New York Greek Americans
By Jay Mwamba
It was business as usual for New York Greek Americans on the opening weekend of the 2014/2015 CSL season. Crowned USASA men’s amateur champions in July, the Greeks thrashed Manhattan Celtic 5-2 at Pier 5 in Brooklyn last Sunday, in a replay of their Manning Cup final encounter three months ago.
The Greeks shutout the Celts 4-0 then and were equally imperious this time around.
“[The] first weekend of the season went as well as can be expected with many new faces in our squad,” said a content Stavros Zomopoulos, the Greek coach. “We had decent cohesion and played true to our style.”
His side went up after 12 minutes. Chris Megaloudis converting from the spot after Keith Detelj, back from a summer stint with USL-Pro Dayton, had won a penalty.
Celtic, however, replied in kind some minutes later when Matt Negus also converted a PK.
“We then took the lead for good through new boy Kene Eze [26th] before the goal of the day – by our new center back, Sylvain N’Guessan, made it three [55th],” said Zomopoulos.
Adrianno Gabrielle, one of the Greek goal heroes in the 4-2 USASA cup final victory over Guadalajara FC of Denver in Salt Lake City last July, got number four [65th]. Martin Williams, another debutant, then sealed it [80th].
To their credit, Celtic, coached by young Belfastman Matthew Kane, refused to roll over. Simon Kearney bagged a superb consolation goal.
“We conceded avoidable goals but the Greeks as always were good enough to capitalize. New signings will be in for next week and we will push on from here,” vowed the 23 year-old Kane.
His reserves made a fight of it before succumbing 3-2. They trailed 2-0 to goals by Walter Matiz and Ben Marcu when Francis Ellis first set up Barrie Taylor and then equalized himself.
However, Celtic hearts were broken on the stroke of full time when Jimmy Shalom notched the Greek winner.
“We have a lot of promising [reserves] that I am sure will play a bigger role with our firsts throughout the year,” remarked Zomopoulos.
Defending CSL champions Lansdowne Bhoys, meanwhile, came out with guns blazing on opening night in a 3-0 romp over United FC 3-0 at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Gareth McGlynn, debutant Mohamed Kaba and Conor Hunter scored in the rematch of last season’s First Division title playoff at the same ground.
The Bhoys triumphed 3-1 then and went on to rout Pancyprian Freedoms 4-0 in the championship match.
“Great performance against a well-organized United FC. Good to start the season with the win,” summed up player-coach Austin Friel.
In the curtain raiser, Lansdowne’s Carlos Abatte exchanged goals with United’s Uriy Gajev in a 1-1.
Yannick Reyering, Pancyprian Freedom’s German ace, got all the goals at Randalls Island where the Greek-Cypriots blanked Clarkstown Eagles 3-0.
Pancyprian’s reserves won by the same scoreline courtesy of Angelo Litourgis and Nicholas Psaras.
Josh Corpuz earned promotion side Hoboken FC a precious early point with his late leveler [83rd] in a 1-1 tie with former champs NYAC on Travers Island.
Now coached by Scotsman Joe Ruesgen [who recently retired after winning the USASA title with Greek Americans], the hosts had led from an own goal [32nd].
Said Hoboken GM Bill Marth: “NYAC had more possession and more chances, but [we] were able to escape with a draw in our first game back in top flight.”
Sam Omosuyi scored for Hoboken’s reserves who conceded twice in the dying minutes in a 4-1 collapse.
“The match was closer than the score indicates as it was 2-1 until the 88th minute,” said Marth.
Mike Stone’s hat trick propelled Shamrock to a 5-3 victory over Second Division champions CD Iberia at St. Michael’s Playground in Flushing.
This after Paul McDaid’s late winner had lifted the Shamrock reserves to a 2-1 decision over Iberia’s second unit.
Another promotion side, Ed Romero’s Sporting Astoria, went one better in their Second Division. They came from behind twice at Evander Childs High School to edge seasoned New York Ukrainians 3-2.
Astoria’s scoring duo of Damian Paz [17th] and Terrol Ishmael [29th] twice canceled out strikes by David Alkasimi and Joseph Betras, respectively, assisting each other. Then 15 minutes from time, Ishmael powered in a header from a corner to clinch full points.
“There’s a significant difference between the Metro One and Second Division. Had we not prepared ourselves our result would have been very different,” said Romero. “Ukrainians are a very good team. We beat a very good team. Had their finishing been a bit sharp, we would have easily lost. Fortunately a bit of luck was on our side.”
Ukrainian coach Steve Kovalenko rued the absence of several injured players.
His reserves were emphatic 5-1 winners against Astoria’s newly formed second unit – comprising players from last year’s Metro Div. One campaigners Queens United.
