Jade Tree United 2008/2009 Season Wrap Up

With a record of 1-9-0, and finishing at the bottom of the division in tenth place, Wilmington’s Jade Tree United completed the 2008/2009 New Castle County Division D Indoor soccer season with its worst run in five years.

Manager Darren Walters shouldered much of the blame in a post-season press conference held earlier this week. "I was ill-prepared for the task at hand this season. Many of the teams in our division spent aggressively in the transfer window and brought in what I consider to be "ringers", talented players who clearly should have been playing in divisions higher than ours. There was no way that Jade Tree could keep up playing against teams stacked with such players and I flatly refuse to buy a title. I would rather lose with my devoted men than win with a group of heartless, highly paid individuals."

Amid rumors that JTU’s owners, Jade Tree International, Inc, were looking to sell the club, player unrest and declining attendance at matches, the team continued to struggle on and off of the pitch. Said Walters, "The state of our Talley Day Park training facilities and the continued rumors concerning the sale of the club and certain key players only added to our dismal season." But Walters was quick to add, "That being said, our players played their best and I have the highest regard for them. They have the most heart of any team in the league and they never let me down-ever. I’m proud of them and happy to lead them into battle any day."

Only time will tell if Walters will survive to see another season as manager. However, if Walters has his way, it’s clear by his remarks that he isn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.

The details of the rest of the Jade Tree United matches may be found below, followed by season statistics and awards.

Match Day 8: February 15, 2009
Jade Tree United vs. Bolts

Final: 14-5

Goals: Alvarez (3), Emge (4), Lord (2), Milne (5)
Fouls: 0

Match Day 9: March 5, 2009
Threat Crew vs. Jade Tree United

Final: 5-10

Goals: DiGregorio (1), Emge (4)
Fouls: 0

Match Day 10: March 8, 2009
DC Holy Cross vs. Jade Tree United

Final: 13-3

Goals: Alvarez (1), Emge (1), Lord (1)
Fouls: Lord (Yellow)

Season Placement: Tenth (07/08: Fifth Place)

Jade Tree United 2008/2009 Season Statistics & Awards:

Golden Boot: Rich Emge
MVP: Scott Campbell
Most Saves: Scott Campbell
Most Fouls Against: Frank DiGregorio
Most Fouled Upon: Victor Alvarez / Ryan Lord
Best Goal: Casey Gallucio
Most Heart: Scott Campbell
Team Spirit Award: Alfredo Agra

Goals:
Rich Emge: 23
Ryan Lord: 9
Alexander Milne: 9
Victor Alvarez: 6
Casey Gallucio: 4
Mike Leyva: 3
Frank DiGregorio: 2
Tony Coates: 1
Darren Walters: 1

Jade Tree United 2008-2009 Season Update / JTU Supporters Scarves Now Available


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After a long absence, the Jade Tree United update has returned, and with a busy season already in full swing, there is plenty of ground to cover. The format has been adjusted for this season, with only the basic statistics noted for the sake of brevity.

Wilmington, Delaware’s Jade Tree United entered their fifth year in the New Castle County Indoor League with their sights set on winning the title once and for all. However, their start so far has put them far from the title-as the team sits dead last after their first seven matches.

Desperate for a win, Manager Darren Walters isn’t quite sure how the team is in the position that is in because despite tough economic times, Jade Tree was able to find the funds during the transfer window to strengthen its squad for the 2008/2009 season. Walters made significant changes to the JTU line up and with several players moving out during the transfer window, Walters was able to bolster his team’s strength with new and emerging talent.

Coming into the mix this season are Frank DiGregorio and Ryan Lord (both of the DelTech Spirit,) and Scott Campbell (Concord, Rangers) who offer a combination of mid-field experience and goaltending abilities. Returning this season are Jade Tree United stalwarts; Rich Emge, Alex Milne, Casey Gallucio, Victor Alvarez, Tony Coates and Alfredo Agra, all of whom have grown more confident in the last four seasons and offer experience and heart. Combined, these players were expected to help the team finally realize their dream of a title win this season.

However, the teams around Jade Tree have also added players (i.e. ringers), rethought strategies and employed better tactics, making the 08-09 season the most competitive one to date and stifling Jade Tree’s gains in the process.

Highlights thus far have been the goaltending prowess of Scott Campbell, the renaissance of the ever-reliable Rich Emge, the emergence of Casey Gallucio as a threat up front and the wunderkind youth players Ryan Lord and Frank DiGregorio as well as a healthy defensive group in the back field.

Despite the score lines, the team has played well-they just need to play better. If they do not, this season will be their worst since their inception in the league in 2004. With three matches left, they have little time to finally get a win on the books.

You, the supporter, can show your support by purchasing a Jade Tree United scarf. Details are below. Show your pride and purchase one today!

Match Day 1: December 11, 2008
FMC vs. Jade Tree United

Final: 13-5

Goals: Alvarez (1), Emge (2), Gallucio (1), Walters (1)
Fouls: 0

Match Day 2: December 14, 2008
Jade Tree United vs. FIST
Final: 1-8

Goals: Milne (1)
Fouls: DiGregorio (Yellow)

Match Day 3: January 8, 2009
FC Camden vs. Jade Tree United

Final: 15-8

Goals: Coates (1), Emge (4), Lord (2), Milne (1)
Fouls: 0

Match Day 4: January 11, 2009
Jade Tree United vs. Coup D’état

Final: 6-13

Goals: Goals: Alvarez (1), Emge (2), Gallucio (2), Lord (1)
Fouls: 0

Match Day 5: January 26, 2009
Jade Tree United vs. S&L 50.59ers

Final: 5-10

Goals: Emge (2), Lord (2), Milne (1)
Fouls: DiGregorio (Yellow)

Match Day 6: February 2, 2009
Environmental Alliance vs. Jade Tree United

Final: 15-7

Goals: Emge (4), Gallucio (1), Lord (1), Milne (1)
Fouls: (0)

Match Day 7: February 9, 2009
Jade Tree United vs. DS Wilson Excavators

Final: 4-14

Goals: DiGregorio (1), Leyva (3)
Fouls: (0)

JADE TREE UNITED SOCCER SCARVES AVAILABLE

The beloved Pride of Delaware, the Jade Tree United soccer team, has made available scarves for its supporters and friends of the team and its sponsor, Jade Tree.

The scarves are 100% acrylic knit in the Jade Tree United colors of orange, black and white. Both sides feature the Jade Tree logo, with the front reading “Jade Tree United” and the back reading “Pride of Delaware”.

Strictly limited to 150, these scarves show your support of both the Jade Tree United soccer team and their sponsor, Jade Tree. A great buy for fans of soccer, music or looking good off the pitch. Make sure to get yours today.

Scarves can be found here for the low price of only $18.75. Click on the image to order yours today!

JADE TREE UNITED 2007/2008 SEASON FINAL MATCH REPORT


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Jade Tree United went up against Environmental Alliance on Monday, March 3 at the PAL center in the first round of the NCC playoffs.

Elated by their second straight year in the playoffs, Jade Tree United traveled to the PAL center with their supporters ready to avenge their loss to EA earlier in the regular season.

Both teams began the match tentatively, preferring to possess the ball and move forward cautiously.

EA made the first real attempt on goal of the match and were rewarded with their first goal of the evening.

Over the next 10 minutes, EA were able to put four more into the JTU net.

Down 5-0, it was Shane Chanpimol who dutifully netted JTU’s first of the night 16 minutes in with a beautiful shot just outside the box. It was with this shot that Jade Tree regained its composure and surged forward with pace and talent.

Only one minute after Chanpimol’s goal, Casey Gallucio caught the ball on a bounce back from Ryan Mann and gracefully knocked one into the old onion bag with relative ease.

Too complete the run of Jade Tree scoring, Tony Coates secured his first goal of his JTU career when he blasted the ball from the half to smash the ball into the back of the EA net.

Scoring three in quick succession, Jade Tree looked to be able to make up the difference and held EA 5-3 at the half.

EA quickly sprang back to life mere minutes into the second half. Despite looking tired, EA added two more to their score before Jade Tree took command and held them at bay.

Alfredo Agra rallied the JTU troops back into action as he whipped one past the EA ‘keeper to take home his first goal of the season. The ecstatic Agra celebrated by pulling up his shirt to reveal a Cuban Flag panted on his chest in support of his ex-National teammates, who are being held captive after a failed defection attempt last summer.

JTU were given a direct kick on the EA net after Rich Emge was fouled just on the edge of the box. The kick was deflected and JTU continued to scrap to put more points on the board.

The score remained at 7-4 for a stretch until Alex Milne pushed forward, dodging oncoming EA defenders, and handily scoring JTU’s 5th for the night.

At this point, EA seemed to awake from their slumber and get back into the match. As EA hurried down the right side of the pitch, they connected more than once with players in the Jade Tree box to add another 3 goals in quick succession.

But this being the playoffs, Jade Tree refused to quit and fought back heartily in the waning minutes of the match. With every attempt on the EA goal, JTU appeared to be closer to adding a goal or more to their score, but the ball kept going wide of the net or hitting post. The visibly frustrated team pressed on despite all odds and were rewarded with one more goal by Shane Chanpimol, whose volley hit the back of an EA defender, popped up over him and into the EA net just as the final whistle was blown.

As glorious and freaky as it was, it was not enough to save Jade Tree United from being eliminated from the playoffs 10-6.

Manager Darren Walters summed up the season rather simply stating that, “My team has performed above and beyond my expectations as usual. Despite, injuries, low morale, poor refereeing decisions against us, and general fatigue-we managed to finish fifth and make the playoffs. I am extremely proud of how hard all my players worked to make our fourth season our best to date.” Asked how the team will spend the off-season, Walters replied, ”Several key players will be meeting up with their international teams to prepare for the Euros, while others will take a break before returning to JTU training camp in a few weeks.”

Season Record: Fifth Place (4-6-0)

Jade Tree United 2007/2008 Season Statistics & Awards:

Golden Boot: Shane Chanpimol
MVP: Brian Olden (4th year in a row)
Most Saves: Jim Brooks
Most Fouls Against: Rich Emge
Most Fouled Upon: Rich Emge
Best Goal: Jim Brooks / Krista Butler / Tony Coates
Most Heart: Casey Gallucio
Team Spirit Award: Ryan Mann

Goals:
Shane Chanpimol: 22
Victor Alvarez: 9
Alexander Milne: 9
Rich Emge: 8
Ryan Mann: 7
Casey Gallucio: 3
Darren Walters: 3
Alfredo Agra: 1
Jim Brooks: 1
Krista Butler: 1
Tony Coates: 1

JADE TREE UNITED SOCCER SCARVES STILL AVAILABLE!

The beloved Pride of Delaware, the Jade Tree United soccer team, has finally made available scarves for its supporters and friends of the team and its sponsor, Jade Tree.

The scarves are 100% acrylic knit in the Jade Tree United colors of orange, black and white. Both sides feature the Jade Tree logo, with the front reading “Jade Tree United” and the back reading “Pride of Delaware”.

Strictly limited to 150, these scarves show your support of both the Jade Tree United soccer team and their sponsor, Jade Tree. A great buy for fans of soccer, music or looking good off the pitch. Make sure to get yours today.

Scarves can be found here for the low price of only $18.75. Click on the link to the Jade Tree E-Store below to order yours today!

http://merchnow.com/store/graphics/00000004/JDT0SCARF0-AP.jpg

JADE TREE UNITED MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

Jade Tree played Meet The Soccers on Tuesday, February 26, home at the Kirkwood Soccer club. Unbeknownst to both teams, this late kick off would decide the final play off spot for the NCCO Indoor 2007-2008 Season.

The teams, who were in 5th and 6th respectively and otherwise equal on points, were clearly up for the meeting.

Jade Tree United, desperate for a win to end their season, started the stronger of the two. In just under two minutes, Jade Tree had fired off several shots on the MTS goal.

It was MTS however, who, against the run of play, scored the first goal by splitting the JTU defense and sneaking one into the JTU net.

Jade Tree reacted swiftly, as the team engineered an almost immediate response, with Victor Alvarez scoring to tie up the match at 1-1.

As the match continued, both teams were eager to gain the lead, but both ‘keepers were in fine form and kept out all attempts.

With the game being played at a steady pace, the game ebbed and flowed without much excitement, the exception being a vicious foul on Rich Emge by an MTS player that resulted in an immediate 3-minute plus expulsion. Luckily, Emge emerged unscathed and was able to continue the match.

JTU were unable to capitalize on their one-person advantage and the first half ended with the match still tied at 1-1.

When the match resumed, Jade Tree United look refreshed and ready to exert their dominance.

Jade Tree quickly broke the deadlock when Rich Emge shattered the net with a clear strike from the edge of the box, inspiring his teammates to improve their performance and continue to surge forward offensively.

JTU than began boldly moving the ball forward, as the team slowly crept their defensive line forward, allowing for more JTU chances on the MTS goal.

Alex Milne received the ball from Al Agra and gave one of his patented turns before lifting the ball past the MTS goalie and into the net. With Jade Tree up 3-1, the team continued to accelerate their play.

Continuing the scoring, Victor Alvarez fought for a rebound from Tony Coates’s shot on net to score his second of the night.

While MTS pressed forward, the high line of defense was effective at stopping MTS from mounting an attack.

Krista Butler scored her first goal of her Jade Tree United career (and the first by a woman for Jade Tree United) when she shot low and to the left, expertly beating the MTS goalie.

Jade Tree United was fire, with no sign of fatigue when they lost Rich Emge for two minutes due to his foul on an MTS player. Emge was carded for a rather innocuous foul on an MTS player and silently left the field, serving his one-minute without argument like the true gentleman that he is.

Victor Alvarez would mint his hat-trick by driving forward past the MTS defenses, and slipping his third under the diving ‘keeper’s arm and certainly cementing Jade Tree’s win on the day.

With seconds left on the clock, MTS made a desperate push forward that paid off for them. As the whistle blew, MTS were able to net their second. But it failed to matter as Jade Tree United had beaten Meet the Soccers 6-2.

With this win, Jade Tree United learned that they had made the playoffs-something that Manager Darren Walters was unaware that the team even had a chance of qualifying for this year.

“I was ecstatic to learn for the officials that we had made the playoffs. I had believed that there was no chance of the team qualifying this year,” the manager said during his already planned post-season press conference. “So here we sit and instead of wrapping up our season, I must speak about our chances in the playoffs.” “I am proud that we have reached the playoffs for the second year in a row and it is further proof that this team continues to gain ground with each year.”

Jade Tree United will go up against Environmental Alliance on Monday, March 3 at the PAL center. When JTU met EA earlier in the season, the team lost 16-6 and played without either goalie. This will be JTU’s chance to make history and move past the first round of elimination and into the second round of playoffs.

JADE TREE UNITED UNABLE TO SECURE WIN

Amid a flurry of media activity leading up to the match, Jade Tree United met Elany Arts away at PAL 1 on Monday, February 18.

Both teams had been in the papers leading up to the meeting, as inflammatory letters that were sent to the Jade Tree United offices surfaced in the media. According to reports, Elany Arts players allegedly wrote the letters, however, this has yet to be confirmed by representatives of either side.

Jade Tree United refused to comment on the scandal issuing a statement that “The game is played on the pitch, not in the media.”

With both team in the spotlight this week, the match atmosphere was intense from the very beginning.

It was Elany who were given the first opportunity to score when they were rewarded a penalty in the 5th minute. JTU ‘keeper Brian Olden stopped the kick and made it a double-save when he pounced on the follow up shot from the Elany forward’s feet.

Having avoided yet another disastrous start to a match, the saved penalty seemed to inspire JTU forward with conviction.

8 minutes in and with both sides at 0-0, JTU took the led with a stunning shot from Alex Milne that handily beat the EA goalie.

Drama continued to ensue, as both teams’ off-the-ball play was rough at times, causing problems for the Jade Tree and Elany Arts camps.

Confusion at the Jade Tree back line-combined with a freak accident-saw the ball creep into the JTU net, allowing Elany to level minutes later.

Elany went one up when Jade Tree allowed Elany to gain advantage in the penalty box, failing to make up the distance and allowing Elany an easy shot on goal.

Jade Tree picked up the pace in response and were rewarded for their efforts when Darren Walters received a cross from Alex Milne in the Elany box, settled, and shot low into the right hand side of the net, tying the match at 2-2.

With both teams level at the half, the PAL was a raucous environment as supporters from both sides acting out of order and littering the pitch with garbage.

Returning for the second half, Jade Tree controlled the game, retaining possession, passing easily amongst themselves and pressing forward with pace.

Rich Emge’s took a shot on the Elany net that was parried wide. However, on the rebound, Emge was able to convert and put Jade Tree up 2-3.

Elany Arts were able to get another goal, once again leveling and forcing Jade Tree to respond aggressively, instead of merely defending.

Alex Milne eluded the Elany defenses and was able to get of a cross into the Elany box, where a EA player helped turn the ball into the net, giving JTU the advantage for the second time of the night.

In the final minutes, Elany Arts broke the tie and then added one more for good measure, putting the score at 5-4.

Jade Tree continued to keep their spirits high; attacking the goal and peppering the EA net with shots. Sadly, one by one they were turned away.

And for the second match in a row, Alex Milne fired off a shot and scored at the whistle. This time, however, the goal was not given and Jade Tree were defeated by a mere point. Dejected after a valiant performance, Jade Tree left the pitch with a loss yet again for the season.

Jade Tree’s next opponent, and the last for the 2007-2008 season will be Meet the Soccers, who they play on Tuesday, February 26 at Kirkwood Soccer Club.

JADE TREE UNITED GOES DOWN FOR THE COUNT

Jade Tree United met Environmental Alliance away at PAL 1 on Sunday, January 27, in a match of what should have been between two evenly matched teams (equal on points in sixth place).

Jade Tree, whose form has been slipping, were doomed from the start of the match as both starting ‘keeper Brian Olden and back up Jim Brooks both fell ill mere hours prior to the match.

United, without a proper goalie, had to make due with Casey Gallucio and Alex Milne alternating time between the posts.

JTU played a conservative game, trying to protect their goal and move tentatively forward.

EA however, seized the opportunity and attacked the JTU goal with abandon.

Before too long, JTU was down 3-0.

Ryan Mann opened the scoring for Jade Tree when he received the ball from Shane Chanpimol deep in the EA box, sending the ball screaming over the EA ‘keeper’s head.

Chanpimol then netted his first of the night when Rich Emge sent a long ball in, providing Chanpimol the opportunity to beat the EA ‘keeper who was way off of his line.

EA added two more goals to the score line as the match passed without incident into halftime at 5-2.

The second half found JTU wanting, and initially, the team looked poised to tie the match.

Casey Gallucio took a corner kick, which came back to him, and made good on it with a goal for Jade Tree.

Defenders Tony Coates, Al Agra and Victor Alvarez were also instrumental in the build up that led to Chanpimol’s run through the mid-field, where he deftly avoided EA’s defense. Thoroughly frustrated, EA took out Chanpimol, giving JTU a penalty kick.

Chanpimol easily converted the kick. Jade Tree now had four goals to EA’s five.

And then suddenly, the game changed dramatically.

Jade Tree, who had been dealing with ‘keeper issues all night, saw EA put 4 consecutive goals past them.

Things only got worse when Tony Coates gave up on own goal and Darren Walters made a miserable clear that resulted in an oncoming EA player scooping up the ball and sailing it into the net.

At this point, Jade Tree clearly began to crumble. The rot had set in and the team was obviously tired, frustrated and directionless.

Rich Emge did add one more to the JTU tally with a fantastic volley from mid-field that went well over the head of the ‘keeper.

As the match wound down, Jade Tree were beaten mercilessly as EA racked up a total of 16 goals to JTU’s 6.

Manager Darren Walters summed it up “We played as well as we good without a real goalie. However, we should have done better and I am disappointed at the overall performance.”

With the transfer window closed and several players out on International duty, Walters is looking at a team that needs to build itself back up from within. Jade Tree and Walters will look forward to doing just that when they return to action on Thursday, January 14 away against DS Wilson Excavators.

JADE TREE UNITED 2008 MATCH UPDATES! SUPPORTERS SCARVES NOW AVAILABLE!


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JADE TREE UNITED SOCCER SCARVES NOW AVAILABLE

The beloved Pride of Delaware, the Jade Tree United soccer team, has finally made available scarves for its supporters and friends of the team and its sponsor, Jade Tree.

