11 June 2014

Longtime manager (and founder, owner, President and CEO and Director of Football) Bob Stinner steps down; Tyler Turdly takes over

Manager Bob Stinner stepped down this past winter. This is an odd time to report on such a big change but never in WMFC's seven year existence as an independent club has the club experienced such upheaval. Gone is the general who led the club to three playoff appearances, one semi-final berth, and its only GPSL title. His replacement is Tyler Lacock, who recently (just now) had bestowed upon him the new nickname of Turdly because of its alliterative quality. Lacock (or The Cock as we call him behind his back) was part of the team that helped win WMFC its title and has coached some team that no one knows or cares anything about. Like his stature, his football experience is small (like three years or something.) His first move was to sell the team out to another club, essentially turning West Mifflin Football Club into a subsidiary of yet another boring and completely unoriginal tribute to the Steel City!!! Whoo hoo!!! We would not be surprised if the rumors of a kit change to mimic the Pittsburgh Steelers' shitty "black and gold" color scheme was in the works because by God, nothing that exists in Pittsburgh can do so independent of that lot on the north side. Anyway, other than his homoerotic obsession with the Steelers and Penn State, Lacock should prove to be a decent manager at worst. He is undoubtedly an intelligent guy, finishing in the top three (I think) of his high school class. With a brain spongy enough to complete an engineering degree with honors, he should be able to soak up enough information on tactics to make up for the technical deficiency. He's already led the team to its first win of his tenure. It took three tries but he's got it! The first one is always the hardest, Cock! We're a bit behind, so here are a few spark noted game reviews to get you all up to speed.

Game 1: May 18, 2014 - West Mifflin 1-2 DP United
The season kicked off with supporters in doubt over The Cock's coaching ability. Their fears were not allayed as the Blues fell 2-1 to DPU. Joe Super(man) scored a goal off of a cross from Justin Wilkinson. Pcholinski was caught picking his rear-end and sniffing his fingers.  Can't be arsed to look through texts any further back.

Game 2: June 1, 2014 - West Mifflin 1-2 Sporting Club of Pittsburgh Enosi
The Blues were beaten again. The Cock described it as a tough loss and said the winning goal came from a bad clear. If I had been in the press conference,  I would have pressed Mr Lacock to explain why the Blues were administering steroids of such questionable quality to its players. At least use the good shit you ass clowns!

Game 3: June 8, 2014 - West Mifflin 4-1 Internationals FC
A win! Yay! Wilkinson, Pcholinski, Own Goal, and Kenny, presumably before he was killed were all on the score sheet. Wilkinson scored from a free kick from The Cock. Pcholinski blasted one upper 90 (chyeah rieeeet), and Kenny scored after Stan and Cartman farted on the goalkeeper. A rabid dog then ran onto the field and mauled him to death. Oh, and Gauss returned!
So, there's your quick recap of the first three games of the season. We will try to keep up despite having a grotesquely reduced presence in the West Mifflin area. And with that we wish the Blues (for now) a belated good luck on the 2014 season. 

14 May 2013

West Mifflin sluggish in first game

West Mifflin 1-1 FTM United

Kostovny; Hood, Pasternak, Jeffrey, Winters; Hasson, Pcholinski, Straw, Gauss; Degerolamo, Lee

Substitutes: Stinner, Kieler, Super, Volk, S. Hasson

0-1 Some Guy (31)
1-1 Jason Straw (55)

Yellow Card - Some Guy (47)


West Mifflin sputtered through its first game of the season Sunday, only claiming a single point with a 1-1 draw against FTM United. The Blues had a hearty bench full of subs but only managed a single goal despite the relatively cool conditions and extra legs.They had several good chances but rust and winds more appropriate for a high school game on an October evening denied the Blues a winner. Dan-O the Man-O deputized in net as Blues number one Rob Vargo was out of town for work, and regular backup Chad 'Tyler' Perry was filming a movie about a preacher having to dress up like a woman and rob a bank to make sure his parish remained solvent. Or he was at church. We don't know.

