Tag Archives: Soccer

The lack of equity in soccer has gotten out of hand 

Football, aka soccer in the states, is a beautiful game. The game most of the world loves. The game where everyone with just the ability and desire to work hard to earn their chance on a team will make it right? Maybe you would also hear that it is the sport where “anyone or any team can win.” Well, you are actually almost utterly wrong if you think that. You can spend your entire life working towards making it to the highest level and maybe have the chance to win a title for your team. Instead, you will likely just end up losing to a team that can spend on players who have better talent than you. So I am going to explain to you how wealthy billionaires have ruined football. 

First, let me explain why the owners have more power than American sports owners. In American sports, there is something called a salary cap. This salary cap system is used in many American sports to stop teams’ excessive amounts of money. Yes, in European soccer, there is some sort of rule where you aren’t allowed to spend over a certain amount for wages. However, this rule is relatively easy to bypass for teams with wealthy owners. They can spend more on wages than the less affluent teams due to their higher wealth, causing this separation between teams. This leads to exclusive competition among only a few teams in the league compared to everyone else.

 Now, what teams have these types of owners? Simple answer: almost every single good one. 

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Let’s talk about one of the first real mega-money men of the sport, Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea F.C. He took ownership of the team in June 2003. He wanted to take over the club because he saw potential in the team after they finished fourth. In total, under his reign of ownership, Chelsea has won nearly 20 trophies, with more still to come for as long as he is in charge. It also has kept them at the top consistently for most of that time.  Yet he has also spent nearly 4 billion dollars on players alone to get Chelsea to where they are.

Years of constant investment in some of the best players in the world can also impact players who could succeed in this newfound competition for a position. A player who has had this experience is Tammy Abraham. He played for Chelsea FC, and got consistent game time during the 2019-2020 season. During this season, he shined looking like one of the best strikers in the premier league and thought he would keep the form going. Then, Chelsea spent millions on strikers such as Timo Werner in 2020 and Romelu Lukaku in 2021 to push him out of the starting position. He has since moved to a team named Roma FC, where he has gotten off to a good start.

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Now that we learned what it is like to be at the top, let us see what it is like to be average. Sometimes, you can spend this mass amount of money and still not reach the heights of winning trophies or competing for more significant competitions. For example, Everton, a team that has spent nearly 500 million dollars, still has found little success.

What owners mainly spend their money on is the transfer fees of players. For example, recently, Manchester City spent nearly 130 million dollars on Jack Grealish. Yes, spending that much money on a single person is extreme, but that is the primary way for teams to compete for the top.

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These owners also want more ways to make money. Through wanting to cut costs on running the team, taking money from the team, and even trying to come up with grand ideas to bring more cash into themselves. An example of this would be Manchester United’s owners taking money from transfer fees to pay their own expenses.

The sport is now viewed by hardcore fans as being a cash grab rather than an experience for anyone and everyone. A way the fans feel this is through ticket prices. The average ticket price to get into Premier League games increases every season and gets more hurtful to fans’ pockets. Not only in tickets, but the owners also likely make fans overpay for any sort of merchandise that the team makes, such as jerseys, scarves, hats, etc.

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Overall, owners can completely invest in making their team better to become a more prominent name to make their money. They rob players’ careers to make money for their own gain rather than even caring about the players; they don’t care about the people who give them the money, the fans.

Chris DeGroote is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Fall Sports Sets Tone for the Rest of the Year

Our fall sports teams put an air of electricity into school everyday because of the success every team was experiencing.  Four out of the five sports teams were in position to take home championships for their respective sports, with cross country being the only team who can say they met their goal set at the beginning of the season.  Although the other teams experienced losses, their dominance in the regular season has set the tone for the athletic attitude for the rest of the year.

Senior Joey Clark in the rain against the Calvert Hall Cardinals

Maybe the most impressive, St. Joe soccer made their way to the top of the MIAA and one of the top teams in the state of Maryland.  The boys defeated St. Paul’s 4-1 in their last regular season game to cement a second place seed in the conference and a first round bye in the playoffs. I asked senior captain Joe Clark for his thoughts about his team’s dominant regular season, “We’ve managed to do so well because of our strong defense, letting up the least amount of goals in the MIAA,” he explained. “Another thing we have over other teams is a strong bench. All twenty-five guys on the team contribute to our wins, and we substitute constantly in games. Our team has a lot of heart and great chemistry.”  However, after defeating Calvert Hall in close games twice during the regular season, they were on the other side of that scenario when they played the Cardinals for a third time.

