By Jay Mwamba
Another “Mega” brace, another rout and another title. That was the story at the Metropolitan Oval a week ago Thursday when ten-man New York Greek-American/Atlas thrashed Hoboken FC 6-1 to clinch the East title in their penultimate game of the CSL regular season.
Five days later, the Greeks returned to the Oval and could afford to take their collective foot of the pedal in a 3-2 loss to Jersey City Eagles.
The encounter with Hoboken was nothing short of dramatic.
Yahaya Musa drew first blood after five minutes and two minutes later, Nick Viaggio was ejected after conceding a penalty. Hoboken’s Javier Vegas tied the game from the spot.
Down a man for the remaining 83 minutes, Atlas responded courageously. Chris Megaloudis [two], Claudio Shala, Andre Fonseca and Diego Velasquez all scored to pull off another rout.
Player/co-coach Joe Ruesgen was predictably elated. “To score six goals, play so well, and clinch the division championship on one night, needless to say we are all delighted,” he said.
“ Hoboken are a strong team physically with a couple of very good players so it makes our performance even more impressive,” the defender added.
Megaloudis would later score again in the loss to Jersey Eagles Tuesday night — Josh Trott got the other – to bring his season tally in all competitions to 29 goals.
Raldino Powell, former Barnstonworth Rover Scott Waddell and Jonathan Jazo were the Jersey marksmen.
“Not too much to say as we knew we had already won the league and tried to get everyone in the squad in,” observed Ruesgen, before adding: “Although it was a meaningless result in the end, we never like to lose. Jersey came out and played hard and three defensive mistakes cost us in the end.”
With an unassailable 37 points from 12 wins, three losses and one tie, Atlas now continue their defense of the CSL championships in the first division playoffs May 19.
They face West runners-up, either Lansdowne Bhoys or United FC. New York Athletic Club, who will finish second in the East, are the other side in the playoffs whose winners advance to the CSL championship match June 2.
U.S. AMATEUR CUP
Before all that, however, Atlas tackle New England’s Battery Park Gunners in the U.S. Amateur Cup Region 1 semi-finals at the Met Oval this Sunday [4 p.m.].
Jersey Eagle’s Greek conquest, meanwhile, was their second win in 48 hours. Last Sunday, Jonathan Jazo and Navid Morad [two] knocked off Barnstonworth Rovers 3-0 on Randalls Island.
Rovers’ reserves succumbed 3-1, with Matt Weill, one of several players to play both games for his depleted club, on target.
“With only 15 players available we actually gave [Jersey] two good games,” noted Rovers coach Stavros Zomopoulos, who also had to suit up.
And in a first for Rovers, they came up against a former first team player in Scott Waddell, who, to his ex-teammates’ delight, was kept scoreless.
In the West, Lansdowne are on the cusp of a second successive division title after holding off Central Park Rangers [CPR] 3-2. This after the Irishmen won an appeal for points from their 1-0 loss to Jersey City Eagles April 14.
The two outcomes lifted the Bhoys [10-3-3, 33] atop the First Division West log, two points ahead of United FC and earned them a playoff berth. It also means they’ll need just a tie from Sunday’s regular season finale against United at Tibbetts Brook Park [6 p.m.] to win the division.
On course for a league and cup double, the Bhoys meet United again June 9 in the Manning Cup final.
Last season’s East titlists and CSL championship runners-up, Lansdowne led CPR at the interval through Stephen Roche [1st pen., 27th] and Craig Purcell [44th].
George Fenwick and Eli Vovsha pulled back two for CPR who also had a goal disallowed. But Lansdowne held on for the win.
Said CPR manager Yuval Lion: “We came out determined and unbowed for the second half, making some attacking tactical changes. We were the superior team and pulled two goals back, with one more questionably disallowed for offside.”
In the reserve tussle, Richie Hartnett and Greg King canceled out strikes by Tom Clark and Devin Roche to salvage a 2-2 tie for Lansdowne.
United FC dispatched Manhattan Celtic 3-0 at Pier 5 on goals by Joseph Ovenceri, Walter Hines and Bryan Martinez.
United boss Alex Zaretser had props for his defense for shutting down Celtic.
Bohdan Matyushenko and Viktor Pamelko shot down Celtic’s reserves 2-0.
In an all-Jersey clash in Boonton, Hoboken’s reserves run off 5-0 winners over New York Croatia ‘B.’
Russ Suereth [3rd], Eric Brodfuehrer [11th, 32nd], Pat Occhiuto [19th] and Marco Zoppi [57th] tallied.
Brazilian Cassio Costa notched a hat trick as New York Ukrainian demolished FC Japan 6-2 at the Verrazano Sports Complex to move back into second place in Division Two with one game remaining.
Ibrahim Diene [two] and Alagie Janneh got the other goals for Steve Kovalenko’s men [8-2-5, 29], who made the most of Stal Mielec’s 2-2 tie with champions-designate Manhattan Kickers. Ukrainians now take a two-point lead over Stal in the battle for that second promotion spot.
The Ukrainian reserves smashed Japan’s second unit 8-0 with Lukasz Prawozin netting the requisite hat trick. Nazar Zarichnyy [two], Craig Thomas, Ruslan Almazov and Sergei Khaladzinski were the other marksmen.
Stal, however, still hold the advantage in the promotion race with a game in hand to Ukrainians who wind up against Tesoro Brooklyn Knights this weekend. Stal play Japan on Sunday and FC Gwardia May 19.