The Blues came out and rusty and although they didn't completely shit the bed, it wasn't a good performance. The defense looked naturally shaky. The first game of the year always has that effect on the back five. But this year it's looking more grim than usual. Clearances to no one. Defenders watching the ball float over their heads. Outlet passes to no one in particular.Hopefully this is worked out before the next game. One bright spot for the boys was Degerolamo slotting in at sweeper. When Kutscher retired at the end of last season because of a busy schedule (only to show up to this very game and lurk like a pedophile along the fence with sunglasses my dad wore in 1992), the Blues were in a scramble to find a replacement and it looks like they may have found one. He has desirable characteristics for a sweeper:  he's speedy and controls the ball well. But he is quite short.

Anyway, before Degerolamo was put in at sweeper, new boy Ryan Hood got the start. Hood held his own but the patchwork feeling that permeated the back five, with Hood at sweeper and Kostovny in goal, led to a breakdown. Just over a half hour into the half, FTM broke the deadlock. Some Guy got a pass from some other bloke. He eyed up Kostovny's net and shot it and it went in. It was all kind of messy at the back. From my vantage point I couldn't quite see what had happened or who was most to blame. My guess is Matthew Alan despite his absence due to him breaking his leg trying to slide down railings at a hockey game. Fool!

A few moments after or before the opening goal, Stinner put his boot through a loose ball just outside the FTM penalty area. It didn't fall perfectly for him, it sat up a little too high and he sent the shot tailing off past the top right corner and out for a goal kick. He also missed out on another chance later in the half when Straw and Daveon broke down the field. Stinner ran to the left flank, waiting to time his run. Daveon saw him and sent a perfect pass. Had the game not have been played in an NASCAR wind tunnel testing facility, Stinner could have controlled the ball with his chest and rocketed a shot on net. Instead, the lofted pass died and landed right in the path of a defender who cleared.

Injuries also cropped up in the first half. Sean Hasson got slammed into the ground again but should be fine for this week. Sam Jeffrey fell over. They both were substituted and neither returned. There were some contentious calls by the center ref as well, and some arguments from the FTM players ensued as is their wont. One hefty gentleman was shown the yellow card and harkened to his captain, "Praytell! What is the fee for a card of rouge!?" To which his noble mates told him to "shut the f*ck up!"

Captain Jared Pcholinski had an excellent game. He really needs to realize that he is a prototypical, hard-nosed, holding midfielder. He terriers around the field making dudes sore while knocking them on their asses and collecting the ball. He needs to embrace that position because besides Baguet, no one else really does it. In fact, Manager Bob Stinner has expressed interest in trying a 4-2-3-1 with Baguet and Pcholinski as the holding midfielders with Hasson, Straw and Gauss as the front three. This is something that may be experimented with in the next game.

Finally, ten minutes or so into the second half, Jason Straw brought the Blues level. There were a bunch of passes/possession losses/possession regains up along the left side until Straw emerged with the ball. It was very much like in Naked Gun when the brawl between the Angels and the Mariners breaks out and there's the big pile of players beating the shit out of each other and Reggie Jackson just kind of climbs out of the pile. Instead of walking toward the Queen of England with a gun though, Straw dribbled toward the goal and slotted a pretty shot into the corner to tie the game.

Some other notes, Daveon missed a couple chances including two S K Y B O M B S! Volk had a skybomb as well and looked really rusty. He did, however, have a few really nice layoffs intermixed between layoff attempts where the ball got stuck beneath his feet causing him to fall over. Annnnd, FTM hit the bar twice.

This game was boring and cold but the boys pick up two points.

See you next week!

30 April 2013

2013 Schedule Released!

The 2013 WMFC schedule has been released a logistically feasible twelve days before the season is set to kick off! The Blues have a tough schedule this year but with the fans behind them, we know the boys are poised to fight their way through!

Click here to view the schedule and buy your tickets early!


