so the chance to work with this great group of people was one that I felt I absolutely had to take.

It was exciting for me to get here after a long 14 hour trip. My dad was able to schedule a couple of meetings with clients in the area so I was fortunate o have him be able to travel with me. At first it seemed like we were making good time but then my dad decided it was necessary to stop every couple of hours so it really strung out the drive more than it had to be. Even with the long drive I was still able to use my excitement to get down to Austin as a jolt of energy for me to get me through the drive.

We hit the road Monday morning and arrived late Monday night. Thus, Tuesday was the first day I was actually able to waste a little time and just hang out in my new city. I also spent much of Tuesday getting myself moved into my new apartment and gathering the necessities for everyday living. The new apartment is a pretty nice little place. The backyard essentially consists of a pool, basketball court, and golf course so I certainly cannot complain!

Wednesday soon came and it was time for me to get focused and get to work. The morning was quite hectic. I couldn’t seem to find the office to save my life and I think I was lost in the city of Austin for about an hour and a half. That wasn’t even the worst of it! I was attempting to ramp onto a crowded street when some gentlemen was kind enough to let me in. I waved my hand out the window to signal “thank you” when suddenly my favorite watch began to dangle off the end of my hand. Sadly, the watch fell off my wrist and out onto the middle of the busy road. Seconds later it was crushed by a school bus traveling the same way as me.

I was pretty heartbroken over the ordeal and it really did not begin my first day of work very nicely. Through all the turmoil I was still excited to make it into the office that day. Finally I found it and it was a huge sigh of relief. Only about 45 minutes late, not a bad impression at all! My boss, Andrew Tanker, was extremely generous and understood the reason why I was late so he didn’t hold it against me too much. Throughout the day I was able to meet everyone associated with the club and was greeted by a friendly face from each of them.

That night was game night and everyone was buzzing with excitement over the big game. I arrived a few hours early to try and help set up in any way I could. The set up went rather smoothly with no major hiccups and I was anxious for the start of the game. People started pouring into the stands and that flood didn’t cease until almost 25 minutes into the game! It was awesome to see this many people be as excited about the sport that I love.

The game was very entertaining and a whole lot of fun to watch but right after is when the real grunt work began. Stats, stats, and more stats seemed to be my mindset for the night and that is pretty much what my main responsibility was. I was also given the liberty to write the game recap and update the website in order to make sure the fans were informed of the events that occurred within the game. After I accomplished my tasks, Andrew took me to the gathering place at Cuatros to meet the players and Aztex staff on more of a social level. This experience was exciting for me and I really cannot wait until the next home game against the Puerto Rico Islanders on June 5!

That was a basic recap of my first few days in Austin. I can only hope that there is more of where that came from. This experience is going to be a great one for me and I am absolutely stoked for the rest of the season. I hope that everyone who was able to make it to the last game is able to return June 5 when the Aztex take on the Islanders. The huge crowd supporting both the Aztex and the game of soccer in general is always a joy to see!

Go Aztex!