Archive for the 'Legends' category

Legends lose to America FC as march through Division of Death continues

Sep 18 2017 Published by under Legends

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

One response so far

Resilient Legends come back twice to thwart Shamrocks 2-2

Sep 12 2017 Published by under Legends

After the fiasco of last spring where the Legends ended the season forfeiting not once but twice, a lot of care was taken into recruiting new players from inside and outside the club.  Although like any transfer window the team wasn’t able to hit its goals, the Legends certainly appeared to have been successful overall.  The parent friendly 8pm kickoff and first game of the season may have helped, but having 17 players available was encouraging nonetheless.  With the Shamrock Legends having taken advantage of undermanned Legends in the past, it was good to be able to play them with a virtually full strength squad.

After a slight delay for an unnecessarily fussy referee the season kicked off.  The Shamrocks were who the Legends thought they were, physical with some talented individuals and speed on the wings.  The first few minutes were fairly even but a midfield mistake led to a Shamrock counter that was expertly converted.  CPR were able to settle down after that and made some attacking forays of their own.  Conboy was able to beat his man several times on the left with the crosses being received unimpeded on the right.  Unfortunately a lack of composure saw first time shots attempted despite plenty of room, with balls either sailing over the cross bar or sideways.  However possession in the last third was encouraging.

The four new additions comported themselves admirably, with Miller’s athleticism and distribution immediately noticeable.  Edmunds at center back added some more speed and composure to perfectly complement Belizan, and Morales passing range was also evident.  Frazier certainly made his mark with the opposition.  It’s hard to remember the last time the Legends had someone who could get under an opponent’s skin as much as Frazier, with all due respect to Steve Roberts calculated verbal darts.  Along with his mouth and physicality, Frazier was also able to bring in a goal threat to match Mckeown.  Although not featured on the score sheet he was able to draw attention from the opposition for a variety of reasons, opening up space for the rest.  The hope is that he is able to channel that aggression positively including staying on the field.

Frazier won’t make any friends with opposition defenders this season. As long as he’s wily about it instead of being obvious, the distracting edge should help the Legends














Down 1-0 at the half the Legends continued to press and were able to get their just rewards.  The ball pinged around the area and while some Shamrocks confusedly stopped play while misunderstanding the offside rule Conboy corralled the ball from the defender’s deflection.  His cross clipped a defender’s arm for a clear penalty.  Despite having a notable failure against Cozmos on his rap sheet Mckeown requested the responsibility and this time converted into the side netting.  Shamrocks converted their irritation into a superbly taken goal, the danger man #11 pounding an unstoppable shot from distance to regain the lead.  The Legends started pressing and players other than Frazier started matching the physicality of the Shamrocks to their displeasure.  For the most part the referee had a handle on the game which never boiled over, but it certainly became fiercely contested.  In the dying embers, D’Andrea’s dancing feet attracted some late tackles resulting in a free kick at the top of the box.  Once again Mckeown stepped up and this time converted with a superbly taken free kick.  Although Shamrocks tried there were only seconds remaining, and so the Legends were able to secure a draw.

Although the Shamrocks certainly didn’t feel so, on reflection a draw was a fair result.  CPR needs to work on their finishing and converting possession in the final third into high xG chances, but that should come as the front 6 become familiar with each other.  All in all, an encouraging start to what promises to be a competitive season in the division of death.

Competition: Shamrocks SC Legends, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #74, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Lovely pleasant late summer evening

Fans: 1 (Tom, Tim’s friend)

Result: 2-2 HT: 0-1


1-1: Mckeown (pen) Assist Conboy

2-2: Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

Yellow Cards: Hahn, Frazier, Morales

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: N/A.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Thankfully none for the first game of the season, the number of players helping.

Old Man of the Match: There was some discussion at the bar but it was brief, with Mckeown getting the nod for both goals despite one being a penalty.  The free kick obviously made all the difference and being active in the box helped with winning the penalty, despite some of the opposition being confused regarding the rules.  All the new boys made strong debuts and Hahn gained an official honorable mention for both attacking and physical defensive play.

