For a lot of the season the Legends have been feast or famine when it came to squad size. On this day against one of the stronger teams in the league, it was famine. Although the Legends have been worse off before, they certainly weren’t in good shape with a bare 12, no regular keeper and many members the worse for wear following Cinco De Mayo / Red Bulls NYCFC Derby / Kentucky derby the day before. America looked very well prepared, even doing organized drills before the game as CPR looked on in weary bemusement.
The Legends lined up their group as best they could given the players who had shown up, and for awhile they were able to stay compact and move from side to side in their half of the field to keep America at bay. Unusually for a team at this level, America remained patient and were content to play the ball around, probing to find weaknesses. There was only so much the Legends could do however, finally being undone by a long ball that caught out the goalie and defence providing a simple chip finish for the first goal. Soon after that the best defender for CPR was proving to be the crossbar as the ball clattered against it no less than 3 times, with a 4th having been already disallowed for off side. The Legends single substitute was just not enough as the team started wearing down and were no match for the slick passing America who started carving up the Legends at the back. Although this wasn’t the debacle it was against the NY Greeks, the sense of inevitability remained as CPR were physically overwhelmed by fitter, quicker opponents.
At half time down 4-0 there wasn’t much to say, but adding injury to insult Casanova wasn’t able to continue which meant it would be no substitutes for the second half. As America sensed blood in the water spaces opened up in the back but the Legends didn’t have the speed to take advantage. The opposition were certainly top heavy and CPR lamented the lack of a full squad to take more advantage of the errors at the back, consoling themselves with a single poor throw-in which led to a well finished shot by Frazier to prevent the shutout. Speaking of Frazier, he continued to endear himself around the league by his customary unnecessary hard fouls and constant vociferous complaining leading to confrontations with the opposition and the referee. This culminated in a hard shoulder to shoulder charge which brought the game to a halt as the referee yelled at everyone around him as the Legends either confronted the referee or slunk away in embarrassment. Fortunately things calmed down and the opposition didn’t take it out physically on CPR, content to keep trying to get on the scoresheet. The final indignity was self inflicted by the Legends, a needless defensive pass to the goalie outside the box resulting in a pass to the opposition at the top whose simple long chip made it in for the last kick of the game.
With one game remaining, the Legends hope they can salvage something to provide a platform for next season.
Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #82, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Warm spring morning
Result: 1:7 HT: 4-0
Goals: 1-5: Frazier
Yellow Cards: Back to regularly scheduled programming. Frazier went ballistic after some fair physical play and then spent the rest of the game teetering on the edge of being sent off. He was fortunate that a couple of the other Legends distracted the referee long enough to turn his ire off of Frazier.
Red Cards: None, fortunately.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: This was a tough day for Mike D’s. Conboy’s child was sick on a day we could definitely have used him. Edmunds was a ghost of his former self, having puked out most of his physical self on the walk to the game.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Fortunately, Teesdale was able to delay his work until the afternoon. Hodges managed to make it as well, both giving us notice the day before.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Casanova’s tights weren’t tight enough to prevent him from suffering a calf injury at the half that prevented any further involvement.
Old Man of the Match: A tough day against a patient team. Pattinson was his usual calm self in the center of the field and Steve Roberts tried to marshal the defence as best he could.
Old Man of the Bar: After a fun Cinco De Mayo it was difficult to expect too much longevity, but 3 hours was more than reasonable especially with the traffic fiasco following the 5 borough bike ride.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Walby brought his kid along to watch Liverpool Chelsea, although eventually wishing he hadn’t.
Statistic of the week: Maybe statistic of the week should become weekly statistic. Frazier with 12 career games and 12 career bookings.
Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 12 (58%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Good depth for a change, half the crew making it back to the pub.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Resnik (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Tim Frazier, Franco Denari, John Hodges, Steve Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF)