Football returns in Europe – not that it ever truly goes away – and continues around the world. Here’s how the Lost Boyos faired in July.
UEFA Champions League
Matthew Tipton‘s successful 2011-12 season in Northern Ireland slipped under the Lost Boyos‘ radar; the Welshman scored 20 league goals to finish as the Premiership’s joint-second topscorer and collected a league runners-up medal with his club Portadown. That form earned him a move to Champions Linfield and Tipton made his debut as a substitute in the July 4th Champions League first round qualifier against the Faroe Islands’ B36. That game ended 0-0, as did the return, in which Tipton did not feature. A penalty shoot-out victory for Linfield secured their progress to the second round where they met Cyprus’ Apollo Limassol. Tipton again played no part as Linfield went out 3-0 on aggregate.
Also in the second qualifying round, Rhys Weston was in the KR side that lost 7-0 in Helsinki and was an unused sub in the 2-1 home leg loss as KR crashed out 9-1 on aggregate.
Richard Dorman‘s SJK fell off the promotion pace in Finland’s Ykkönen during a winless July. Dorman featured in the defeat to PK-35 Vantaa, the draws with KooTeePee and OPS, and the month’s last fixture, a 2-0 defeat to leaders RoPs that left SJK 15 points off of the top. Dorman missed the 1-1 draw FC Hämeenlinna.
After their Champions League thrashing, July was a kinder month domestically for KR as they again went through the month unbeaten and moved to the top of the Úrvalsdeild. Rhys Weston appeared in wins over Grindavík, Fylkir, and the 1-1 draw with Stjarnan. KR also made it through to the semi-finals of the Icelandic Cup after defeating ÍBV, although Weston did not play in that quarter-final victory.
July was a busy and difficult month for Michael Byrne‘s Chainat FC, winning just one of their six Thai Premier League games. They began with a 1-1 draw with Esan United then defeated BBCU 1-0 in Bangkok. Next, they took on second-placed Chonburi and, despite taking a two-goal lead, they lost 4-3. That was followed with back-to-back fixtures against fellow mid-table side Osotspa, two games that yielded just a single point (a 2-2 draw at home and a 2-1 defeat away). Finally, BBCU got revenge for their earlier loss against Chainat in a 3-1 win.
Things were similarly tough for Bangkok FC down in the the Thai First Division, as they could also manage only a single victory in their five matches in July. Mika Chunuonsee‘s side began with a 3-0 win over Khonkaen and a 1-1 draw with the Navy. Next, however, came two straight defeats against Suphanburi and a further loss to the Navy. Bangkok ended the month one place above the drop zone thanks to their superior goal difference.
Vancouver Whitecaps, where Welshman Carl Robinson is assistant manager, had a mixed month in MLS with two wins (Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes), two draws (Chivas USA and LA Galaxy), and three defeats (Toronto, Chicago Fire, and RSL). The Whitecaps currently lie fourth in the Western Conference with Seattle Sounders better goal difference the only thing keeping them out of the end-of-season play-off spot.
Two leagues down from MLS, it was another decent month for the Lost Boyos of the USL Pro. Anthony Pulis‘ Orlando City sewed up the regular season title and guaranteed their spot in the end-of-season play-offs. July was an unbeaten league month, although Orlando did lose their final match of the month – a 1-0 defeat against Stoke City, managed, of course, by Anthony’s dad Tony. Pulis Jnr. only featured in his sides’ first two games this month – a 1-1 draw with Pittsburg Riverhounds and a 1-0 over LA Blues.
Orlando’s first fixture without Pulis was also against the LA Blues, but there was a second substitute appearance for Welshman Chad Bond for LA in the game that was won 4-0 by Orlando.
Gareth Evans, the league’s third Lost Boyo, had a good month with his side the Wilmington Hammerheads. The Hammerheads lost only one of their six league games in July, with Evans featuring in five of the six games (missing out on the 1-0 win over Richmond Kickers after collecting five yellow cards). Wilmington currently sit fifth in the standings and with a play-off cushion of four points.