Lukasz Prawdzik [two], Nazar Zarichnny, Gleb Mironenko and Dimitri Jacob scored for the Ukrainian reserves. Gabriel Munoz had the lone Astoria effort.
Relegated Manhattan Kickers’ first outing back in Division Two ended in a 1-1 draw with FC Japan at East River Park.
Rodney Laveau scored for Kickers, whose reserves succumbed 1-0.
At Van Buren High School, Ahmed Yansaneh was on target for Doxa FC in a 2-1 loss to Polonia.
Kurt Cameron and Michael Dramountanis were the Doxa marksmen in the reserves’ 2-2 tie.
Also in the Second Division, Collin Wynter and Nick Baum lifted NYPD FC
2-1 over New Amsterdam United at Laurel Hill Park Field in New Jersey.
Fabien Lombard was the Amsterdam scorer.
The opener ended 1-1 with Daniel Friedwald notching for the Dutch.
The campaign in Metro Div. One got off to storm of goals highlighted by the Central Park Rangers Reds’ 13-1 massacre of Missile FC on Randalls Island.
Timur Mone got the requisite hat trick; Paul Pivetau and Richie Kavanagh each added a brace while Blake Berg, Alberto Riego, Hendo DeRuiter, Chris Valentine, Felipe Lima and Johnny Williamson had one apiece.
“We really came out hard from the start and never slowed down,” said Berg.
Later at Bushwick Inlet, Gwardia had four goals apiece from Konrad Sobotka and Marciin Januszko in a 12-3 drubbing of Dynamo SC.
Maciej Kuczerski [two], Bartlomiej Stolarczyk and Wojciech Targonski also got on the score sheet.
Not to be outdone by the scoring spree in Metro One, champions Lansdowne Bhoys routed promotion side Brishna 5-0 at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Keith Power [three], Richie Morgan and Johnny McGeeney tallied.
Despite winning the CSL’s de facto third division last season, the Marty Griffin-coached Metro side spurned promotion to the Second Division.
Williamsburg International FC, formerly Doyle’s Corner FC, produced a dramatic late flurry to subdue FC Partizan 5-2 in a Metro Div. Two fixture at Bushwick Inlet.
Charles von Rosenberg had the only goal in the first half and a blowout appeared in the making when Steven Stone extended the lead on resumption. But Elton Lalaj, Partizani’s top scorer last season with 17 goals, struck twice to tie the game with five minutes left.
Lo and behold, Nunzio Moudatsos, his brother Andreas Moudatsos and newcomer Sergio Garcia blew Partizani away on the stroke of full time.
New-look NYC Metro Stars eclipsed rookie side NYFC Iliria 4-1 on Randalls Island.
John Guengueng [27th], captain Desire Nizigama [53rd], debuting striker Othman Lantir [74th] and Elmer Batres [82nd] connected.
Metro Stars manager Edison Calle said 90 percent of his squad was new.
Barnstonworth Premier pipped champions Kickers Premier 3-2 on Randalls Island to claim the early bragging rights between the two namesake clubs in Over-30 Division One.
Kickers’ former Bosnian international Izzy Arslanovic [25th] pegged back Shaka Hinds’ [15th] opener after which Mike Butler [55th] put Barnstonworth ahead. A tie appeared on the cards when veteran Kicker Richie Webb [65th] equalized, but Butler nicked it for Barnstonworth 13 minutes from time.
At Van Buren High School, Kickers Over-30s saw off Greek Americans 2-0 thanks to Paul Cowler [30th] and John Slover [70th]. Colin Brown had both assists.
“MVP [went] to Big Mike Schall for his shut out in goal, filling in for regular keeper Raj who broke his hand [earlier in the week], and honorable mentions to “Sir” Kevin Chillingsworth and Jorge Stratmann for marshaling an impenetrable defense,” said Eddie Yee Woo Guo.
Elsewhere in the Over-30 top flight, Manhattan Celtic Legends edged Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys 3-2.
Simon Née teed up Gorleigh Willis for Legends’ first before David Harvey and Addison Quale connected off assists by Tyrone Kent and Eugene Gormley, respectively.
In Over-30 Div. Two, Hoboken FC silenced visiting Brooklyn Gunners 4-1 at Sinatra Park.
Eoghan O’Dwyer gave the hosts a first half lead. Five minutes after the interval, Kerr Hall scored on a counter attack, then Christoph Etim made it 3-0.
Gunners pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining, but Tom Ahn restored the three-goal cusion with a superb volley.
“Gunners had several good shots on goal, however newly acquired Italian star
Antonio Ferragonio made some remarkable saves,” said Jason Simmons.
Ronnie Swinkels, Victor Hermosillo, Reza Watts and James Carrico tallied for Nieuw Amsterdam in their 4-1 defeat of NYPD FC at Flushing Field.