Manley's Blog

On the East Side…

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 31, 2010

Toms River East scored a 2-0 scrimmage win over Red Bank Catholic, a game played between two teams that have championship aspirations in divisions with some tough teams to climb.

The first half was pretty even with TRE going up 1-0 on a cross that RBC knocked into its own goal, but TRE had the better of play in the second half once its midfield started to get in sync. The Raiders have four midfielders in Bill Bartels, Pat Varga, Matt Wedding and Alex Stergiou who played a lot last year and I think they’ll be a strength as the season progresses, but they are still working out some kinks. Then again, who isn’t.

TRE should be a little more organized defensively, closer to the form of two years ago when they were the best defense in the Shore Conference. Ryan McIntyre will slide back to sweeper from stopper and he looked to have a pretty good grasp of the position. More importantly, keeper Bob Varga seems to be on the same page with the defense in front of him. He had an All-Shore season as a sophomore, but when the defense graduated, he struggled early in his junior year before picking it up down the stretch.
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Decker Back at Southern

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 26, 2010

Apparently, a couple of the Shore Conference’s top players read the Brett Favre handbook on last-minute decisions. Shortly after the Dan Metzger news broke over the last couple of days, Southern joined the mix by adding a headliner of their own.

Sophomore Ethan Decker will play for the Rams this season, according to his father Ed Decker and confirmed by head coach Evan Brosniak. Decker spent his winter and spring in Bradenton, Fla. training with the U.S. U-15 team, and while he and his family initially intended on him missing the next two seasons of high school soccer, their tune changed over the summer months and Ethan and his father informed Brosniak Thursday that he will be coming out for the Southern team this season.

More on this a little later.

Metzger will play for Holmdel; Davis next?

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 26, 2010

Here’s the story.

This is a big get for the Hornets, not just because Metzger is a first-class player himself but because it leaves the tiniest crack in the window of opportunity to bring in Sean Davis. Metzger immediately vaults Holmdel into the top seven or so teams in the Shore at the very least and if Davis, who is very close friends with Metzger, decides in the next 24 hours that he’d like to give it a shot as well, Holmdel immediately becomes the preseason favorite in the Shore Conference. Metzger playing a defensive center mid with Casey O’Gorman (stopper), Andrew Zheng (sweeper) and Dan Marino (goalkeeper) behind him give Holmdel the best defensive center of the field around and if Davis were to jump on board, that makes the Hornets just as scary on the attack.

I last talked to Davis last week and while I’d say the idea of playing high school soccer appeals to him, I don’t see him making the leap. He seems content with the experience he had at the high school level and he’s getting ready for bigger and better things. It’s not to say I have any clue what Davis is thinking, but if I were Nacarlo, I wouldn’t hold my breath. But I’ve been told Metzger is definitely going to broach the subject, so there is still the possibility of Holmdel sporting two major D-I recruits in the middle of their formation.

Weekend Wrap-up from Toms River

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 16, 2010

Even if you got a chance to catch some of the Toms River Tournament, there’s a good chance you missed a whole lot with nine games in two separate parks going on at any given time over the course of five hours. I could tell you that I’ll fill you in on everything myself, but I actually missed a lot too. Here’s the stuff that didn’t fall through the cracks.

– There is always plenty of buzz at a tournament like this because there are a lot of people watching a lot of different games and they all talk to one another afterward. Of all the Shore teams in Toms River this weekend, none generated as much buzz as Jackson Memorial. For starters, the Jags finished the weekend 4-0 with wins over Shore, Holmdel, Long Branch and Sayreville and outscored those opponents by a combined 12-1 margin. While the results certainly earned some praise of the other coaches, the first thing that always came up in conversation with regards to Jackson was their size. The Jags were a team heavy on sophomores and freshmen last year and given a year to grow, grow they did. During their seasons of recent success, Jackson has always had the physical advantage over its opponents and for the first time in three years, they will have that advantage again.
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Bey Lea Tournament this weekend

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 13, 2010

The Bey Lea Tournament/Showcase is this Saturday and Sunday at Bey Lea Park in Toms River and will feature more than 30 teams from around the state. There are four time slots for games on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing through the late afternoon. This tournament is always a good litmus test for teams, and when you hear coaches and spectators talk about the good and not-so-good teams heading into the season, this tournament is often one of the reference points. If you have a few hours on either Saturday or Sunday, I recommend popping in for a game or two.

Intro to 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on August 10, 2010

Yes indeed, it’s almost that time again. I hope everyone enjoyed/is enjoying their summer because we’re only six days away from the first day of preseason practice. To get the ball rolling, I put together a sort of offseason notebook that you can read by clicking here.

If you don’t want to sift through the whole thing, here are the nuts and bolts, as well as some additional thoughts:

– CBA’s Scott Thomsen is out for the season with a torn ACL, which he suffered while playing for his club team, PDA, in April, according to CBA assistant Jeff Matson. Matson said the timetable was nine months from April and that there is no chance the team jeopardizes his health by playing him late in the year if he’s feeling up to it.

– Official word came over the summer that not only is Sean Davis – the top college prospect in this year’s senior class, according to topdrawersoccer.com – not playing for Holmdel high school this season, but neither are Dan Metzger or Rishi Desai. Metzger is rated as the No. 31 recruit in this year’s class, while Desai, at times, was as good or better than Metzger in the midfield. According to Holmdel coach John Nacarlo, Davis committed to Duke and Metzger to Maryland, while Desai still narrowed his list of options. This is obviously a blow to Holmdel’s SCT and state title chances and to be honest, I was looking forward to seeing what kind of havoc that team – particularly Davis – could wreak upon the rest of the state. I talked a number of people who talked to Davis and people that know him, and every indication was that he wanted to play high school ball this year. I’ll find out from Sean himself in the coming days, but it sounds like the people advising him – as well as Metzger and Desai for that matter – convinced him that playing with the Hornets this fall was too much of an injury risk.
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