A publication of the Keeper Club
Written and edited by Jim Walker
A publication of the Keeper Club
Written and edited by Jim Walker
DECEMBER TRAINING Through December 17, training for keepers 10-to-18-years-old continues in the final month of 2009 on Mondays (5:30pm) with Roland Sikinger and Thursdays (5:30pm) with Jim Walker. There will be NO keeper training after December 17 until January 7. All keepers are invited to the Dec. 17 session, starting at 5pm and ending with the Christmas party at 6pm. Fee for regular training in 2010 remains at $50 ($100 if not playing for Cy-Fair Youth Soccer Club or Dynamos) for 10 weeks of sessions. Please make check payable to Keeper Club and mail to Dynamos, attn: Loree, 10924 Grant Rd. #224, Houston77070. For more information, email JWalker332@aol.com or phone 281-217-1612.
LET’S PARTY!!After a year’s hard work, goalkeepers will have the opportunity to kick back together and enjoy fun, food, and presents at the Keeper! Club’s annual Christmas Party, scheduled Thursday, December 17, in the Far Pavilion (concession stand at the north end) at DyessPark. Activities, which include the “Krazy Keeper” gift exchange, and contests for prizes, get rolling at 5pm with a training session. Pizza and Powerade will follow at 6pm. Parents are welcome to donate a dessert of cookies or candy. For the gift exchange, each keeper is requested to bring a gag gift or something found around the house that the family no longer wants to keep. Wrap it and, in a random drawing and competitive swapping, some other “lucky” keeper gets to take it home. Everything’s free for Keeper Club members. To RSVP for the party or for more information, email JWalker332@aol.com or call 281-217-1612.
  Personal ViewTOTAL FOCUS REALLY WORKSBy Patty WalrathSenior GoalkeeperLongtime Keeper Club memberOn Sunday, November 8, my team (U-18 Division One Dynamos) played Challenge Blitz. That day was the best day for a soccer game at ZubePark. Weather conditions weren’t the best, but then again it wasn’t horrible. It was cloudy, a few sprinkles here and there, with a gentle crosswind but no team had a wind advantage. No goalkeeper could use the over-used excuse, “Oh that goal only went in because the sun was in my eyes!” Starting with the warmup, my team showed they wanted to win this one, as the field players had an intense keepaway game while I warmed up and finished with a few long kicks. The warmup had one of the best endings we have had all season as my team was shooting as they would in the game and I came up with a couple of good touches. Our normal ending is my team making great shots and me being off, but I wasn’t letting in a single goal during warmup. As the referees were checking our roster my teammate, Aubrie O’Connor, noticed that I was nervous about the game. She told me, “Live not in fear but in faith,” something she had heard that morning at church. Jumping back a bit: we are in the second round of our season and last time we played this team (Challenge) it ended badly, a 5-3 loss. As I watched them warmup, I could see that this team thought that they had the game in the bag. . .I saw people laughing and joking around. Right as the whistle blew to start the game you could see that my team was out there to win it as we captured every single 50-50 ball and when someone was feeling bad about a ball they had just played my teammates were there bringing them back up. The first goal of the game was scored by Lynsey Curry and the way that happened she beat the girl front post. Yup, the goalkeeper had her worst nightmare, as Coach Walker would say. Then the second goal was scored by Sydney Curry, the goal was actually something Coach Walker and I have been working on after practices, an angled high ball. . .and now I see that just jumping to the ball doesn’t do anything but make you miss so you need that footwork. So the end of the first half the score was 2-0, Dynamos winning. The second half is when the over-aggressive playing got the best of the Challenge players as they were throwing us on the ground and pulling jerseys. But since we already knew they were going to come out like that we all kept our cool and played like Dynamos players. During a tackle Hannah Hohlt got kicked in the ankle so she had to sit out the rest of the game. Due to them doing this to her we wanted even more to keep them from scoring. So that is what we did… left it to be a 2-0 shutout game.
Patty Walrath: "I just realized I bite my lip every time I kick the ball."
