Monmouth University

College Soccer Update: Monmouth’s monster keeper; Virginia’s wonder dribble (video)

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Eric Klenofsky is keeping himself out of the local headlines, but that won’t stop the national plaudits.

The giant junior goalkeeper from Monmouth, the one with appendages like octopi and the reaction time of a jack rabbit, is the owner of the top goals against average in the nation two years running.

He also happens to be the sports editor at the college paper, The Outlook, which could cause some problems if he wasn’t a strict disciple of journalist protocol.

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“I try to keep myself out of the sports section as much as possible,” Klenofsky said. “It’s a tricky situation, but a situation that I’m blessed to be in.”

That work ethic and moral fabric might keep his name out of the pages, but there’s little debating his skills, fundamentals, and accolades. The junior paced the country in goals against average in 2013 (.22) and 2014 (.48), finishing second in save percentage both seasons, and has realistic MLS aspirations.

So how does a guy double-down on that? By facing a stiffer challenge.

“This season I really just want to prove all the naysayers wrong,” Klenofsky said. “You can look at the stats and say, ‘He’s a really good keeper’ or ‘He had really good center backs,’ which I did. But I want people to know it wasn’t just them. I want there to be no question about those stats. Ever.”

The Hawks graduated a pair of stud center backs last season. Eric Jeffery is now in MLS with Colorado after back-to-back stints as MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, while Hawks coach Robert McCourt says Emmanuel Senyah Agyemang has MLS-level talent but, unfortunately, Ghanaian citizenship which makes teams think twice before using a foreign slot.

On top of the graduations, there have been injuries.

“We’re down two very experienced, good level defenders,” McCourt said. “We’ve been trying to mix and match until we’ve gotten the blend correctly.”

[ MORE: College soccer news ]

So Klenofsky’s .87 goals against average and .803 save percentage are still quite impressive, and perhaps show just how good the kid can be.

“Eric’s a really savvy guy for his age. I think he’s an MLS guy,” McCourt said. “We’ve had seven guys drafted in the last seven years, including (San Jose goalkeeper) Bryan Meredith, and he feels the same if (Klenofsky) continues to push his development.”

After a tough 0-3 start to the season, Monmouth has settled into its shape in front of Klenofsky. Winners of five of six — the sixth a 0-0 tie — the Hawks have allowed just two goals in their unbeaten streak.

Next: a very difficult challenge in talented conference mates Iona.

Three stars

  1. Seattle. Wow. The 7-2 Redhawks knocked off a pair of Top 15 teams in three days time, upending Washington 2-1 and then heading to Oregon State to topple the Beavers 2-1. It’s been bombs away for Seattle, with three players ripping off 20 or more shots this year, including leading scorer Hamza Haddadi.
  2. South Carolina entered the week just a game over .500 and ended it ranked in the Top 20. How? They ended Elon’s undefeated season with a 3-1 win before knocking off New Mexico 2-1. That’ll do it. Gamecocks forward and D-2 transfer Danny Deakin now has six goals to lead the team.
  3. Virginia’s Derrick Etienne got a heck of a lot of respect from VCU’s midfield on a free dribble up the middle, but there’s no debating what he did the rest of the was class, and the first goal of the freshman’s career (See 2:11 into video)

Other notes

  • Creighton lost three of the 24 total first-place votes in the NSCAA poll, with North Carolina (2) and Wake Forest (1) stepping in for some. Apparently blanking Northern Illinois and scoring three goals in 11 minutes to comeback on Seton Hall isn’t enough to impress continuity amongst all voters.
  • The UNC Tar Heels did improve to 7-0-1 on the season by beating rival Duke 2-1 at Chapel Hill. Wake Forest beat Akron and tied Clemson.
  • Also No. 1? Charleston (Men’s D2), Kenyon (Men’s D3), UNC (Women’s D1), Central Missouri (Women’s D2), Messiah (Women’s D3)

World record-holding manager Gutendorf dies at 93

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The world record holder for most teams managed has died at the age of 93.