The scarves are 100% acrylic knit in the Jade Tree United colors of orange, black and white. Both sides feature the Jade Tree logo, with the front reading “Jade Tree United” and the back reading “Pride of Delaware”.

Strictly limited to 150, these scarves show your support of both the Jade Tree United soccer team and their sponsor, Jade Tree. A great buy for fans of soccer, music or looking good off the pitch. Make sure to get yours today.

Scarves can be found here for the low price of only $18.75. Click on the link to the Jade Tree E-Store below to order yours today!

http://merchnow.com/store/graphics/00000004/JDT0SCARF0-AP.jpg

JADE TREE UNITED vs. BAC

Jade Tree United returned to action with three matches in less than a week’s time, which provided supporters with a topsy-turvy collection of matches.

It all began on when Jade Tree played BAC at PAL II on Thursday, January 10, 2008.

Jim Brooks started in goal for the recovering Brian Olden, who was recuperating from a severe poisoning scare the previous week. With the rest of the team ready for action, Jade Tree prepared for their first win of the New Year.

Immediately, phenom Shane Chanpimol took his opportunity to knock one in from 8 yards out.

Jade Tree played flowing football, passing well and containing the BAC players.

Chanpimol easily put his second past the BAC ‘keeper from a pass from Al Agra out of the back.

BAC responded with an attack that resulted in their first of the night.

Jade Tree, scared into moving forward, pushed ahead, with Rich Emge grabbing the third JTU goal of the game.

It was back to the other end of the pitch, as BAC netted another to bring the score to 3-2.

With the score line so close, Jade Tree refused to allow themselves to be taken. The team quickly pounced on an open BAC net, where Ryan Mann easily chipped on in for his first of ‘08.

BAC though, perhaps angry at the easy goal, quickly attempted to level and were able to grab yet another goal before the half.

Stirred once again into action, JTU played more conservatively, reshaping the defense and taking charge of the match.

Deep into first half injury time, Shane Chanpimol was spotted by Tony Coates running towards the left side of the BAC net. Coates passed to Chanpimol and he scored his third of the night, capping off a hat trick as the half came to a close.

With the score at 3-5 at the half, Jade Tree knew that they must stay in control of the game. How would they do this? By simply shoring up their leaky defense and reigning in their forward players.

Within three minutes of the start of the half, Shane Chanpimol continued his brilliant performance by rounding the BAC goalie and firing his fourth into the net.

Alex Milne, receiving a kick from JTU ‘keeper Jim Brooks, zigzagged towards the BAC goal. As Milne looked to be prepared to take his own chance at a goal, he deftly passed the ball off to Chanpimol, who took the shot off of his left boot and netted high and to the right.

Undaunted, BAC attacked and were rewarded with two goals for their effort. Stunned, Jade Tree locked down once again, hoping to retain their lead.

It was, of course, Chanpimol who received his second hat trick of the match when he ran the full-length of the pitch, beating three defenders and a ‘keeper to score his sixth, a club record for an under-21 player.

BAC was handed a goal as the JTU defense became confused on a corner kick, bringing the core to 7-8, where it would remain for the final three minutes as JTU stood their ground and did not pursue more goals, but simply defended wonderfully.

The result? A hard fought win for the team and a congratulatory handshakes and hugs from manager and teammates for the outstanding Shane Chanpimol.

The win buoyed the Jade Tree United spirit as the team, who was now 3-1, prepared for its next match against bitter rivals, FIST, away on Sunday, January 13 at PAL 1.

JADE TREE UNITED vs. FIST

Sunday, January 13, 2008 saw Jade Tree United meet their arch rivals, FIST, away at PAL 1.

With the derby atmosphere hanging in the air, fans running riot and security tight, JTU, playing in enemy territory, were clearly up and ready for what was sure to be a brutal and intense evening.

Tensions were high, as evidenced when JTU were given a penalty just a minute into the match for a handball / foul combination in the FIST box.

Striker Shane Chanpimol was given the penalty kick, but failed to convert in a rare miss. FIST seized this opportunity and attacked in force, eventually putting two in quick succession past back in action JTU ‘keeper Brian Olden.

Jade Tree fought back with ferocity, but things seemed to not go their way at all on the night. Attempts on net from Alex Milne, Casey Gallucio and Ryan Mann were all rebounded off the bar and for far forward FIST players to grab and convert into 2 more goals.

Down by four, JTU rallied for a comeback.

Victor Alvarez lifted JTU team and fan spirits when he bounced the ball off his chest and past the FIST goalie.

Ryan Mann, working with Alex Milne and Rich Emge, scuttled around the FIST defense to scuff the ball into the bottom right.

On a run, Jade Tree felt a comeback on the horizon and played out of their skins.

This resulted in Shane Chanpimol getting his confidence back. Receiving the ball deep into the FIST box from defender Darren Walters, Chanpimol fired direct on net. The ball, saved by the FIST goalie, dropped to Chanpimol’s feet where he quickly converted it into a goal.

With the score standing at a respectable 4-3, Jade Tree continued their run of good play.

That play was interrupted five minutes later, when FIST, splitting the JTU defenses, scored their fifth goal of the night. This same scenario was repeated again a less than a minute later when FIST again scored.

FIST, aiming to take JTU out of the game before the half ended, pushed and pushed. The aggressive team, rallied on by its home supporters, began creeping through the Jade Tree line of defense and peppering the JTU net. The result? Another four goals for FIST in 3 minutes.

Victor Alvarez, moving forward from his defensive position, and with Al Agra at his side, made quick work of the FIST defenses, playing a give and go with Agra that resulted in a wonderful goal off Alvarez’s right boot and high and right past the FIST ‘keeper.

Jade Tree, with two minutes of the first half left and hanging on for dear life, were again given a boon when Shane Chanpimol was fouled in the FIST box. Given a penalty kick and a talk from his manager, Chanpimol was dead on target with this penalty kick, buoying the team’s spirits as the half wound to an end with a score of 10-5.

Jade Tree, clearly exhausted from FIST’s first half attacks, played more defensively in the second half. The team was more adept at closing down FIST opportunities for most of the half. However, this did restrict JTU’s ability to close the gap.

Jade Tree’s only goal of the second half came from an unlikely source. Defender Jim Brooks blasted the ball from the Jade Tree side of the pitch, catching the FIST goalie out of the net and giving Brooks his career first goal.

Still, Jade Tree held back, keeping FIST from entering their defensive half.

It was, however, to be FIST’s night. As the final minutes ticked away, Jade Tree unable and willing to press forward, let FIST slip past them and cap their scoring at 11 for the match, leaving the final score to be 11-6.

As the final whistle blew, FIST fans rushed the pitch to congratulate their team. The Jade Tree team, worried for themselves, quickly left the grounds as things quickly got out of hand, resulting in several injuries to match officials and fans.

“Any time that we play FIST it will be a tough and aggressive match,” commented manager JTU Darren Walters. “This year, FIST have added several international players and overhauled a majority of their team. You could see that result on the field today.” Walters also mentioned Jim Brook’s goal, “I am very happy for Jim Brooks. His goal shows his tenacity and commitment to Jade Tree.” Asked later about the environment in the stadium he said, “I refuse to make comment. It is clear that there is an issue of safety for fans and players at this venue and I would hope that there will be some discipline handed out.”

Jade Tree United next meet first place, and unbeaten, Dynasty FC on Monday, January 21 home at Kirkwood.

JADE TREE UNITED vs. DYNASTY FC

The Kirkwood center was the scene of a home match for Jade Tree United versus first placed Dynasty FC on Monday, January 21.

Dynasty FC, currently in first place and unbeaten, was always going to be a difficult match for Jade Tree. But the team was devastated further by day of the match news that not only was ‘keeper Brian Olden once again sidelined, but the team would be missing Krista Butler, Ryan Mann and in form striker Shane Chanpimol (off playing in a FIFA sanctioned U17 qualifier).

Jade Tree knew that it would have to muster up its best in order to maintain confidence under such circumstances.

Dynasty FC pressed Jade Tree from the outset. Dynasty, who was fielding 5 international level players, applied pressure from every angle possible.

Jade Tree United hung on for 10 minutes, with back up goalie Jim Brooks stopping several goal attempts and the Jade Tree defense shutting down Dynasty as best as possible.

As the clock hit its eleventh minute, the bleeding began. Dynasty, attacking with vigor, began to beat the Jade Tree defenders and goalie, netting four within minutes.

Jade Tree attempting to bring the ball forward, were contained at the half. When the team was able to move into the Dynasty half, the shots taken by Milne, Emge, Walters, Alvarez, Gallucio and others were either wide, high or easily saved by the ‘keeper.

As Dynasty racked up three more, Jade Tree was still in the match. The team was refusing to give up, but again, its efforts were simply not being rewarded.

JTU was dealt another blow when Alex Milne was taken out in the Dynasty goal. A Dynasty player slid into Milne, knocking him into the net and ensuring that Milne would be out of action for the remainder of the game.

With the substitutes dwindling, every JTU player was being pushed to their individual limit. It seemed as the end of the fist half could not have come any sooner, as Jade Tree, down 7-0 at the half, limped off of the pitch.

Returning for the second half, Jade Tree looked somewhat invigorated. Several more attempts were made on the Dynasty goal, and once again, they were all unlucky. Stretched to their limit, the Jade Tree defense was unable to keep up with Dynasty’s seemingly endless pressure. Eventually, Dynasty stretched their lead to 0-10.

Jade Tree were further disabled when Darren Walters, who went up for a header, was knocked out of the air by a Dynasty player and laid out flat , falling to the ground with a thud and landing on his back and head. Though Walters had clearly been fouled and obviously intentionally injured, only a kick was given. Walters continued on for a few minutes until it was obvious he could not, leaving JTU with no more substitutes.

Dynasty was held at 10, but in the waning minutes of the match, Victor Alvarez was fouled with an elbow to his ribs. Alvarez reacted ferociously and him and the Dynasty player needed to be separated by the referee.

The end could not have come soon enough for Jade Tree United, who lost 0-10, decimated and exhausted.

Jade Tree, now at 3-3, will hope to revive its winning ways when they meet Environmental Alliance away at PAL 1 on Sunday, January 27.

JADE TREE UNITED BEATEN AT HOME

Jade Tree United were handed their first loss of the season when they met Logan House, home at PAL II on Sunday, December 16.