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: With two goals Mckeown broke the tie with Venkataraman for second place all time goals leader and is now tied with D’Andrea for the lead at 20, though with a far superior conversion rate (20 in 29 vs 20 in 67).  Venkataraman ties Resnik at 77 for all time caps in a battle that is sure to continue for a few years while D’Andrea pushed his all time assists lead further with 16.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 17 (24%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Given the increasing age of the squad, the scale will have to be adjusted.  The fact 4 people came for a few beers after an 8pm game is a reasonable display.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Drew Faherty (DNP), Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Hermilo “Santiago” Morales, Bevan Rosenbloom, Mike Conboy, Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier

No responses yet

Legends plumb new nadir, losing to Banatul

May 01 2017 Published by under Legends

Legends lose to Banatul for the first time in their history.  The end.  #Abysmal

Competition: Banatul, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #72, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: None

Result: 0-2 HT: 0-0.  Special shoutout to the Referee whose appalling decision not to give a stone cold penalty for a foul on Venkataraman in the first half had a material effect on the trajectory of the game.

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Edmunds belated realization that IDs were required to play as they have been for a decade didn’t help.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Fortunately Pattinson came out to test his leg, and was able to play a decent amount of time.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Thankfully none.

Old Man of the Match:  Some decent performances all around but nobody who could take the team past the critical point.  As usual Belizan and Teesdale provided tireless running.

Old Man of the Bar: With the high bar that Mad River has set, there was no OMoB which would have to take some performance going forward.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.

Statistic of the week: Too many to mention, all bad.  Notably this is the first loss to Banatul in the history of the Legends.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 14 (29%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5.  4 people is sadly about average now, although at least everyone stayed for at least 2-3 hours.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova, John Hodges, Bevan Rosenbloom, Tom Pattinson, Tom Accordino, Tony Vamvouris

Comments are off for this post

Good squad numbers can’t stop the rot as Legends losing streak continues

Apr 25 2017 Published by under Legends

The Legends were looking to build on their narrow penalty shootout loss against a far superior team, and this week it looked like they would also have enough players to help. The Barnstonworth team were top heavy with a strong attacking threat while vulnerable at the back, so it would be a question of whether the Legends could score enough to make it a contest.  Initially there were some nice patches of play but the final ball continued to elude them.  The closest chance in the first few minutes was an errant pass by Rosenbloom that almost bizarrely ended up in the far corner, agonizingly inches away.  Meanwhile the Legends back four were able to stymie the attacking threat, but finally they were breached.  A superb turn on the line resulted in a cross that was skillfully turned in to give the Rovers the lead.  With only a few minutes to the half a second goal came in quickly to put Barnstonworth in control.

The strategy had to be clear given the respective league positions, with the Legends moving towards a 4-3-3 and trying to get Swinkels more involved.  The gambling on putting pressure resulted in winning some balls deep but not enough clear chances, with only one or two long distance shots attempted.  Meanwhile another nice piece of skill up top saw the opposition take an unassailable 3-0 lead.  Finally Swinkels was able to slide Mckeown in for a consolation goal, but they could not quite get that second goal that could turn the pressure on.  Faherty’s bull in a china shop routine up top did unsettle the defence and caused a mistake that the Legends just could not capitalize on, the accidental nutmeg summarizing the day.

Although the Legends seem to be returning to health, so far it has been a disappointing spring and the hope is that they can perform creditably in the last 3 games and build the foundation for a strong season next year.

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #72, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: None

Result: 1-3 HT: 0-2

Goals: 1:3 Mckeown Assist Swinkels

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Tony Vamvouris neglected to update the evite regarding his injury, although fortunately we had added Ronnie Swinkels from the day before.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: For once, a decent sized squad meant we weren’t struggling to get enough players out.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Tom Pattinson tried to give the leg a run out, hopefully it will be better the next week.

