Archive for the 'Legends' category

Depleted ragtag Legends play spoiler against America in final game of season

May 21 2019 Published by under Legends

At one point early Saturday, it looked like the Legends would have to ignominiously forfeit their last game of the season.  With a scant 7 plus 2 significantly injured players, showing up only to take a beating and potentially alter the competitive balance of the league did not look appealing.  The only thing worse would be to forfeit.  Fortunately the hours put in by Venkataraman yielded results as the Legends were able to scrape together a couple more players to at least attempt to give America a decent game.  With 9 players and 2 injured players it was going to be a stretch, but Subah showing up halfway through the first half was a welcome sight.  Having a grass field was certainly helpful for the Legends as the erratic bounces and speed sapping mud would force America to play down to their level.

 

Surprisingly the Legends not only came out strong, they were able to take a shock lead.  Sobczak was making a nuisance of himself and the resulting possession down in the opposition’s half resulted in a needle threading pass from Teesdale to Stower, who took the chance with aplomb.  The huge America squad, replete with banner, were perturbed by this unexpected turn of events.  Their left back’s cultured left foot meant they were continuing to use the long ball strategy despite the fact that virtually all of their players could easily beat their counterparts for speed.   Although CPR welcomed this low percentage strategy, America were still able to use it to tie the game up, a dangerous left back cross bouncing awkwardly to find the second striker open at the back post.  Canny play by the Legends helped keep America in check, and CPR might have taken another surprising lead had Roberts in his last game managed to convert a point blank chance.

 

At half time the Legends felt unexpected hope that they might be able to salvage something from the game.  The focus for the second half was to initially conserve energy in case the game was close in the latter stages, stop vociferously complaining to the referee and to goad the long balls which were far easier to deal with for the old and injured Legends.  Both teams did not make it easy for the referee with a lot of barking, and the Legends were hoping that dialing the complaints back a notch while stonewalling America would result in frustration and wasted time by the opposition.

 

The game’s temperature was well and truly up, but until the end the tackles were hard but mostly fair.  An absorbing game of football continued, with America’s possession against the Legends counterattacking.  America were able to steal a lead when confusion by two CPR players resulted in a ball trickling back for the gleefully lazy America striker to convert for a lead.  The Legends kept up the defence and were rewarded when a long ball found the physical combination of Subah and Sobczak bullying their way through the defence to even things up.

 

The Legends hope of turning up the screws on America evaporated with Sobczak’s reaction to another hard foul not resulting in a free kick.  Immediately from the throw in he launched himself at the fouler right in front of the America bench.  It was surprising that the resulting melee didn’t have punches thrown, as the irate America team confronted Sobczak including an opponent kicking him for what should have been a red card offense.  Cooler heads eventually prevailed and Sobczak went to the sidelines to dissipate the red mist, with D’Andrea limping on.

 

The game went back and forth, with America not really creating any clearcut chances while the Legens had 3 glorious opportunities that they blasted over the bar. There was still time for an extraordinary John Stones like clearance off a defensive miscue for the Legends, while the America striker should have been sent off for two egregious bouts of simulation in between being found offside.   With the Legends holding on, Teesdale was disgracefully hacked by the America striker who only received a booking. He got his just dessert by the time wasted due to the injury helping end the game swiftly after.

 

A disappointing season came to a stirring ending, with the Legends fighting through and finding a way to survive and eke out a point.

 

Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition

 

Location: Randall’s Island #51, Randall’s Island

 

Conditions: Nice warm morning

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 2:2 HT: 1-1

 

Goals: 1:0 Stower Assist Teesdale

2:0 Sobczak Assist Subah

 

Yellow Cards: Stower, Sobczak

 

Red Cards: As much as America argued with the referee regarding Sobczak’s horror tackle, it was still merely a booking.

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None, although nobody in the right mind thought Subah would ever show up.  A Hail Mary of a phone call from Venkataraman right at game time prompted his unexpected showing midway through the first half.

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Remarkably there were no injuries despite most players having to play the full 90’.  Teesdale, D’Andrea and Roberts all deserved kudos for showing up to an 8am kickoff injured, and then proceeding to play more than expected.

 

Old Man of the Match: This was a close one.  Teesdale receives an honorary mention for both playing far longer than expected while also showing some canny nous in stretching time due to injury in the last few minutes.  Sobczak would have run away with it if it hadn’t been for a moment of madness.  Venkataraman worked hard to scrape up a team when early Saturday the Legends only had 7 fit players.  Another honorary mention to Steve Roberts in his last CPR game for awhile, marshalling the back for a full 90.  However, Arrocha wins the award not only for a number of stellar saves, but also solid overall goalkeeping, distribution and the football IQ to stretch every moment to make time an ally.

