As expected my day of rest yesterday paid great dividends mentally and physically and I can now guide you through this past weekend’s developments on both sides of the Atlantic before I go and brave the Africa-like heat and take part in my normal Monday pick-up game. Let’s start with what is the biggest news even though it never should have been- the outcome of the SPL’s annual general meeting.
First, Dundee F.C. will replace Rangers F.C. in the Scottish Premier League. This, to my understanding, is exactly what should have happened. When Dunfermline A.F.C. were relegated at the end of last season Rangers F.C. still existed, so D.A.F.C. should never really have been part of the discussion anyway. Dundee, though they finished 24 points adrift of Ross County F.C. did still finish second, so they are the correct team to move up into the empty spot. Thus, while the Old Firm Derby won’t take place next year, it will be replaced by the Highland Derby and a Dundee Derby.
Dunfermline, of course, don’t seem to be willing to accept this outcome and are going to consult with their lawyers.
Nothing was said at the meeting- or at least to the press after the meeting- about the creation of an SPL2 for the upcoming season, but an integration of the SPL and SFL with a larger top tier does seem to be a certainty in the near future.
On Saturday Ross County F.C. defeated Highland League side Clachnacuddin F.C., 3-0, at Grant Street Park in Inverness. County bossed most of the match (only a missed penalty, a header off the cross bar, and a goal not given for offsides kept it from being a proper rout) and all players saw minutes without picking up any injuries- pretty much all one can ask for in a preseason match. Perhaps the best moment of the match was “Jimmy” Scott scoring the first goal of the match and his first since returning to the club on loan from Hibernian.
Ross County’s next match- also to be played at Grant Street Park- will be Wednesday against Coventry City F.C.
Yesterday in a charity match between the supporters of Ross County F.C. and their derby rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. held at the Toryglen Football Complex in Glasgow, the Staggies were victorious, 5-4 on PKs. The match was held to raise money for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association. The County supporters are now the proud holders of the Moraig MacAngus Memorial Trophy. Moraig MacAngus was the grandmother of one of the County supporters who suppered from Supranuclear Palsy.
In other news, the New England Revolution went down 1-0 to a somewhat revitalized Toronto F.C. on Saturday evening. The Revs pressured the Toronto goal for the final two-thirds of the match, but could not rebound from the early goal given up to Toronto’s Luis Silva. Bobby Shuttleworth started his second match in a row in the New England goal, raising questions as to Matt Reis’ future as the clubs first choice keeper. The Revs are now on the road until they face Sporting KC on August 4- I will be on hand for that match along with commentator KCGunner.
Kenny Miller did indeed join Vancouver Whitecaps, so look for my piece on the history of Scottish players in American soccer over the next few days.