22 April 2013

Problems at the back to the front...back and to the front...back...and to the front

West Mifflin 0-2 Wolfpack

Kostovny; Pasternak, Jeffrey, Gasparovic, Winters; Degerolamo, Hasson, Gauss, Lacock; Stinner, Pcholinski

Substitutes: Kieler, S. Hasson

0-1 Some Guy (38)
0-2 Some Guy (61)

A considerably weakened West Mifflin FC played through a rather drab encounter with Third Division Wolfpack on Sunday afternoon. It was a brisk March day in late April and the Borland patch was rock hard and as uncomfortable as ever. As striker Bob Stinner took a shot in warmups, he jammed his toe into the rancorous adamantine crust and tweaked his ankle. When new singing Dan-O The Man-O Kostovny declared that he would not be diving on the cold, blighted ground, no one in the Blues side could complain much. They knew that the uncompromising pitch was going to be a real bitch to play on...and it was.

The Blues started with a makeshift lineup having been without several key players including James (wage/transfer), Volk (I think the manager may not have included him in the notification text - whoopsies!), Lee (a real job), Kutcher (retirement...so he can play softball) and Straw (training for work...but Mike Hasson seems to think that's a load of old bollocks and he was really hungover...or still drunk). Have I forgotten anyone? I don't believe so. Let me check...hmm, *coughmattbaguetcough*. I didn't think so. Nonetheless, the game kicked off and was initially a quite back and forth affair. A sundry of fans peppered the Borland hillside while two diehard Blue Ladies sat in the bleachers as the chilly wind ripped through.

What can be taken as certain from this game is that if Ark James does not return, the Blues may have considerable difficulty scoring goals. Further, the defense looks like it is going to need some serious work. Both goals were probably preventable but with no one really willing to take on the sweeper role more of the same can almost certainly be expected. Normally a stalwart defender, Jared Pcholinski was tried at forward, pairing him with Stinner in the absence of Lee, James and old-new signing, Tony Volk. The Blues #10 had a few first half chances that didn't really trouble the keeper. The Wolfpack keeper had little to do for most of the first half, in fact. Stinner had the best chance of the first 45 when he picked up the ball on the left, turned, and sent a low shot just the wrong side of the post. The gents talked before the game about the Borland bounce - and it wreaked unholy havoc all game long. The ball would bounce just before a player would control it on one pass, then when the player would compensate for the bounce on the next pass, the ball would roll nice and smooth under the boot and out for a throw. The bastard tries to make you look like a fool. Something Dr Salamander to consider: pitch Fx - the effect of a shitty field on a player's stats. Anyway, it looked like the Borland bounce may have had something to do with the Wolfpack's first goal. I just remember the guy beating two defenders and slipping a shot past Kostovny, who I think got a touch on it.

The second half was much, much better from the Blues. Until the final 10 minutes or so, the ball entered West Mifflin's defensive half of the field maybe four times. Maybe it was because Wolfpack tired, but WMFC played the ball around well. Mike Hasson, Pcholinski, Sitnner and Gauss were a productive four-man hub in the middle of the pitch, with Stinner playing as a withdrawn striker - much like Dennis Bergkamp. Now that I think about it, Stinner is a lot like Dennis Bergkamp. He doesn't like to fly, has dashing good looks, and unbelievable talent that is almost unequal on earth. Ah, he does have brown hair. Otherwise, the comparison holds. The wingers supported that hub as well. When the ball did drop to the defense, they found the open man and worked it up from the back. All was well! The only problem is, the Blues were Arsenalized and could not put the ball into the net. There were more chances in the second half, a few corners that could and should have been put in, a few penetrating runs to the touchline that lacked a convincing final ball, but the Blues inability to score left them out in the cold...out in the cold. Wolfpack added a second goal that was pretty bad so I won't describe it here.

Oh, well. Tis' better to get shit performances like these out of your system now than to have them affect the outcome of your season in say, a game against Century V in later July when you need to win to make the playoffs.

Til next time!