 

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:  Sobczak has been remarkably prolific for the Legends, with 8 goals and 6 assists in 10 career games.  This puts him in the elite offensive range with Enticott and Sawyer regarding small sample sizes

 

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 12 (25%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Although only 3 showed up, there was impressive 4 hour longevity without any interesting sports to occupy the Legends.  Merely good food (Teesdale with his multiple meals) and beers.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Teesdale (DF), Ernest Subah, Sebastian Sobczak, Jan Carlsen

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Sloppy, disjointed, injured Legends lose to clinical Rovers

May 10 2019 Published by under Legends

The initially 9am scheduled game was now set for high noon, but both squads were depleted with barely any substitutes.  A drizzly miserable day didn’t help get the spirits up, but fortunately a quality veteran referee would at least ensure that the game would stay well marshalled.  Both teams came out suffering from an inability to adapt to the conditions, attempted one touch passes and careless touches making it a turnover battle.  Barnstonworth were marginally more technically adept at holding the ball, but the Legends looked more dangerous when attacking.  Once D’Andrea went down with a knee injury in the opposition penalty box, the Legends ability to hold the ball in attack dissipated.

 

Originally CPR thought they could wear down Barnstonworth with superior numbers, but once the Legends lost 3 substitutes it was virtually an even game.  Although space was opening up around the field, the Legends had a hard time piecing more than 3 passes together.  Meanwhile the Rovers bided their time and then took advantage.  CPR had already been warned when one counterattack had forced a professional foul, but did not heed it and were pried open with the single opposition striker loping half the length of the field before converting. The Legends continued to be up and around the opposition penalty area but with little real threat, and committing players forward led to an almost identical second goal.  With almost the last play of the game, a third counterattack resulted in Frazier taking down the striker.  The now inevitable red mist sank all over Frazier and resulted in a straight red, with Vale’s long battle with the goalie gloves not providing any succor as the Rovers slotted in a simple third from the spot to end the game.

 

The 0-3 score was not fair to the Legends, but Rovers were the more technically astute side in keeping possession and passing the ball around which was enough on the wet surface to make the difference.  That and having swift attackers to take advantage of the Legends unusually slow and injured back line.  With one more game left CPR hopes to finish the season on a winning note.

 

 

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: A little too wet and cold for late spring

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 0:3 HT: 0-0

 

Goals: N/A

 

Yellow Cards: None

 

Red Cards: Even by Frazier’s standards this was breathtakingly idiotic.  Down 2-0 with virtually no time left, takes the striker down.  Fairly close, but a penalty was reasonably awarded.  The sending off wasn’t for that, it was for the resultant shove of the ball into the referee’s gut.

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: D’andrea went down with a knee twist in the first half and didn’t return.  He was sorely missed. Steve Roberts groin hindered him into even slower speed than usual before he finally threw in the towel. Resnik uncharacteristically was also unavailable after warm ups.

 

Old Man of the Match: Some sporadic good play, but more often a lot of one touch misplayed foolishness in wet weather.

 

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:  No surprise, Frazier continues to knock negative statistics out of the park in a Bizarro Ripken fashion.  This week’s straight red brings the total to 22 discipline points (yellow+red) out of 24 games played.  Good thing he’s so phlegmatic off the pitch else he would have been long gone from the squad.

 

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 15 (13%)

Team Bar Night: 1 out of 5. Tier 1 showed up for some food and a pint, but that was it.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Tim Frazier (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Danny Azzo, Franco Denari, Scott Brindley, Paul Vale, Willian D’Andrea, Steve Lacey, Manuel Casanova, John Hodges, Steve Teesdale (DF)

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4 last minute dropouts not enough to stop Legends from eking out 2-1 victory

Apr 29 2019 Published by under Legends

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: Nice, cloudy and cool spring morning

 

Fans: 1.  Injured Pattison for part of second half.

 

Result: 2:1 HT: 0:1

 

Goals: 1-1: Sobczak Assist Rosenbloom  (long cross from sideline at about the 35yd line which found Sobczak in stride at 18yd line making a direct run in center of field.  One touch to control and a second touch to cleanly beat the GK from about 10yds out)

2-1: D’Andrea (PK) Assist Sobczak

 

Yellow Cards: Edmunds

Red Cards: None

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Unfortunately two scratches in the wee hours before 8am match and two no shows:  Casanova, Denari, Vale, Teesdale.  Thank goodness management had coordinated a full 16.5, so the reduction still left Legends with 12.5.

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None, despite being short on subs.

