December 20, 2012
EVERYTHING FALLS INTO PLACE
CSL roundup: Lansdowne Bhoys gets the right results, move into tie for First Division West lead with CPR
By Jay Mwamba
A five-goal blitz against New York Croatia in Boonton, N.J., coupled with a big assist from an old foe, left Lansdowne Bhoys celebrating an early Christmas lift to the top of the CSL First Division [West] standings last Sunday.
The Austin Friel-coached Bhoys needed both a win at the sodden Croatian Recreation Center and hitherto leaders United FC [6-2-1, 19 points] to drop points against defending Cosmopolitian Soccer League champs New York Greek-American/Atlas in order to end the fall in a first-place tie with Central Park Rangers.
The Croatians were crushed, 5-0, and United fell, 2-1, to G-A Atlas, a combination of results that elevated Lansdowne [6-1-3, 21] atop the West ahead of Central Park Rangers on goal difference going into the three-month winter break.
Man of the Match Stephen Roche, whose penalty conversion against the Bhoys helped the Greeks win the title last June, opened the scoring for his new club after eight minutes.
Rudy Caulfield [27th minute], an own goal from a Craig Purcell cross [54th], Purcell himself [75th] and Friel [90th] finished off the Croats on their home turf.
“A fully deserved victory in tough conditions,” said Friel, Lansdowne’s rookie coach whose stoppage-time goal was his 11th of the fall.
SECOND TO NONE
Lansdowne’s seconds won, 2-1, to also end the fall campaign atop the reserve standings in the West [5-2-3, 18].
Veterans Shay Furlong and Pauric Byrne scored while Seamus “Football Special” McDaid missed a penalty.
Central Park Rangers put seven past 10-man Hoboken FC on Randalls Island while conceding one in return to end the fall with a bang and level on points with Lansdowne.
Kwesi Mills-Odoi [two goals], Lasse Kokko, George Fenwick, Mike Nieraeth, Xavi Aupic and Eli Vovsha run riot for Rangers in between Javier Vegas’ face-saver for the visitors [52nd].
“As the scoreline suggests, this is a game we thoroughly dominated from the beginning and was the perfect way to end a very successful fall season,” CPR manager Yuval Lion said. “Credit to Hoboken who kept playing hard and fairly until the end, even when reduced to 10 men in the second half.”
Hoboken GM Bill Marth put the rout in context. “I believe the team was emotionally spent from last week when we played our hearts out and lost 2-1 to Pancyprian and the fact that we gave up three goals in the first 24 minute.”
CPR reserve ace Chris Norelli and Devin Roche struck in the hosts’ 2-1 decision. Dave Wisniewski pulled one back for Hoboken.
Josh Trott returned from an eight-week injury layoff to spark East leaders Greek-Atlas’ 2-1 victory over United FC on Randalls Island.
He scored in the first half while the prolific Chris Megaloudis notched his 18th of the season in all competitions after the interval to hold off United. Chris Libro was on target for United.
“Absolutely delighted with the win [as] we head into the winter break on top of our division,” an elated Atlas co-coach Joe Ruesgen said. “It was a game between arguably the two best teams so obviously it was a big result.”
Giving props to his match winners, Ruesgen noted that the Greeks were understrength. “But when you have the talent that we have we are always going to be competitive. Josh Trott and Mega are two of the CSL's all-time greats so to have both of them on your team is a great advantage.”
Atlas, whose reserves lost 3-1, are 8-1-1  .
Raising hopes of a spring offensive, Pancyprian Freedoms edged New York Athletic Club, 2-1, at St. John’s University to end a mercurial fall campaign on a high note.
Stefan Dimitrov and Julio Cesar Santos secured the Greek-Cypriots’ fifth win of the season [5-4-1, 16] that keeps them in playoff contention.
Mas Campbell connected for second place NYAC [6-4, 18], which trail Atlas by seven points in the East.
The reserves engaged in what NYAC second unit boss Bill Saporito called a “wide open game.”
NYAC won 4-2.
NYAC’s Dav Blum [30th] broke the ice but it would be Pancyprian ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute. Phil Hartman leveled [70th] before late goals by Juan Lanza and Pat Viray clinched it for NYAC who could afford to miss a penalty at that point.
“Miserable day, great result,” Saporito said.
Invincible last season en route to the Second Division title, Manhattan Celtic had Austin McCann to thank for a 2-0 decision over Barnstonworth Rovers at Columbia University.
McCann had a cross [20th] deflected into the net for Celtic’s opener and sealed it [65th] with a second goal. “It was a good performance especially in the second half,” said coach Ian Woodcock, celebrating his team's third win in 10 attempts [3-5-2, 11].
“Congratulations to Celtic who showed up determined to get three points and have secured such a great venue to play in at Columbia University's field,” Rovers boss Stavros Zomopoulos said. “We were just awful and we are now in a dogfight for relegation in the spring.”
The curtain raiser ended in a 1-1 draw after a late Jordan Chirico goal canceled out John Tanios’ early strike.
“Our reserves had the majority of possession and chances, but after going two up we let Hoboken into the match, conceding a goal and making the final minutes more anxious than they needed to be," Lion said.
At Caven Point Field across the Hudson, Paulie Nitolli and Rob Krohmer scripted Jersey City Eagles’ 2-1 win over Polonia.
