By Jay Mwamba
Old brooms sometimes sweep better. That seems to be the case with New York Greek Americans who continued their resurgence in the CSL with a 5-1 rout of tough Cedar Stars Academy at the Metropolitan Oval last Sunday.
Dublin native Stephen Roche, one of several NYGA veterans that returned to the hitherto struggling powerhouse during the winter break, banged in four goals to make it two wins in a row this spring. Adam Whitehead completed the scoring from the spot. Rodrigo had Cedar’s face-saver.
The victory lifted the seven-time CSL titlists and four-time US Open Cup winners into fifth place in the top flight after hovering in the relegation zone most of the fall. Roche and fellow returnees Shaun Foster, Daniel Gwyther, Joe Ruesgen and Stephen Megaloudis were part of the Greek side that won the 2014 USASA Men’s Amateur National Cup.
The Greek reserves beat Cedar 2-0.
Pancyprian Freedoms, the CSL’s other Hellenic power, also continued its upward trajectory with a 3-1 romp over Zum Schneider. Luis Esteves [two] and Adam Himeno shot the Greek-Cypriots into third place on the table [7-1-4, 22]. Jordan Palmer [pen.] had Zum’s lone response.
Zum’s reserves had goals from Riccardo Sutherland and Oscar Bernal in a 3-2 loss.
A goal in each half kept Lansdowne Bhoys’ two-year regular season unbeaten run going at the expense of Manhattan Celtic. They won 2-0 on Randalls Island to improve to 11-0-2 and retain the unofficial Irish Cup contested by the First Division’s three Irish teams.
The Bhoys also moved a step closer to their sixth consecutive division title since 2012. Ovan Oakley put the champions ahead from the spot [35th]. Lansdowne then had to wait until five minutes from time to seal it, Marco Nunez forcing a Celtic own goal on a counter attack.
“Another tough opponent and great to see the fight in all CSL teams,” remarked Lansdowne president William McGrory. “There are no easy games in this league.”
The Bhoys, who stayed five points ahead of Shamrock, now switch their focus to the U.S. Amateur Cup where they entertain Boston’s Southie FC at Tibbets Brook Park 8 p.m. this Saturday.
In the curtain raiser, Lansdowne’s reserves held off Celtic ‘B’ 2-1 on Marc Vilson’s wonder strike and a Jack Legg penalty to lift that division’s Irish Cup. Eoghan Byrne was the Celtic scorer.
Second place Shamrock rebounded from the previous week’s 2-1 setback against NYAC to beat Polonia 3-1 on Randalls Island and place a foot in the playoffs. Andy O’Connell struck twice and Chris Uy once.
“Most important win of the season,” summed up coach Kevin Grogan. “Not a pretty performance but a massive win in our bid to make the playoffs.”
The Rocks [10-2, 30] are 13 points ahead of fourth place Cedar Stars Academy.
John Riordan’s Shamrock reserves thrashed the Poles 5-1 on goals by Joe Zorbo [two], Paul McDaid [two] and Alex Wasilewski.
NYAC came away from Skidelsky Field with a 4-1 victory over 10-man Doxa FC. Laurin Vogel, Francesco Zanetti, Kevin Strunk and Kevin Meyer connected.
“Patrick Alvarez scored with an assist by Kareem Joachim,” said Doxa’s Foti Bouklis. “Kareem had a goal called off by a questionable offside. Our guys played great, but luck was against us. We finished the game with 10 men due to a red card halfway in the second half.”
Short-handed NYAC ‘B’ were forced to deploy regular goalie Andre Wilkinson upfront and he responded with both goals in a 2-1 decision over Doxa’s second unit.
“[We] showed up a bit short due to four late scratches,” recounted reserve boss Bill Saporito. “Consequently, Andre, a goalkeeper by trade, was pressed into service as striker. Let’s just say he passed the test.
“Andre connected in the 55th minute with a quality right-footed strike and then broke the Doxa offside trap 10 minutes later to grab his second. Doxa hit a 27-yard bomb to get close, but our ‘D’ was solid.”
Nick Vonegypt was the man who hit the “27-yard bomb” on his debut.
In the second tier, both Manhattan Kicker sides were in imperious form at Laurel Hill Park where they bagged a combined nine goals without conceding any against Beyond FC.
Kickers’ reserves set the tempo with a 5-0 shellacking of the hosts, thanks to Dennis Kachintsev, Gio Lomonaco, Daveed Kanmi [two] and Almir Hot.