 

Old Man of the Match:  On one hand both strikers (Sobczak & Sawyer) were a handful for the opposition with their hard work, and had tons of touches and shots.  On the other hand they both struggled to convert possession in the final third and in the penalty area into actual goals.  Props to the Eintracht GK and the posts/bar who combined for double digit saves on what could have been 4-5 Legends goals on another day.  Honorable mention to Sobczak who scored the tying goal and got dragged down inside the box to earn a clear penalty call which was converted for the winner.  Honorable mention to the Legends defense and GK, who kept the capable Eintracht midfield and strikers away from having too many clear chances, and kept out the equalizer as Eintracht sent numbers forward in the waning minutes on several counters and several corners.

 

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:  None

 

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 13 (15%)

Team Bar Night: 1.5 out of 5.  Just Edmunds and Resnik went to Blooms.  Alas, was closed just after 10am so went to nearby Pig and Whistle for several pints and breakfast.  Actually stayed full 2.5 hrs and thru first half of ManU v Chelsea.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Gavin Moore (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Neil Stower, Andy Jones, Willian D’Andrea, Bevan Rosenbloon, John Hodges, David Sawyer, Sebastian Sobczak

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Substitutes and familiar surroundings help Legends ease past Banatul 5-1

Apr 17 2019 Published by under Legends

After a troublesome threadbare spring it looked like the Legends would finally have a comfortable sized squad against traditionally hospitable opponents Banatul.  However a robust 16 somehow ended up as 13 by game time.  Fortunately it was a robust 13, except for the odd exception whose robust Saturday night had bled into an alarm missing scramble to get to the game on time, replete with roster and kit.  With 2 substitutes the team picked itself, and with erstwhile Banatul player Moore providing an optimistic scouting report the Legends started with purpose.  Unfortunately they had difficultly converting their purpose into production.  With the defence looking rarely troubled, CPR poured up front but were unable to make a dent.  Finally, as had happened many times it was upto to D’Andrea to make the difference.  Gifted a free kick in a dangerous area, D’Andrea struck it calmly into the side netting to enable the Legends to take the lead.

At half time the Legends focused on what they needed to do in order to take advantage of a rapidly tiring Banatul team.  Soon enough they were able to do so, with numbers charging forward looking to get on the score sheet.  Stower to Sawyer gave the Legends some breathing room, with Frazier exhibiting his full goalie repertoire by launching a ball that Sawyer latched on to and converted.  With everyone greedily hunting for scores a quick turnover enabled Banatul to convert, with only Venkataraman doing his defensive duty against 2 attackers.  Order was soon restored as D’Andrea scored again and then ended the game with one more as the referee took pity on tired Banatul.

These are the events as vaguely remembered.  The Legends next game against SC Eintracht should hopefully be similarly prolific, although the game against Barnstonworth after that is straight after the notorious Brooklyn Derby.

 

Competition: Banatul SC, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: Nice spring morning

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 5:1 HT: 1-0

 

Goals: 1-0: D’Andrea Assist Sawyer

2-0: Sawyer Assist Stower

3-0: Sawyer Assist Frazier

4-1: D’Andrea

5-1: D’Andrea Assist Sawyer

 

Yellow Cards: With Frazier safely ensconced in goal, there were none

Red Cards: None

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: At one point the Legends had 16, but that evaporated into a mere 13 with some late scratches

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None, with most players in decent shape and a couple of subs making a big difference

 

Old Man of the Match: For the first time in memory, we had a dual OMoM.  With their impacts on the game it was impossible to separate D’Andrea (hattrick) from Sawyer (2 goals, 2 assists). D’Andrea’s calmness in the center of the pitch was matched with Sawyer’s menace up front.

 

Old Man of the Bar: The Return of Paul Vale was only matched with Tier 1 Venkataraman.  A true case of Mutually Assured Destruction.

 

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

 

Statistic of the week:  Sawyer elbowed his way into the Top 20 points scorers all time for the Legends from only 10 games, a hair behind Rich Enticott who scored 9 goals and 5 assists from his 10 games vs 5 goals and 4 assists.

 

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 13 (38%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. A little confusion at the beginning over early bar entry, but soon enough 5 made it in.  After the Liverpool Chelsea game, two stayed.  And stayed.  And stayed.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Tim Frazier (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower (DF), Andy Jones (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Danny Azzo, Franco Denari, Scott Brindley, Paul Vale, Willian D’Andrea, David Sawyer

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Thin (in numbers) Legends team cannot overcome numerous Doxa and smugly incompetent referee

Apr 03 2019 Published by under Legends

The last few weeks have put a huge strain on the Legends resources, the small game day squads compounding into injuries.  Upto the Friday before the game there was a real danger that the Legends were going to have to forfeit, but they decided based on pride and keeping their good name in the league to soldier on with single digits.  After begging, borrowing and stealing they looked like they might be close to a starting 11, and with two late additions in Steve Roberts and Steve Morse they were able to get to a relatively expansive 12.

