By Jay Mwamba
Kevin Grogan’s Shamrock wrapped up an outstanding fall campaign with a 3-1 romp over Pancyprian Freedoms at St. John’s University last Sunday. It was the Irishmen’s ninth win in 10 matches in the CSL top flight.
The departing Jamie Clarke — in his last match States-side before returning to his native Armagh in Ireland — Giuseppe Barone [pen.] and Ibrahim Diaby scored for the Rocks. Steve Megaloudis was the Pancyprian scorer.
Goalie Frankie Tsasse came up big for Shamrock. He made two penalty saves to deny Pete Halkidis and Stefan Dimitrov and secure another big victory. The Rocks’ only loss this campaign came against Irish rivals Lansdowne, a 1-0 defeat in October.
“Amazing first half of the season,” summed up coach Grogan, whose lads go into the three-month winter hiatus atop the standings [9-1, 27].
He had props for the departing Clarke, saying: “We want to thank Jamie Clarke for his contribution to the club. We wish him all the best for the future.”
In the opener, the Shamrock seconds prevailed 3-1 on goals by Sean O’Neill, Mike Stone and skipper Paul McDaid. They end the first half of the campaign fourth on the Reserve standings [7-3, 21] four points behind new leaders Lansdowne ‘B.’’
Defending champs Lansdowne Bhoys, who could finish 2016 level with the Rocks on 27 points if they win their fall finale this weekend, tied resurgent New York Greek Americans 1-1.
“With both teams fielding weakened teams it was an interesting battle in the bitter cold of Tibbetts Park,” said Lansdowne president William McGrory.
Konstantin Mollering [pen. 65th] canceled out Harri Hawkins’ early strike for the youthful Greeks, preserving Lansdowne’s unbeaten record [7-0-2, 23] ahead of their last game versus Cedar Star Academy.
“We defended very well against a talented but understrength Lansdowne team,” said Greek technical director Richard Nuttall. “We tried to pressurize them at the appropriate times [and] had during the game five 17 year-olds who all did very well and coped admirably with the intensity and the system of play.”
He lauded the leadership of the experienced Joe Reusgen at center back, who, along with Marius Flatebo and scorer Hawkins, were the Greek standouts.
Lansdowne’s reserves dispatched Greek Americans ‘B’ 4-1 in their top-of-the-table clash.
Conor Hunter, Mike Fernandes and Brian Corbi [two] connected to lift the defending champs [8-1-1, 25] into first place going into the break. The match was a replay of their Reserve title game won 2-0 by the Bhoys last summer.
Christiano Francois and Jordan Ayrus scored for third place Cedar in a 3-3 tie with New York Athletic Club on Travers Island. Jeremy Witherspoon, Kevin Strunk and Ale Sucre earned the hosts a share of the points.
Earlier, the NYAC reserves had triumphed 4-1 in what boss Bill Saporito termed “one of our best games.”
“Pete Mehlert got us going about a half hour in, latching onto a perfect through ball. Jon Amable made it 2-0 just before the half.
“We felt quite confident that we would get a third and we did, Mehlert converting a perfect Pat Pierre pass for a tap in. Ryan O’Donnell grabbed a fourth,” reported Saporito.
Also in the CSL First Division Zum Schneider beat Manhattan Celtic 3-0 at the Metropolitan Oval.
“It was 0-0 at half [time] and then we gave up three goals in the span of 15 minutes during second half. Had chances to score but failed to convert,” rued Celtic’s Scott Rowling.
CPR Whites and NYPD FC ended the fall with identical 2-0 victories over Bronx Supreme and Panatha USA, respectively, on Randalls Island. Both go into the winter break tied on 20 points atop the Second Division North standing.
Carlo Zanetti and Ryan Geswell – the latter from Sam Kilb’s cross – struck in the second half for CPR, who missed a first half penalty.
CPR’s reserves also won 2-0, thanks to Man of the Match Ruben Areiza. He set up Chris Norelli for the first goal and then scored himself off Roman Scialom’s assist.
For the Finest, Jorge Bedoya starred with a brace in the Cops’ 2-0 decision over Panatha.
The Police reserves prevailed 4-1.
CD Iberia’s up and down fall campaign ended on a low after conceding a late goal in a 3-2 loss to Brishna. Javier Beiro [55th] and Eric Vasquez [60th] had erased a 2-0 deficit created by Brishna’s Firoz Mehirdel and Mohammad Basir Mashriqi.
“We had the momentum and two clear chances to make it 3-2 but we didn’t capitalize,” lamented Iberia’s David Lago. “They scored the winner in the 80th.”