Old Man of the Match:  Despite the 3-1 reverse there were good performances all over the field. Teesdale in the unsung hero role as the defensive midfielder while the defenders did what they could against one of the quicker, talented attacks they will see.  In the end it was Ronnie Swinkels playing as attacking midfield who was all over the field and unlocked the defence for the sole goal from Mckeown.

Old Man of the Bar: The 8am start meant it was the first test of Mad River sponsor bar availability, one which they passed with flying colours.  The shot total will definitely need to be toned down in the future but in the meantime Venkataraman hit double figures including some rather large shot pours to cover up the pain of the Liverpool loss.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.

Statistic of the week: Mckeown continuing to push the lifetime statistics up, now tied for second all time goals at 18 with Venkataraman.

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 16 (19%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. Only Tier 1 showed up, but there was decent longevity especially with the Grays and Edmunds showing up after the derby.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Andrew Faherty, Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Ronnie Swinkels, Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova, John Hodges, Bevan Rosenbloom, Tom Pattinson

Comments are off for this post

Motley CPR crew’s valiant effort tragically thwarted in penalty shootout

Apr 11 2017 Published by under Legends

The ongoing saga of scraping up enough players to play a game continued.  With many hours and numerous emails out to the club, the Old Boys and Legends were able to scrape up enough players not just to play but also to substitute.  In fact, by game time the Legends had 16 available allowing Resnik to focus on coaching and resting his aching knees while Subah’s partying was no hindrance to having him throw his weight around for the Legends as opposed to the Old Boys.  The opposition were in the Over 30’s division and certainly looked the part based on their pregame drills.  The Legends were more interested in introducing themselves to the other CPR team members helping out from the Oranges, Old Boys and Grays.  They had plenty of time to do so given the referee’s extreme tardiness in showing up 20 minutes after scheduled kickoff.

With the field feeling slightly smaller than #74 it helped the older Legends remain compact and challenge Celtic to break them down.  In addition it meant clearances allowed the forwards a chance to chase the ball down and put the opposition defence under pressure.  The Legends were also trying to pick and choose their moments as to when to press, some of the bouncy balls causing control issues and helping defensive pressure.  Although Celtic were able to pass the ball around they had difficulty getting any decent shots off, the field as much of a help as Pier 40 had been a hindrance the week before.  The Legends actually had a chance to take the lead early as Accordino’s header found Mckeown who uncharacteristically sliced his shot when well placed.  A few other flicks into the box eluded the attackers but the Legends were the team relieved and encouraged to reach the half deadlocked.

The half time talk emphasized defence, communication and pressing when the opportunity was available.  As time went by, the Legends gained confidence and continued to snap into tackles.  Celtic were larger and more physical and hence won most of the headers, but the Legends at least tried to make it difficult.  Both teams had chances although Celtic had more, however an xG map would probably have shown most of the shots were of low probability.  CPR rapidly became used to how each other played and the team ethos grew and solidified, all starting with the solid back line.

Finally the Legends were able to get the game over the line to penalties.  Celtic won the toss and correctly chose to go first, burying their first kick.  Venkataraman surprised many with one of the better penalties you will ever see, top left corner.  The opposition scored next and then Mckeown also made up for a previous penalty miss, tying the shootout at 2-2.  Up stepped the Celtic player to balloon the ball over the bar, opening the door wide for the Legends to win their first ever penalty shootout.  Unfortunately defender Calcagni’s shot clipped the left post and went wide.  Celtic scored next and D’Andrea tied it up with a clinical shot into the right side netting, eluding the goalie who chose the right direction to dive.  It was now essentially sudden death.  Celtic scored and it was upto Blagojevic, who had been immense all game.  Unfortunately it was not to be as his shot went well wide of the left hand post.  It was a cruel ending for the Legends who had executed their David strategy to perfection without being able to push on over the finish line to their first Semifinal.  The hope is that they can take this promising performance and one more week’s rest for the injured and focus on finishing strongly in the last 4 games of the season, with potentially a playoff berth at stake.