10 April 2013

Transfer Note: Out with the new, in with the old

A quick transfer note for you rabid, adoring Blues fans out there. Star forward Ark James is rumored to be on his way out of the club to a minor league team in West Virginia. Why it is being rumored on the official site is beyond me. Anyway, the club understands the speedy talisman's desire to play the most competitive football he can and if this is to be the case, we thank him for a great season and wish him luck. To replace the Blues' leading scorer in 2012, Managing Director Bob Stinner has indicated that former Blues' leading goalscorer Tony Volk could make his way back to Borland Park after a self-imposed two-year hiatus. The Volkranian target man has spent the last two years serving libation to and tete-a-tete'ing with down and out inhabitants of West Homestead that have sauntered across the railroad tracks and into his Bar Louie. Fortunately, he also found the time to get incredibly buff, and now sports a rippling six-pack, taut biceps, a thick pectoral region and brawny shoulders. *Swoon* Please standbi. I mean by. Please standby for further updates.

08 January 2013

January Transfer Window Special Report: WMFC Front Office employing advanced statistics

Over the last decade or so, professional sports have been inundated with volleys of "new stats"- impossibly complex mathematical functions that have helped tiny markets compete with juggernauts. To take advantage of the inefficiency of the GPSL transfer market, in 2008 the Blues hired a young Computer Science major from Carnegie Mellon University named Alexander Salamander to develop a new set of football statistics to frame their transfer policy. Two years later the Blues bought midfielder Mike Hasson and defender Tony Kutscher and a few other blokes that would be really easy to name if I had even the most miniscule amount of feeling-like-doing-it-ness to move my hand to the mouse to click over to that year's notes and see who it was. But I don't. Regardless, the Blues went 4W 1D 4L that season and the supporters became restless. However, the following season, the Blues reached the GPSL post-season for the first time. They faced a disciplined, intelligent and unbelievably obnoxious Indiana FC team that whined the Blues into submission and scored three good goals to send the snots into the final and the Boys home.

Many wondered if the ambitious plan was worth pursuing further; if the "moneyball" formula had its place in the beautiful game. It was thought that if Liverpool FC, England's most storied and most pre-buy-your-titles-era successful football club tried the same approach...and failed so miserably and hilariously, how could tiny little West Mifflin Football Club, in the tiny little Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League manage to make it work? The answer is always clearer in hindsight. Salamander learned from Liverpool's mistakes - mistakes that he claims were almost immediately evident at the start of the 2011/2012 Premier League season. According to Salamander, the players brought in simply did not compliment each other. Clearly, a racist Uruguayan striker will almost never mesh well with three overpaid English turd balls, but for Salamander, it went beyond cultural and economical nuances. He says, "it matters very little what their pay packets were tee hee! It was a matter of their style of play hee hee ho ho! So, in order to create the perfect team, I developed statistics that reflect how the current players compliment each other on the pitch!"

After years of hard work, the Blues went into the 2011 season with what was believed to be their best team since the 2001 Wildcats took the PA West Open title. But they only won five games that year, one shy of the 2010 season when they won a record high six games. There was a lot of dissent among the team that season. Many thought that too many games were being lost when a season ago the boys were grinding out draws. Supporter unrest grew as well. However, the last game of the season proved to be a boost for the Blues that catapulted them over Arsenal in the semi-finals and past Sporting Club of Pittsburgh XVIIXVVIX in the finals.

Now, West Mifflin Football Club Online is very happy to reveal the stats developed by now Dr Alexander Salamander that helped Managing Director Bob Stinner and Manager Bob Stinner select the team that brought home GPSL silverware. Below are five select statistical markers that Dr Salamander and Stinner pored over for months as the team blitzed through the league two seasons ago. Each stat contains a brief description, the formula from which the statistic is derived and the WMFC player that leads the team in the stat. We hope you enjoy this exclusive West Mifflin Football Club Online special report!

Inaccurate-Pass Accuracy Rating (I-PAR) - This reflects a player's ability to pass the ball directly to an opponent with pinpoint accuracy. It seeks to remove the effect of actually trying to pass the ball to a player's own teammate and objectively pinpoint the accuracy of inaccurate passes.