That was when Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi clinched full points for Brishna [5-4, 15], who are second in the North.
“Overall, our fall season has been plagued by inconsistent play and critical mistakes,” observed Lago. “We’ll get back to the drawing board over the winter and work to come out strong in the spring.”
His reserves had goals from Matt Jennings and Johan Bahamondes in a 4-2 defeat to Brishna ‘B.’
Francis Moran had four goals and Saul Corado a hat trick in FC Spring Valley’s 9-1 rout of Sporting Astoria at Evander Childs HS. Roberto Garcia and Omar Rivera also scored.
The reserve fixture was goalless.
Division Two South pace-setters Manhattan Kickers turned on the style in a 6-2 drubbing of New York Ukrainians at McCarren Park to take a three-point lead into the break [7-1-1, 22].
A first half Brian Morris hat trick — courtesy of Oliver – had Kickers cruising 3-0 at the interval. Akeem Phipps got one back on resumption for Ukrainians, but they’d be punished two more times by the visitors. Jesse Alexander scored Ukrainians’ second before Uladzislau Valiantsiukevich won a last minute penalty that Albi Rexha tucked away for Kickers’ sixth.
“[Our] first team has been struggling defensively [and] this game was another example,” said assistant Ukrainian coach Boris Shapoval. “We’re looking to regroup and solidify the backline over the winter break.”
Joshua Fischer’s fifth minute earned the Ukrainian reserves a 1-0 victory. “They go into the break with seven straight league wins, 16 goals scored, zero allowed and one point behind first place Stal Mielec,” noted Shapoval.
James Reed [51st] and Cory Chaplin [65th] kept second place Hoboken FC on Kickers’ heels with goals in a 2-0 defeat of CPR Reds at Laurel Hill Park.
Hoboken, whose Jeff Natale netted a remarkable four goals in the reserves’ 7-1 triumph, improved to 6-1-2 , level on points with Stal Mielec. Sam Omosuyi [73rd] and Bobby Dye [89th], with his first club goal, were the other scorers. Natale’s four goals came in a devastating 24-minute first half blitz [7th, 12th, 28th and 31st].
Stal, for their part, held off NY Ittihad 5-3 at Bushwick Inlet with ace marksman Bartek Dziuban (right) also netting four times to bring his fall tally to 21. Seventeen of those goals have come in the CSL and four in cup soccer.
“Which makes him the most prolific scorer in the entire CSL,” asserted Stal manager Artur Kurasiewicz. Nicholas McBee was the other Stal scorer against Ittihad.
On a clinical day for Stal, Kurasiewicz’ reserves prevailed 6-1. Krzysztof Daniszewski [two], Kamil Praszkowicz [two], Krzysztof Jonczyk and Kevin Janeczko tallied.
City International’s Jack Kelleher and Jesse Rose of Beyond FC exchanged goals in 1-1 draw on Randalls Island. Chase West had the assist on Kelleher’s goal.
“A quick shout out to reserve player Carlos Rodriguez, who played both games after one of my first team players got injured,” said City’s Matt Kao. “He put in a tireless performance at wing back for almost 180 minutes in the freezing snow!”
Karl Friedrich Verna struck in the Beyond reserves’ 1-0 win.
Add Williamsburg International’s Andreas Moudatsos to the list of players that scored four goals in the CSL last weekend. He got his in the Metro Div. One leaders’ 7-2 thrashing of shorthanded Gotham Argo at Bushwick Inlet. They brought his fall tally to 15.
John Kaddo [two] and Nicolas Mikolenko also tallied for Williamsburg [8-1-1, 25], who stay a point ahead of Korabi after the first half of the season. Nanayaw Panford got both Gotham goals, off assists from Dana P. Dimon and Chris Ward.
“We played with 10 [players] and were missing most of our usual back line,” said Dimon.
Berat Islami scripted Korabi’s 4-2 decision over third place Ridgewood Romac on Staten Island.
He had a hat trick while Eldiin Mehanovic added a goal as the second place side improved to 8-2 . Dani Ceabuca [7th, 20th] was the Ridgewood marksman.
“The winter break couldn’t have come at a better moment,” remarked Ridgewood assistant coach Ovi Ordean. “We’re slipping and sliding and can’t find any traction.”
Dave Harvey was on target twice in Shamrock 1960’s 3-1 defeat of Deportivo Sociedade at Flushing Memorial Park. The result that kept Andy Connolly’s men fourth in Metro One. Johnny Hall was the other scorer – his first goal for the club. At Tibbetts Brook, the Lansdowne thirds led seven-man New York Croatia 5-0 before the Croats threw in the towel at half time.