Rudi Gutendorf, who managed in the United States with the NASL’s St. Louis Stars (1968), last managed in 2003 when he led the Samoa national team.

[ MORE: Maguire shining for Man Utd ]

Those are two of 55 teams he led onto the pitch, 22 of which were national teams. He led teams from CONCACAF (Trinidad and Tobago), CAF (Ghana), CONMEBOL (Chile), OFC (Fiji), and AFC (Australia).

The German-born Gutendorf did a lot of his club work in Europe, leading clubs as big as Hamburg, Schalke, Real Valladolid, and Hertha Berlin.

Gutendorf managed Rwanda in the wake of the country’s dark civil war. From DW.com:

“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview of the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.

What a fascinating career Gutendorf had, and the stories he’s told.

Man Utd’s Maguire “showed what a man he is” versus Leicester

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Manchester United is still working to find its form as a team, but center back Harry Maguire continued his run of fine performances when the Red Devils beat his former team on Saturday.

United beat Leicester City 1-0 on the day, a Marcus Rashford penalty the difference, but Maguire and fellow new back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were again exceptional.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-0 Leicester City ]

Ashley Young has been through a few iterations of Manchester United, and the long-time club offered up lofty words to credit Maguire’s contributions to the team.

“Again he showed today what a man he is,” Young said. “You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well.”

Maguire won five aerial battles and two tackles while completing 83 percent of his passes and managing two shots against his former side (WhoScored). On the season, only Anthony Martial has consistently been more important to the team.

He also did not record a loss of possession, and seemingly was unbothered by plenty of criticism from the traveling fans. From The Manchester Evening News:

“I don’t think it bothers (Maguire) whatsoever,” said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “You’ve got to be that way and when you play, when you coach, when you manage, we don’t get carried away when we win a game that we maybe didn’t deserve to win, but we don’t get in the dumps when we don’t win.”

Solskjaer also loved Maguire and Victor Lindelof for their performance against pesky Leicester star Jamie Vardy.

“I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy,” Solskjaer said. “I think he’s my type of centre forward, runs in in behind, harasses and you’ve got to be spot on with the decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off, and both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well.”

Maguire didn’t love being on the other side of Vardy, either.

“It was tough playing against Jamie,” he said. “I’ve played with him for two years and he is a top player who can terrorize defenses when he is on his game. … We knew it was important to get the win, especially after the international break. We have to build on a solid base and we want to keep clean sheets, especially at Old Trafford. We are always going to score goals with the attacking talent we have.”

United hosts Kazakhstan’s Astana on Thursday in the Europa League before visiting West Ham United on Sept. 22.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Everton

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets the start up top as Everton looks to take down hosts Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Richarlison join Calvert-Lewin in attack for the Toffees, who can go fourth with a win.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Bournemouth enters the day in 16th, a point ahead of the bottom three, but can rise into the top half with a win. Early season vibes.

LINEUPS

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, Cook, Stacey, Solanke, Billing, L. S. Cook, Wilson, King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Surman, Lerma, Ibe, Fraser, Simpson, Mepham.

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Delph, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Walcott, Sidibe, Bernard, Davies, Kean.

USWNT legend O’Reilly scores stunner on night to honor her career

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USWNT hero and North Carolina Courage playmaker Heather O’Reilly gave her special day its just desserts.

The 34-year-old New Jersey native scored a sweet goal late in North Carolina’s 6-1 demolition of Orlando Pride on Saturday night, which just so happened to be the evening chosen to celebrate her 17-year career.

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O’Reilly dribbled down the left before cutting to the middle and slashing a shot across the goal and inside the far post.

She has 231 USWNT caps with 47 goals, a Women’s World Cup crown, three Olympic gold medals, three top-flight domestic titles, two Women’s College Cups, and an FA Cup with Arsenal Ladies.

The Courage have four matches left in the regular season and look set to again be the No. 1 seed, so O’Reilly may yet have more memorable moments left in her playing career.