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The Valentin Chronicles, Issue III


Bonjour!

Hello fans and welcome to issue number three of The Valentin Chronicles. Thank you for your company, and I will try to make today’s installment the best one yet!  I have only a couple important points to touch on today. 

In the next few weeks I will be starting a new project.  I plan to greet my fans in as many different languages as possible so that I can appeal to a greater international audience.  Saying that, today’s language is French and I would like to say “bonjour.” 

Now sit back, relax and enjoy.

Dream Come True

It seems that me being like a crybaby in my terrible twos is starting to pay off. First I complained about lack of soccer on TV in the ‘States.  The next thing I know, Fox Sports World is broadcasting three games from the Nike Friendlies (on December 11 at 8 p.m. and December 12 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.).  Then I complained about Shannon Boxx having a logo and not me. Well, that is no more – now The Valentin Chronicles has its very own logo featuring my beautiful face! Thank you U.S. Soccer for making my dream come true. Now all the U-17s need is a private jet! Okay okay, I won’t get carried away here.

This next segment will walk you through the process that the U.S. Soccer Press Department and I went through in order to come up with my logo. Before I start, I would like to thank U.S. Soccer’s “graphic guy” for all of his efforts and great work.

Logo 1 from my brief tour is the one with the upside down head.  What a great concept.  It really just sums me up as a person – out of the ordinary, off the wall, and different than the rest of the crowd.  It is cleverly constructed with my headshot and “The Valentin Chronicles” written on the bottom and a crest.  I give this logo a 7.5 out of 10

 

Logo 2 on my tour is the one with the flowers and glasses.  It just might be my favorite.  It is a yellow flower, using me as the middle where all of the pollen would be. I guess that I am pollen. “The Valentin Chronicles” is written in pink font. Then, the “graphic guy” proceeded to put a pair of Harry Potter-like glasses on me. This one makes me look extremely girly.  I am not that.  I am a rough, tough central defender.  But of course I am just a big teddy bear once you get to know me.  This one gets a 9.5 out of 10.

 

Logo 3 is simple but effective. It cut my face in half like the cover of the movie “Face Off” with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, only there is no other half to my face. It gives kind of a mysterious mystique to the logo as my eye is looking off to the side. It has a solid mix of simplicity and flare. Without sounding like Martha Stewart describing curtains, I give this logo a 9 out of 10 for great concept and overall design.

 

Logo 4 is perhaps my least favorite of the five final products.  It says “The Valentin Chronicles” on two lines of text in red and black.  It leaves an opening only for my eyes as well.  It has kind of a scary aura as if I am looking for somebody or worried about something.  Also I was pretty tired the morning that that picture was taken and it doesn’t do justice to my beautiful brown eyes, as I was not fully awake.  I give it a 6.

 

Logo 5 is another ingenious idea by the “graphic guy.”  It is a picture of me cut off at the nose and going to the top of my head.  “The Valentin Chronicles” is written on my forehead.  It is a hilarious and rather clever idea.  I really have no reason to not like this logo other than the following: it makes my forehead look huge.  I give it an 8.22222 of 10. 

Well fans, there they are.  Here’s what I would like to do: I have decided to use Logo 3 which I call the “Face Off” logo for now.  If you would like to see that change, contact ussoccer.com in the ways listed below and your vote could easily override my decision. Just ask President George W. Bush, Al Gore, or even Ralph Nader about the 2000 election: every vote counts.

Please Send Me Your Feedback!

I would love to hear from you!  The only way to “cast your vote” as to which logo I use or to help me improve my chronicles is with your feedback.  You can easily send me an e-mail in just seconds through the “Contact Us” command at the bottom of this page – you can’t miss it. It is a blue link! 

I have already gotten some fan mail from a nice girl named Lauren from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (a place where I will be spending a few years in the near future).  I would like to thank Lauren for her support.

I will do my absolute best to personally reply to each e-mail that is sent in regards to me, The Valentin Chronicles, or anything else that you may want to ask the famous undercover Jules.  Well, that is as long as I don’t get swamped with hordes of emails from adoring fans. Remember: click on the blue “Contact Us” link!

Best Friendlies Yet!

It’s safe to say that this year’s U.S. Soccer Nike Friendlies was a success – the best one yet.  This year 47 teams made the trip down to my second home, Bradenton Florida and IMG Academies for the showcase tournament.  Every step of the way, this year’s event was masterfully covered by ussoccer.com. There was tons of good fun, great soccer, and excellent exposure to college coaches over the long weekend.

The U-17 MNT was out in full force throughout the weekend, playing four games in four days for each team.

In the ‘87s first game against Brazil, which will be aired on Thursday, December 11 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports World, it took a ridiculous once-in-a-lifetime strike by Brazil’s cool number 10 from about 25 yards out to break the tie, stealing a win. It was a hard fought game both ways and either team could have walked away with a win.  However, on that particular day, Brazil limped off victorious with a 2-1 win.  Hopefully we will meet again. The result will be different next time!   

The second of the ‘87’s TV games, which will be aired on Friday, December 12 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports World, was against the U-18 Nike Friendlies All-Stars. After a slow start, battling through countless aches and pains, we were able to handle the All-Star team 2-0 after 90 minutes of play.  They were a solid side but we were up to the challenge and comfortably got the “W”.

In our third game we played the Richmond Strikers. The Strikers were up 1-0 at halftime, but it lasted only until “supersubs” Rodrigo Hidalgo, Danny Szetela, Christian Jimenez and Eric Avila entered the game. Rigo had two goals and Danny added an upper-90 PK and we took the game 3-1, with three second half goals.

The ’87 group wrapped up play against a strong and extremely spirited FC Delco team.  It was another physically demanding game for us, especially after fighting hard for three games in three days already. The final score was 1-1 draw.

I was unable to attend all of the ‘88s games due to my own schedule, but ’88 goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner is here to help me with this segment.  Rueckner, also known as “Rocky” around the team, always has something funny to say:

The 1988 age group started off the week against the Colorado Rush in 4-0 win.  “It was a precisely executed game,” said Rueckner in a perplexed tone.  I asked him what that meant and he replied, “Well, it means that we finished our chances and got the win without too much trouble.”

The ‘88s second game was against the Houston Texans.  “It was a pretty close game.  It was a good fight and we came out on top.  The score was 2-1. I want to give a shout out to the defense [Kevin Alston, Richard Edgar, Mark Wiltse and Jeremy Hall] for their hard fight at the game when the Texans were at their best.”

I was at the ‘88s first televised game against Brazil, which will be aired on Friday, December 12 at 11 p.m. on Fox Sports World, and it was nothing short of a dogfight. Two bloodthirsty Dobermans squared off against each other in a dirty battle royal, with Brazil squeaking out another win. Our younger residency group played their hearts out and unfortunately came up empty-handed against the more experienced Brazilians.

The final ’88 game was against the Sereno Golden Eagles.  “It was a very sloppy game for us and the ground was wet,” says Rueckner.  “The score was 2-1 on excellent combinations by Quavas [Kirk], Johnny [Villanueva]  and [Ryan] Soroka.  Uh, that’s about it, let me get back to you on that.”

That covers it all.  A special thanks goes out to Bryant Rueckner, the pride of Rancho Cucamonga, California for his expert game analysis of the ‘88’s performances.  Maybe Rocky could even take over my chronicles when I’m at Wake Forest next year even though I am irreplaceable.

Both Residency groups showed well this weekend playing great soccer and compiling an overall record of 5-2-1 with the only losses coming to Brazil.  It’s safe to say that this year’s Nike Friendlies was one to remember.  Even though Brazil (barely) beat both the ’88 and ’87 teams, I would like to thank them for joining us this year.  It would be nice to have Brazil back here again next year!  Maybe we could even host another Nike sponsored nation if they would be willing to take the trip.  Anyways, I would just like to thank the Brazilians for coming and making this year’s event that much better. 

Well folks, that’s all for now.  This was sort of my Nike Friendlies/Logo special and you can look forward to another action packed installment of The Valentin Chronicles in the next couple of weeks.  I hope that you enjoy my brand new logo – I know that I do!  Until the next one, take it easy and don’t be shy to send me your feedback!

Jules 

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