JTU, who sat second in the table, were optimistic about going into the winter break in the number one position.

It was immediately evident that Jade Tree were going to have a hard road ahead of them.

Logan House attacked from the first touch, scoring three in just under five minutes.

Jade Tree rallied to score, as wunderkind Shane Chanpimol rounded the ‘keeper and put one in to the net.

Ryan Mann made a showing for his family in the stands, receiving a pass from Victor Alvarez and converting it.

Rich Emge pushed up from defense to put his power behind a shot that swooshed past the goalie and into the netting.

But the tie was short-lived as Logan House put in five more to put them up, where they would remain for the rest of the half, despite two more goals from Chanpimol and a nick in from Alvarez. to keep Jade Tree in the game,

Looking at a score of 5-8 at the half. JTU knew that the match was still within their reach. How they would overcome their leaking defense to attain the desired win proved to be the question that had yet to be answered.

Jade Tree came out strong in the second half. Casey Gallucio had several shots deflected, but it was Ryan Mann who found the net after faking to the left and shooting high and on target.

Victor Alvarez stepped into the box to get his second and come within a point of making the game level.

Logan House and Jade Tree then played cat and mouse, as Logan House scored, only to be answered by Jade Tree, but never letting JTU level the match.

Constantly giving chase, Jade Tree began to tire. This was most evident when defender Jim Brooks was carded for a strong tackle on a Logan House player and removed from play for two minutes.

Playing a man down, Jade Tree struggled. But the team did manage to get another goal from Emge, who stepped into the ball and took a rocket shot that put the score at 8-9.

Ultimately, Jade Tree’s final undoing was the Rich Emge’s foul on a Logan House player. The foul, which led to a penalty kick that Logan House converted, deflated JTU. It was at this point that the game-and morale-slipped out of the team’s control.

Shane Chanpimol did his duty and bravely netted two more for JTU, but Logan House was up and away on the revived energy that they had received from the PK, slotting shot after shot into the Jade Tree net.

With a final score of 11-16, Jade Tree was left wondering how they remained so close for most of the match, only to lose it in the final minutes. Manager Darren Walters now has three weeks to contemplate this as the league enters the winter break. Perhaps he will have an answer when the team returns to play at home against B.A.C. on Thursday, January 10.

JADE TREE UNITED REMAIN UNDEFEATED

Jade Tree United kept their 100% start to the season with a win over Swift Kicks away at Kirkwood soccer club on Wednesday, December 12.

Jade Tree made history on Wednesday, as they took advantage of a new rule instituted by FIFA, the “Leyva Ruling”, in which a woman may play as 1/10 of a Men’s senior team. JTU used this ruling to add the broadly -talented Krista Butler (Arsenal Women’s, U.S. Women’s National Team, Stonecutters) to the line up for the match.

Jade Tree would begin the match with reserve striker Alex Milne between the sticks, as both JTU goalies were struck with food poisoning prior to kick off. This cast doubt on whether JTU would be able to hold off Swift Kicks-doubt that was quickly put to rest.

Immediately taking charge of the match, Shane Chanpimol put in his first of many of this night with a shot that blistered the goalies fingers.

Chanpimol deftly avoided the Swift Kick’s defense to strike yet again in less than three minutes, providing JTU the cushion that hey needed to relax and get comfortable with the match.

Keeper Jim Brooks, having recovered from his illness, replaced Milne in goal eight minutes into the match.

As Rich Emge distributed the ball down field to Casey Gallucio, Ryan Mann was set up for a goal that eased past the keeper and put Jade Tree up 0-3 in just under ten minutes.

However, JTU was struck suddenly when Swift kicks took a shot on goal that was caught by Brooks. Freakishly, Brooks was struck by a Swift Kicks player and watched the ball fall out of his hands and into the net.

Determined not to let Swift Kicks capitalize on their goal, the JTU defense shut off all possible angles, making it impossible for Swift Kicks to break through.

Shane Chanpimol received his hat trick with a stunning blast that smashed into the net, reviving the Jade Tree offense.

Unfortunately, Swift Kicks were able to score yet another goal as they watched an errant pass take an unexpected turn into the Jade Tree net.

With the score standing at 2-4, Jade Tree knew that they had to move ahead.

They did with dramatic pace as Alex Milne tricked the Swift Kick’s backline and from 8 yards, pummeled one into the net.

Brining the ball out of the back with help from Al Agra, Krista Butler made a series of runs that eventually paid off with a slight, but dead on, pass to Victor Alvarez which saw him convert from in front of the net, putting Jade Tree up by 2-6 as half time approached.

But the Swift Kicks were not going to be outdone. The team came up and scored what looked to be like another implausible goal as confusion reigned on the JTU backline, the ball sitting idly at the foot of the net as JTU scrambled to clear it. Ultimately, Swift Kicks converted leaving it 3-6 at the half.

Jade Tree was clearly not worried as they returned to the pitch. The team did play more conservative though, making clean passes, better-timed runs, and shutting down any opportunities for the opposing team.

JTU did pepper the Swift Kicks goal throughout nonetheless, as the Swift Kick’s defense fell apart and allowed Jade Tree to virtually waltz into the box without distraction.

Almost every member of JTU stepped up to make their mark on the match, and while not every shot was rewarded with a goal, it had become clear that Jade Tree was going to emerge victorious if they could keep Swift Kicks at bay.

Casey Gallucio, who had been taking shot after shot, finally had his first of the season, when he took the pass from Butler and fired past the keeper.

Alex Milne worked well with Ryan Mann and Rich Emge to produce a series of passes that saw him end up with the ball at the edge of the box. Milne juked, then shot, sending the ball high, left, and into the corner of the net.

Defender Darren Walters pushed forward and was rewarded when Mann, wide on the right, passed to Milne in the middle, who then scuffed the ball on to Walters, enabling him to take a clear shot low and from the left side, fooling the keeper and getting him his first of the year.

Not to be outdone, Chanpimol scored yet once more in the final minutes of the game to make it five for the night. This left Jade Tree at 3-11 as the final whistle blew, putting an end to another stellar match from Delaware’s finest.

Jade Tree will hope to remain on top as they take to the field again on Sunday, December 16 at home at the PAL II against Logan House.

Allegedly, the team’s owners hope to unveil new club merchandise at this match, but they remain quiet as to what fans can expect. The long promised JTU scarves perhaps? One can only hope.

JADE TREE UNITED POST-SEASON WRAP UP

Jade Tree United finished their season by meeting FMC in the first round of the NCCO playoffs on Sunday, February 25 at the PAL Center.

This was JTU’s first visit to the play offs and the team was ready to face FMC, who beat Jade Tree earlier in the season.

Jade Tree started strong with a visible energy to their play. But despite their offense, the FMC striker’s where too much for the JTU defense and helped put FMC up 2-0 in under ten minutes.

A run of play that included a fair share of near misses finally concluded with Mike Hoffman blasting one into the FMC net in the 9th minute.

Just as Jade Tree looked to be turning the corner, FMC added another to the board, making it 3-1.

But JTU never gave up and Ryan Mann was able to shoot from the edge of the box to knock in JTU’s second of the night and get the JTU fans believing once again.

Soon thereafter, Mike Hoffman used his body and skill to muscle through the FMC defense to send a blistering ball into the back of the net.

Jade Tree would get scored upon twice more to make it 5-4 at the half.

Returning to the pitch with a sense that they could win, Jade Tree played much stronger out of the gate.

The team pressed on FMC and chances from Al Agra, Casey Gallucio, Victor Alvarez, Darren Walters, and Mike Leyva all went wide or were saved by the FMC keeper. The increasing pressure on Jade Tree to score began to stretch the JTU defense and thus allow FMC to pounce and add three successive goals before Jade Tree began to get the backline in order.

As usual, JTU ‘keeper Brian Olden was instrumental between the sticks as he kept busy all match swatting, diving, and securing the ball from going into the back of his net.

Jade Tree continued to have chances late in the second half, but to no avail. A corner kick that resulted in a goal for JTU was disallowed after appeals for a handball on Ryan Mann were made and only a spectacular save by the FMC goalie kept Alex Milne’s effort out of the net.

Continuing to pressure FMC into the final minutes, Jade Tree was rewarded when Alex Milne easily beat the FMC keeper to give JTU a final result of 8-5.

This was Jade Tree United’s best finish ever and remains in fifth place in the final standings.

“This team gave me its all this season. Every man worked to his maximum effort and it shows in the final standings”, commented Manager Darren Walters. “They should be proud of what they have accomplished this year.”

Jade Tree United 2006/2007 Season Statistics & Awards:

Most Goals: Ryan Mann / Alex Milne (tie)
MVP: Brian Olden (2nd year in a row)
Most Saves: Brian Olden
Most Fouls Against: Alex Milne
Most Fouled Upon: Victor Alvarez
Best Goal: Casey Gallucio
Most Improved Player: Casey Gallucio
Most Heart: Jim Brooks
Team Spirit Award: Mike Leyva

Goals:
Ryan Mann: 19
Alexander Milne: 19
Victor Alvarez: 14
Shane Chanpaul: 9
Michael Hoffman: 7
Miguel Leyva: 6
Alfredo Agra: 4
Casey Gallucio: 3
Darren Walters: 2

JADE TREE UNITED REMAIN IN FIFTH

Jade Tree United met DS Excavators at the Kirkwood Center on Monday, February 19.

Jade Tree United were bolstered by the addition of Shane Chanpaul to the line up. Chanpaul has been called up previously from the reserve squad and worked wonders for the team

Jade Tree United was fighting for playoff position in this match. Knowing that a loss would see them to a poor position for the playoffs, the team began more passionately then they had in previous matches.

The first ten minutes were competitive with the ball being equally possessed by both teams. It would be the young midfielder Shane Chanpaul who would make the difference early one, scoring the first goal of the night with a well-taken shot on the DSE net.

Immediately following the goal, Jade Tree was denied what should have been their second goal of the night. However, the referee decided that an advantage was played and withdrew the goal.

DSC then took advantage of the ensuing confusion and made their attack, leveling the score at 1-1.

Ryan Mann responded within minutes, as he danced his way through DSE’s defenses to knock in his first to put Jade Tree up 2-1.

