Friday, January 15, 2010

Soccer: These boots are made for scoring - a goal a game

Seule Soromon wouldn't say boo to a goose, but happily lets his boots do the talking. And at the moment they're singing - to the tune of six goals from six games.

The reserved-but-popular striker set the 2009-10 New Zealand Football Championship season alight when he banged in all four as YoungHeart Manawatu stunned star-studded contenders Team Wellington four-zip in the upset of the first round.

Scoring goals in a rush was nothing new for the Vanuatu international.

He scored one on debut when Vanuatu beat hosts Samoa 4-0 in the opening round of the 2007 South Pacific Games.

But he was only warming up.

Next-up he slotted five as Vanuatu romped home 15-0 over American Samoa. He later notched a hat-trick in Vanuatu's 4-1 win over Tonga.

Soromon, 25, has scored nine goals in his seven internationals.

And, with any luck on his side, his Manawatu coach Bob Sova reckons he could have had another four against Otago last Saturday.

Instead, the visiting southerners cashed in to win 3-0.

"Seule could have had four but the Otago goalkeeper pulled off three fantastic saves," said Sova.

"As well as those three he had on target, he missed another four."

In reflecting on that opening salvo at Newtown Park, Sova said Team Wellington defender Trent Watson "did not know what hit him" as Soromon ran the Wellington defence ragged.

"With his pace and directness he causes all kinds of uncertainty in opposing defences," said Sova. "He is not your targetman-type striker. He is a hard-working, old-fashioned type front-runner.

"Bang the ball into space and he will charge on to it."

Signed with former All Whites striker Campbell Banks to form a two-pronged attack, Sova has, because of Banks' injury problems, had them together only spasmodically this season.

"Because of that they are not quite there at the moment," said Sova.

"But I'm sure when they do get to work together more, they will complement each other.

"They just have to be more consistent.

Seule is a lot fitter than he was when he joined us and his touch has improved a bit."

"He is a quiet, reserved sort of bloke who has fitted in well after switching from Hawkes Bay."

Born in Male, Efate, in Vanuatu, Soromon made the move from the Bay after playing for winter club Wairarapa United with Banks and a couple of Manawatu players.

A baker, he travels from Masterton to play and train, preferring the one-hour trip to the two hours he needed to get to Napier.

"He was on the bench a lot of the time last season," said Sova. "He is a humble person and is quite close to Adam Cowan."

Sova will be looking for his star striker to add to the six goals he has already scored (in six NZFC games this season) in taking a clear lead in the Golden Boot.

On Sunday, Team Wellington travel to Memorial Park seeking revenge.

Sova is wary.

"We are still in shell-shock after losing to Otago," said Sofa.

"Whereas Wellington will be quite perky after their away win over Canterbury. It could go either way.

"Wellington have improved since that first game.

"I don't really see us as a championship contender at this stage. Possibly third, fourth or fifth might be where we are.

"While we have done okay against most teams but when we come up against teams like Auckland City and Waitakere we find their defenders are a bit smarter."

There is a United Nations look to YoungHeart Manawatu, although Sova has struggled to get his first choice lineup on the field together.

Soromon is joined in the Manawatu squad by Irishman Colin Falvey, Samoan international Desmond Faaiuaso, Marco Parrachini (Switzerland) and Japan's Nobuyoshi Ishi. The Japanese striker is injured and likely to miss a couple of games while Faaiuaso is back, as arranged, to help out in his tsunami-hit homeland.

Wellington's chances have been boosted following Dan Keat's return for the win in Christchurch but they are still without Adam Birch, who is suspended, and Karl Whalen.

In the feature game on Sunday, Auckland City are again at home as they seek to go one better than the away 0-0 draw they had against Otago United earlier in the season. Both teams go into the game at Kiwitea St on the back of good wins.

Waitakere United, still top of the table, are again on the road to play Canterbury United while Waikato have the short trip to Hawkes Bay.

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