Stateside Scots | Weir’s 110-Yard Goal of the Year heads weekly roundup

Written by Ian Thomson

Mark Weir received a rare accolade for a goalkeeper this week when he won the National Premier Soccer League’s “Goal of the Year” vote.

The 24-year-old former Rangers stopper spent the summer playing for F.C. Wichita in the fourth-division amateur league aimed primarily at allowing college players to stay sharp ahead of their school season.

Weir’s strike came in the closing seconds of Wichita’s game against Shreveport Rafters on July 6 with his side leading 2-0.

Both goalkeepers were stationed in Wichita’s penalty box awaiting a corner kick with the visitors mounting a late fight back when Weir snatched the cross before sending an intentional 110-yard punt into Shreveport’s vacant net.

“To win goal of the year is a great feeling for anyone, but to win it as a goalkeeper is extra special,” said Weir in an NPSL release.


College Soccer – Men’s Division I

The men’s college programs commenced the season proper last week with former Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper Bobby Clark leading his Notre Dame team to some early silverware. Two wins over the weekend saw the Fighting Irish winning its annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament for the seventh time in the event’s 14-year history.

Sean MacLeod, the grandson of Clark’s former Aberdeen and Scotland manager Ally MacLeod, made a substitute appearance in Notre Dame’s opening 4-0 win over the University of California, Irvine.

Jamie Clark, Bobby’s son, saw his University of Washington side fall to a narrow 2-1 loss in its season opener at Utah Valley.

Falkirk native Jamie O’Grady was named as the Sun Belt Conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year in a preseason coaches’ poll highlighting key players to watch. The senior midfielder scored 11 goals for Hartwick College last season on his way to picking up the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year award. O’Grady showed his creative side in Sunday’s season-opening 3-0 win over St. Bonaventure with a couple of assists before Galashiels midfielder Marc Berry completed the scoring.

Hartwick’s head coach John Scott, who spent time playing at Liverpool and Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the mid-1990s, called upon nine Scotsmen during the game with former Aberdeen and Blackburn Rovers youth goalkeeper Lenny Wilson earning his first shutout of the year.

Paisley midfielder Kieran Toland lined up for St. Bonaventure against his fellow Scots. The Bonnies recovered to tie Bucknell 1-1 in their home opener on Sunday with Toland converting a penalty kick with 21 seconds remaining.

Ciaran McKenna was named as Duke University’s Rookie of the Year last season. The former Celtic youth midfielder grabbed his first goal of the new campaign in Sunday’s 5-1 win over UNC Asheville as Duke won the annual John Rennie Nike Invitational tournament.

Former Rangers and Scotland youth defender Jordan Wilson and his Kentucky team got off to a strong start with a thumping 4-0 win at Marquette.

Max Todd netted a 30-yard free kick as Illinois-Chicago tied 1-1 with San Diego State at Gonzaga University’s annual tournament in Washington. The former Hibernian youth and Scotland schoolboys forward then drew his side level against the hosts on Sunday afternoon before Gonzaga ran out 4-1 winners.

Ex-Morton youth forward Lewis Hawke, the son of former Greenock fan favorite Warren Hawke, helped Furman to a 1-0 win over Florida International and a 1-1 tie with Navy at the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic event held in Charleston, South Carolina.

Glaswegian midfielder Bradley Mulvey and Aberdonian defender Stuart Close came on as substitutes in Cal State Northridge’s 2-1 win over Tulsa.

Castle Douglas native Alastair Berry appeared as a substitute during George Washington’s 2-1 win at William & Mary.

Glaswegian head coach James Hamilton lost his first game in the college ranks as his Iona side fell 3-1 at highly ranked Connecticut.

Christian McKenna provided the scoring cross to put Northeastern ahead in last Friday’s contest with state rival the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The former Celtic youth forward ended up on the losing side though as UMass recovered to win 2-1.

Senior midfielder Spencer Brown notched a goal and an assist as Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne overcame Saint Joseph’s by 4-0. Brown’s fellow Glaswegian Kiaran Maule lined up in midfield for the visitors alongside Edinburgh native Lewis Murray.

Dunfermline’s Jamie Cleland let in three goals as his Saint Peter’s side lost 3-1 in its season opener against Seton Hall.

College Soccer – Women’s Division I

Emily McKerlie’s corner kick led to East Tennessee State’s winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Radford. The former Scotland youth defender was on the losing side Sunday as ETSU fell 3-2 at state rival Tennessee.

Former Celtic and Scotland youth forward Lois Heuchan earned a couple of starts as Kansas moved to two wins, one loss and one tie (2-1-1) on the season with a 1-0 win over Marquette and a 1-1 tie with Colorado.

Former Rangers Ladies and Scotland youth defender Kathryn Hill and her Old Dominion team was beaten by Virginia Commonwealth and perennial power Virginia to fall to a 1-3 record on the season.

Livingston’s Mhairi Fyfe came off the bench as Louisville (3-0-1) thumped Toledo by 4-0 in Kentucky.

Major League Soccer

West Lothian-born midfielder Calum Mallace was controversially sent off after 43 minutes of his Montreal Impact side’s derby game at Toronto F.C. on Saturday. The Quebec franchise rallied in the second half with the game’s only goal to move within six points of their Eastern Conference leading rival with a game in hand.

North American Soccer League

Former Hearts and St. Johnstone defender Colin Miller saw his F.C. Edmonton team slip behind the New York Cosmos in the NASL’s Fall Season and overall standings after a disappointing scoreless tie at home to bottom side Puerto Rico F.C.

Lanark native Nicki Paterson helped his Indy Eleven side to a 1-1 tie at Paul Dalglish’s Ottawa Fury. Indy sits three points behind the league-leading Cosmos with the teams meeting in New York this Wednesday.

Former England international Joe Cole scored both goals for the Tampa Bay Rowdies as Stuart Campbell’s side beat Rayo OKC 2-0 in Florida.

United Soccer League

Orlando City B’s hold on the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot weakened with a 1-0 loss at the Richmond Kickers. Former Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper Mark Ridgers pulled out a trio of good saves before finally conceding on 77 minutes.

Wilmington Hammerheads sit six points outside the playoff line with five games remaining. Inverness native Tom Parratt helped the Hammerheads to a 2-2 tie with defending champion Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night.

Kevin Kerr’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds lost this year’s Keystone Derby Cup series against Pennsylvania rival City Islanders after a 1-1 tie left the Harrisburg-based club with five points from three regular-season meetings to Pittsburgh’s two.

National Women’s Soccer League

The NWSL returned to action after a one-month summer break for the Olympic Games with former United States women’s national team coach Tom Sermanni and his expansion Orlando Pride franchise falling to a 2-1 loss against the league-leading Washington Spirit.

Scotland playmaker Kim Little helped to create Seattle Reign’s crowning third goal for Megan Rapinoe in a 3-1 win over regional rival Portland Thorns