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DUBLIN – John Mayer and Taylor Swift’s names belong to well-known pop stars whose brief time as a celebrity couple spawned successful albums by both artists.

And on the sideline of San Ramon Valley’s 15-1 girls soccer team, yelling those names was a lighthearted way of poking fun at a player’s musical tastes while also signaling a change in formation during the Wolves’ 3-0 Tuesday victory at Dublin.

“I am not a Swiftie,” coach Mark Jones said, who added that standout striker and avid Swift fan Lauren Kealy chose the references. “I am just passing on the word. Just passing on the nomenclature to have us change the shape.”

While the players laughed at the music-themed code words, they also immediately snapped into a new formation and maintained their grip on the contest.

It was an example of what has made San Ramon Valley the team to beat in the East Bay Athletic League, if not the entire Bay Area. A year after the team made it to the NCS Division I semifinals, SRV is ranked No. 1 in the Bay Area News Group rankings.

Junior forward Kealy banged in the first and third goals on long-range volleys, and forward Sammy Schulze popped in the other one. Each score ended with the team mobbing together in celebration.

“Last year’s group was very successful, but this year, our chemistry is on a whole other level,” Kealy said. “it doesn’t matter who is on the field, because we’ll give the ball to them and we know they’ll do good.”

DUBLIN – The San Ramon Valley girls soccer team celebrates with Lauren Kealy (7) after she scores her second goal. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

After the Wolves won its first six league games by a combined score of 17-0, Amador Valley shocked San Ramon Valley 3-1 in Pleasanton.

In the team’s first match since that loss, it was clear the Wolves learned some lessons from that result.

“We were under a lot of pressure because of our record, and everyone is giving us their best game,” senior centerback Gianna Rodrigues said. “But we needed that loss to show us reality. We can’t start out flat and take things for granted, because we’re going to be playing some really good teams.”

After surviving a flurry of Dublin attacks in the first 15 minutes, Kealy broke through for SRV’s first goal. San Ramon Valley’s depth was apparent, as Jones subbed players on and off with little to no drop in quality.

“It’s a great group because they’re all really on the same page,” the  SRV coach said. “Everyone understands their roles, and they’re having a good time.”

After the match, Dublin coach Jered Lui said the Wolves look ready to compete for the section crown against teams like Carondelet and Monte Vista.

“They have a few tall, athletic and explosive players that know how to finish in front of goal,” Lui said.

DUBLIN – San Ramon Valley forward Anna Colley and a Dublin defender compete for a ball in the air. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

As the Dublin coach alluded to, San Ramon Valley still has several powerhouse teams to deal with as it tries to lock up a top seed in the section playoff.

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San Ramon Valley hosts Foothill on Thursday, and then closes out the regular season a few weeks later with back-to-back matches against Carondelet and Monte vista.

Though the players spoke confidently about their team and abilities, they also acknowledged that they are still far away from winning a section championship.

“I feel like coming from a loss and getting a 3-0 win shows us we can handle adversity,” goalkeeper Maddie Gambs said. “Over the next few weeks, we’re going to have to step up, but I think we can accomplish what we want to do.”

DUBLIN – San Ramon Valley coach Mark Jones instructs his team during halftime. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)  DUBLIN – San Ramon Valley goalkeeper Maddie Gambs saves a shot. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)  DUBLIN – San Ramon Valley midfielder Olivia Navone laughs on the sidelines during a 3-0 SRV win. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)  DUBLIN – San Ramon Valley striker Sammy Schulze scores a goal in the first half of the game at Dublin. Dublin and San Ramon Valley high schools played in the high school soccer game at Dublin high school in Dublin, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2023 (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

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Wrexham vs Sheffield Live Stream: How to Watch Online

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Wrexham AFC take on Sheffield United in Round 4 FA Cup action on Sunday.

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In the United States, the match (11:30 a.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Wrexham vs Sheffield United live on ESPN+ right here:

Get ESPN+

ESPN+ includes every FA Cup and Carabao Cup match, plus dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year (or $13.99 per month for a bundle of all three of ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu).

Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Wrexham vs Sheffield United live on the ESPN app or ESPN.com.

Compatible devices for the ESPN app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.

Wrexham vs Sheffield United Preview

The Football Association Cup, or FA Cup, is an annual soccer tournament in England where all the professional teams from the Premier League on down to level 9 take part in a knockout-style tournament. The 2022-2023 tourney is the 142nd edition of the tournament, making the FA Cup the oldest soccer tournament in the world.

The field is comprised of 20 Premier League clubs, 72 English Football League clubs, and all the clubs from levels 5 through 9. In the 2022-2023 tournament, that ended up being 124 teams. The clubs from levels 5 through 9 began playing in the qualifying rounds in AUgust and the 32 surviving teams out of those more than 600 clubs moved to be placed in a bracket with the 92 teams from the Premier and EFL leagues.

There are now just 32 teams left and the lowest-ranked team just happens to be the Wrexham Red Dragons from Wales, the professional team bought by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in November 2020. The actors invested a lot of money to build this team up and get them out of the National League and promoted to the English Football League II.

The promotion didn’t happen in the 2021-2022 season, but the team made huge strides and it is not a surprise that they are the lowest-ranked team still standing in the FA Cup this year.

On January 29, the Wrexham club takes on Sheffield United on their home field in what is sure to be a hotly-contested match. Sheffield United finished fifth in the EFL Championship league in 2021-2022 and they’re going to give Wrexham a battle. But Wrexham has the tools to win.

In the third round, they pulled off a huge upset over EFL Championship league team Coventry City, winning 4-3 on the road. After the game, Reynolds tweeted, “I’m completely and totally speechless. What a club. What a town. What a win. @Wrexham_AFC forever.”

After the upset, Coventry City manager Mark Robins said, “They’ve brought 4,000 fans with them and that’s the noisiest I’ve ever heard this stadium,” to which Reynolds replied on Twitter, “The traveling @Wrexham_AFC supporters are the big beating heart of this win.”

“Wow. Just… wow. We’re just getting started,” added McElhenney. He later tweeted of their fourth-round opponent Sheffield United, “I visited Sheffield last summer! The town was beautiful and the people couldn’t be more welcoming. They of course are the enemy now and their tyrannical reign through the Championship must be stopped a la Goliath. But lovely people :).”

The Wrexham vs Sheffield United match kicks off on Sunday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on ESPN Plus.

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