After a tough fightback and draw against the Shamrock Legends, CPR were to take on an unknown quantity, America FC. The new team were supposedly built from the embers of Hoboken, but this was mere hopeful speculation given their home field at Phil Rizzuto park. Before kickoff it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the typical walk in the park of playing a Hoboken team. Soon America FC showed they could play a little football as well, pleasing combinations all over the park stretching the Legends. On a hot day with multiple substitutes CPR still looked lethargic while America were passing and moving constantly. Their first goal was a little fortunate, a cross hitting Oli Roberts arm from point blank range for a called penalty that was calmly dispatched. Overall though America were significantly the better team as the Legends lack of composure on the ball was matched by their lack of basic understanding of the positions they were supposed to be playing. The midfield was a vast wasteland populated only by America midfielders while the Legends strikers inexplicably tried to see how far from each other and the center of the field they could possibly get. It was only a stellar performance by the Legends back line and Belizan in particular that helped stem the tide at a mere goal at half time.
Plodding to the fence under the blessed shade, the Legends were given an earful about playing simple basic football. It appeared everyone had an opinion, interestingly but not surprisingly including some of the culprits. However the talk had managed to be absorbed as the second half started noticeably better. The shape of the team was tighter, and when it drifted the players were vocally reminded of their responsibilities. Despite the improvement yet another weak goal was conceded. As players were chirping amongst themselves America cannily took a quick corner and whipped over a ball to a wide open player inside the 6 yard box who gleefully converted.
With the heat beating down and down 2 goals, the Legends didn’t wilt as well they could have. With strong attacking talent to match their usually reliable defence, CPR were able to cause America problems at the back. A nice run by Frazier resulted in an open header from Subah to pull one back, however America were able to extend their lead back to 3-1 when a misplaced pass allowed a goal off the crossbar. Some unfortunate bounces and some quality saves from America’s exemplary keeper kept the Legends at bay for the most part, until that rarity of rarities an indirect free kick within the penalty area was called. As the America players cynically complained and their wall meandered, the Legends speculated on what their best approach of attack would be. The best approach consisted of a touch to D’Andrea who casually drifted an inch perfect lob over the wall and into the back of the net, the best Legends goal since Teesdale bought a ticket to the lottery with a first time volley from outside the box last season.
Alas unlike last week the Legends were unable to pull a further goal back and succumbed, although with more pride than it looked given the dismal first half. With new players bedding in, hopefully the lessons learned can be implemented against a typically strong team on the grass field of #71 at Randall’s Island next week.
Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #74, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Very warm noon kickoff
Fans: 10+ (Several Old Boyz + WAGS)
Result: 2-3 HT: 0-1
1-2: Subah Assist Frazier
2-3: D’Andrea Assist Frazier
Yellow Cards: Hahn, Frazier
Red Cards: N/A
Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Santiago Morales, who as a new guy needs to understand the importance of notifying us of his appearance before simply showing up at game time.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: A decent sized squad helped avoid any injuries.
Old Man of the Match: A little controversial as D’Andrea’s moment of brilliance appeared to swing the small sample size of voters, although he did play well. Belizan had an exceptional performance at the back but lost out due to the somewhat reasonable premise that giving up 3 goals eliminates a defender as OMoM, despite the fact that one was a penalty and one was slack marking from a corner.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, although Stower was close to counting.
Statistic of the week: D’Andrea takes back sole lead of all time goals at 20 from Mckeown. Frazier is starting to rack up the assists along with the bookings with 2.
Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 16 (31%)
Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. A third of the team came and stayed for the first NFL game .
Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), John Hodges, Hermilo “Santiago” Morales, Charles Bradley, Willian D’Andrea, Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Ernest Subah, Manuel Casanova