Given the knowledge that most players would have to play the full game or close to it, the Legends started quite well and with perhaps a little too much energy.  Although they were against the strong wind, they held up the ball well and managed to get into the box, without the requisite luck needed.  Doxa meanwhile tried to use the wind a little too much, with the long balls consequently ending up safely shepherded away by sweeper keeper Carducci.  The Legends did a commendable job keeping the game tight, with the teams separated by a solitary goal that was well struck through a number of bodies from Doxa.

The second half was always going to be a slog despite having the wind at their backs.  After knocking the Legends around with a few of their backups, Doxa launched a full assault with their younger, quicker players.  The Legends were a canny team though, playing a high line and allowing the Doxa youngsters to continually run themselves offside.  This was an expert strategy with one flaw.  The second goal, the one that broke the Legends spirit was so egregiously offside the Legends just stood around staring at the player run the field waiting for a whistle that never came.  Everyone stipulates that calling offside by a referee with no linesmen is tough, but this was such a breathtakingly bad call it defied belief.  Now, there are ways that the referee could have handled it, but smugly talking back to a team struggling with numbers and blatantly lying about a player playing the opponent offside while getting his number wrong was not the way to go about it.  Almost to make a point the referee now arbitrarily decided when he should blow his whistle, claiming that everyone knows the ball was out, it was an obvious foul etc. as half the team played on waiting for the whistle and the other half waited in helpless limbo.  There were a couple more offside goals before the referee belatedly decided to start blowing his whistle, but by then it was too late.  The one ray of sunshine was Carlsen’s goal from the kickoff.  After a couple of wind aided shots from the kickoff, this one was perfectly executed into the top corner, the first such goal scored by this core team since Fink scored off the opening kickoff for the Old Boys several years ago.  Quite what the goalie was doing after being warned several times of this exact technique was another matter, especially given that he had acquitted himself well from a variety of shots in the second half.

Nobody pretends the Legends would have won this game with a league average referee as opposed to a smugly inept argumentative lout.  However when running yourself into exhaustion it is truly debilitating to watch blatant mistakes be rewarded.  This is probably the first truly lousy refereeing display of the season, so thank heavens for small favours.  The small tragedy is that the game was played in a good spirit with very little of the excessive physical play that can cause annoying old man arguments. The Legends have a welcome week off and will now prepare to play the bottom half of the table in a round robin to see if they can win the Everton cup.

Competition: Doxa SC Legends, League Opposition

Location: Herbert Lehman High School, Bronx

Conditions: Chilly spring evening

Fans: 0

Result: 1:7 HT: 0-1

Goals: 1-5: Carlsen

Yellow Cards: No Tim Frazier so no bookings

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Edmunds was a late scratch given his “sickness” (nobody suggested he was hungover at the game).

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Steve Roberts risked divorce on his wife’s birthday to make it out, and was sorely needed.  Also Steve Morse trekked all the way out after his Old Boys game, so kudos to him as well.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Surprisingly there were no significant injuries given the number of players who had to play 90 minutes.  Resnik’s knees already precluded a long stint (although the knee complaining before and after the game bears no resemblance to him on the field where you need a crowbar to pry him out).  Falling heaving after being undercut in the penalty box probably had a larger influence on his being sidelined than anything else.

Old Man of the Match: Really a tough, hard fought performance all around, despite the discouragement of a supercilious incompetent referee and facing wave after wave of relatively young fresh opponents.  No particular player stood out from the rest.

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:  Resnik achieved his 100th cap, although given the circumstances the celebrations weren’t what they could and should have been.  Doxa had enough players to mount a guard of honour by themselves

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 12 (50%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Not bad considering it was a 6pm kickoff in the Bronx.  Finding a place to drink near the field was tricky, but Havana café did the trick, with surprisingly good food.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Mark Resnik (DF), Neil Stower (DF), Andy Jones (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Steve Morse, Scott Brindley, Jan Carlsen, Hakan Nizam, John Hodges

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Threadbare Legends fight valiantly but can’t resist the Shamrock tide

Mar 27 2019 Published by under Legends

Once again injuries and work commitments hit the Legends hard as they were barely able to scrape up a team for a lovely early afternoon game.  There were some quality players available, but it was a hard ask to hope that everyone could put in a consistent shift for an entire game against the usually physical and numerous Shamrocks.  One pleasant surprise was Casanova arriving to give the Legends 2 whole subs, although given the other substitute was the volatile Tim Frazier that was still barely injury coverage.