Also in Metro One play, Aladji Kourouma and Ergi Janku steered Iliria to a 2-0 win over Mola SC at the Verrazano Sports Complex.
With only eight players on call, it was always going to be tough going for SC Eintracht against once-beaten Metro II East leaders Mr. Dennehy’s [8-1, 24] on Staten Island.
It ended 9-2 in Dennehy’s favor, one of whose scorers was their “Ageless Wonder,” assistant coach Ronan Gardiner [two].
Jonathan Williamson [two], Matt Chicavic, Filipe Lobato [two], Jimmy Kuo and Johnny Stocker also connected. Artur Galstian and Domenico Rizzo had Eintracht’s consolation goals.
“To be fair it was 11 players versus 8 players, so the result is a bit flattering,” conceded Dennehy’s coach Trevor Joyce. “They played their hearts out,” manager Mark Lesser said of his brave Eintracht side.
In Metro II West, Beyond FC maintained their five-point lead at the top with a 3-2 decision over hard battling Williamsburg II. Osama Naji’s produced a hat trick for Beyond.
For Williamsburg, Chris Jee scored off Yann Micuta’s ball and then returned the favor, assisting Micuta on the team’s second.
“Tough game to lose after a great effort against first place Beyond FC,” said Charles von Rosenberg. “Yann Micuta hit the post late and Chris Jee had a shot that was cleared off the line.”
Third place Flushing FC followed up the 9-3 shellacking of SS Lazio three weeks earlier with a 5-0 blow of the rookie side on snow covered Randalls Island.
“Both teams had trouble finding their feet and gaining momentum in the first half, as the snow had already fallen leaving the pitch a blanket of white,” noted Flushing VP Ryan Wiedman. At any rate, the visitors led 1-0 at the interval on David Orsono’s effort.
Orsono struck again on resumption followed by midfielders Guido Tamayo, Jose Elias and fullback Ed Krupski. Goalie Simeon Trigueno, preserved the clean sheet with a late penalty save [74th].
“We are in a great place to begin the spring segment,” said Wiedman. “The entire team, including myself, has shown incredible growth over the fall and we are in a great position to come out strong in two months.”
A 3-1 defeat of Deportivo Sociedade at Memorial Field in Flushing marked NYC Metro Stars’ fifth straight league victory. Guisseppe Romero [4th], Tassere Kindo [34th] and Mamadou Diombera [58th] were on target.
“A great victory,” declared Metro Stars boss Edison Calle. “We’re trying to get a good standing on the CSL table.”
At Bush Terminal Park, Marko Majic scored in Homenetmen’s 2-1 loss to Barnstonworth Rovers Metro.
Johnny McGeeney [five] and Sean Riley [four] did most of the damage at snowy Randalls where champs Shamrock Over-30s mauled FC Partizani 12-0. McGeeney and Riley end the fall the club’s joint top scorers with 15-goals apiece.
Nei de Oliveira, Alex Berne and an own goal accounted for the rest against Partizani.
“The big score leaves us top of the table on goal difference,” said coach Paddy McCarry. “Our front men will cause any team trouble and they were on top form. Riley and Johnny were top class.
Second place Manhattan Celtic Legends edged Hoboken 2-1 and although level on 24 points with Shamrock, now trail on goal difference.
Reduced to 10-men by injury to Russ Osur, Manhattan Kickers Premier conceded a late equalizer in a 1-1 tie with Celtic Bhoys. It was from Osur’s free kick [25th] that MVP Stu Kaiser had given Kickers the lead.
Goalie Mike Fitzgerald kept the Bhoys at bay with several commendable saves. But he was powerless when a Kicker turnover resulted in Celtic’s leveler on the counter [80th].
“[We] continued to press but [with] a player short and time running out, the Celtic Bhoys would hang on for the draw,” said Fitzgerald.
Defending titlists and runaway West leaders Cozmos FC held off Manhattan Kickers Legends 3-2 on goals by Richie Purge and Leon Whyte.
“An epic game in the snow,” was what Barnstonworth Old Boys’ Juan Gonzalez Casares termed it. “The winter wonderland match,” Mark Lesser of SC Eintracht riposted.
The floodlit game ended 5-1 in Old Boys’ favor.
Andy Bay notched a brace, thanks to Juan and Darrell Crane; Stavros Zomopoulos banged in one, courtesy of Aldo Morales and Alex Todd benefited from a Bay assist. The fifth came from Colin McLear who pounced on a bad clearance from the Eintracht goalie. Vinny Vasconcelos grabbed Eintracht’s consolation goal.