As the match wore on, it became progressively more aggressive. Victor Alvarez was seriously fouled on the edge of his own box. The DSE player was immediately carded and JTU attempted to take advantage of the opportunity, but to no avail.

Then, Ryan Mann was carded for his challenge on a DSE player. He carnage continued as Darren Walters was then brought to ground by a nasty challenge for which Jade Tree received a free kick.

As the challenges continued, JTU was unable to keep pace and was surpassed by two goals before mounting a comeback.

With the match flowing back and forth, Casey Gallucio teed up Alex Milne who converted Jade Tree’s third of the night.

With the score at 3-5, Shane Chanpaul received a pass from Ryan Mann to convert his second. The keeper got a touch to it, but his fingertips would not be enough to save the ball from the net.

4-5 at the half, Jade Tree certainly looked as if they were up for the match, but as the game entered the second half, their momentum began to lack the needed speed and control.

Jade Tree settled in and appeared to be ready to deal with the DSE threat, but a lack of defense plagued the team and put them behind 4-6 before they were able to recover.

Shane Chanpaul picked up the slack and kept charging at the DSE goal and it began to work. Inspiring the team with his solo effort to receive his hat trick, JTU pushed forward.

But it was all Chanpaul. With a support system arriving forward with him, Chanpaul was given many more chances and soon, Jade Tree was within a point of equalizing DSE.

But that point would be elusive as DSE moved ahead to 8 goals just as Chanpaul netted JTU’s sixth.

And there the score would settle as the final whistle blew.

Though Jade Tree lost 6-8, the team remains in 5th place due to point differential. The team must now face the dreaded FMC in the first round of playoffs on Sunday, February 25.

JADE TREE UNITED LOSES STEAM

Jade Tree United played Super Saiyons away at PAL 1 on Thursday, February 15.

Jade Tree were missing ‘keeper Brain Olden and thus Jim Brooks was put between the posts for the second time this season.

Jade Tree, in what has almost become a trademark for the team, started off slowly. The team looked unenthused as tried to string together anything that looked remotely like football.

JTU were scored on in under five minutes and immediately looked even worse for wear.

Several fouls against Jade Tree followed the Saiyon goal, with Victor Alvarez and Ryan Mann being harshly tackled in quick succession.

Alvarez responded by picking up his first of the night and bringing the match level.

Casey Gallucio was brought down in the box in the fifteenth minute. Gallucio converted the PK, but the kick had to be retaken. Gallucio then missed on his next try.

Super Saiyons surged back at Jade Tree and scored several goals in just minutes, leaving JTU behind 5-1.

Jade Tree added Alex Milne into the mix in the twentieth minute. Milne had his attempts hit the cross bar, much to him and his teammates chagrin.

Jade Tree continued to be muscled off the ball, losing challenges and hardly putting together any passes. This would put the team down 8-1 as the first half ended.

Jade Tree came back on to the pitch without much change and continued to be pummeled. Super Saiyons were up 9-1 before Alex Milne finally got a shot in net. Milne was then immediately involved in setting up Gallucio for his first of the night, as he slid the ball across mouth of goal for Gallucio to slide in past the Siayons’s goalie. Gallucio celebrated by pointing in the direction of Christina Hospital where his mother was undergoing surgery.

Sensing the urgency, Jade Tree finally raised their game and started pushing their attack on Super Siayons.

Darren Walters took out a Saiyon player just outside the JTU box, but a penalty was given anyway. Jim Brooks stopped the shot, but another Saiyon put in the rebound.

Victor Alvarez then rushed forward in a frenzy to nick the ball over the Saiyon’s keeper and into the upper left netting. The score stood at 10-4 with ten minutes to go and Jade Tree was feeling the fire.

Mike Leyva came into the mix and made his first attempt soon thereafter. Luckily, his shot came off of the bar to the feet of Milne, who tapped the ball in without the Saiyon defense even noticing.

With the score sitting at 10-5, the game quickly became a stalemate as Saiyons held on to possession and began wasting time, ensuring that they won by a large margin.

Rumors of a bust up in the tunnel after the match are said to be exaggerated. However, the NCCO League officials will review the reports early next week to see if any action should be taken against the players.

Jade Tree United is now fifth in the league after an ambitious start. The team will now face the DS Excavators, whom they beat 9-7 earlier in the season, in the knockdown round for playoff position on Monday, February 19.

JADE TREE UNITED BEATEN BY GUNNERS

2nd placed Jade Tree United and 1st placed Gunners met on Tuesday, February 6 at the Kirkwood complex in a battle of wills.

Jade Tree played without key striker Ryan Mann as rumors of a transfer to Real Madrid caused a rift between him and Manager Darren Walters, leading to Mann storming out of practice late Monday afternoon. However, Alex Rudzinski, who has been on loan all season, returned just in time for the match.

Attempting to make up for the deficit, Walters played a different formation than he has all season, with a lone striker up front.

Despite sluggish first half performances for most of the season, Jade Tree came out against the Gunners ready to fight. That spirit was evident in the attack the team undertook in the first minute of the game and Victor Alvarez sped up the right touchline, bringing the ball to the foot of the Gunner’s goal before volleying in the first of the night in less than 30 seconds.

Inspired by this effort, Jade Tree continued a long run of intense, solid play. Not only was the team a defensive juggernaut, but they were also playing balls forward and setting up several shots on goal.

In many ways, the Gunners were equal to the task, making sure that JTU were unable to convert their many chances.

Early on, Darren Walters was severely fouled from behind, yet watched the penalty go to Gunners. Visibly upset, this began the point in which JTU would begin to lose its composure in a game, which had started calmly, suddenly rounded the bend to a more physical match.

Gunners would tie the match in the 14th minute and bring JTU back into the game offensively.

Alex Milne was quick to respond with a sublime kick above the opposing team’s defense and into the back of the net to bring JTU up to 2-1.

Just minutes later, Milne was yellow carded, and Alvarez was issued a stern warning for a tackle just outside the box. While Gunners were unable to convert their kick, they did score seconds later equalizing 2-2.

The Gunners than began a run that started with a Walters being penalized for time wasting on the edge of the Jade Tree box. This resulted in Gunner’s gaining possession and thus immediately scoring their third of the night.

JTU was visibly disgusted at the refereeing when yet another decision went against them on the edge of the box and Gunners went up 2-4.

Mike Leyva, refusing to end the half without getting on the board, charged up the middle of the park, receiving the ball from Casey Gallucio and stuffing the ball into the net and bringing the score to 3-4 at the half.

Returning to the field for the second half, Jade Tree looked as if they believed that they might still be able to top the Gunners.

This was strengthened when the Gunner’s ‘keeper came out of the net and a wild ball played off of Leyva simply went over both the defensive line and the ‘keeper for a freakish goal that leveled the match.

But that would be the last goal for JTU for most of the half, as the Gunners began a long stretch of attacks that pummeled Jade Tree for several long minutes of play.

It all began as Jade Tree ‘keeper Brian Olden slid under the feet of the Gunner’s forward to clear a dangerous ball and was given a Penalty for his effort. In a heroic play, Olden saved the penalty, yet the Jade Tree defense failed to properly clear the ball and were punished with yet another goal against them.

Victor Alvarez stripped the ball off the Gunner’s forward, but in the ensuing play, both Alvarez and the other player went crashing down right outside the JTU box. Alvarez, disgusted, called for a foul. Though he did get his wish, and the Gunner’s player was sent off, the Gunner’s retained possession and easily scored from their position on the restart.

Now tired and fighting an uphill battle, Jade Tree began to make mistakes that cost them dearly.

Frustration set in for Jade Tree as Gunner’s shot from 20 yards to net their third successive goal.

Refusing to let up, JTU attempted to put together an attack, though it was clear that the team was losing its shape, something that would lead to the Gunner’s being able to quickly score on turnovers.

With the score at 5-12, Jade Tree looked certain to be beaten.

However, the team was able to hang one. Alex Milne let his teammates know that the fight was not over when he signaled for his teammates to help him press the Gunner’s defense. That run of play resulted in Milne, and Jade Tree, adding one more to their goals.

The game ended 6-12, with no love lost between the two teams. With international matches happening this week, Jade Tree United will now take a break for several of its players to go to their home countries to fulfill their responsibilities.

Jade Tree’s playoff aspirations may be in danger. Though the team has a comfortable early season bed of wins, their next match will position them for the playoffs, thus it is important for Jade Tree to win this match should they still be hoping for a comfortable berth.

Jade Tree United will meet the Super Saiyons on Thursday, February 15 away at the PAL 1 field.

JADE TREE UNITED ON FIRE

Jade Tree united met ATM United away at the PAL Center on Sunday, January 21 for a late lunchtime kick off.

Jade Tree has appeared impressive lately, losing only once in their five previous games. The team looked to continue their stunning form this season with a win over ATM United.

But it was not easy going initially as Jade Tree looked wobbly in the first half, though Ryan Mann continued his form by scoring in the opening minutes and putting Jade Tree up 0-1.

However, the Jade Tree defense was beaten soon after and ATM tied up the game.

Jade Tree then made its first substitution of the match in order to secure a win.

Alfredo Agra came on and pounded in a scorcher of a goal that gave spark to a JTU team that had started stiff and sloppy.

Ryan Mann then nicked the ball from the ATM forward and ran up the field avoiding all attempts to strip him of the ball. With a solid volley from mid-field, Mann put Jade Tree up 3-1.

Alex Milne came on to the pitch and immediately made an impact. His left footed shot flew above the keeper’s head and hit the back of the net. Milne rounded the pitch with a celebration dedicated to his newborn daughter who was watching from the stands.

Goalie Brian Olden made several saves, but was mostly untested for the first half.

As the half wound down, Victor Alvarez received a vicious tackle that left him with a twisted ankle. Alvarez was removed from the field and replaced by Mike Leyva.

Leyva was quick to make his mark, as he dribbled the ball up the sideline, juking the ATM defense and eventually hitting the target just outside the box and pushing the score to 1-5 at the break.

Returning from the half, Jade Tree United was visibly bolstered by the score line. Instead of sitting back, JTU continued to be aggressive, with Ryan Mann netting his hat trick for the day.

Victor Alvarez reappeared on the pitch. Alvarez, though clearly affected by the tackle in the first half, was still quick enough up front to receive a pass from Alex Milne and convert it into his first of the match.