KEEPERTALK Welcome to new member Madison Brown, who plays for the U12 Dynamos of Coach Richard Tortorich. . .Keepers Trevor and Kelsi Gibson not only attended the Houston Dynamo’s 1-0 overtime victory over Seattle, but sat next to former U. S. president George Bush Sr., and shook his hand. Trevor and Kelsi also saw at Robertson Stadium a splendid display of goalkeeping excellence by Pat Onstad and Kasey Keller, a pair of Keeper Club favorites. . .Dynamos’ U11 keeper Grant Steppe and his brother, Ryan, a Cy-Fair referee, traveled to New Orleans to run in the Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving Day event benefiting Spina Bifida. Grant wore his blue Dynamos jacket while warming up. . .The barrage of shots continued the first day of November for St. Mary’s University freshman keeper Mari Edwards, who faced 25 official shots on goal from conference-leading Incarnate Word, making eight saves in a 1-0 setback. Then, in a 3-0 loss to St. Edward‘s, Mari registered 12 saves while facing 28 shots!. . .Former Keeper Club member Lt. Mya Morrison sends greetings from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where she has a medical-related assignment tracking patients. . .Another ex, longtime keeper trainee Ben Pruitt, kicked field goals of 38, 41, 19 and 24 yards and two extra points to help The Woodlands HS edge Klein Forest, 32-31 on November 14 in its opening playoff game. . .A couple of technical mistakes had keeper Veronica Pierce’s team down several goals against the Klein Raiders November 22, but Ronni kept her head clear and came up with a big time flying save later in the game when the U18 Dynamos rallied to stay in contention. . .Thanks to Houston firefighter Clayton Harris for his help with the large November turnouts. A former keeper in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Clayton lives in Spring and has become a regular at training sessions. . .Nick Rimando was named Most Valuable Player of the Major League Soccer’s championship game after leading Real Salt Lake past the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, saving several penalties in front of 46,011 at Qwest Stadium in Seattle. "The underdog has a championship now," Rimando told ESPN's Allen Hopkins. "We had our ups and downs, but this team believed and we're champions.". .If you have items for Keeper! or KeeperTalk, please email JWalker332@aol.com or call 281-217-1612. 
 TRAINING LOG Listing of players who attended training in November:  2--Ronni Pierce, Aaron Austin, Kaitrin Miller, Cameron Rieth, Kennedy McGill, Taylor Elliott 3--Ronni Pierce, Kaitrin Miller, Grant Steppe, Cody Brown, Jordan Nassirian, Alyssa Bradley, Kaylee Barrett, Patty Walrath 5--Jordan Nassirian, Kaylee Barrett, Alyssa Bradley, Marissa Mills, Damon Mosher, Ronni Pierce, Patty Walrath, Braden Mann, Kaitrin Miller, Kodi Garcia, Samantha Adrianson, Guest: Clayton Harris 9--Cameron Rieth, Taylor Elliott, David Meyer, Francesco Lo Sauro, Kennedy McGill, Kaitrin Miller12--Sophie Frusco, David Meyer, Kaitrin Miller, Braden Mann, Damon Mosher, Patty Walrath, Ronni Pierce, Marissa Mills, Samantha Adrianson, Kaylee Barrett, Alyssa Bradley, Grant Steppe, Zoey Mottershaw, Francesco Lo Sauro. Guest: Clayton Harris16--Madison Brown, Mallory Majewski, Cameron Rieth, Kennedy McGill, Taylor Elliott, Braden Mann, Ronni Pierce, Patty Walrath, Francesco Lo Sauro, Samantha Adrianson19--Kaitrin Miller, Braden Mann, Kelsi Gibson, Damon Mosher, Patty Walrath, Ronni Pierce, Jordan Nassirian, Alyssa Bradley, Kaylee Barrett, Grant Steppe, Samantha Adrianson, Francesco Lo Sauro Guest instructor: Clayton Harris. Guest shooter: Chubbs23--Taylor Elliott, Francesco Lo Sauro, Kaitrin Miller, Kennedy McGill, Cameron Rieth, Ronni Pierce, Madison Brown, Braden Mann. 24--Ronni Pierce, Francesco Lo Sauro, Patty Walrath, Marissa Mills, Grant Steppe, David Meyer. Jimmy Meyer
30--Ronni Pierce, Madison Brown, Kaitrin Miller, Taylor Elliott, Cameron Rieth, and Trevor Gibson
Awesome Saves!BEST IN MLSHouston Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad’s first and second saves of a penalty kick and rebound against Colorado in April was selected by fans for the first Major League Soccer Save of the Year Award. With the Dynamo ahead, 1-0, late in the second half, Onstad reached high with his left hand to parry away a penalty kick attempt by Conor Casey, then recovered and saved the ensuing rebound attempt from Terry Cooke, securing a 1-0 shutout for Houston
 ONE WITH CLAWSIf fans are calling Croatian keeper Ivan Banovic "The Cat" these days, it’s not only for his quickness afoot, but for kindness to a feline. Ivan left his goal to rescue a cat wandering on the field early in the game. Ivan quickly carried the curious kitty to safety under the scoreboard, but upon his return the referee gave him a yellow card for leaving the field mid-game. BBC Sport reported that the ref immediately was booed, and the crowd--including the opposing team's fans--spent the remainder of the match applauding the goalie’s kindness.
