Missing their starting center back pairing on the huge Pier 40 pitch did not auger well for the Legends. Most games played against Manhattan Celtic on their home field ended poorly given CPR’s overall lack of athleticism and youth. Things looked even grimmer given last week’s incompetence and the apparent Mike D/No Shows of Steve Roberts and Santiago Morales. Fortunately Mckeown’s unexpected appearance helped bolster attacking options along with Frazier. The biggest emphasis was on staying extremely compact on the field, both narrow and shorter to force Celtic to beat multiple players instead of play in space. Initially the plan worked well as the Legends were also able to find their speedy players in Frazier and Conboy in space. Encouraging attacking play agonizingly did not end with the lead as the last decision inevitably ended up with the lowest percentage goal chance. Meanwhile Celtic were keeping possession but without any dangerous chances. Finally they were able to break the deadlock on a counterattack, their clever midfielder beating players in space before calmly stroking the ball into the back of the net. Not much could be done by the defenders as they were exposed in space, everything the Legends had been trying to avoid but in this case with the bulk of the possession they were caught flat footed.
Celtic started to get more of a foothold in the game as the Legends initial flurry dissipated. Although pleased to have executed their game plan it was unfortunate that they were still behind at the break. The emphasis was to continue doing what they were doing and hope to nick a goal via Frazier or Conboy in space or a set piece. Celtic had the bulk of the play in the second with some stellar rearguard action preventing them from scoring, but the Legends had their moments too. Frazier went on a stellar run but his outside of the boot shot clipped the outside of the post agonizingly close to either scoring or being tapped in from the onrushing Venkataraman. D’Andrea was wacked right around the penalty area with play inexplicably waved on. In the end, Celtic’s narrow edge stood up as they were unable to pierce the Legends defence again and CPR were unable to convert their chances. All in all, a significantly better performance by the Legends but unfortunately not rewarded.
Competition: Manhattan Celtic, League Opposition
Location: Pier 40 East, Manhattan
Conditions: Mild evening
Fans: 1 (Belizan)
Result: 0-1 HT: 0-1
Yellow Cards: Frazier keeps his 100% record with an inevitable booking. It’s remarkable that none of these have resulted in a sending off, the lack of contrition after each physical tackle not endearing him to the opposition either.
Red Cards: Mckeown with easily the most foolish sending off in Legends history. Not even really a sending off considering the game was already over. Vociferously complaining about being shorted time with an authoritarian referee after the game was never going to change anything, even worse when that argument was factually incorrect as both teams were timing the game.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Santiago Morales and Steve Roberts. At least Roberts hurt himself on the day, but Santiago was a no comment no show, not a good start to a Legends career.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Mckeown, a welcome sight given the two Mike D’s, at least until the end of the game.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Clearly Steve Roberts who hurt his back gardening, or more probably jumping up an down in agony watching meek Everton lose to Burnley at home.
Old Man of the Match: A lot of exceptional performances on the huge wasteland of a pitch. Honorary mentions to Frazier for the productive part of his attacking game, Conboy for tireless running and Edmunds for a commanding presence at center back. However Rosenbloom wins his first OMoM for an excellent performance at center back while also clearing multiple goal bound opportunities away.
Old Man of the Bar: None
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None
Statistic of the week: Venkataraman maintains sole possession of all time games at 80. First sending off since Belizan’s grossly unfair sending off against Shamrock 2 seasons ago.
Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 14 (36%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Not bad considering the game started late at 9:30pm. 5 players, 5 pitchers and 2 birthdays for Resnik and Frazier.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Mark Edmunds (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Charles Bradley, Franco Denari, Willian D’Andrea, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Mike Conboy, Simon