Vikingur Olafsvik tops Selfoss 2-0

Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson made a major impact in his first match for Vikingur Ol after arriving on loan from KR.  Þorsteinn Már, who is the twin brother of Vikingur striker Steinar Már Ragnarsson, drew a foul in the box leading to an Eyþór Helgi Birgisson penalty 17 minutes into the match, and scored a goal of his own on a counterattack in the 64th minute to lead Vikingur Ol to a 2-0 victory in Selfoss.

Selfoss started strong, forcing Vikingur keeper Arnar Darri Pétursson into several saves in the first ten minutes, but when Þorsteinn Már got taken down in the box by Selfoss keeper Vignir Jóhannesson, the referee pointed straight to the spot.  Eyþór Helgi confidently sent Jóhannesson the wrong way, putting Vikingur Ol up 1-0 early.

Þorsteinn Már and Eyþór Helgi continued linking well throughout the first half, with Samu Jimenez just missing after a good buildup in the 40th minute.  After halftime things slowed down, with neither side getting many opportunities, until Þorsteinn Már got a breakaway, outrunning Selfoss defender Andrew Pew and beating the keeper for his first goal in the white and blue.

Selfoss’s best chance came about five minutes later, when Ragnar Þór Gunnarsson hit the crossbar off a header, but they never seriously threatened the Vikingur lead.  Hackettstown’s Own Joey Spivack came in as a late substitute and got about five minutes of action in stoppage time, as the squad held on to nail down the 2-0 victory.

With the win, Vikingur Olafsvik moves into fourth place, two points behind Akranes and Þróttur, though they are still at a significant disadvantage against Akranes on goal differential.  Olafsvik hosts Akranes next Wednesday, in what promises to be a key match.

Summer Transfer Window

The summer transfer window is open, and Vikingur has started making some moves.

Defender Alex Vivancos was picked up from Massanassa CF, in Group 3 of the Valencian regional top division, one level below the Tercera Division.  Vivancos has spent his career in Spain, reaching as high as Villajoyosa in Segunda B, as well as spending time with Acero and Alzira in the Tercera Division.  Expect him to slot in at left back, effectively replacing Danny Herzig, who has left the team.

Vikingur also picked up the pride of Hackettstown, NJ, midfielder Joey Spivack, who comes to the team from PS Kemi Kings in the Finnish Kakkonen Pohjoinen, in the third tier of Finnish football.  Spivack appeared in 24 matches in each of the last two seasons for Kemi, and scored 5 goals in the two seasons.  He has previously played for Guiseley A.F.C. in England’s Conference North, and spent time with the Red Bull New York Academy and Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA) in England.

Both Vivancos and Spivack saw time in the match against KA Akureyri, with Spivack coming on in the 54th minute for Bjorn Palsson, who suffered a thigh injury earlier in the match, and Vivancos coming on in the 79th minute for Brynjar Kristmundsson.

Vikingur Olafsvik Falls 3-1 to Selfoss in League Cup Group Play

Vikingur Olafsvik lost 3-1 to Selfoss in the first game of League Cup group play.  Alfreð Már Hjaltalín put Olafsvik up 1-0 in the 21st minute, but conceded a penalty to Selfoss four minutes later that was converted to equalize the match.

The sides stayed level through halftime, but Andri Már Hermannsson put Selfoss up 2-1 in the 69th minute, and Richard Sæþór Sigurðsson put it away with a third goal five minutes later.

Vikingur Olafsvik travels to Reykjavik next week to take on Valur, who narrowly beat them out to stay in the top division at the end of last season.

Offseason Update

Some updates from the Vikingur Olafsvik offseason:

  • Fan favorite Damir Muminovic has elected to stay in the PepsiDield, leaving Vikingur Olafsvik and signing with Breiðablik.
  • Captain Gudmundur Steinn Hafsteinsson also left the team, signing with Fram.
  • Anton Jónas Illugason and Vignir Snær Stefánsson resigned with Vikingur Olafsvik for the 2014 season.

It’s tough to see Muminovic and Hafsteinsson leave Vikingur, but we wish them well – and hope to compete against their new teams in 2015!

Some Thoughts on Fandom

In the aftermath of Vikingur Olafsvik’s loss to Fylkir, dooming them to relegation for the 2014 season, there were a lot of tweets flying around.  But the one that most caught my eye was this one:

I think the last part is some Icelandic aphorism about the devil and flagstones that Google Translate can’t really handle, but the first part translates loosely to, “Vikingur Olafsvik supporters stood and applauded for 20 minutes after the match.”

Let’s parse that.  At the other team’s stadium, 200 km from home, your team just lost a match it had to win (and had opportunities to win), and as a result was relegated.  And you stand and cheer them for 20 minutes straight.

Or you sit at a computer 2600 miles away watching a live stream of comments and hanging on every word.

It’s weird how you can get emotionally attached to a team you’ve never seen play.  I discovered Vikingur Olafsvik on a lark, really – a long-form internet joke involving a blog about a US baseball team, a vacation in Iceland (not mine), sports superstition, and an opportunity to show that all the reactions that fans could have about a major league baseball team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, could be just as applicable to a soccer team playing in a 900 seat stadium in a small town on the west coast of Iceland.

And along the way, I found that I was more right than I’d ever imagined.

Being a fan transcends language; it transcends distance; it transcends culture.  It transcends the sport that you’re following.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re hoping for one big hit to drive in a run or one goal to equalize on the road.  Whether you’re on the edge of your seat because the other guys have a runner on third and one out and you need a strikeout, or because the other team just got a spot kick and you need a save.  Whether you’re suffering through a 20-year streak of futility or your team just got relegated, but you still believe.

Einar Hjörleifsson, who seemed to single-handedly keep Vikingur in every game over the last two months.  Gudmundur Steinn Hafsteinsson, the captain.  Pálsson and Magnússon up top.  The Spanish Armada, Kiko Insa, Samu Jimenez, Toni Espinosa, and Juan Manuel Torres,   And the first player to follow me on Twitter, Damir Muminovic.  I have never seen any of these guys play.  I don’t know that I could even pick them out of a lineup.  But there’s a connection no less than if I grew up in Olafsvik and lived down the street from the Ólafsvíkurvöllur.

Paths to Victory

Well, if not victory, then at least to avoiding relegation.

Vikingur Olafsvik has four matches left, and is sitting at the top of the drop zone with 14 points.  Thor and Keflavik are both on 17.

Thor and Keflavik both play IA at home, and both play IBV, Keflavik at home and Thor away.  They play each other at Thor, and their remaining games are away at top-four teams: Thor at Stjarnan and Keflavik at Breiðablik.

Thor and Keflavik both beat IA away; it’s hard to count on them losing or drawing at home.  That’s three points you have to expect them both to earn.

Keflavik lost to Breiðablik at home and drew IBV away.  Best case for Vikingur, Keflavik gets a home draw against IBV and loses again to Breiðablik.

Thor lost to IBV at home and drew Stjarnan at home.  Two losses aren’t out of the question.

If Keflavik beats Thor, that puts Keflavik at 24 and Þór at 20.  But a draw against Keflavik, IBV, or Stjarnan puts Thor at 21 points.

While Vikingur could reach 20 points with three draws and a win, 21 points would require another win.

Two wins and a draw gets Vikingur to 21 points, and probably keeps them ahead of Thor on goal differential.  Interestingly, that probably makes it more important for Vikingur to beat IA on Sunday than to draw KR at home on Thursday.  

And while it’s hard to imagine a home win against powerhouse KR, consider this: one of KR’s only two losses this year was at Fram.  One of Vikingur’s two wins this year: a week later, at Fram.