It has been an exciting week for Olé Football Academy, as we have three players representing New Zealand at senior and youth levels.
Ryan Thomas has been ever-present in Anthony Hudson’s squads and earned his 16th international cap as the All Whites went down to Japan 2-1 in Nagoya. Ryan played the full 90 in an encouraging team performance.
Elijah Just and Josh Rogerson are in India with the Young All Whites for the U17 World Cup where the side got off to a solid start, drawing 1-1 with Turkey in Navi Mumbai. Elijah played the whole game and set up New Zealand’s goal, taking a quick free kick from the top of the box which took out six Turkish players and slid into the path of Max Mata for the finish. Josh was an unused substitute.
Earlier in the week both boys played in a friendly loss to England with Elijah putting New Zealand 2-1 up before England came back to win 3-2.
Their second group game is against Paraguay at 3.30am Tuesday (NZ Time).
With the international break interrupting football in Europe the rest of the Olé action was in the United States where Craig Henderson had a busy week in the NASL with his Indy Eleven side playing three times in six days. Craig played the full 90 as his team were battered 5-0 away to North Carolina FC before coming on as a sub in a 2-1 home win against Puerto Rico FC and watching from the bench as Indy drew 2-2 with New York Cosmos. Indy are currently placed 7th out of the 8 teams in the NASL.
In NCAA action Dom Wooldridge continued his strong freshman campaign with Albany, starting both games this week as they came from behind to defeat LIU Brooklyn 2-1 before beating Vermont 1-0. The Great Danes have nine wins and two losses so far this season, winning both of their America East conference games so far.
Elliott Collier started both of Loyola Chicago’s games this week, a 1-1 home draw against the University of Illinois – Chicago and a 0-0 draw away at Drake. Jordan Valentic-Holden came off the bench against Chicago, his first appearance of the season, but didn’t feature in the visit to Des Moines. The Ramblers are having a tough season with four wins, five losses, and two draws so far.
Furkan Kokcu has played in 12 of New Jersey Insitute of Technology’s 13 games so far, the only game he missed being a 4-2 loss to Saint Francis. Furkan returned for their second game of the week, starting in a 2-1 loss to Stetson. Despite those losses the Highlanders are looking strong with seven wins, four losses, and two draws.
Riley Kelliher played in Northwestern’s only game this week, a 2-1 overtime loss to #9 ranked Notre Dame. Riley has played nearly every minute this year for the Wildcats but a tough schedule has seen them win only two and lose nine of their 11 games, losing all five of their Big Ten Conference games.
Kyle Adams is another defender having to put in the hard yards. San Diego State have lost all of their Pac-12 games so far and have four wins and nine losses for the season. Kyle has started every game, including 3-0 and 2-0 losses to Washington and Oregon State on a Pacific Northwest road trip this week.
Seattle’s Josh Greene came up against Texas – Rio Grande Valley’s Mikey Faber in a hard-fought 2-2 draw in Edinburg, Texas. Both Olé boys started the game, playing 75 and 89 minutes respectively. Seattle also swung by San Antonio to play Incarnate Word, clinching a 2-0 win to get their ninth win of the year and third in conference play. Rio Grande Valley also won their other game this week 3-0 against Utah Valley University. The Vaqueros are having a mixed season, collecting four wins, four losses, and two draws so far.
Mohamed Awad picked up an assist in both of Illinois – Edwardsville’s games this week, 2-0 and 3-1 wins over Milwaukee and Bowling Green. They were Mohamed’s 3rd and 4th games of the year after missing the start of his senior season. The Cougars have won five and lost six, but the win over Bowling Green has got them off to a perfect start in the Mid-American Conference.
Andrew Withers has played every minute for St John’s this season, picking up six clean sheets in 13 games. Andrew has conceded only eight goals, with his team mates allowing just under four shots per game. Their only match this week was a 2-2 away draw with Creighton, taking the Red Storm to five wins, four losses, and two draws.
Noah Billinglsey scored his second goal of the season this week to lift Santa Barbara to a 1-0 win over Northridge before the Gauchos drew 1-1 with Irvine. Noah has appeared in all 12 games this year and picked up two assists to go with his goals. The Gauchos are unbeaten in the Big West with three wins and a draw.
Cory Brown and Joash Sutherland played both games this week for Xavier, a 3-1 win over Detroit and a 2-1 loss to Villanova. Cory picked up an assist against Detroit, his first of the season. Cory has started all 12 of the Musketeers’ games, while Joash has one start and nine substitute appearances to his name. They have seven wins, three losses, and two draws so far, with two wins and losses in the Big East.