Competition: Manhattan Celtic Bhoys, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #73, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: 4 (Isadora, Emilio, Harriet, Laura)

Result: 0-0 HT: 0-0

Goals: N/A


1-1: Venkataraman

2-2: Mckeown

2-2: MISS Calcagni

3-3: D’Andrea

4-3: MISS Blagojevic

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ernest Subah, whose birthday celebrations were so exuberant that the striker needy Old Boys passed him over to the Legends.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Fortunately no new injuries.

Old Man of the Match:  Lots of contenders including Telly in goal, Belizan at Centerback and Accordino running box to box down the sideline.  Blagojevic would have taken it home but for the game losing penalty miss, and so in a narrow decision Belizan takes it for locking the defence down and anticipating and breaking up attacks.

Old Man of the Bar: A rare appearance by Mazzi saw him get his full money’s worth.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.

Statistic of the week: Belizan now has twice as many Old Man of the Match awards as the nearest contender Sean Street.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 16 (38%)

Team Bar Night: 4.5 out of 5. A decent chunk of people made it back and stuck around a while, and the Women’s Whites also made it all the way up from East 6th Street as well as Doug playing for the Old Boys.  A good afternoon was had by all, depth and longevity.  Masters in the background didn’t hurt.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Kelvin Yu (DF), Dragan Blagojevic (DF), Charles Calcagni (DF), Gabriel Ruegg (DF), Tom Accordino, Steve Teesdale, Tony Vamvouris, Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Ernest Subah

Comments are off for this post

Finally a full squad but the same dismal result for the Legends

Apr 05 2017 Published by under Legends

After the weekly hours spent trying to get a scant 11 it looked like this week there would be some cautious injured substitutes that could provide a few minutes respite.  The previous weeks had aggravated injuries among a few forced to play 90 minutes, but this week in a welcome reversal there were a full 16 available to play.  On the vast field of Pier 40 having substitutes was critical, especially against a Celtic team who knew exactly how to play on their home field.  The game started evenly enough but soon it was apparent that the opposition knew the best way to play on the field was to constantly switch sides.  Knowing and executing are two different things, but they showed the capability to do so.  Meanwhile the Legends showed a propensity to shrink back towards their area with the dual issues of giving Celtic more space while putting them under immediate pressure when they finally did get the ball.

The first goal conceded by the Legends was farcical.  Under no pressure Tony Vamvouris passed back to Telly who inexplicably picked it up.  An indirect free kick within the box showed the Legends football IQ at its most awkward, with two men on the post and everyone rushing the kicker instead of focusing on marking potential receivers on an indirect kick.  As everyone rushed the kicker the player to the side hammered the ball straight into the net.  The Legends struggled to respond with their closest chance a glancing header by Rosenbloom.

Given their inability to make simple passes and hold the ball being down only a goal at the half was far from the worst thing that could happen.  The team was urged to pressure as a unit which was critical on this large field as well as spread the ball and make the simple passes.  Unfortunately the second half had Celtic get even more of the ball and put the vice on possession.  Sporadic attacks by the Legends resulted in very few direct chances on goal, a shot by Hahn and a header by McKeown proving to be the most they could muster.  As they stretched further up, gaps opened at the back that were exploited by Celtic.  A second goal made it very difficult for the Legends to get a result, and a beauty of a third goal ended the game as a competitive match.  Celtic still had time to have a goal disallowed for offside and a final tap in that demonstrated the athletic gap between the two teams as the outside left midfielder simply outran everyone to square the ball for a goal.  The glimmer the Legends had was extinguished when the referee decided to implement his own rules in deciding a hand pushed in the face of a Legend was only bookable and not a sending off offense.  Even if the player was rightly sent off, given the difference in play of the two teams it was highly unlikely that the Legends would have been able to get anything out of the game.

A disappointing start to the spring that is the inverse of the start of the Fall.  Injuries and absences have had a huge part to play, but there’s a distinct memory loss of what we are playing for, which is love of the game.  People in their 40’s aren’t playing to win the Champions League, they are playing because they still love to play.  Losing is no fun, but moaning about it is even less fun.  As players return to fitness and availability the hope is the Legends rediscover that love and the correlation to good results.