Once beaten Kickers first XI [9-1-1, 28] then cruised to a 4-0 victory over Beyond ‘A’ to stay three points clear of Hoboken FC atop Division II South log. Mo Ait Belkacem, Brian Morris, Albi Rexha and Bryan Baracaldo scored.
Hoboken were equally impressive in a 5-0 drubbing of City International on Randalls Island.
Connor Goldsmith [33rd, 61st] and Cory Chaplin [56th, 69th] both struck twice before Toric Robinson [75th] sealed it.
The opener was goalless.
Division II North leaders NYPD were tied 2-all with Sporting Astoria at Soundview Park when the lights failed. Steven Lasso and Collin Wynter connected for the Cops.
“Believe it or not we were pressuring and the lights went out with 25 minutes left in the game,” said NYPD manager Ron Mejia.
They lead second place Brishna [7-4, 21] by two points following the latter’s 3-1 defeat of Inter New York SA at Flushing Meadow Park. Essa Hotaki and Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi [two] scored for Brishna.
With five wins and six defeats in their 11 matches, it can be safely said that CD Iberia have blown hot and cold this season. They were hot last weekend on Randalls Island where they led CPR White 4-0.
Russo brothers Adrian and Marchello each had a goal, as did Michael Ledesma and Chiki Vazquez. Jambaar Stills twice finished off passes by Andres Rios and then turned provider for Roman Scialom in the CPR reserves’ 3-0 win.
In a delayed John Kilby League Cup fixture in midweek, CPR ‘B’ had knocked out Bronx Supreme 2-1 at Pier 40. Akeem Brooks and Ilya Kamesh both netted off assists by Idy Watt.
A day earlier on Randalls Island, CPR Reds had eclipsed NY Ittihad 3-2, courtesy of Mack Woodruff, Donal O’Cofaigh and Deco Heffernan.
The Reds’ second unit produced a more emphatic 4-0 victory, with Hunter Norte [two] and Robin Dan Neri among the marksmen.
James Sarpong and Bobby Akumauh made it two league wins in a row for Bronx Supreme who knocked off Panatha 2-0.
Also in the second tier, Waldemar Pyryt pumped in six goals against the FC Japan reserves in a 10-0 Stal Mielec rampage. Jacek Korba [two], Krzysztof Daniszewski and Krystian Boguski accounted for the other goals.
Stal’s were modest victors, in comparison, pipping Japan 2-1 on strikes by Pawel Marczenia and Juan Lemos.
Misha Carrel Thomas’ double earned chart-toppers Williamsburg International a 2-0 win over Mola SC at the Verrazano Sports Complex.
Hughie McGowan and Anthony Carrabotta connected for Shamrock 1960 in a 4-2 loss to second place Korabi on Staten Island. Korabi [9-1-2, 28] trail Williamsburg by four points but have a game in hand.
Paul Duca [36th] and hat trick hero Emre Tetik [47th, 50th, 55th] starred for third-place Ridgewood Romac in a 3-3 tie with New York Croatia at Van Buren High School.
NYFC Iliria had goals from Ergi Janku and Alaji Kourouma in a 2-all tie with Gotham Argo. Matteo Catania set up both Gotham strikes by NanaYaw Panford and Chris “SodaPop” Ward.
And at Tibbetts Brook Park, Lansdowne Bhoys succumbed 1-0 to Deportivo Sociedade.
Another two-year unbeaten streak continues in the CSL following BW Gottschee’s 7-0 thrashing of Beyond FC in their Metro Two West top-of-the-table encounter on Randalls Island.
Gottschee were methodical after getting off to a rapid start. Forward Greg Davis set up Edgar Carpio for the ice breaker inside 60 seconds Then Davis tallied himself and forced an own goal off the Beyond goalie.
Brandon Silva got Gottschee’s fourth, who could even afford to fluff a penalty before the interval. At any rate, Man of the Match Davis made it 5-0 on resumption and additional strikes by Sean Towey and captain Dion Amvrosiatos ended the rout.
“Four wins or three wins and three draws from the remaining six games clinches the West for us,” noted Gottschee’s John Ryding. “Fingers crossed. We turned down promotion last year [they finished second] so we could build a deeper, more reliable squad. Hopefully we clinch for real this year.”
NYC Metro Stars’ eighth straight win, 3-2 over Barnstonworth Rovers at Bushwick Inlet, elevated Edison Calle’s side into third place Metro Two West, a point behind Beyond FC.
‘An epic game,’ is how Calle described it.
It started with Mamadou Diombera connecting in the fourth minute, Guisseppe Romero [69th] notching the second and new Togolese signing Farouk Dondja nicking it [89th].
“I’m really proud of my players. We secure third place with an important victory over Barnstonworth Rovers,” enthused Called.
Elsewhere in Metro Two West, Homenetmen’s Vardan Tigranyan and Artur Grigoryan [two] produced a 3-1 win over Flushing FC, whose Peter Gavaris scored.
Defending CSL Over-30 champs Shamrock and Manhattan Celtic Legends remain neck-and-neck atop the East standings after both posted wins.
The Rocks canceled out Patrick Dougherty’s early goal [15th] on Randalls Island to edge Celtic Bhoys 2-1. Roque Ivanei de Olivia finished off Seán Riley’s handiwork for the leveler [30th] before Domnick McCartan banged in Bingo O’Driscoll’s knock down [65th] from a Peter Hatzer cross.
“That was a very hard earned three points against a well-organized Celtic side,” said Shamrock boss Paddy McCarry.
Legends, for their part, dispatched FC Partizani 2-0 on Staten Island to keep pace with Shamrock. Both are 10-1 . Brian Mazza and John Tanios scored.
Eight points behind the front two in the East, Manhattan Kickers Premier demolished Megas Alexandros 7-1 at Van Buren HS.
David Reischfeld [2nd] opened the scoring with a brilliant strike, MVP Khouri Mullings reeled in four goals and an assist and Nick Bill returned to action with a brace.
“Oscar Villada and Jordan Caylor had assists, and Tim Peterson made his first appearance for the Kickers and played strong in the defense. All around, a dominant team performance,” reported Mike Fitzgerald.
In Over-30 West action, Mark Finn’s effort earned front runners Lansdowne Bhoys a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with BW Gottschee on Randalls Island.
CPR Old Boys’ 3-2 loss to Greek Americans saw Lansdowne [7-4-1, 25] move a point clear of CPR.
Scott Brindley and Brandon Levy, connected for CPR against the Greeks whose Enzo Conigliaro had a brace. The difference was Neil Stower’s own goal that ultimately handed NYGA full points.
“This puts us four points behind [CPR] them with one game less,” said the Greeks’ Tom Bouklis.
TASO HAT TRICK
And level on points in joint third with the Greeks are Pancyprian, who had a hat trick from former first team star Taso Polydefkis in a 6-2 pasting of CPR Grays. Erion Qoku, Billy Antoniou and Alex Cuba got the other goals. Baha’a Ahmed and Chin, both assisted by Graham Bambrough, were the Gray scorers.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the CPR organization in Over-30 play. CPR Orange edged NY’s Finess 2-1 at Corporal Thompson Park on goals by Jonah Smith and Darran Cronshaw.
Also at Corporal Thompson Park, Over-37 champions and West leaders Cozmoz FC returned to action for the first time this spring with a 5-2 romp over Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans.
Richard Purger [four] and Nedgy Nazon preserved Cozmoz’ unbeaten record [10-0-1] that they share with the First Division’s Lansdowne and Metro Two’s Gottschee.
Barnstonworth Old Boys, who trail Cozmoz by 11 points, whipped Banatul 5-0 at Bushwick Inlet.
“A hat trick for Brent Heimlich, who has turned out to be an excellent roster addition over the winter!” exclaimed Dave Sheeran. “Then one each for Albert Pope and Andrew Miller.”
Over-37 East pace-setters Manhattan Kickers Legends were led by Joe Whiteman [three] in their 9-3 rout of Doxa.
DJ Stewart [two], Gilad Bloom, Dylan Dodd, Jeff Seelbach and Scotti Conti also tallied
Karol Hughes snatched a 2-1 win for Shamrock Legends over SC Gjoa with a last minute penalty in their Over-37 clash at Dyker Beach Park.
Gjoa had pegged back Ducky Kelly’s 10th minute opener and the game seemed headed for a tie when Hughes was hauled down in the box a minute from the end. He dusted himself off and scored.
In the late match at Pier 40, Matthias Schmitt, Kevin Booth, Ross Berman and Victor Popovsky tallied in Celtic Masters’ 4-0 drubbing of CPR Legends.