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Amateur notes: Illinois side tops WSL Major All-Stars

08/30/2013, 12:15am CDT
Andrew Wiedabach

Croatian Eagles midfielder Andrew Wiedabach (Mequon Homestead/UW-Milwaukee) scored, but the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division All-Stars lost to an Illinois State Soccer Association All-Star team 2-1 on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Wiedabach wasn't on the original roster for the match, but was a late addition when another player couldn't make the game because of a work obligation. He stripped the ball off an Illinois defender in the box and finished to tie the score at 1 with about 5 minutes left in the first half.

Illinois took the lead in the 25th minute on a penalty kick after Croatians defender Mike Narciso was ruled to have taken down a player in the box. "It was right on the edge of the box," said Eagles coach Alex Toth, who guided the WSL Major All-Stars along with Dave Scherer of reigning league champion Milwaukee Sport Club. "I thought it was a little bit of a gift."

A bad touch and turnover by the WSL Major All-Stars in their own half led to Illinois' eventual game-winner in the 55th. The home team had more than a few chances to pull level again but couldn't find a second equalizer.

"I thought we played well," Toth said. "Probably in the last 10 or 15 minutes, we could have had two or three goals."

The event, held at United Serbian Soccer Field during the annual Serbian Days Festival hosted by St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, brought back what once was an annual highlight of the Major Division season – Toth said that both he and Scherer were All-Stars during their playing days.

"It was a good day. It's always fun because you get to play with players that you compete against the rest of the season. And it's the same for coaching," said Toth, who is hopeful that the WSL will be able to re-start a tradition of playing the Illinois All-Stars each year and perhaps set up similar matches against teams from other neighboring states. "It was good for the league to bring it back, I think ... Anything we can do to try to bring back some of the glory days, I'm all for it."

  • The WSL Major Division will be a nine-team competition for the 2013-14 season, with Azteca United and Polonia moving up after playing in the Reserve Division last season. Majors teams will play each once during the fall season, which starts Sept. 8, and once next spring for a total of 16 league matches. The Reserve Division has been renamed the First Division and expanded from 16 teams in 2012-13 to a whopping 21 sides – each team will play all the others over the fall and spring. The new teams are Club Latino, Simbas SC, MK Whitefish Bay, North Shore United, SB United and Upper 90 Sports Pub. The WSL plans to split the First Division into two divisions for the 2014-15 season, with this season's top finishers remaining in the league and the lower finishers moving into a new Second Division.
  • The WSL is teaming up with the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association, Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association and the Wisconsin Referee Unit to create the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame. All inductees from the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame, which started in 1977 and held its 31st induction ceremony in April, and the five-year-old WSCA Hall of Fame will be included in the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame. Dave Hodgson, a WSA Hall of Famer and a member of that group's Hall of Fame committee, was named interim chairman of the new Hall's committee – the WSL, WYSA, WSCA and Wisconsin Referee Unit will have designated representatives on the committee. The inaugural Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame banquet is scheduled for March 8, 2014, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, in conjunction with the WSL, WYSA, WSCA and Wisconsin Referee Unit Annual General Meetings.
  • Two WSL Major teams are headed out of state this weekend for big ethnic tournaments. The Croatian Eagles will take part in the 50th annual Croatian National Tournament in Waukegan, Ill., where they'll face defending champion New York Croatia and Canadian clubs Windsor Croatia and Adria Sudbury in group play. The Croatians have added midfielder Tony Walls (Wauwatosa East/UW-Green Bay), who spent the 2012 season with Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire, to their roster and have requested approval from the Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO to have midfielder J.C. Banks (Milwaukee Riverside/UW-Green Bay) play with them, too. Banks' contract expired at the end of the season, but the Rhinos hold an option for 2014 – Toth said the Eagles could face legal issues if they were to play Banks without Rochester's permission. Meanwhile, the United Serbians are off to Akron, Ohio, where they will attempt to defend their title at the 21st annual Srbijada, the North American Serbian tournament.
  • Three Madison 56ers players were named to the Women's Premier Soccer League All-Midwest/Big Sky-South teams: University of Wisconsin forward Kodee Williams made the 18-player first team, while UW-Milwaukee midfielder Morgan LaPlant (Madison La Follette) and Marquette forward Taylor Madigan (Waunakee) were second-team selections. UW midfielder Rose Lavelle joined her college teammate Williams on the top team after her standout season for the Ohio Galaxies.
  • There will be at least one new team in the WPSL Midwest Division next summer, as the Minnesota Twin Stars have been granted a spot in the league. The Twin Stars have fielded a men's team in the National Premier Soccer League for each of the league's nine seasons.

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