Tomasz Groch and David “Boxer” Lis scored for Stal in the draw with Kickers, whose Alex Dawson and Damian Lopez struck.
Nick Bill had a trey in the Kicker reserves’ 3-0 romp.
On Roosevelt Island, Shamrock edged Flank United 2-1 on Englishman Tom Settle’s brace to keep their slim promotion hopes alive.
Flank’s David Lawrence scored a late penalty. The Rocks improved to 7-4-3, 24 in fourth place, three points behind Stal Mielec and five behind second place Ukrainians, with a game in hand to the latter.
John McDonnell, Marc Eisenberg and the prolific Sean McMullan led the Shamrock seconds to a 3-1 win, with Ghaith Abdullah the Flank scorer.
Also in the second tier, NYPD blanked Tesoro Brooklyn Knights 3-0 at Flushing Meadow Park.
Jorge Bedoya, Nick Baum and Ugur Kahveci connected, with Baum also notching a brace in the Cop reserves’ 3-1 victory. Mike Agolli was the other scorer in the curtain raiser.
BW G Cosmos’ second half fight back against Dynamo SC saw them erase a 2-0 deficit to triumph 5-2 in a Metro Div. One fixture at Kaiser Park.
The result moved Cosmos [6-6, 18] into second place in the East, 15 points behind runaway leaders CD Iberia.
“Without a goalie and legit center defenders [Cosmos] went down quick 2-0. It was not until the goalie and center defenders got settled in when [we] started to play dominating soccer,” said manager John Krische.
Michael Ledesma slotted in a through ball from his brother Kevin to start the fight back. In the end, the Ledesmas each got two before Julian Munera sealed the comeback.
Mr. Dennehy’s Metro Div. One West title hopes suffered a major blow after a 3-2 defeat to Gotham Argo and Lansdowne Bhoys’ second consecutive forfeit win saw them fall five points behind the table topping Irishmen. Gotham’s Jacobo Campo [two] and Momo Diop were on target on Staten Island, with Mark Harris providing assists for both scorers.
Stanlley Cadet, Clifford Augustin, William Dorelien and Michelet Alexis kept leaders Grenadier Zenith a point ahead of Hicksville Stars with a 4-1 drubbing of New Amsterdam on Randalls Island.
Grenadier improved to [13-1-1, 4] while Hicksville are 13-2  after a forfeit win over SC Eintracht.
Third place CPR blacks  had goals from Chris Valentine, Caleb Seeley, Kris Pritchett and Mike Sevchek in a 4-2 win over Nifa.
Barnstonworth Rovers outgunned NYPD 5-3 in their mid-table fixture with goals by Sergio Restrepo, Remo Enea, Michael Phillips and Trevor Titus.
Jaime Blanco and Miguel Perez Aso were the difference in New York Galicia’s 2-1 decision over New York Ittihad.
Elsewhere in Metro Two, Fidelis Idoko’s double secured a 2-2 tie for FC Braveheart against NYC Metro Stars.
In a top-of-the-table clash of academic importance, Over-30 Div. One East winners Manhattan Kickers succumbed 4-3 to runners-up New York Dinamo despite a hat trick from Richie Webb.
Fourth place Kickers Over-30s edged SC Eintracht 3-2 thanks to Dylan Dodd and a late flurry by Dave Stopforth and Paul Cowler.
Eintracht led twice through Eric Oram and Andres Garcia.
“However, we ran out of gas and Manhattan scored two in the waning minutes,” said Tom Strumpf.
Hannu Korhonen, Jacob Long, Chikezie Punnette and Youcef Mami tallied for Over-30 Div. One West champions-designate Manhattan Celtic Legends in a 4-1 romp over Barnstonworth Rovers Premier at Kaiser Park.
Stephen Foster, John O’Hagan, Mickey Mason and Tyler Fransen had the assists, while the dependable Nedgy Nazon got Premier’s consolation goal.
On Randalls Island, outgoing CSL senior champs Shamrock had a brace from ex-New York Daily News Golden Gloves boxer Thomas Maher in a 3-0 win over Rovers’ other O-30 team to preserve their Div. One status.
Burim Ljuta had an assistant and a goal.
In Over-30 Div. Two, Sascha Maric [two] led the charge as Hoboken FC 1912 thrashed BW Cosmos 5-2 on Randalls.
Kyle Caler, Kerry Hall and Omar Ramos added a goal apiece, while Edison scored both for Cosmos.
Also on Randalls Island, a late blitz by Jersey City saw off gusty Hoboken Veterans 6-3 in a free scoring Over-30 Div. Two affair.
Hoboken’s Lucian Ciulla canceled out an early Jersey goal but it wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of the game that the floodgates opened.
Chris Vataj [three], Laurence Piturro, Mark Shkreli and Vuksan Djoljevic tallied for Jersey, while Bryan Wippich struck twice to make it respectable for Hoboken.
“Eagles are a very strong team and we wish them well in the National Cup,” said Ciulla.
Elsewhere, the Manhattan Celtic Bhoys’ famously named Andy Murray had the solitary goal [62nd] in a 1-0 decision over Argo Silver. Sebastien Thiol had the assist.
And Chris Holterhoff scored for Nieuw Amsterdam in 1-1 tie with Troy Turkish United FC.
The CSL is looking for workers for this summer’s COPA Tournament games. Duties include keeping stats and assisting with field and game management. Work hours will be Saturday and Sundays in June and July. The CSL will pay an hourly rate plus travel expenses. If interested, submit an email application to: firstname.lastname@example.org .