Sports is currently 99% paused except for fishing and noodling, which is the Tiger King version of fishing. EXCEPT - there’s soccer in Belarus where the Вышэйшая ліга is still carrying forward. Since there’s soccer, that means that there’s content. I hope you enjoy
C L I C K B A I T this journey through the most important feature of any league - the names of the players.
Egor Filipenko - The 7 time winner of the Belarusian Premier League, Filipenko is known for being 6’ 4” and has played in Russia, Spain, and Israel. With a name like Egor, I don’t have to tell you that he’s a centerback.
Maksim Vitus - The naming origin of Maksim Vitus is “the greatest life” so this is clearly someone who deserves to be on this list. Somehow this doesn’t mean that he can play as an enganche and he’s a left back or something, but he’s on FC Dynamo Brest which I assume is the best team in the league. Look for Vitus to turn 33, come to MLS and take Ilsinho’s place as guy who does impressive tricks for 15 minutes a game in about 8 years.
Kiryl Vyarheychyk - Next up is 28 year-old forward Kiryl Vyarheychyk who leads the league in number of “y’s” in his name with 4. It’s a pretty impressive tally for the Dynamo Minsk player.
Dmitry Ignatenko - I spent 23 minutes trying to figure out how to pronounce his last name, I still don’t quite get it. Dmitry is also a great name - smashing two constants together at the start is a bold choice and I like boldness. He’s also a defender with FC Gorodeya.
Yahor Hatkevich - The goalkeeper with FC Isloch Minsk Raion probably has a lot in common with others on this list - namely that he wasn’t good enough at hockey to play hockey. Arguably, he’s a better athlete though since Zamboni drivers can win hockey games in a pinch.
Gleb Zherdev - It was a tough choice between Gleb Zherdev and teammate Gleb Gurban, but two Glebs entered and one Gleb remains - congrats to the best Gleb of them all, the Glebiest, Gleb - Gleb Zherdev.
Barys Pankrataw - Goalkeepers just have great names and the netminder for FC Slutsk is no different. The 37 year old has bounced around a bit in his career and as a journeyman has managed to stitch together a career that started in 1999 and is entering it’s 4th decade. An interesting mark for Pankrataw.
Gabriel Ramos - The FC Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino midfielder is in the list not because he’s got a great name, more because he represents what’s amazing about Brazil. There are like 14 Brazilians in this league, that’s how good Brazil is at producing soccer players. The country has so many soccer players that it can fill like 10 domestic pro leagues and then send players to far flung reaches of the world to get into games in places like Belarus. There are 0 Americans in this league, so clearly MLS has some work to do to catch up to Brazil in terms of domestic talent production.
Alyaksandr Anufryyew - Yep.
Pavel Chasnowski - Somehow the NFL always had a player named Chasnowski in it that played for some team in the NFC North until Chris Berman retired. Without seeing a picture of him or knowing anything other than his name, I assume that Chasnowski could probably be on special teams for the Bears and lead the team in downed punts or something.
Dzmitry Shchagrykovich - I thought I had seen it all until I came across Shchagrykovich. Glebs, sure. Names with 4 “y’s” - yeah, ok. Three consonants to start a name - old news everyone because Shchagrykovich is here to make sure that you have not seen a thing until you see Shchagrykovich. He’s played all over the league and I think FC Smolevichi is a pretty good fit for the midfielder.
This is probably everything you need to get started watching the only sports that are on right now. Enjoy waking up at 4 am to throw on your FC Rukh Brest scarf and let everyone know you’ve been a lifelong fan of theirs since 2020.
If someone could volunteer to do some fact checking in the comments, I’d appreciate it. Thanks and take care folks!