Next up is the surprising story of the VolleyGaels. The varsity volleyball team has reversed their fortunes from seasons past, improving their record to 12-4 as opposed to 6-12 from a season ago. The Gaels finished tied for third place in the MIAA and continued to look like a strong contender to compete in the championship. However, the team faced their biggest game since maybe their 2006 championship: a semi-final game against the undefeated Gilman Greyhounds.  The Gaels took the first set, but would drop the next three, and witnessed the Greyhounds advance to the championship.  Still, the VolleyGaels worked their tails off to finish with their best season since 2006.

Senior Quarterback Christian Carter stiff arms a Calvert Hall opponent

The football team also saw a wealth of success this season. Senior quarterback Christian Carter finally gotten his chance to start, and made the most of it.  During an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Carter mentioned how the spread offense has impacted the amount of points he and his offense can put on the board. “It’s very fast. That’s why we score so much. We move at a fast pace. Everybody is open. It gets people clicking,” he said to Sun reporter Tony Worgo.  Another key story line was the team’s stellar defense throughout the course of the season.  The defense limited opposing teams’ offenses to an average of 1 to 2 scores a game.  I asked junior Ryan Gorman about how much of a difference the defense has made for the team this year, and he said, “Whenever our offense has been down, our defense has stepped up. But the same goes for the offense. When we’re down, we can count on the offense to step up.”  Because of their loss to McDonough, the football team needed to win out against the two teams above them in the rankings in order to win the league.  Unfortunately, the Gaels did not prevail, and finished in third place in the MIAA for the season.

Senior Carter Williams running alongside Juniors Andrew Brinker and Sophomore Gabe Antone

Varsity cross country may be one of the least talked about sports in school, but Coach Turner sure knows what he is doing.  I checked the MIAA website for the standings and was surprised to see the Gaels sitting atop the conference at 7-0.  The team is comprised of seniors Alex Whittaker, Carter Williams, and Garrett Keidel, as well as juniors Hunter Petrik, Andrew Brinker, and sophomore Gabe Antone. Carter had this to say about his team’s under-the-radar season: “We don’t really mind that we’re an unnoticed sport. Our whole team has put in so much work. We’re all silent and hungry. We just go to the course, give it our all, and take care of business, and I think that shows in our record and performances we’ve had so far.”  Their approach worked as the XC team won the MIAA championship, and the private school state championship.

I’m excited to report that we can look forward to more sports later this year to being contenders to win it all.

There is not much that needs to be said about basketball, but we can all expect them to finish near the top of the conference.  I can honestly say that I believe no other school has more hype surrounding an individual sports team than we do for our basketball team.  Look for the hype to increase as 4-star guard Darryl Morsell announced Wednesday afternoon that he has decided to commit to the University of Maryland. We saw the hype surrounding the basketball team increase immediately, as ‘Darryl Morsell’ was trending on twitter not even an hour after committing to the University of Maryland.

It is my opinion that the indoor track team is very similar in terms of publicity to the cross country team. The indoor track team was the missing link in the clean sweep a year ago between indoor, outdoor, and cross country championships.  With cross country already crowned victors, look for indoor to attempt to complete the second leg of the cycle.

The Tier-1 ice hockey team is also said to be contenders for the championship. While talking to senior Jay Davis, he reported, “We are definitely better than last year, and I expect to see us in the championship game.” Looks like we can add hockey onto the list of teams to contend for a title this school year.

Coach Spurrier led his outdoor track team to a 1st place finish in the spring last school year. Obviously the team will look to repeat as champions, with maybe a position to clinch the running sweep (with cross country and indoor track). Outdoor track is yet another team that does not get enough press for their success, but hopefully we can bring to light how successful the team has the potential to be.

Even though my opinions for the baseball team are even more biased than all of the previous paragraphs, I do believe that our baseball team can compete to win the championship in the spring.  Comprised of fourteen returning players, most of whom obtained a wealth of experience a year ago,the team will look to win its first championship in thirteen years.