Competition: Manhattan Celtic, League Opposition

Location: Pier 40 East, Manhattan

Conditions: Pleasant spring evening

Fans: Tom Pattinson making an appearance, hopefully in advance of a playing appearance

Result: 0-4 HT: 0-1

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Denari on his debut, Mckeown

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Pete Hahn made a welcome return back.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Fortunately no new injuries.

Old Man of the Match:  Nobody stood out on this night.

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: Nothing notable.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 16 (38%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Although the 8:30pm start time would indicate fewer people, the adrenaline and the fact kids were in bed for relevant people meant a decent showing.  A few Stella pitchers were had.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Marc Walby (DF), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Steve Teesdale, John Hodges, Pete Hahn (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty (DF), Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova

Comments are off for this post

Threadbare Legends hold the dam but eventually it burst 0-6

Mar 28 2017 Published by under Legends

With a few of the stalwarts hurt or unavailable the Legends once again tried to beg, borrow but not steal players.  Unfortunately unlike midweek the Bat signal did not result in any caped heroes arriving.  Facing an expectedly strong Shamrock side the Legends would only have 10 players, and even those barely made it due to unexpectedly grim traffic from Manhattan.  Until Conboy arrived the Legends started in a 5-3-0 formation with Venkataraman tucking in as a fifth defender on the right hand side.  Although Shamrocks naturally had the vast amount of possession the Legends were able to keep them at bay without too many last ditch tackles.  Once Conboy arrived and Mckeown was pushed as a solo striker CPR had a bit more time in the midfield.  Inevitably though Shamrock’s pressing paid dividends as they were able to steal the ball inside the box and score their first goal, soon followed by a second.  The rout appeared to be on but on a 2 and 0 breakaway Telly Vamvouris did just enough in goal to force an offside pass.  At least that was the charitable interpretation, whereas another referee might well have sent Telly off for a foul or allowed the goal to stand.

0-2 at half time was as good as the Legends could have hoped for, but the Russian Roulette of the high defensive line populated by 40 somethings was asking for trouble.  CPR was also caught in a no man’s land of chasing the game to get a goal and get back in while inevitably opening up holes in the back.  The beginning of the second half saw the Legends come out very strongly but unable to get the final killer pass or shot on goal to challenge the keeper.  Both D’Andrea and Conboy were able to take on multiple players but eventually ended up overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers.  Fatigue was also starting to become a factor as the inevitable third goal finally came on a counter.  Gaps were starting to open up all over the field and all the Shamrock players were trying to get in on the action.  Two goals in quick succession put any remote doubt of the result to rest, and all that remained was for the Legends to not allow a cricket score while trying to grab a consolation back.  They had one glorious opportunity where Mckeown found himself one on one with the goalie who made a creditable save given how little he had to do.  Meanwhile CPR allowed a total of 6 goals and avoided a couple of other open opportunities while eliciting some quality saves from Telly.

A disappointing score for numerous reasons, not least the fact that showing up with 10 players was always going to make getting a result unlikely.  Combined with Barnstonworth’s large win over Gjoa the Legends are now out of playoff positioning and will have to hope they can rally far more squad players to the cause if they are going to avoid an empty season.

Competition: Shamrock Rovers, League Opposition

Location: St. Michael’s Playground, Queens

Conditions: Moderate afternoon

Fans: None

Result: 0-6 HT: 0-2

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: N/A

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: The vicious scything of Conboy fortunately happened right at the end of the game but will see him out for a few weeks.  He was barely able to walk the next day.

Old Man of the Match:  Solid performance by everyone considering the obstacles, but nobody stood out.  Tony Vamvouris appears to be making the defensive midfield position his own.

Old Man of the Bar: Good performance by Tier 1, but not OMoB worthy.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Paul Vale was summoned from his Upper East Side lair with minimal notice (sans cravat).