Calculation: # of passes directly to an opposing player / total # of passes

Leader: Mike Hasson - 86.7%
To be sure, West Mifflin has a solid Team I-PAR. All current members send at minimum two passes a game directly to the other team. However, Mike Hasson is king of the I-PAR castle. The bullish midfielder shows great ability to avoid defenders while in possession, and often uses fancy footwork to make an over-extended right-back look silly. It makes one wonder why he would expel such energy to avoid being dispossessed, only to clip the ball right into the eager arms (legs) of those same dingleberries' teammates? "It's all in the placement of the pass," says Hasson. "I like to keep them guessing. And when I say them, I mean everyone. Including my own teammates!"

Cement Boot First Touch Rate (CBf(t)R) - This is the rate at which a player's first touch is graceful as a drunken giraffe padidlying about an icy pond.

Calculation (counting stat): Simply add up the number of times a player is dispossessed because their first touch is abhorrent.

Leaders: Etan Pasternak-69.5%, Anthony Degerolamo-85.2%, Bob Stinner-99.99999%
To be fair, most of the current Blues roster excel in this statistical measure. It was once commonly believed that this was because the Borland pitch was a nightmare to stand on, let alone control a football. However, adjusting for Pitch FX (the football version) it became clear that Pasternak, Degerolamo and Stinner all play like they're wearing Tims. Pasternak's poor touch may be more excusable because he spent a lot of time last year patrolling the Israeli/Palestinian border in military grade equipment and has had to re-adjust to the skin-like feeling of a football boot, but Degerolamo's only excuse is that he cheats in FIFA and is a ditry, cheating cheater.

Dribble Directly Out of Bounds Percentage (DDOB%) - This is the rate at which a player receives a pass, turns, and within two dribbles watches haplessly as the ball rolls out of bounds. This stat was developed to target wingers (who typically play within a few feet of the touchline). Although similar to the more complex I-PAR, this stat doesn't immediately assign a plus-1 value to the category 'Turnover', since the result of a successful Out of Bounds Dribble merely results in a throw-in, which can be intercepted by the Blues...who can then immediately dribble out of bounds again.

Calculation: # of dribbles out of bounds / total # of dribbles

Leader: Tyler Lacock-98.3%
Again, West Mifflin as a team excels at dribbling out of bounds for no reason, but Lacock certainly has been most guilty. This is mostly self-explanatory but it is amazing how proficient Lacock has become with this. There were times even this past season where he would batter an opposing winger and come up with the ball, turn and dance elegantly around another defender and then, in wide open space, walk the ball out of bounds like when your controls get finicky in FIFA13. It is remarkable to watch such grace and skill. I can only imagine what those kids he's coaching are learning from such a dribbling masterclass. Let's hope for their sake he's the passing coach!

Unnecessary Fouls Rate (UFR) - this is the number of fouls a player that possesses little to no control over their emotions commits in a given game.

Calculation: # of fouls that are 100% unnecessary / [(total # of fouls) + (# of situations in which no physical or verbal contact is considered rational or useful to the team)]

Leaders: Jordan Gasparovic, Matthew Alan, Etan Pasternak 
Every team has one. The Blues are blessed with three. Hot heads that don't know when to shut up and let it go. Each week it is a heated competition to see which of the three will lose their temper the fastest and in the most comical fashion. Some memorable moments include Gasparovic's walloping of an Indiana County FC forward and subsequent tongue-lashing he delivered to the flattened striker's corpulent female friend; or his constant (and totally unprovoked) badgering (both physical and verbal) of the British player-coach of Arsenal in the semi-finals two seasons ago. Pasternak, who delivers pure rage-induced comedic gold every Sunday from May to July, is known for many hot-headed outbursts over the years. It has been speculated that the rage comes from the talent gap that exists and must be endured between women from the Israeli coasts and Squirrel Hill. Lil' Etan no likey. The most memorable outburst has to have been from the playoffs three years ago when Etan bellowed the fateful "your view is skewed!" Of course, there are also the numerous fights he's almost taken part in. Finally, there is Matthew Alan Baguet and really, there isn't much to say that hasn't been said already. "I ain't your son!", "I'm just gonna keep doin' it anyway!", being drunk at a game and innumerable instances of mouthing off to the ref. What can you say about the man that has single-handedly made the market for X-Box 360 controllers for the last decade? Nothing, that's what. And that's why he, along with Gaspo and Pastenak, leads the team in UFR.