Although my initial prediction was that we’ll see six athletic teams win championships this school year, I still see the potential for a couple more in these next two sports seasons. I am very excited for what this year can bring.  The best thing I can say is that we should get out to as many home sporting events as we can and cheer on our classmates during their seasons!

Fall Sports Pep Rally & Homecoming Preview

Enjoy pictures from the Fall Pep Rally and a preview of MSJ Homecoming 2016!

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Homecoming is always a busy day at The Mount. The soccer and football games bring a large crowd of students dressed in the theme and covered in face paint. This year there is even a post-soccer, pre-football tailgate, hopefully attracting an even larger crowd. However, no one comes for the food, or just for the purpose of playing dress up and painting your face. Students come to support for their fellow Mount classmates and to show their competitive spirit as our teams face their opponent. This year Soccer (11-2-2) will take on Eastern Tech (7-2). Football (6-1)  is facing Calvert Hall (5-3) in a pivotal MIAA match.

A very big story this year at MSJ has been the soccer team, which is currently ranked by Max Preps at 2nd in the State and 138th in the Country. The team was previously ranked 18th in the country, but suffered a tough loss to Archbishop Curley, followed by a closely fought tie which ended at 1-1 to Gilman, this past Wednesday. I spoke with one of the team’s captains, Kenny Crist, about this and he said “we as a team need to look at those games and learn from our mistakes.” He also mentioned that he thinks those games will help fuel the team throughout the rest of the season. One question that came to my mind when looking at the team’s schedule this week was the fact that they are playing 4 pm game this Friday and then coming home the next morning and playing a game. Does the team have the endurance and energy to do that? Well Crist assured me that playing in front of a crowd, which the team doesn’t get to do very often, “will fire us (the team) up” and he says that the team has “a deep bench and that means plenty of substitutes. I don’t think energy will be an issue because everyone gets pumped for Hoco (homecoming) no matter who we are playing.” As a spectator I go to homecoming expecting an exciting game, and this year’s Homecoming soccer game should prove to be an exciting match with the Gaels trying to right themselves heading into the home stretch of the season.

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The Homecoming Football game is always just as exciting as the soccer game. In the recent years the Gaels haven’t seen their best performances. They are 2-4 since 2010 on homecoming. However, now in his second year as Varsity Head Coach, Rich Holzer doesn’t plan on that happening. The Gaels have only seen one winning record in five years before Coach Holzer arrived, bringing his new and fresh offense with him. His west-coast-style offense has been just the thing St. Joe needed. Christian Carter, the starting quarterback at MSJ, is third in the state in total yards, with 1857 yards this season. This is Carter’s first year being the pilot of the MSJ offense, but that is no challenge to him. Last season, Carter watched Bryan Costabile, who finished his 2015 campaign with 3249 total yards. Carter may be new to the starting roll on Varsity, but he did lead the JV Gaels in 2014 to an undefeated season and JV MIAA Championship.

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Carter is also surrounded by an array of targets and strong running game. Junior Gary Agurs Jr leads the MIAA with 447 yards receiving and Senior Ari Weems is right behind him at 415 yards. In fact, the Gaels hold the top 4 spots in receiving in the MIAA. The other two spots are held by Junior Matt McDonald who has 413 yards and Junior Keshawn Hailey who has 351 yards. Junior Sam James is second in the league in rushing with 642 yards averaging 6.2 yards per carry. All around the MSJ offense is capable of completely dominating. If you stop the pass, the team will run and if you stop the run, they will pass. All this is a testament to the new offense brought by Coach Rich Holzer and his staff. However, it isn’t just about the offense. The defense is also extremely impressive.

The team has allowed only 78 points all season, averaging 11 points per game. The team has posted three shutouts and can hopefully produce another this Homecoming weekend. I got a chance to talk with Junior linebacker Ryan Gorman about this weekend. I asked him if this game means more to the team because it is Homecoming and Ryan’s responded by saying, “every game from now on is as important as the other. We need to be 1-0 at the end of the week.” This philosophy has been a point of emphasis for Coach Holzer this season. I also asked Ryan what the players were looking forward to, and he told me “We’re really looking forward to Saturday. Anytime we get to compete and get better we love it, especially on Homecoming.” He then later added that, “we have to come out and play to our full potential and start off strong.” Calvert Hall, however, is no push over, having put up tough performances in two of their three losses. The team only lost to Riverdale Baptist by one point and by two scores against a very good St. Francis team.

