Unusually the last game of the Fall season for the Legends was to be in November rather than December. However any thoughts of playing every game in temperate weather dissipated on a bitterly cold day. Playing at Pier 40 only exacerbated the conditions with an irascible wind that showed no consistency, a problem that was to raise its head later. The previous three games against Argo Silver had been 0-0 draws so this was going to be a difficult game regardless of the conditions. The hope was that playing on a big field would help the Legends more, and indeed at the start of the game possession was maintained, but unfortunately inventiveness broke down in the final third. Over elaboration was again a curse, with triggers not being pulled at the top of the 18 yard box. Meanwhile at the other end the latest Argo one hit wonder was a blonde chap with great speed but dubious finishing ability. With the Legends pushing up the long ball unleashed a few one on ones that were squandered, but eventually he made his mark for the first goal in over 300 minutes between the two teams.
It had been a poor disjointed effort by the Legends in the first half, but despite some uncharacteristic squabbling they endeavored to keep moving the ball wide looking for through balls while increasing the tempo. However it was at this point the capricious wind reared its ugly head, roaring directly into the Legends half. In the blink of an eye, two long balls had made their way through to Legally Blonde who finally took advantage of his numerous chances. Down 3-0 was poor, especially with the wind in their faces and an inability to string two passes together. The coup de grace in the form of a fourth goal appeared, a nail in the coffin. Somehow, despite the bickering, the poor play by the team, the admittedly strong heart exhibited by Argo, the Legends started clawing their way back. Hodges & O’Connell combined to ruin the shutout, then the reliable duo of Street & Ochoa combined for a second. Now it was Argo on the back foot dealing with waves of pressure. Unfortunately 4-0 in the second half was a bridge too far, and despite dominating possession and getting the ball in dangerous areas the comeback was not to be.
The timing of the first league defeat of the year was poor, letting the bad taste linger in the mouth for the off season. However all the good that happened in the 8-1-2 fall season should not be ignored. Preseason hopes had been exceeded, and the Legends destiny is still in their hands.
Competition: Argo Silver, League Opposition
Location: Pier 40 East, Manhattan
Conditions: Frigid & Windy
Result: 2-4 (0-0 at H/T)
Goals: 1:4 O’Connell Assist Hodges
2:4 Ochoa Assist Street
Yellow Cards: None, although there were definitely some hard tackles. The referee let a lot of contact go, but fortunately nothing escalated
Red Card: None.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Tony provided notice an hour before the game.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None.
Old Man of the Match: Tough to judge. Everyone was slightly off, the wind had a major impact in the second half and we gave up more goals in the game than we had all season in the league. However O’Connell took the nod after helping the Legends fight back into the game with his first goal of the season.
Old Man of the Bar: Hodges made an amusing campaign to be included with the Three Kings in the Tier One of Legends Drinking Professionals. The Kings watched and waited, and sure enough Hodges self immolated before stumbling home. Three Kings 1, Hodges 0.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.
Team Bar Showing: 12 out of 15 (80%)
Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5: Good breadth and length, with the Old Boyz eventually joining up.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Becker (GK), Mark Resnik, Steve Teesdale (DF), Lars Murray (DF), Chris Muro (DF), Paul Stephan (DF), Andrew Faherty (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Dan Ochoa, Sean Street, Steve O’Connell, John Hodges, Manohar Venkataraman, Steve Pritchard, Willian D’Andrea