Friday, May 21, 2010

Overseas Wrap-up

I dropped the weekly update on my non-MLS teams, but now that their seasons are over I thought I would do a final wrap-up of where they finished this year.

Queen of the South: Queens had quite an odd season as they had a long break in mid-winter as the heavy storms in the UK made it impossible for them to play their scheduled games. This lead to a congested fixture list int he second half of the season. The Doonhamers weathered it well though, but nobody in the 1st Division could stand up to the just-relegated Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Thistle won the league, and promotion, by 12 points. QoS won the tiebreaker over Ross County for 4th place, 17 points behind the leaders, but only 5 points behind 2nd place Dundee. Next year Falkirk drops down from the SPL and Stirling Albion and Cowdenbeath get promoted from the Second Division to replace Ayr United and Airdrie United. Not having the long road trip to Inverness should help a bit.

Blackburn Rovers: The Rovers improved significantly from last year. After the season got started they were never in real threat to be relegated. Despite being shellacked by the 'Big 4' Blackburn held its own against the rest of the league and hovered around mid-table for most of the season. The high point of the season was probably the two victories against their East Lancashire rivals Burnley, which lead to Burnley being relegated by 5 points. They also beat Bolton both times, another rival. Finishing the season with two victories moved them up to 10th place, giving the team something to build on for next year.

CD Tenerife: CDT got a lesson in La Liga this year. They struggled in their first season in the top flight and spent most of it just inside or outside the relegation zone. The team never really got a good run going, and didn't have much to hang their hat on. Still with two weeks to play their chances of survival were still looking fairly good, with a game at home against a weaker team before ending at 3rd placed Valencia, who had nothing to play for. Unfortunately they only got 1 point out of the 2 games and were relegated by 2 points. They'll return to the Segunda Division next season hoping for a quick rebound back to the top. Hopefully they'll return stronger.

Melbourne Victory: Melbourne continued to be one of the best teams in the Australian A-League. They constantly battled with their rivals, Sydney FC. for first place. The season ended with the Victory playing in Sydney with the regular season title on the line. A win or a draw for Melbourne gave them the title, a loss gave it to Sydney. Unfortunately Sydney won 2-0 to take the championship, but the Victory would look for revenge in the playoffs. The two teams were matched up in the first round and Melbourne won the first leg and the two teams battled to a draw int he second leg. This advanced Melbourne to the Grand Final, while Sydney had to get through the losers bracket. They did, and for the 4th time in 5 weeks the two teams met for the A-League Championship. Victory legend Archie Thompson was injured early in the first half and that may have been the difference as the teams had to settle it on penalties. With a reduced strike force for Melbourne Sydney took advantage, winning 4-2 on penalties and leaving their rivals with nothing to show for their great season.

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