Statistic of the week: Nothing notable

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 10 (40%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. An initial tired crew of 4 started to gather steam with some shots and especially the volcanic arrival of Paul Vale heralding more shots and beers.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty (DF), Simon Mckeown, Mike Conboy

Comments are off for this post

Legends win first ever Cup game on first ever midweek game

Mar 28 2017 Published by under Legends

The struggle to cobble together even 11 players continued for the Legends.  After casting their net far and wide they looked to have 13 until the Mike D of Randall Klitz.  Fortunately their 12 looked very healthy in comparison to the 8 players that Barnstonworth scrounged up.  The 7pm start time might have been early for the average New York worker, but no less to blame was the bitterly cold and windy night that encouraged everyone to get the game started and moving as quickly as possible.

With no idea of whether Rovers reinforcements were on the way, the Legends started at a quick tempo and tried to press to keep the pressure on.  Although ostensibly a 4-4-2 Swinkels was privately encouraged to attack as the formation became an unofficial 4-3-3.  Despite being severely outmanned Barnstonworth showed some nice touches and dribbling ability but due to the sheer force of numbers were simply unable to get out of their own half.  After some near misses CPR finally struck with a nice finish from the outside of the left foot by Mckeown.  Soon after a corner caused some confusion at the back for Rovers presenting Swinkels with the easiest of tap ins.  After a couple of strong runs on the left Swinkels was rewarded again with sliding the ball through the keeper after the initial save.  A pass down the middle from D’Andrea set Mckeown free for another smart finish, and D’Andrea finished off the scoring for the first half.

A couple of reinforcements did arrive for Rovers at half time and so the Legends were now facing 10, still with a one man advantage.  Their initial break occurred when the referee seemed oblivious to a player several yards offside who then marched down half the field to score while CPR players stood around bewildered at such an obvious blunder.  The goal now gave Barnstonworth some hope and they quickly scored a second on a great counter, aided by Legends greed and the perennial lack of football situational understanding that afflicts some of their players.  Having 7 players in the penalty area when leading 5-1 allowing a counterattack is simply foolish.  Fortunately the game was opening up in both directions and a Man of the Match performance by Tony Vamvouris was capped by an admittedly wind assisted lob from outside the box.  At this point the 4 goal lead looked safe, although Telly Vamvouris made his own excellent save on yet another counter attack by Barnstonworth.

Regardless of how it came about, a first cup win was most welcome and allows the Legends to play another game in the usually sparse spring.  Goals scored are always good for the confidence and hopefully the Legends can do better rallying players and playing well the rest of the Spring.

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #75, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Freezing windy evening

Fans: None

Result: 6-2, HT: 5-0

Goals: 1:0 Mckeown

2:0 Swinkels

3:0 Swinkels

4:0 Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

5:0 D’Andrea Assist Hodges

6:0 Tony Vamvouris

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Randall Klitz was supposed to be the prodigal son briefly returning but never showed.  Fortunately he was not needed.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Very fortunately none.

Old Man of the Match:  Lots of candidates but Tony Vamvouris in a very disciplined defensive midfield position gets the nod, with his goal while the Legends were starting to be pressurized ending any real threat of a Barnstonworth comeback.

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:  Tony Vamvouris gets his debut Old Man of the Match.  Mckeown continues his prolific goal scoring, rapidly rising up the all time charts with 17 goals in 23 matches.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 12 (33%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Made it to Dive 96 for a quick bite and a beer.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, John Hodges, Drew Faherty (DF), Simon Mckeown, Ronnie Swinkels

Comments are off for this post

Legends finally meet a team more undermanned than they are, make it count with 9-1 win against Hoboken