Casey Gallucio then ended a 12-hour scoring drought with a kick into the upper left corner of the net. Gallucio, having finally made his mark this season, quickly followed up with his second goal, receiving a pass from Milne that easily beat the keeper.

In the 15th minute, Al Agra had a goal disallowed after converting a corner kick from Ryan Mann. Apparently, Mann had taken the corner before the whistle, though reviews of the match later showed that the goal should have been allowed to stand.

Victor Alvarez got his second of the day as he sent a hard shot into the net.

Agra was back in play with an assist to Alex Milne, who simply put it past the keeper who was glued to the spot.

ATM was finally able to get through the mid-field for their second of the day, but it came to late in the game to make a difference, as Jade Tree United won 2-11.

Jade Tree is now solidly in second place behind the unbeaten Gunners. Jade Tree will face some serious challenges as they play three top five teams in as many games.

Jade Tree United’s next match is February 3 home against third placed Valley Strikers and proves to be one of the games of the season.

JADE TREE UNITED BACK WITH A WIN

Jade Tree United returned to the PAL Center on Sunday, January 14 for a match against Barclays FC.

Once again fielding a depleted team, JTU looked in danger as the game began.

Quickly overcome by Barclays FC, Jade Tree was down 0-3 within five minutes and looking desperate.

JTU then made several substitutions and the game began its dramatic turnaround with a run of goals from the team.

First, Ryan Mann continued his run of form and scored one for Jade Tree.

Next, Alfredo Agra blasted the ball into the BFC net, helping to focus JTU’s mental game.

Alex Milne netted his first of the match with a solid shot that went high and to the right to put JTU level in less than five minutes.

As the match continued, Jade Tree continued their offensive with fervor.

Victor Alvarez added his name to the score sheet after receiving a pass from Milne and sinking the ball into the net.

Alex Milne dribbled to the brink of BFC’s net before releasing a scorcher that gave him his second of the match.

Ryan Mann added another to his tally with when the BFC goalie dropped the ball and Mann secured a rather easy goal from within the box.

JTU keeper Brian Olden took a controversial goal kick that landed in front of the BFC net. Ryan Mann than succeeded in poking the ball between the goalie’s legs, giving Jade Tree United a 7-3 lead as the match went into halftime and receiving a hat trick for his efforts.

At the beginning of the second half, Jade Tree clearly looked poised to continue their domination-and they did.

Victor Alvarez once again came forward from his defensive position to put away his second of the day.

Darren Walters came down the left side to overlap Mike Leyva and receive a pass from him before calmly left footing his first goal of the season.

Leyva than scored his first of the match, beating two defenders and knocking one past the BFC keeper, who beat upon the goal in frustration.

Ryan Mann kept up his pace and shook off the BFC defense to confidently volley his fourth of the day into the BFC net.

After 11 unanswered goals from Jade Tree, BFC made two vital substitutions that resulted in Barclays adding two goals to make it 11-5.

Darren Walters then pounced upon another opportunity when the BFC keeper took a goal kick, only to have none of his teammates receive the ball. Walters teed up the ball and nailed it past the BFC keeper and into the old onion bag.

Alex Milne picked up his hat trick after receiving a free kick from Casey Gallucio and asserting Jade Tree’s desire to continue scoring until the end.

Ryan Mann then ended the match with a goal-his fifth of the match- in the final seconds of the game, helping Jade Tree to win this one a substantial 14-5.

Jade Tree United is poised to be in second or third when the next standings are released. This has been a stellar season for Jade Tree United, whose best placements have been 10th and 9th in previous seasons. The team has Champion’s League aspirations. If they keep up this form, chances are good that JTU will see their way there.

Jade Tree United meet ATM United away at PAL 1 on Sunday, January 21.

JADE TREE UNITED BEGIN NEW YEAR WITH LOSS

Returning form the winter break, Jade Tree United met FMC away at the Kirkwood complex Tuesday, January 9.

Once again missing the injured Mike Hoffman, JTU activated a member of their youth academy for the match, mid-fielder Shane Chanpaul.

Jim Brooks started in goal due to Brian Olden being held up by trainers examining his recent finger flexibility issues.

The match began without fanfare as local supporters were barred from the match due to a ticket scandal. The quiet atmosphere of Kirkwood clearly did not suit the Jade Tree team, who played through the fist five minutes without much spark.

It was not until the FMC offense made a few serious advances before JTU got going.

Ryan Mann broke through and had a goal disallowed for reasons unclear. Despite protestations from the Manager, JTU did not get the goal reinstated. Mann however, did strike again soon thereafter netting JTU’s first of the night.

At this time, JTU made a change in goal with Jim Brooks coming out of goal after his first appearance in goal all season (and getting his first clean sheet) for Brian Olden.

FMC did not sit back though. They came at the JTU defense with fervor and quickly scored two goals.

As Jade Tree pressed on, they had several chances, but were unable to pounce on several loose balls in the box.

JTU received a gift of an own goal and were happy for it as an FMC player made a misjudged clearance into his own net.

By the time the match approached the half, FMC had added 3 more to their tally, but not before Shane Chanpaul spun in the box to firmly assert his addition to the team and settling the score at 3-5.

One can only imagine the Manager’s talk at the half, but when Jade Tree United reappeared for the second half, it was clear that they were not ready to give up.

Jade Tree came on strong, giving Shane Chanpaul the opportunity to instantly put a ball into the upper left corner and leaving FMC’s defense squabbling.

JTU did face numerous threats, and defenders, Jim Brooks, Al Agra, Victor Alvarez, and Darren Walters were being run ragged throughout the match.

The match also became more physical in the second half. Alex Milne was fouled outright, while Victor Alvarez and Mike Leyva were subjected to serious fouls from FMC without any cards being shown. For a few moments, it looked as if the game might break out into a fight. However, order was restored-not by the referees-but by players and managers from both sides.

Jade Tree was undeterred and Ryan Mann scored again off of FMC’s defensive blunder, buoying the team’s spirits.

The match was now level at 5-5 and JTU were determined to keep their spirit up.

But it was not to be. Just as the match was tied, FMC quickly extended their lead to 7-5.

Victor Alvarez smoked FMC’s defenses, bringing the ball forward from his defensive position and scoring a sweet goal from the penalty spot.

FMC made their point by bringing their lead to 10 within mere minutes and encouraging Jade Tree fight to the last minute to regain the lead they had lost early in the first half.

Shane Chanpaul received a hat trick on his debut by finishing the match with one more goal.

Despite the effort, a win was not to be for Jade Tree United’s first match of 2007 as the final score was 7-10.

Jade Tree United face Barclays FC next on January 14.

JADE TREE UNITED CONTINUE UNBEATEN STREAK

As the New Castle County League begins the Christmas holiday break, Jade Tree United remains top of the table with a three game unbeaten streak.

The latest win took place Thursday, December 21 at the PAL 2 center as Jade Tree faced their rivals, FIST. After three seasons, this rivalry has now taken its rightful place as a match not to be missed alongside other such classics as Manchester United vs. Liverpool and Barcelona vs. Real Madrid.

With local supporters filling the stands and the media on hand for this prestigious meeting, Jade Tree took to the pitch with the look of champions, despite missing forward Mike Hoffman (knee) and with Mike Leyva (exhaustion) and Darren Walters (broken toe) playing injured for most of the game.

As always, the match began tentatively until Victor Alvarez broke the deadlock in just under three minutes, securing JTU’s first goal of the night. Alex Milne sent a searing wide shot from the left to put JTU up by two before FIST responded with their first goal.

JTU marked the FIST players tightly, restricting their movement into the Jade Tree third of the pitch. FIST was still able to put another one into the United net before the real onslaught from Jade Tree began.

Mike Leyva stripped the FIST forward of the ball and netted his first of the night, while Scottish International Milne bagged his second immediately thereafter.

Leyva was quick on the ball once again after receiving a pass across goal from Casey Gallucio and putting JTU up 5-2.

As the half entered injury time, Ryan Man shook his man and spun for a far corned goal that left Jade Tree United up 6-3 at the half.

Jade Tree clearly had the greater desire for the win and was not about to lie back in the second half. The team was aggressively pushing FIST back into their half and making sure FIST players never got a chance to get shots on goal.

JTU got right back to scoring with a stunner from Alex Milne (completing a hat trick) and a sublime turn from Ryan Mann, pushing the score to 8-4.

Jim Brooks was wrongly carded for a foul on a FIST player in the box and thus a penalty was given. JTU goalie Brain Olden was having another great game, but FIST was able to put the penalty by him, making the score 8-5.

The greatest moment of the game was perhaps when right back and retired Cuban International Alfredo Agra made the run from his defensive end into the FIST final third to receive a pass and soundly score his second goal of the season.

With the end of the match mere minutes away, Alex Milne capped off his wee scoring for the night with yet another perfect shot -securing Jade Tree’s third successive win of the season, 10-6.

Jade Tree supporters erupted with applause and gave the team a standing ovation as they left the pitch. The team, who has had a stunning run of form, will return January 9, 2007 when they face FMC.

“We’ll be working hard over the break to make sure that we return an even better team in 2007”, stated Manager Darren Walters. “We are serious contenders for the title this season.” With visits to ATM United’s MAC Field and Valley Strikers stronghold “The Valley” in the near future, Jade Tree United could face some challenges. “And that is what helps mold this team-courage under fire. I’m proud of my team and the fans should be as well. They can be sure that this team will not be caught off guard this season and will not be easy to beat.”

JADE TREE UNITED MARKS SECOND VICTORY

Jade Tree United played the second match of the season on Thursday, December 14 against newcomers DS Wilson Excavators at the Kirkwood Soccer Club.

After winning the first match of the season two weeks ago, JTU was prepared to continue their strong form this season.

Jade Tree United have looked like a different team this year and may just have what it takes to make this season their most successful one to date.

Ryan Mann began the scoring on the night when he netted his first goal one minute into the match. DS Wilson’s keeper was clearly disturbed by the goal and would be unable to shake off the effects until deep into the half.

Jade Tree quickly went up 2-0 with a quick poke into the net from Victor Alvarez, who easily slid the ball past the keeper and over the line.

Alfredo Agra came up the left side from his defensive position to score a clean shot on net and picking up his first goal in two years, easing Jade Tree to a 3-0 lead in under ten minutes.

DS Wilson fought back, first getting a shot wide of JTU’s keeper and then again fighting their way past JTU’s defenders to make it 3-2.