 

CPR started against the wind which the opposition took full advantage of with their traditional long ball approach.  Fortunately Belizan was mostly equal to the task, and Carducci had no issue playing sweeper keeper as the situation demanded.  There were some expected issues with players playing out of position, but for the most part the Legends held up well, and should have gone into the lead early on when Mckeown had a glorious chance off a free kick only to boot it over the bar on the turn from 4 yards out.  Soon after, Rosenbloom went down easily in the box much to the incandescent fury of the Shamrocks midfielder, but only a corner was given.  It was one of those fouls that probably would have been given anywhere else on the pitch but was a bit too mild for a penalty, but the absurd reaction was unnecessary as even Shamrock acknowledged.  The corner came to nothing, and then it was Shamrock’s turn to attack.  Belizan was fooled by the wind and could easily have received a harsher sanction but instead the dangerously positioned free kick was lofted harmlessly high.  Soon after, Shamrock opened their account on another counterattack with a cross from the left lobbed nicely over Carducci from the strong and always dangerous striker.

 

At this point the Legends frail framework cracked as Belizan limped off.  With one of their best players and defenders out of commission, CPR had to scramble to fit players into unfamiliar roles.  Shamrock soon capitalized to produce another and a seemingly insurmountable lead.  At half time the Legends tried to focus on maintaining their shape and playing smart football, at least as much as they could.  With a slow unfamiliar backline it was going to be a challenge against the hungry strikers and midfielders waiting for the ball launched over the top or diagonally.  The one thing the Legends had going for them as that Shamrock possessed a similar Football IQ, so rather than patiently probing the weaknesses and using their freshness to attack tired CPR they all too frequently made the low percentage play. Their internal strife was not helped by a superbly taken goal from Sawyer, and all at once the undermanned Legends had the upper hand.  With space opening up the Legends were able to push all the way into the final third, but the ball could never quite bounce their way, and their decision making was as erratic as usual.

 

Try as they might the Legends started succumbing to the fresher Shamrocks, and eventually by the rule of chance the squabbling Shamrocks made it count by finally converting a counterattack.  CPR had a few more close shaves and chances of their own, but did not have enough in the tank, especially those that had played close to 90 minutes the previous week when similarly undermanned.  One hopes that somehow the Legends will scrape up enough players to give a proper accounting of themselves in the coming weeks.

 

 

Competition: Shamrock SC Legends, League Opposition

 

Location: Randall’s Island #90, Randall’s Island

 

Conditions: Gorgeous early afternoon spring day

 

Fans: 1 (Ms Tomassoli)

 

Result: 1:3 HT: 0-2

 

Goals: 1-2: Sawyer

 

Yellow Cards: I know this is going to be shocking to regular readers, but yes Tim Frazier received another booking for once again vastly overreacting to some physical play.  At this point unless we have 11 or less, his position will have to be in goal where theatrical antics are more tolerated and forgiven by referees

Red Cards: None, fortunately

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Mike Dean was a last minute scratch with domestic issues, unfortunate as his versatility would have been a big help to the bare bones Legends

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Manuel Casanova, who turned from a non response/No to showing up and eventually getting on the field after his extensive warmup regimen.

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Sadly with such a small squad available, the several time MVP Belizan was forced off early which required extensive rearrangement from the team, not to mention losing all speed at the back when dealing with counterattacks.

 

Old Man of the Match: Another hard-fought performance by many players, especially given the number of substitutes the opposition had to wear CPR down.  Sawyer receives the honor this week, not just due to his superbly taken goal but also fighting a lonely battle against several defenders and often holding his own.

 

Old Man of the Bar: A seemingly mild afternoon drink session turned into an old school marathon with the help of the Oranges and the NCAA tournament.  Tier 1, Venkataraman and Resnik.

 

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

 

Statistic of the week:  Resnik moved on to 99 Legends caps.  It’s a shame his 100th is a 6pm Bronx game against Doxa that will limit post game festivities.

 

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 13 (31%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. A seemingly high grade given there were only 2 Legends after an hour at the pub, but adjustments need to be made over time. 7+ hours is certainly a throwback session.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Steve Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Tim Frazier, Mark Resnik (DF), Danny Azzo (DF), Neil Stower, Manuel Casanova, David Sawyer, Enrico Tomassoli, Bevan Rosenbloom, Simon Mckeown

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Legends hang on for draw on tough field against tough opponent in NY Greek Americans

Mar 19 2019 Published by under Legends

The last time the Legends played the NY Greek Americans the bare 11 went down in ignominious double digits defeat.  Although that was the league leading Over 30’s team, the wounds were still bare.  Unfortunately revenge was going to be tricky as the first game in 4 months would once again see a side cobbled together.  Something old (Tier 1), something relatively new (David Sawyer), something borrowed (Mike Carducci), something blue (sad evertonian Steve Roberts).  Given the number of players who privately discussed ailments and playing time with management before the game, the 3 substitutes were going to be sorely needed.  Although 3 turned to 2 as Pete Hahn misread the time and only arrived at half time.  The conditions were suboptimal, chilly weather and a grass/mud field that felt inordinately large.