This after the Jersey reserves had triumphed, 5-2, on goals by Ali Fares [two], Chung Tran and Mike Fernandez [two].
Division Two pace setters Manhattan Kickers take a five-point into the winter hiatus after drubbing FC Japan, 7-1, on Randall’s Island.
Kickers scored their first four goals off crosses, two of them whipped in by Lucas Shanks for Damian Lopez [12th] and Patrick Robak [18th] to nod in.
Shanks pumped in a Renaldo Vega cross himself before the interval and after Gilad Bloom [29th] had scored from Lopez’ center. Shanks later added a second goal before Joe Haycocks’ sealed it with a late brace.
The reserves drew, 0-0.
New York Ukrainians reclaimed second spot behind Kickers with a 5-0 romp over Flank United on Randalls Island.
David Alkasim [fifth] struck early but it wasn’t until the second half that Steve Kovalenko’s men opened the floodgates.
Towering skipper Alex Broz [50th] scored acrobatically from an overhead – Zlatan Ibrahimoviæ style – and was followed by Alagie Janneh [55th], Vitali Firsov [70th] and Adam Maliniak [80th].
“We were missing a lot of guys but did pretty good,” said coach Kovalenko, whose men improved to 5-1-3 .
While the Lansdowne first team shot to the top of their division on the last day of fall action, the Irish club’s Metro Division One side surrendered first place in the West to Mr. Dennehy’s, which prevailed, 3-0, in a top-of-the-table clash on Staten Island.
An own goal began Lansdowne’s downfall. Strikes by Gerry Smith and Lance Pitterson added to the Bhoys’ woes.
With the victory, Dennehy’s, who began the match two points behind the Bhoys [7-1, 21], moved a point ahead of the Bronx Irishmen. “We saved the worst for last [and] got what we deserved,” coach Marty Griffin said. “We were no good from start to finish.”
“This concludes Dennehy’s most success start to a Metro One season,” Ronan Gardiner said of the new 7-1-1  leaders.
In mid-table in the West, Gotham Argo saw off BW G Cosmos, 4-1, at East 6th Street.
Momo Diop had a goal before Anatoliy Taranenko banged in a hat-trick. There were also assists by Armando Aguilar [two] and Eric “Gonzo” Goncalves.
A CUT ABOVE
Obika Arinze, Roland Andre [two] and Stanley Cadet [two] tallied in Grenadier Zenith’s 5-2 drubbing of FC Partizani at the Greenbelt Recreation Center that kept the Metro Div. Two’s pace-setters five points clear.
Andi Tocaj and player-coach Erjon Arapi replied in vain for Partizani.
Also in Metro Division Two, Eric Clermont scored in New York Bravehearts' 2-1 defeat by Central Park Rangers Blacks.
Eugene Gormley forced an SC Eintracht own goal [80th] then scored himself [87th] to salvage a 2-2 draw for CSL Over-30 champs Shamrock after they’d trailed by two goals on Randalls Island.
Josh Lee [35th] had headed Eintracht ahead against the run of play after which Peter Maris doubled the lead in the 50th minute. Then fatigue crept in.
“Without subs, the legs got tired. We’ll see if [we] have the legs in the second half of the season to stave off relegation,” said Eintracht’s Tom Strumpf, whose side [1-6-3, 6] shores up the Over-30 Division One [East] standings.
Shamrock, 3-5-2  in the West, only suited up 12 players.
Atop the West, Manhattan Celtic Legends pipped New York Dinamo, 1-0, on Stephen Foster’s 80th-minute winner set up by John O’Neil's assist.
Legends [8-1, 24] opened up a five-point lead over second place Barnstonworth Premier after the latter bowed, 3-2, to Manhattan Kickers Premier at Forest Hills High School.
Elsewhere in Celtic country, Celtic Bhoys’ David Seal had the assist on Larkin Fowler’s equalizer [86th] in a 1-1 tie with Argo Silver Over-30 at the East Side Field.
Jon Titley had scored earlier for Argo.
The respective victories by Celtic Legends and Kickers Premier proved mutually beneficial for both sides.
By knocking off Dinamo under lights in the late game on Randalls Island, Legends allowed Kickers to extend their lead in the East to six points after gutting Barnstonworth, 3-2, on Joe Whiteman’s last-minute goal.
Barnstonworth twice led courtesy of Yvan Fourtunate [27th] and Shaka Hinds [80th] only for Bryan Baracaldo [50th] and ex-pro Richie Webb [85th from Gilad Bloom] to peg them back.
That’s when Whiteman, one of the most consistent finishers in CSL history, slammed in the winner in the 89th minute.
“This was an instant Kicker classic,” player-manager Mike Fitzgerald said. “Not only did the Kickers defeat a bitter foe, this team is also a possible first round playoff opponent. We now have the decided psychological edge that will pay big dividends come May.”
Kickers end the fall 8-1-1  comfortably ahead of second place Dinamo [6-3-1, 19].
Nieuw Amsterdam sailed past Guyana Veterans ‘B’, 3-0, in Over-30 Division Two on goals by Darran Cronshaw [two] and Ronnie Swinkels.
Elsewhere in Over-30 Division Two, Mateo Rincon and Carlos Herrera [two] were on target for Brooklyn Gunners, who shut out BW G Cosmos, 3-0.