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After speaking with players from both teams, I’m very excited for this week’s Homecoming games. Please come out and support both teams Saturday. The Soccer game is at 11 am and Football is at 2 pm. Also feel free to go to the Homecoming Tailgate which is 5$ for admission and 15$ for food. Saturday’s theme is Jersey, so wear any jersey you have and come support your Gaels.

All photos taken by Quill staff members Joe Carrigan and Nick Viennas.

A Look at the Season Ahead: Varsity Soccer

Varsity Soccer gathers pre-game. Photo Credit: Varsity Views

Last season, the Gaels Varsity Soccer team finished 11-10 on the season, finishing 24 points behind first place McDonogh and coming in 5th place. This season, the Gaels will be looking to build off of last seasons triumphs and learn from their mistakes.

Goalie Nick DeShong ’17 took some time to talk about the learning process: “We learned a lot as a team from last season to this season. A key to our team is our chemistry and it has built up since last season. Our leaders are more mature and we honestly are coming together and I know we have a shot at the championship. Our expectations are high like always, but we are focused one game at a time and only one game. I know for a fact that we can’t get ahead of  ourselves, we have to stay together and take this season game by game and team.”

Mount Saint Joe goes on the offensive against McDonogh. Photo Credit: Varsity Views (https://www.varsityviews.com/2016/09/07/md/boys-varsity-soccer-mt-st-joseph-vs-mcdonogh/album/57d2db023e2a825e59675a7d)

I also had the opportunity to interview coach St. Martin to get his view on his team this season. He told me that the advantage this team has coming into the season is that the majority of the players on the team has at least one to two years on the Varsity squad. Experience is on their side and it has shown in their first two games this season, beating Loyola in the first game and a few close calls away from defeating McDonogh, the defending MIAA Champion. This preseason, the Baltimore Sun ranked the St. Joe team 4th, but for coach St. Martin while it is nice for his team to receive the recognition, it is all about taking it game by game.

Mount Saint Joe Varsity Soccer in action against McDonogh. Photo Credit: Varsity Views (https://www.varsityviews.com/2016/09/07/md/boys-varsity-soccer-mt-st-joseph-vs-mcdonogh/album/57d2db023e2a825e59675a7d)

As I already mentioned, the season is already underway for the Gaels winning their first game of the MIAA season 3-0 over Loyola; goals from Jordan Ehart, Brett St. Martin, and Jake Mazzei.The Gaels second MIAA game ended with a tough 2-1 loss versus McDonogh; the lone goal from Mazzei. The team had their game against Spalding postponed due to heat on Friday, September 9. Their next game is Wednesday, September 14, at home against Archbishop Curley. They also play Friday, away, at Gilman.

MSJ Varsity Soccer 2015: Heart and Resiliency

Greetings, MSJ Sports Fans!

On Friday, October 9, I had the chance to interview Coach St. Martin, Varsity Soccer Head Coach. I also had the chance to speak to Joe Clark, one of the Varsity starters. I asked both of them to describe the team with one word, Joey paused thoughtfully before answering the question and replied “heart.” I later posed the same question to Coach St. Martin, where he agreed with Joe, but adding “resilient.” Stating that the team never gives up while down and fights till the end.

Last season the Gaels disappointingly finished 2-12-2 in the MIAA-A conference and 3-13-3 overall. Meanwhile, as of Friday, October 9, the Gaels are having a tremendously better season with a 3-4 conference record and a 6-5 overall record, pushing them right into the thick of things in the MIAA-A conference. The Gaels are only 3 points behind rival Archbishop Spalding, whose game was rained out on Friday. The game is currently being rescheduled between the Athletic Directors, who have to accommodate field availability and each team’s scheduled games.

As Coach St. Martin and Joe Clark both agreed, the game against Archbishop Spalding is an important game for the Gaels. If the Gaels can finish their chances and have possession for most of the match the Gaels will be poised to climb higher in the MIAA standings.