Coming off its first NCAA tournament berth since 1995, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team opened the 2014 campaign on a tougher note with a 2-1 loss at the hands of San Francisco in front of 1,117 fans Friday night the McClimon Soccer Complex.The Dons (2-0-0 overall) jumped out to an early lead with a goal in the 13th minute on a breakaway goal by Davi Ramos, and then scored again right after halftime in the 47th minute on a free kick at the top of the box by Danny Kirkland.The Badgers (0-1-0) responded well in front of the home crowd, putting pressure on the Don’s defense and rallying over the final 25 minutes. Freshman Tom Barlow keyed the comeback with his first collegiate goal off a corner kick by Anders Kristensen in the 81st minute. However, despite the late chances, Wisconsin could not overcome the two-goal deficit.Head coach John Trask believed the combination of substitutes and the large, welcoming fan base allowed Wisconsin to wear down San Francisco over the course of 90 minutes and get back into the contest.“I’m very proud of the effort to fight back and get the one goal,” Trask said. “I thought maybe we’d get that second score, but college soccer can be cruel. The margin for error is very small.”After losing 14 players last season, Wisconsin brought in 12 freshmen, and tasked four of them with starts, and they were not able to overcome the slow start.With a bulk of new faces, Wisconsin’s lineup is still being shaped, and the coaching staff is using every opportunity to evaluate the young squad.“This is experience for our young guys,” freshman goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk said. “At the same time, we have to become tougher, we have to fight more.”The Badgers tallied six shots in the second half after recording only two in the first half. Wisconsin also won the corner kick battle 3-2.Overall, Wisconsin was outshot 11-8 by San Francisco who dominated the game for the majority of the 90 minutes. Part of the struggle for Wisconsin early on was their inability to keep possession. The Badgers slowly improved on possession as the game wore on, but it proved to be just too little, too late as time expired before the Badgers could tally their second goal.With such a young squad this year, the early setback doesn’t have too big of implications, offering an early season learning opportunity for Wisconsin as it progresses toward Big Ten play.The Badgers host Xavier Sunday night at 7 p.m. at McClimon with a chance to split the pair of weekend games.
1 Jurgen Klopp has impressed since taking charge at Anfield Liverpool parent company Fenway Sports Group has declared its long-term faith in manager Jurgen Klopp by offering him a new, extended contract.The German has only been in the post for nine months but Press Association Sport understands principal owner John W Henry, Reds chairman Tom Werner and FSG president Mike Gordon have already been so impressed that they are prepared to tie him down for several more years.Klopp’s current deal expires in 2018, although there is an option for an extra year, but FSG wants the 49-year-old to build a new dynasty at the club and is prepared to invest heavily in him as a person.The relationship forged between Klopp and the owners is already a strong one and such is the mutual confidence and trust between the parties that a new deal would seem a mere formality.Klopp is already one of the highest-paid managers in world football because of his status and previous achievements so there is unlikely to be any issue over the financial side of the deal.What it does do, however, is give the German a greater understanding of the esteem in which he is held and provides him with a platform on which he can begin planning for the long-term.Klopp is the fourth manager in the almost six years of FSG’s reign at Anfield.They quickly dispensed with the man they inherited, Roy Hodgson, installing former boss Kenny Dalglish, initially on a short-term basis.The Scot was then handed a three-year deal and despite winning the League Cup and reaching the FA Cup final the next season, was sacked because of disappointing Premier League results.Brendan Rodgers’ appointment saw him almost win the league in his second season, which earned him a new four-year contract, but five months later he was sacked after a poor run of results.The faith FSG is showing in Klopp, who guided the same squad Rodgers had to the Europa League final, far outweighs anything they have displayed in the past as they are confident he is the man to return the club to its former glories.