Dec 12 2016 Published by under Legends

After last week’s heartwarming draw against the Cozmoz juggernaut the Legends knew they couldn’t afford to let their momentum drop.  Apparently the message got through as they had their largest attendance of the season so far at 16.  On arriving at the field it was clear that it was more like 15 as Ollie Roberts looked like someone who had hosted a holiday party the night before.  For once the Legends didn’t have to stress as their opponents looked in even worse shape, with only 9 players available and hints suggesting that that would be the sum total for the whole game.  Having stretched themselves well after the arduous trek to Union New Jersey the Legends were up and eager to get at it, immediately putting pressure on the opponents.  Quickly CPR stormed in the lead, the massed numbers too many for Hoboken to handle as the wide open Rosenbloom crashed the ball against the bar with Venkataraman available to clean up the mess.  The referee appeared to take pity on Hoboken by giving them the benefit of the doubt on a few offside decisions including a sumptuous volley from an irate Mckeown.  Not to be denied he soon notched up his first followed by Venkataraman’s speculative long shot taking a deflection.  The surprise was that the Legends weren’t able to score more, but Hoboken as usual kept battling and working hard against the odds.

Despite the large numbers of substitutes the Legends continued to efficiently self manage their playing time and the pressure continued to pile on.  Mckeown scored again and was denied by the crossbar.  Venkataraman shot straight at the keeper and headed wide from a promising position.  El Presidente got into the act, scoring to atone for his miss in the first half before missing an even more promising header.  The goals and chances started to flow, and for the most part the Legends eschewed selfishness to keep the ball flowing and set people up in good positions in the penalty area.  Mckeown completed his hat-trick with a gorgeous shot from outside the box that was almost matched by a long run from Hahn followed by a powerful low drive.  Hoboken gamely tried to keep up and indeed ruined the Legends chances for their 3 shut out in 4 games with a good corner and great header.  By the time Casanova scored and inappropriately celebrated the 9th goal it was clear that the referee would mercifully end the game early for Hoboken.

The Fall part of the season was challenging from a numbers perspective for the Legends, making their second place playoff position feel all the more satisfying.  With 6 games to go and a 3 point lead they will need to make sure they recruit well and hopefully have players returning from injury to help cement their playoff position.

Competition: Hoboken FC 1912 Legends, League Opposition

Location: Phil Rizzuto Park, Union NJ

Conditions: Chilly December morning

Fans: 2 (Doug and Owen Faherty).

Result: 9-1

Goals: 1:0 Venkataraman assist Rosenbloom

2:0 Mckeown assist Hahn

3:0 Venkataraman

4:0 Mckeown

5:0 Faherty Assist Conboy

6:0 Mckeown

7:0 Hahn

8:0 Conboy Assist Mckeown

9:1 Casanova Assist Belizan

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None, although Ollie probably wishes he was one

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Although hangovers shouldn’t count, Ollie’s was the most spectacular since Resnik at Red Hook post St. Patrick’s day 3 years ago (still being drunk doesn’t count).  Too many subs rolling in and off to have anyone in any danger of getting hurt.

Old Man of the Match:  Plenty of candidates but the tight race came down to Conboy narrowly edging out Mckeown.  Mckeown had the statistics with 3 goals and an assist (and unfairly denied a goal for “offside”) while Conboy had the tireless field length running both offensively and defensively.  Hopefully they will both have plenty more chances to vie for the award in the spring.

Old Man of the Bar: None.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Honorary mentions to Meridyth, Kaitlin and Doug.

Statistic of the week:  Venkataraman was a couple of glorious chances away from tying D’Andrea for the all time goal lead, his 2 goals now leaving him one behind at 18 and with 50 goals all time for CPR.  With Faherty rotating up top Resnik was able to gain full custody of the all time Defensive assist lead.  The Legends also set a new record with 6 goals in a half, beating 3 previous occasions when they had scored 5.  The 9 goals in the game also tied their previous high against Banatul in 2012, and but for a good Hoboken header would have tied that game’s all time biggest victory.

Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 16 (44%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. Almost half the team showed up for at least awhile, while Tier 1 stayed for all of the first NFL games with Tier 2 putting in a shift.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Teesdale, Ollie Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Mark Dean, Bevan Rosenbloom, Manohar Venkataraman, John Hodges, Drew Faherty, Mike Conboy, Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova

Comments are off for this post

Legends valiant defensive performance produces historic result

Dec 06 2016 Published by under Legends

Although the Old Boyz were off it was still a major struggle to get enough players to make it to Sunday’s game.  The four reinforcements did provide flexibility positionally but the last minute Mike D of Hodges meant there would be a scant 2 substitutes to help on the large field against the Cozmoz juggernaut.  A record of never having been tied let alone beaten in the league (26 consecutive wins over 1.5 seasons) would indicate that the Legends had no chance, but they knew differently.  In the Cup game the previous year they narrowly lost 2-1, and there was another 2-1 loss in the last minute also last season.  However, CPR was under no illusion of the monumental effort that would be required.

The game settled into the same pattern early on, Cozmos grabbing and keeping possession with good technical ability and movement.  Whenever the Legends were able to get the ball they could barely string a couple of passes together before they were back against the ropes.  There were glimpses of daylight on the wings, with Faulhaber and Teesdale making inroads but unable to get the killer ball in.  The fight of the Legends was not to be questioned, running and harassing as much as they could.  Against Cozmoz the battle was always physical but fair, but increasingly it was the Legends who suffered against their stronger opponents.  Against the run of play the Legends struck gold as a goalbound shot was adjudged to have been handled, presenting the Legends with a priceless penalty.  Although management was inclined to have ze German Faulhaber take it the Englishman Mckeown was insistent, with predictable dire results.

Fortunately the Legends were able to shrug off the disappointment of the penalty miss to continue harassing the opposition.  At half time the weary Legends knew they were going to have to use every trick in the book to keep the Cozmos at bay.  The second half saw a one way siege with the occasional counterattack tending to fizz out quickly.  Block after block stopped the majority of shots, with anything that slipped through being capably handled by Telly Vamvouris.  The toll was increasingly being taken as Legends were being carried off the pitch and muscles were cramping, but for all their possession the Cozmos had few direct shots within the penalty area.  Indeed, almost at the death the Legends had a chance to steal an undeserved win but the cross to a wide open Faulhaber was a little too far.  As it was the Legends were delighted to take the first ever point off Cozmos, a deserved point for a hard effort and one that prove very valuable in the playoff race.

Competition: Cozmos, League Opposition

Location: Bush Terminal Park, Brooklyn

Conditions: Brisk afternoon

Fans: 2 (Ms. Morse and Mrs. Telly Vamvouris along with 2 dogs.  Hakan showed up a little late).

Result: 0-0

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Mckeown took out some of his post penalty miss frustration on a run of the mill bad call forcing the referee to reassert himself.  Telly Vamvouris was very vocal in his demand that time be called, much to the amusement of everyone around.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Hodges was a late scratch, and given the number of exhausted players it was fortunate that the Legends were able to hold on.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Edmunds with the hamstring forcing him off, Teesdale had major cramps, Telly Vamvouris post collision.  It was harder to find someone who wasn’t hurting given the siege the Legends were under.

Old Man of the Match:  The rarity of nobody going to the bar meant this wasn’t discussed, but there were many worthy candidates.  Telly pulled off some great saves and the defense in all threw themselves in front of the ball and blocked many shots.

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:  Given some of the shenanigans this season we’ve had to expand our “Own Goal” category to include Penalty misses and Penalty saves (fortunately for some this statistic only starts this season).  Telly Vamvouris is helped and Simon Mckeown is penalized.  After a rocky defensive start the Legends now have 3 shutouts in their last 4 games.  However their goal scoring is at a record low and goal concessions are at a record high this season, so far producing the only negative differential in their history.  Given that it is remarkable that they are still in a good playoff position.

Team Bar Showing: 0 out of 13 (0%)

Team Bar Night: 0 out of 5. Bill Rigby’s goodbye shenanigans negatively affected Tier 1.  Hopefully they can make it up after next week’s final game of the Fall Semester.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Morse, Jens Faulhaber, Neil Stower, Steve Teesdale, Ollie Roberts (DF), Tony Vamvouris (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty, Mike Conboy, Simon Mckeown

Comments are off for this post

Older posts »