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This Week in Seals History!

This Week in Seals History republishes articles from our archives.  We hope you enjoy a bit of history!

Great Night for Soccer and the Seals vs Fiji Match at Chabot College in Hayward
by Paul Sheirich
Published April 12, 2007
What a night!  I won’t tell you that we weren’t worried.  The weather forecast said rain, then no rain, then rain early, then rain possible with high winds, then . . . well, you get the idea.  What we got was a great match on a cool night, and a fantastic and enthusiastic crowd!

Oh yea.  Fiji beat us 0-1.  But hey!  It was a good goal. 

The game opened with neither team dominating, but each team looking threatening.  The Seals attacked with shots from Kelechi Igwe, John Colan, Steven Cordova, and JD Butler, just to name a few.  Some just missed wide and others required saves by the Fiji keeper, Simione Tamanisau. 

The Seals, in white, attacked more with a building and control game which was effective.  Play went wide, across the middle and then into the attack.  Fiji, in their striking black uniforms, played a fast game with frequent long passes up over the top to their young star Rajesh Kumar, or to other players who moved into the attack in fluid movements. 

Jonathan Kurup was dangerous as he played in several balls that were saved by the Seals keeper, Luis Montanez, or just missed by a Fiji attacker. 

The first half finished with it looking like it was anybody’s game to step up and win.

In the second half, Fiji did just that.  “I really feel that my adjustments cost us that game,” said Tom Simpson, Seals General Manager and coach.  “We played the first half with an outside building game, and I switched us to an inside game and made some substitutions.  The guys liked the idea, but we had a little trouble adjusting, and they got a nice goal.”

I think the Fiji fans agreed with Simpson, as the crowd sent up a great cheer for their boys from Fiji, as they took the lead, and ultimately the win, with a fine goal.

The attack came quickly, and directly at the middle just outside the 18 yard box.  The ball was slotted through the defense which got slightly turned, and the Fiji attacker, Pita Baleitoga, who came up out of the midfield, picked up the ball behind the defense and slotted it into the back of the net with a nice shot low and hard.

The crowd was great, with attendance nearing 1,500.  A Fiji National jersey signed by all the players, along with three Seals season tickets, and a Seals Scarf were raffled off just after half-time.  Food was provided by the American Muslim  Association, and the ball girls were from the Union City Palmeiras, who are getting ready to play in the Round of 16 in the State Cup this weekend.

The Seals want to thank the Fiji National team, the fans, Mr. Arif Khan (the Fiji Tour coordinator with the Fiji US Sports & Social), the Chabot Community College staff, and the Seals volunteers who all helped make the event a great time!

Officials for the match were:
Referee Kari Seitz, Senior Assistant Michael Donovan, Junior Assistant Vince Cortes, and Fourth Official Greg Hill.


Spain - Post #5
July 6, 2013

by Ian James

The Seals tournament run is finished as we made it to the semi-finals and lost 3-2. Despite our disappointment in not winning the tournament there is a sense of pride in what we accomplished. Most of the players are also relieved they can go a couple hours without playing a game of soccer.

The quarter final was a first class attacking spectacle. The Seals went down early, but Johnny brought us back level (once again) with an amazing chip from halfway off of the kick off. He scored another before Gabe rounded off the scoring with a clean first time shot into the upper right corner.

Our semifinal was where we dug a whole too big for us to comeback from. We went down 3-0 against a strong Basque team before we could get our legs. Spencer Johnson got a brace as the Seals tried to overcome the deficit but it was not to be. I believe that our poor start might be partially contributed to the opposition's goalkeeper having dreads arranged in a mullet, a hairstyle that could overwhelm even the most composed forward.

Now we are off to Madrid, where we will take a flight back to San Francisco, and away from the  shared showers, smoking seven year olds and twenty person bedrooms. I think we will all miss it.

Note:  Defender Ian James is traveling with the U19 - U17 team in Spain and will be chronicleing the experience which will be posted on the Seals website.

Read All the Posts!

Former Seals Youth Player Joins Earthquakes
March 29, 2013

by Paul Sheirich

The San Jose Earthquakes announced March 12th that they signed former San Francisco Seals youth player Colin Mitchell to the tream roster.

Mitchell was selected by the Earthquakes in the January Supplemental Draft and evaluated by the team in camp prior to signing earlier this month.  He spent his college career at Oregon State where he appeared in 71 games with the Beavers, tying him for 9th on the schools all-time list for games played. 

Beavers head coach, Steve Simmons noted that "Colin is one of the most athletic players I’ve ever coached. His 5 years at OSU have evolved him from an attacking player to a defender. His ability to play on the left side has helped us in many ways.”

While with the Seals, Mitchell typically played on the left side in the mid-field with occasional stints as left back.  His speed, aggressiveness, and powerful play made him a forceful presence for the team. 

In 2006 Mitchell was a member of the U17 team that played in the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, playing Sheffield United's youth team as well as national teams from Lichtenstein and Malta, Northern Ireland's County Antrim, and the Otago from New Zealand.  The team placed third in the Premier section Dunluce Trophy group. 

A San Francisco native, son of Alison Amonette and Robert Mitchell, Mitchell graduated from San Francisco University High School in 2008, and majored in New Media Communications.

In his "Senior Spotlight" YouTube video, Mitchell notes that he wanted to play professionally, and it's clear that the love of the game he displayed as a youth player stayed with him through college. 

We look forward to following Mitchell's MLS career, and wish him all the best!


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