 OFF THE BENCHBill Irwin, a veteran pro keeper who played with the Houston Dynamos in 1985 alongside area trainers Bill McDonald, Tony Johnson and Marty Espinoza, is coach of the University of Portland team that reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Portland has a long tradition of producing great goalies, dating back to Kasey Keller in the late 1980s. Latest keeper to get a shot with the Pilots is freshman Justin Baarts, who saw his first collegiate action when All-Western Collegiate Conference keeper Austin Guerrero was red-carded in overtime of the first tourney match. Baarts finished the victory and made his first start three days later in a 2-1 win over North CarolinaState. “He didn’t show any outward nerves to me," said Irwin, "He's got that confidence about him." Baarts finished with three saves, including an acrobatic, diving save on a hard shot by Lucas Carpenter in the 53rd minute. “I was set when he hit it and I knew I had to make a save,” said Baarts. “I got there and got a hand on it.” Guerrero returned to action Sunday, November 29, but Portland bowed out to Virginia, 1-0.
EXPERT ADVICEDavid Benner, another former Houston Dynamos pro keeper and occasional camp instructor for the Keeper Club, lives in the Dallas area and has two sons, the youngest (Ryan) a keeper and the older one (Austin) converting from baseball to keeper. David relates that he took them to work out at the high school field. “At 6-3, Austin is a formidable figure in goal,“ says David, “but needs some polish since he has decided to: a) pick up soccer again, b) become a keeper, and c) try out for the JV team. I, of course, have to show them how to do certain drills, and when they think it ‘can’t be done‘–I tell them to suck it up.” While doing one of  dad’s “mystery drills,” David noticed they weren’t keeping the pace he wanted, so he did it with them. Ryan complained: “This is just great. We’re getting our butts kicked on this drill by a 54-year-old man!” Concluded Dad: “Compliments are few and far between.”
QUOTABLE“The buck stops here.” That was a sign that U. S. President Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) kept on his desk in his White House office. Legendary English keeper Gordon Banks commented about the sign: “Goalkeepers should have that carved on their backs.”
TIP OF THE MONTHThe time for self-assessment is after practice and especially after games. Teammates feed off a keeper's emotion as do opponents. Other than excitement a keeper should not show much emotion. If a soft goal is conceded it must be filed away in a keeper’s head for after the game. The best way to deal with the situation and the resulting emotions is to correct the mistake in their head quickly, file it away, and then begin focusing their energy on the next play. That goal is gone. To help prevent another mistake it’s important to stay in the present. No need to think about the past goal or anticipate the future. After the game the keeper can sit with their support network, coaches, and reflect on the mistakes to identify development opportunities and goals before the next game.--Chris Benjamin, www.keeperstop.com.
KEEPING SECRETS “Jump-setting or pre-stretching just before the shot can be helpful if done more in an up-and-down fashion rather than forward. It must be done early enough so both feet are on the ground before the ball is struck, and so the keeper’s motion has stopped. The more accurate term for this action is called ‘weight-loading.’ This tension on the muscles prepares the keeper to respond more rapidly to neural commands.”--David M. Smart, Situational Performance Training.
Keeper Kaylee Barrett travels to out-of-town tournaments in style.
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