 

Despite merely 2 substitutes to start, the Legends started on the front foot and took advantage of the width offered to make some darting runs down the side.  The deceptive grass pitch made keeping possession treacherous, but CPR for the most part were able to do so.  The Greeks belied their lower position in the table by holding their own and showing good technical ability.  However their lead was courtesy of the referee who swallowed his whistle on a clear offside call.  Unusually the Legends complaints were done professionally and without characteristic histrionics, having a long word with the referee to explain that a man coming back from behind the last man was still offside.  CPR kept their composure and the introduction of Dr. Jekyll Frazier on the wing gave them a dimension they were missing, a player who not only had speed but was fearless in taking on opponents.  Cutting in from the right Frazier laid the ball on a platter for team leading scorer Sawyer who did not disappoint for the equalizer.  CPR looked to have taken the lead with a cross parried by the keeper to Sawyer in front of goal only for the referee to belatedly decide to call offside.  This call was more debatable than the Greek’s goal, but was a very tight one to make given the volume of defenders around.

 

At half time the emphasis was still on keeping the width in attack while narrowing the field in defence.  The welcome arrival of Hahn provided both defensive and attacking impetus along with a bit more rest to some of the flagging team members.  With fatigue setting in after several months of donut eating, CPR found themselves often caught disjointedly whether to attack or defend.  The gulf between the fit and the old widened as vast spaces started to appear all over the pitch.  The Legends still had enough talent to pose threats, and on one such foray they were awarded a dangerous kick at the top of the box.  At this point Mr. Hyde Frazier reared his ugly head.  After blasting the ball straight at the wall, in frustration he took a wild kick at the defender bringing the ball out, causing an uproar and several minute stoppage as those with a penchant for hot bloodedness had the perfectly valid excuse to roar at each other.  Frazier received a booking and a substitute’s cooling off period, but with the team’s needs dictating it was soon back out on the wing.  Already skating on the thinnest of ice, his response to the inevitable foul in normal circumstances would have been brushed off.  These were not normal circumstances.  The Legends were now reduced to 10 men and their chances of winning sailed off in the distance.  It was now all about hunkering down for survival as the Greeks smelled blood and sent waves after waves forward.  There were a couple of misses from inside the 6 yard box, and a couple of top class saves from Carducci, and when the whistle blew the Legends could count themselves fortunate to eke out a point.

Competition: NY Greek Americans, League Opposition

Location: Con Edison Field, Queens

Conditions: Chilly morning

Fans: 0

Result: 1:1 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-1: Sawyer Assist Frazier

Yellow Cards: The ignominious record continues.  Out of frustration on a free kick hit straight into the wall, Frazier responded to the defender winning the rebound with an almighty kick that caused cringes and fury everywhere.  Not one for apologizing, Frazier’s demeanor sparked a long stoppage and laid the foundation for the soft second booking to come in the second half, albeit due to needless antagonizing.  All this from someone who once again turned in a very good performance outside of the tiresome antics.

Red Cards: Frazier

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Hahn had confused the game time although it was a week after Daylight savings time.  A full second half was sorely needed from him though, especially once the Legends were down to 10 men.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None, although there was a lot of post game soreness with players having played a lot more than anticipated, especially for the first game of the season after a long layoff.

Old Man of the Match: Several players put in good performances, especially given a number who did not expect to play 90 minutes.  Sawyer ploughed a lonely furrow up front, with the size of the field limiting his support especially in the second half.  Edmunds marshalled the defence well, eliminating mistakes in driving the ball from the back.  However, a couple of quality saves to give the Legends a hard-fought point meant Carducci gained the honors this week.

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Hodges was a late scratch to the game, but came by the bar for a pint.

Statistic of the week:  Frazier not only stretches his bookings tally (15 in 21) but is now in sole place of sendings off as well (2 in 21, both double yellows).  Imagine the player he could be if he just reigned in the red mist a little.

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 14 (21%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. With only Tier 1 up for going back to Blooms, it was a St Patrick’s visit to St. James Gate which subsequently enticed Teesdale out as well for a couple.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Tim Frazier, Mark Resnik (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Danny Azzo, Gavin Moore (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Neil Stower, Manuel Casanova, David Sawyer

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Legends break 4 game losing streak, fight through for good win against SC Gjoa

Nov 26 2018 Published by under Legends

Match Report: 0 out of 15: Nobody stepped up to write it this week but at least we have the stats.