Goals From Mid-field Let In Percentage (GFMF-LI%) - this is the number of goals a keeper allows on shots that are taken from ridiculous distances...like from the center circle.

Calculation: # of goals let in from midfield / total # of goals let in

 Rob Vargo with 1 out of 21 total goals let in for 4.76%
There's only one Robbie Vargo! There's only one Robbie Vargo! There's only onnne Robbie Vargo!! Ah yes, for the Blues there is only one Rob Vargo and that means there's only one goalie and, in turn, only one person that could possibly let in a ball that was shot from midfield. I don't remember what game it was or what the final score ended up being, but he got toasted from 50 yards and it was BLOODY INFURIATING. Dr Salamander found it disturbing that a fellow CMU grad didn't calculate the appropriate angle between where the ball was struck and where his net was and even brought up concerns regarding the authenticity of Vargo's CMU diploma, stating that even a graduate of Penn State grad could make that calculation on the fly. But what can you say about this iron horse? He's been around West Mifflin longer than the WMFC ground itself. He's allowed a howler every now and again.

Defender Independent Possession Loss Efficiency (DIPLE) - This is the rate at which a player loses possession of the ball despite being under no pressure whatsoever. It takes into account other advanced metrics such as DDOB, CBf(t)R, UFR and I-PAR. It is the football equivalent of OPS (On-base plus slugging percentage) and tries to convey just how useless a player can be. It is the granddaddy of the new metrics developed by Dr Salamander despite being one of the simplest to calculate.

Calculation (counting stat): Add up the # of times a player loses possession despite being under no pressure whatever and subtract out the number of times possession is kept and when a player actually makes a sound pass. Values of +1 are added for bonehead plays that lead directly to an opposition goal.  Yes, you need a Carnegie Mellon education to come up with this shit. 

Leaders: Anyone that has and anyone that may have in the future, the honor to pull on the mighty Blues jersey.
There was a time, and to this day there are flashes, when the West Mifflin Football Club Wildcats dominated possession in a fashion similar to modern day Barcelona or 2004's unbeatable Arsenal. Those days, however, are pretty much gone. While there are pockets of Blues players that are in their primes, the crux of the team is made up of cynical old turds in their late 20's that haven't stretched properly in close to a decade and couldn't make a proper pass from the penalty spot to the edge of the penalty area on the pristine greens of Wembley Stadium, which, of course, the woebegone patch called Borland exacerbates. In fact, when Dr Salamander came up with this stat and ran the numbers, he was amazed that the Blues have been as successful as we have been because most of the first XI lead the GPSL in DIPLE. Stinner clocks in with a DIPLE of 74. Pcholinski sports a DIPLE of 68. Matthew Alan's DIPLE is a whopping 84. And these are low! Pasternak: 105. Gasparovic's, on the strength of his back-pass assist last season, skybombed up to 235. The king, however, is Mike Hasson, at 243. Clearly, this is almost entirely down to his considerably high I-PAR.

So, there you have it folks. Years of painstaking quantitative research intended to improve the team merely went ahead and proved what was clear to many from the beginning: that many of the Blues can not dribble with any kind of competence or make even the simplest of passes without losing it, and that several have rage issues that probably require serious therapeutic work and may possibly warrant neurological examination. Somehow, however, manager Bob Stinner manages to get the most out of his team.

123 days until kickoff!


West Mifflin Football Club Update: Matthew Alan Baguet

West Mifflin Football Club can confirm that Matthew Alan Baguet will return to the club for the 2013 season on an incentive-laden, pay-as-you-play contract (because he is constantly hurt...or just doesn't come to games...or comes to the games drunk). I guess the team is excited to have  him back...I know the comedy writers here are!