Jade Tree responded to the threat and Alex Milne’s shot from the top of the box put JTU up 4-2.

Jade Tree was clearly tiring towards the end of the first half. However, they continued pressing DS Wilson and were rewarded with another goal from Ryan Mann and Victor Alvarez, who helped put Jade Tree ahead 6-2 as the half ended.

Second half defensive jitters kept Jade Tree holding back until Ryan Mann broke through and scored, settling the ball into the net with a stunning lob and claiming his first hat trick of the season.

DS Wilson was beginning to break through and goalie Brian Olden’s deft saves-including one off of his foot as he lay on his back from making a previous save-were instrumental in keeping DS Wilson from overcoming JTU.

DS Wilson did get a few more on the scoreboard as they scored in succession before JTU tightened up defensively and aggressively moved the ball up field. This paid off with Alex Milne taking a beautiful wide-shot and Victor Alvarez receiving his hat trick.

But Jade Tree was still not finished. Up 9-7Jade Tree finished with Ryan Mann’s fourth of the night. A shot that bounded of the cross bar and into the net with dramatic effect in the last minute of the game and putting Jade Tree a solid 10-7 to DS Wilson Excavators.

Jade Tree United face archrivals F.I.S.T. on Thursday, December 21. This is a match that should not be missed. Jade Tree United are 2-1 in previous meetings against F.I.S.T.

JADE TREE UNITED FINISH SEASON WITH A WIN

Jade Tree United played their last match of the season on Thursday, February 23 against 4th place AzstraZeneca Blast.

Jade Tree, who played without goalkeepers Jim Brooks and Brian Olden (both out due to injury), as well as Mike Leyva (who was undergoing observation at the team’s training camp in the Pocono Mountains), called up Steven Mann and Mark Worrilow from the JTU U-17 team in order to bolster their numbers for this important match.

Initially, Jade Tree played a strictly defensive game. This helped keep the Blast’s chances to a minimum as Steven Mann got his feet wet in his first game as a ‘keeper in League D.

Mid-half, Jade Tree began to advance with pace, putting passes together and working the ball up field. Many JTU players took their shots on goal, narrowly missing their last chance at glory for the season. Alex Milne, who was visibly frustrated as shot after shot of his was deflected by the Blast keeper, had taken at least ten quality shots on the net without compensation, giving the appearance that nothing the JTU players could do would produce a result.

Undaunted, Jade Tree continued with passion. Late in the first half, Tim Owen broke the deadlock with a sweet shot direct into the Blast net. With this goal, Jade Tree tasted blood and pounced on the Blast, ratcheting up their play and controlling the pace of the game throughout the rest of the half and leaving the score at 1-0 until the half’s end.

As Jade Tree took the pitch for the second half, it was evident that the team was determined to walk away from the match with a victory.

From the start of play, Jade Tree was clearly dominating the game. Jade Tree’s mid-field controlled the pace, and the defense crept up into a more offensive position. It was obvious that JTU was flipping their strategy from the first half and it soon paid off.

A few minutes in, with a just-too-wide shot on goal from Al Agra, Mike Reed recovered the ball and chipped it into the Blast’s net.

Casey Gallucio followed up next with his third goal of the season. Gallucio retained the ball during a scramble in the Blast’s box and nicely tucked it into the net as the Blast defense simply stared in disbelief.

Victor Alvarez and Mark Worrilow held the defensive end for much of the second half, but both players made significant contributions that kept Jade Tree’s pace at an all-time high, playing the ball forward and even taking their own shots on goal.

Darren Walters had a shot go wide, but Al Agra got the rebound. Agra quickly spotted Mike Hoffman, who was deep in the Blast’s box, and passed it off to him. Hoffman then duly punished the Blast ‘keeper with an unstoppable goal.

Ahead by 4-0, Jade Tree did not slow down. Instead, it appeared as if the team was simply giving every player their chance to end the season with an addition to their scorecard.

Mike Reed fought through the Blast defense-who had finally begun to collapse on the advancing Jade Tree players-but Reed was too deft and rocketed a shot in that continued the string on unanswered JTU goals.

Al Agra, who has been scoreless all season, had another excellent shot on goal that was stopped by the Blast ‘keeper. Luckily, Mike Hoffman was in the right place in the box and ably tucked in Jade Tree’s sixth of the night.

Pushing all players forward, Jade Tree United were far from finished for the night, as Mike Reed, who broke through with an arsenal of tricks, avoided all attempts to be stopped and completed the match with a hat trick to his name and making the score 7-0.

Jade Tree ‘s only real defensive plays involved the Blast ‘keeper making an amazing run towards the end of the match. Darren Walters, Mark Worrilow, and Victor Alvarez all tried to stop the player, but he avoided all three JTU players to eventually take a shot on goal. Steven Mann kept the Blast’s ‘keeper from scoring and retained Jade Tree’s amazing shutout of the AstraZeneca Blast by 7-0.

Jade Tree United, having won this last match, end their second season in 9th place with a record of 2-7-1.

Manager Darren Walters was elated “While I thought that we might get higher in the table this year, the team did a great job and I am proud of them. They worked hard all season and should be happy with themselves.” When asked about next year Walters was quick to add, “I think that all of the rumors regarding transfers have been just that. I fully expect the entire squad to return next year.”

Jade Tree United would like to thank all of its supporters around the world. Your support is essential to our team.

Jade Tree United 2005/2006 Season Statistics & Awards:

Most Goals: Michael Hoffman
MVP: Brian Olden
Most Saves: Jim Brooks
Most Fouls: Alex Milne / Casey Gallucio
Most Fouled Upon: Mike Reed
Best Goal: Every goal scored against FIST
Most Improved Player: Victor Alvarez
Manager of the Season: Darren Walters
Player Most Destined for “Dancing with the Stars”: Mike Leyva
Most Heart: Tim Owen
Team Spirit Award: Alfredo Agra

Goals:
Michael Hoffman: 9
Alexander Milne: 7
Michael Reed: 7
Miguel Leyva: 6
Darren Walters: 5
Victor Alvarez: 4
Thornton Owen: 4
Casey Gallucio: 3

Cards:
Casey Gallucio
Alex Milne
Victor Alvarez
Darren Walters

JADE TREE UNITED GUNNED DOWN

9th place Jade Tree United took on the 4th place Gunners at the Kirkwood complex late on Wednesday, February 15.

Jade Tree, who were fresh off of their first win of the season, were eager to further improve their standings when they met the Gunners for the first time this season.

The match began with the teams sussing each other out, and neither team was very impressive throughout the first ten minutes.

That would soon change as Gunners broke free of the JTU defenses and scored their first of the night.

It wasn’t long before Mike Hoffman powered up front, running the length of the pitch up the left side, breaking into the Gunner’s box, and firing off a shot to put Jade Tree on the board.

The Gunners worked hard at spreading JTU and were able to significantly alter the score by using this tactic to easily score three goals in a row.

After a handball call on the Gunners, Jade Tree was rewarded a penalty kick. Mike Hoffman took the kick and received his second of the night.

As the Gunners worked their long-ball game, securing two more goals along the way, Jade Tree struggled with their form, switching players in and out of position, and hoping to retain some semblance of form.

Alex Milne scored late in the half, as he put the ball up top-only to watch the Gunner’s ‘keeper fumble the save and send the ball tumbling into the net.

The second half began at a 6-3 and the Gunners were quick to capitalize on a weakened Jade Tree, scoring effortlessly within five minutes of the start.

Jade Tree was successful in bringing the ball forward, but the shots were not finding the net.

Clearly outplayed, Jade Tree pulled back to manage its defenses, but this only compounded the problem, as it did not allow for a serious attacking mentality.

The end could not come quick enough for Jade Tree, who were beaten 12-3 in their second to last match of the season.

The JTU players, who have recently complained about how they have been portrayed in the press, were eager to say their peace after the match. “I felt that we were outplayed by Gunners. No matter what we did, we were unable to make the passes that we need to.” said Mike Leyva. Al Agra, who has yet to score this season commented, “I know that we lost our shape early in the game, but without naming names, I know it wasn’t my fault.”

The tone became more ominous as the interviews continued. “If this team doesn’t ‘take it to the next level’, then there is a good chance that I will not be playing here next year” stated Mike Hoffman. “I’ve been contacted by both the Wanderers and Hooters FC. Those teams clearly know how to put plays together.”

Mike Reed seemed to echo this sentiment. “With my career going was well as it is, I need to be on a team where I get more scoring chances and playing time. I’m not able to get into a scoring mode here. Additionally, I’m tired of this league’s leniency towards player on player violence. The level of fouling is ridiculous. I thought that they called this the ‘beautiful game.’”

Manager Darren Walters doesn’t fear however, “The team has just suffered a serious defeat. They are not going to be thinking with clear heads. Especially with the way that the press has been writing about them.” Regarding his job security as Manager for JTU, Walters issued this statement “I’m going to be here year after year. For myself, the players-and most of all-the Jade Tree United supporters.

JADE TREE UNITED VICTORIOUS

Soccer fans around Delaware were treated to another round of the popular Wilmington derby as Jade Tree United met archrivals FIST for the second time this season Saturday, February 11 at the Ab Jones Complex.

Tension ran high as the teams took to the pitch and the battle for bragging rights began in earnest. Both teams started the game with a measure of hesitation, but the JTU fans in attendance chanted in unison and spurred their team forward. That was all that it took, as Mike Hoffman heard the fans and responded by scoring within three minutes of the start with a powerful shot that left the FIST goalie grabbing at air.

Pumped up, Jade Tree powered forward again and again with the best possession that they have shown all season. Within ten minutes, Tim Owen was fed the ball by Mike Leyva and pounded the ball into the FIST net.

FIST had enough and responded with two goals in succession before ‘keeper Jim Brooks refocused and kept FIST from securing any more goals in the first half.

JTU played smart soccer, working on passing and setting up players as they surged forward. The team kept shooting at the FIST net, but were without reward until just before halftime when JTU’s Alex Milne received the ball in front of the FIST net, spun around, and drove the ball home, leaving the score at 3-2 as the teams retired to their benches.

Inspired by this lead, it was evident that Jade Tree United smelled blood, and they took to the pitch for the second half clearly determined to get their first win of the season.