Competition: SC Gjoa, League Opposition

 

Location: Dyker Beach Park

 

Conditions: Brisk November morning.  A welcomed brand new turf field.

 

Fans: 3 (Jones family)

 

Result: 2:0 HT: 1-0

 

Goals: 1-0: Jones assist Stower

2-0: Pattison Assist Stower

 

Yellow Cards: None

 

Red Cards: None

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None.

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

 

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Roberts had a short spell off due to injury and was able to return.  With several available subs there was more than enough switching to keep people generally injury free.

 

Old Man of the Match: Nice result as good performances by most of the squad.  The nod goes to Stower with two assists, and ton of running on the wing at both ends of the pitch.  The impressive spread of food at his place after the game and the forethought to have taped the England game ensured his top finish.  Honorable mention to Jones who proved his versatility by scoring a goal at striker and earning a shutout by providing some needed pace in the back line.  Honorable mention to Pattison who had an impactful run out across the entire midfield and scored a lovely curling shot placed into the upper far side netting to give Legends a needed cushion.  Honorable mention to Frazier for several quality sliding/diving saves, several clearances from above the 18, commanding the area, and generally a very reliable performance.

 

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

 

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): N/A, but several additional wives and kids for the post-game at Stower’s.

 

Statistic of the week:  Jones played most of game in defense and earned 2pts for the shutout, while in a brief rotation at striker earned additional points with the game winning goal.  Team-wise, it was the Legends 50th lifetime victory.

 

Team Bar Showing: N/A

 

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. No turnout to pub from deepest Brooklyn, but had a good turnout at the lovely spread of food and drink put on by the Stower’s.

 

Team (No new profiles this week): Tim Frazier (GK), Steve Roberts (DF), Andy Jones (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Danny Azzo, Neil Stower, Tom Pattinson, Willian D’Andrea, Jeremy Phillips, Franco Denari, David Sawyer, Manuel Casanova

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Legends celebrate Halloween by digging themselves a grave they can’t clamber out of, lose 6-2

Nov 06 2018 Published by under Legends

With a surprisingly easy commute despite the marathon, most of the Legends were warmed up and ready to go with more than enough time to spare.  Celtic were ready to go too, the problem was a lack of a referee.  The teams huddled and had a reluctant Celtic volunteer, but resolved to ask the referee of the parallel game to see if he would be interested in refereeing.  It turned out that he was actually the assigned referee, so the game started about 20 minutes late but thankfully with an actual referee.  The Legends were clearly reminded that they needed to communicate more and be more physical with 50-50 challenges, and indeed they started decently.  However, in what was to be the theme of the day an errant pass at the back presented Celtic with a gilt-edged opportunity which they snapped up with glee.  Soon after another mistake at the back allowed a free header into an empty net.  The Legends attempted to get back into the game with Sawyer taking on multiple opponents before hammering the ball inside the side netting to pull one back.  Once again Celtic extended the lead, this time with a well-executed counter.  The Legends were able to quickly pull one back as Azzo slipped Sawyer in for a clinical finish.  Not content with only 2 first half critical defensive mistakes, the Legends added a third one with a juggle of a corner presenting the ball inside the 6-yard box for an easy slam home.

 

”Manuel
Sawyer celebrates his second goal next to a gleeful Casanova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a mutinous, disgruntled CPR at half time, angry at their self-immolation. Cauterization was needed on the wounds as Frazier replaced Martins in goal and the team was addressed in no uncertain terms to get their heads focused and their energy levels up.  Indeed, the Legends did come out fiery and pressing and were able to immediately get the ball into the final third.  Unfortunately either their final ball was sloppy or Celtic were able to get a block in to a crucial shot or pass.  A little bit of luck was also lacking as balls ran across the 6 yard box or deflected enough to not score.  Meanwhile as the game opened up, the Celtics dangerous counterattack was always a threat, especially when the Legends went to 3 at the back.  They were able to convert two more times with excellent counterattacking execution, indeed a lesson to the Legends who all too often made the wrong choice.

Clearly one of the more disappointing losses of the season, and one that will have consequences going forward.  With one more game left in the Fall and still heavily in the playoff hunt, the Legends will try to salvage some points going into the break.

Competition: Manhattan Celtic, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island Field #91, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Decently cool morning

Fans: 4 (Jones brood + young Stower)

Result: 2:6 HT: 2-4

Goals: 1-2: Sawyer

2-3: Sawyer Assist Azzo

Yellow Cards: Oli Roberts returned with a nice robust challenge that drew a booking

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Hahn was a late addition to the squad, always helpful with his running.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: With several available subs there was more than enough switching to keep people injury free.

