Red Wolves Can Send it and Bend it or Spin It and Win It


Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The ability to bend the soccer ball always looks cool, but it’s also an important part of the game according to Chattanooga Red Wolves coach Tim Hankinson.

Said Hankinson: “It goes back to ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ right. That’s how big a tool that is. They make a movie out of it. A lot of our corner kicks are built that way where we want to bend it in towards the goal keeper putting a lot of pressure on him. We basically go crashing in after it.”

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Said midfielder Ami Pineda: “The goal keeper especially like on a close free kick to the goal. They think it’s coming their way, and it’s just like slowly getting out of the way. I think it’s obviously really important because they misjudge the ball.”

So how do you bend it?

Said Pineda: “If you want to take more bend, you kind of hit it here. More like in the middle of the ball. But if you want it to bend more, I just hit it out wider. I just like kind of like across the ball like this.”

Said Hankinson: “The feet of a soccer player is like a bag of golf clubs. You need a lot of different ways that you can put spins on balls to make sure they don’t run away. Bending balls around opponents. So all of those things. Chipping into a spot. All of those tools are a necessity.”

Hankinson says guys that can spin it and bend it are dangerous.

Said Hankinson: “As a coach you sweat a little bit when you know the other team has got a specialist like that because you don’t want to give up fouls near the box because the wall is not going to stop it.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at