This is a huge match day in English soccer. The county’s entire top league will be in action and New Jersey’s own Tim Howard and his Everton comrades will take on Wigan at 10AM. Mr. Howard is having another great season in England as the North Brunswick native can help his mates climb to as high as third place in the Premiership today.
Another chapter in this area’s soccer activity has been written this past season as schools, colleges, clubs, and professional teams concluded their campaigns. Newark East Side took the Newark Public Schools Tournament while Harrison went to the Group 1 State Final looking to add to their state-leading 24 titles but were defeated. Essex County College remained competitive finishing in the middle of their five team division. New Jersey Institute of Technology’s progress is coming along as they finished with a winning record. Rutgers Newark has consistently improved over the past few years and are now one of the elite programs of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The MLS first-round playoff series with Washington DC United did not go well. The messy affair saw the Metrostars pack it up after one round in familiar fashion along with an even more unwelcome but familiar sight: major change. Again, the entire personnel will be shuffled. Players, coaches, and management are playing musical chairs and filling strange positions like Global Sporting Director and the team will become the amusement of yet another syndicate.
But alas, the pride of Newark soccer did not disappoint. Saint Benedict’s Prep had another vintage season. Congratulations to the Gray Bees as they have won not just all 18 games this season for a total of 54 straight victories, not just the 24th consecutive state prep title, but their eighth National Championship, second in a row. Even with a coaching change three years ago and the absence of “star” players this season, this team continued to dominate and finished on top of the nation.