Jade Tree pushed every player forward, punishing the FIST defense by taking almost continuous shots on the FIST net for ten minutes straight.

Mike Hoffman once again sensed his chance and took a punishing shot that hit on target, clearly frustrating the FIST ‘keeper as he dove for the save. FIST had barley recovered when Darren Walters came up the left wing and received a pass from Victor Alvarez, converting it into his first goal in three games.

Alfredo Agra, moving up from his defensive position, brought the ball to mid-field before taking a hell of a shot on goal that Alex Milne picked up from the far right post and poked through the FIST ‘keepers legs, bringing the score to 6-2.

Keeping up their pace, Jade Tree kept the ball moving forward without pause. Tim Owen got his second goal of the night as he received a well-fed ball from Darren Walters just outside the box.

FIST was clearly worn thin as the game continued, but deep into the second half they broke through the JTU defense and scored, making it 7-3. Knowing a win was well within their reach, the JTU team simply refused to give FIST a break as the clock ran down to the final five minutes.

Victor Alvarez, who was involved in a scramble at the foot of the FIST goal, recovered his own rebounded shot quickly and knocked the ball in to secure Jade Tree a hefty five-point lead.

And as if to merely top things off for Jade Tree United for the night, Alex Milne received a hat trick for this hard work, after he ended the game with a final shot on the FIST net that brought Jade Tree United its first victory of the season with a final score of 9-3.

JADE TREE UNITED MEETS LEAGUE LEADERS

Returning to the Ab Jones Complex on Sunday, January 22, Jade Tree United met the top-of-the-table AstraZeneca II Blues.

Jade Tree, now without injured goalie Brian Olden, has put in back-up goalie Jim Brooks full-time. Other significant changes include the addition of Mike Hoffman and Mike Reed to the JTU defense.

In the opening minutes of the game, AstraZeneca II got the first goal of the night off of a powerful shot from mid-field. Shots such as this would prove to be the bane of Jade Tree.

Jade Tree refused to let their spirit dampen, and they surged forward in an attempt to get one back. Mike Leyva made a sweet pass to Victor Alvarez, as Alvarez neatly tucked the ball past the AZ goalie. Alvarez then ran down the sidelines along the JTU side, inciting JTU supporters to erupt in song. Surprisingly, the referee did not see Alvarez’s excessive celebration and he was not reprimanded.

But Jade Tree’s celebration was short-lived. AZII blasted back with goal after goal during the first half, most from well outside the box. The JTU defenses were scrambling to track the AZII offense, but the AZII players always found their way through, making the score a deadly 5-1 at the half.

Jade Tree shuffled some positioning in the second half and looked poised to get into scoring mode.

Having already played a major factor in the night’s game, Mike Leyva made another important contribution as he recovered the ball from a Tim Owen wall ball, chesting the ball down to his feet and hitting it into the net, giving Jade tree 2 against AZII’s now 10.

Mike Reed, the subject of numerous fouls already, was violently and flagrantly fouled and when he was taken out with seven minutes remaining in the match. Reed was unable to leave the pitch and medical had to be called out. After checking Reed for serious injury, JTU took Reed out of the game. Luckily, Reed was more stunned than injured and looks to be fit to play out the remainder of the season.

Jade Tree was not able to recover neither speed nor form, though the team did put together several plays that they were not able to convert. The night ended with AstraZeneca II 12 to Jade Tree United’s 2, keeping JTU at the bottom of the league table.

Jade Tree will not return to league play for the next three weeks. During that time, the team will be training at their camp at Talley Day Park. Manager Darren Walter’s will look to improve his team’s fitness and do some shuffling in the line-up. “I expect there to be some serious changes to our play when we return.” the stern Manager said from the Jade Tree offices. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished. We work hard and we do the best that we can at every match. Unfortunately, that just has not been enough so far.”

JADE TREE UNITED CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE

Fielding a strong and rested team, Jade Tree United was fit and ready for their match against Christiana FC on Thursday, January 19.

With a late start time of 10:15PM keeping both teams up well past their bed times, the match started rather dully with both teams sluggish to start.

As the pace quickened, CFC brought the ball forward with a variety of plays. Within the first five minutes, CFC got on the board with a deadly and direct shot on JTU’s goal.

JTU then forced its way forward, attempting to keep possession and drive towards the Christiana net. Unfortunately, a series of passing miscues kept the ball at the feet of CFC and the team was able to push through the Jade Tree defenses, taking chance after chance at the net, though without any luck.

The score stood at 0-1 for most of the first half, until the final few minutes when CFC shocked JTU with a series of well put together plays that eventually put them up 0-5.

Reinvigorated, Jade Tree took to the second half with greater heart and intensity. The team began working its way up field and visibly communicating to each other. As the play continued to develop into something more cohesive and threatening, this created opportunities for Jade Tree’s Mike Hoffman, Mike Reed, Tim Owen, Casey Gallucio, Victor Alvarez and several other players to make attempts on goal individually or in pairs.

Christiana responded to JTU’s play by becoming more aggressive, resulting in several direct kicks for Jade Tree in a short span of minutes. However, Jade Tree could not convert these chances into goals.

Midway through, JTU ‘keeper Brian Olden sustained a foot injury while making a save. Jim Brooks, who was on the field in a defensive role, then substituted Olden for the remainder of the game.

Eventually, CFC was penalized after a player violently hurled himself at JTU’s Mike Reed, who folded to the ground. Luckily, Reed was dazed but OK and the referee had no choice but to send the offending Christiana player off the pitch.

As the match marched towards its finish, CFC and JTU continued to push each other, but it was Christiana who continued to get the better of Jade Tree and the match ended with the dismal loss of Jade Tree United 0-8 to Christina FC.

JADE TREE UNITED SMASHED

Jade Tree United met 2nd placed FMC on Sunday, January 8 in a match that tested both teams’ skills and patience.

Recent Leyton Orient transfer Mike Hoffman wore Orange for the first time as he made his debut in front of the curious and eager JTU fans. Word of his transfer coming through had long been considered hearsay among JTU supporters.

FMC opened the match with a goal in the opening minutes. JTU responded as Mike Hoffman opened his account for JTU mere minutes into the match with a scorching left that drove the ball dead center into FMC’s net.

FMC were quick to regain their lead and the score quickly stood at 4-1, where it stayed until Casey Gallucio took a cross from Hoffman and netted his second goal of the season.

Mike Leyva had two shots saved by the FMC keeper, who also blocked a goal bound drive from Victor Alvarez.

Leyva finally saw his hard work pay off with a beautiful shot that sent the FMC keeper to the floor and the ball hard right into the net, all as he was fouled to the floor.

FMC kept on JTU, dividing the defense and giving the offense little room to operate. This tactic kept FMC up 4-3 before Mike Hoffman drove down field, faking the FMC keeper into the left corner and sweeping his second goal of the night into the net.

All level just before the end of the half, FMC were able to get back on top 5-4 as the game broke into halftime.

The second half started unevenly for JTU. The team pressed forward but just couldn’t get in position. Second-half goals from FMC in quick succession inflicted more woe on the last-place United team, which remains without a win this season.

Tim Owen got on the board 45 minutes in after he picked up on the FMC goalie’s mistake, punishing him by getting one back for JTU and lifting the team spirit.

Darren Walters was subjected to a brutal tackle that led to a two-minute yellow card suspension of an FMC player. As JTU surged to capitalize on this advantage, they just simply weren’t able to make the plays that they needed to in order to turn the game around.

Tired, beaten and sore, JTU fought to the end, but it just would not be enough. Ultimately, FMC beat JTU a sound 11-5.

Halfway through the season, the JTU teams finds themselves bottom of the table same as last year. However, the performances and teamwork have been much better in 2006, and there’s still a chance that JTU can turn things around before season’s end.

JADE TREE BEGIN THE YEAR WITH A DRAW

The night of Tuesday, January 3rd saw the return of Jade Tree United to the pitch.

After nearly two weeks off, the JTU squad was ready to get back to action as they looked to secure their first win of the season, as they faced off against WL Gore.

The first half was a drab affair for JTU and Gore. Both teams just couldn’t seem to get going. Instead, it was more of a cautious affair in which, at times, soccer even broke out – but only briefly.

Finally, Gore began an earnest attack, but they were still unable to find the net. But that wouldn’t last for long, as the JTU defense became unraveled and Gore was able to fire two shots into the JTU net in succession.

Those goals went unanswered as the JTU offense struggled to move its way up field.

A questionable handball decision by the referee gave Gore their third goal of the night, bringing JTU closer to despair. Although JTU finally began to show some spirit twenty minutes in, by the end of the half, Jade Tree would be down 4-0.

Coming into the second half, JTU looked more determined and took to attacking immediately.

Their efforts were rewarded when Forward Alex Milne rifled in a wide shot that left the Gore ‘keeper breathless.

The young winger Mike Reed nudged ahead of the Gore defense and slipped by them, enabling a follow up to Milne’s goal within mere seconds, bringing the score to 4-2.

JTU was now blazing with passion and the team pressed forward at every opportunity, throwing everyone forward as soon as JTU ‘keeper Jim Brooks released the ball back to his team.

Winger Darren Walters, so frustrating at times, recovered a rebound in front of the Gore net and took but a few steps before placing the ball squarely into the net to get JTU’s third goal of the night.

At this point in the match JTU looked unstoppable as Alfredo Agra, Tim Owen, and Victor Alvarez all took skilled, yet unsuccessful, shots on goal but ultimately forcing the Gore team to play a more defensive game.

Gore was able to take advantage of a JTU defensive miscue to get a goal as the game ticked away into the final minutes, putting them up 5-3. Jade Tree, however, was far from calling this match over.

As the match was in its final two minutes, JTU’s constant pressure once again paid off, as Alex Milne nipped in ahead of Gore’s defense and brought the ball down with a deft first touch, then turned and shot towards goal, sending the ball in over the line and making it 5-4.

Mike Reed had already struck the post for the third time in a row before Victor Alvarez provided him with an opportunity that he could not miss.

Alvarez had two chances on goal before he emerged from a series of tackles to flick the ball into the path of Mike Reed who put it away three seconds from full-time, setting the Fighting Orange up for a 5-5 draw and winning Jade Tree United’s first point of the season.

Jade Tree United are finally finding their legs and playing entertaining soccer to say the least. If the team keeps this up, they may just find a few more points coming their way this season.