Even with the reduced number of fixtures in the spring, this year has been particularly desultory. The opening game of the season was nigh on a month ago, and with the selfish league abandonment of RTG (really? You couldn’t have told everyone you were leaving 4 months ago?) this left a paltry total of 4 league games total in the spring. So although the Legends needed a win, the requisite sharpness & comfort of playing week to week was unavailable, with weekly Monday practice a meager substitute. The late dropout of two strikers would not help the cause, especially after a glimpse of the sizeable pitch.
The silver lining was the new goalie trying out who quickly showed the base level of competence required to give the defence some comfort. In particular, Stroh’s diving save off a free kick helped keep the score level. Also keeping the score level was the Legend’s lack of a challenging shot on frame against a field player moonlighting between the sticks. The misfiring of passes at the edge of the area showed a rustiness in connections that hadn’t been renewed in several weeks, with the large pitch warning midfielders regarding moving too far and getting bitten on the counterattack.
Half time cajoled a ‘keep doing what you’re doing’, with the additional discussion of moving to 3 at the back if the stalemate continued. Indeed, the Legends did appear to put more and more pressure on NYPD but without forcing any difficult shots. Indeed, the opposition replacement keeper appeared even more dodgy than the previous one, but apart from some bouncing balls in the area no shots of menace forced the keeper to make a tough save. Pushing more and more players up left gaps at the back, but fortunately Belizan was more than a speedy match for whatever attackers tried to take advantage.
It was just going to be one of the those days, the attacking domination petering out where it mattered. Although it mathematically jeopardizes second place, the hope is that an improved performance over the next 2 weeks will seal that, if not a chance at the title.
Competition: NYPD FC, League Opposition
Location: Flushing Meadows Field #8, Queens
Conditions: Lovely spring morning
Result: 2-0 (1-0 at H/T)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Card: None.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Unfortunate late cancelations by strikers Pritchard and new guy Pat Berran didn’t help.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Teesdale went on a long rampaging run and was within shot unleashing distance before the altitude got to him and the ball was barged away. The result was no goal and a strained hamstring.
Old Man of the Match: Some worthy candidates, with Jee being constantly open on the left hand side and skinning his man for pace. However Belizan’s presence continually allowed the Legends to attack more and indeed push to 3 at the back, as NYPD’s counterattacking ineptitude combined with Luciano prowling around like a free safety ensured there was no serious danger at the back.
Old Man of the Bar: None, although Hodges took advantage of his currently offspringless status to put in a good shift.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 14 (64%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5: A solid turnout, decent time, decent longevity, Old Boyz joining in later and some worthwhile sports on the telly.
Team (No new profiles this week): Brian Stroh (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Dan Bernoske (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Dan Ochoa, Sean Street (DF), Chris Jee, John Hodges, Paul Stephan, Manohar Venkataraman, Willian D’Andrea