Old Man of the Match: This result was far more discouraging than the previous week.  The game felt like it was there to be won, but multiple self-induced errors resulting in goals were too much to overcome.  Although there was a good group at the pub, there was no discussion of an old man of the match.

Old Man of the Bar: Tier 1 with an honorary mention, turning back the clock with a long multiple NFL game session.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None (both Edmunds and Rigby dishonorable mentions for not following through).

Statistic of the week:  Venkataraman now has a century of Legends to add to a 116 Metroboys caps and 69 Old Boys caps.  The next round numbers up are 300 CPR caps for Venkataraman, with Resnik hovering close at 96 Legends caps and 290 overall CPR.  Meanwhile the Legends have lost 4 consecutive games while shipping 24 goals and scoring 5.  Steps need to be taken to shore up the porous defence, and will be taken.

Team Bar Showing: 8 out of 17 (47%)

Team Bar Night: 4.5 out of 5. About as close to a top pub appearance as can be expected nowadays.  Half the team turned up and most stayed for quite a while, despite no reinforcements from other teams.

Team (No new profiles this week): Rich Martins (GK), Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Gavin Moore (DF), Danny Azzo (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Neil Stower (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Enrico Tomassoli, Mark Resnik (DF), David Sawyer, Manuel Casanova, Tom Pattinson, Tim Frazier (MF/GK), Andy Jones (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Drew Faherty

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Legends supernova out of the gate, exhaust to black hole and 8-1 loss to Cozmos

Oct 31 2018 Published by under Legends

Bush Terminal Piers Park was the site of the first two games of the Legends season.  Each one of those games had at least 17 players available pitch side, but even at that point management was warning the players that not every game would prove that bountiful on the sideline.  Back again, and the prediction could not have been more true.  Until game time the Legends weren’t sure if they would manage a bare 11, and it wasn’t until Morse showed up that CPR knew they’d at least able to field a full side, albeit with no subs.  With a couple of players in Enrico and Frank who hadn’t played for the Legends before it was going to take some rearranging of players to fit in a formation against the typical formidable Cozmoz team playing at home.  Management’s message was dripping with pragmatism.  Slow the game down, save your energy.  Retreat when Cozmoz have the ball at the back, keep possession.  So naturally once the game started the Legends did none of this.  Pressing from the front, chasing down lost causes, driving at the opponents.  Remarkably this impromptu strategy was working given the wind advantage and general tempo set, but the danger as always was that the Legends would run out of steam given that they did not have the overall stamina to be able to play 90 minutes.  Slowly, Cozmoz came into the game and started exploiting space in the middle of the large field.  A long counterattack finally exposed the Legends as Comzos made their breakthrough.

 

CPR should have been able to go into half time with a slender deficit, but instead the referee decided to enhance his normal mediocrity with a dash of higher than usual incompetence.  When asked how long there was left in the half, he said 6 minutes despite the fact it was 2:53pm for a 2pm kickoff game.  When challenged how he calculated the time, his only defence was to whine that nobody else was allowed to have a time piece on the field.  With the Legends desperately seeking a break, Cozmoz pounced with 2 more late goals to put a stranglehold on the game.

 

Physically the Legends were in decent shape at the half, but now they would also have to contend with the wind, and fatigue was naturally going to start creeping in.  A few of the Cozmoz late arriving substitutes were also making a major difference with speed and athletic ability that the Legends simply could not match.  Slowly the goals started dripping in.  With the wind and a tiring CPR at their disposal Cozmoz started neglecting their defensive duties in lieu of trying to score as many as possible.  Expecting CPR to play two way football on the vast pitch with no substitutes was a big ask, but they heroically attempted it and indeed started creating more clear cut chances.  From one of the CPR corners Phillips was able to score his first Legends goal, a surgical strike into the side netting from just inside the box.  Unfortunately the score was not to be respectable as the incompetent referee was now a disgruntled one. Close decisions would go Cozmoz way, and in particular two large ones went against CPR. A great save from Resnik ricocheted against the striker’s outstretched arm only for the referee to allow the tap in.  Meanwhile at the other end Cristaudo was ripped down for a blatant penalty only for the referee to inexplicably ignore what happened, an event that even had the defender apologizing afterwards.  Of course, none of these events had any material bearing on the final score, but they certainly discouraged the Legends and allowed Cozmoz to continue sweeping in goals with abandon.  The one hope is that in a tight fight for playoff places, the goal difference doesn’t come back to haunt the Legends.

 

Competition: Cozmoz, League Opposition

Location: Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

Conditions: Mildly chilly fall afternoon

Fans: 0

Result: 1:8 HT: 0-3

Goals: 1-5: Phillips

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Thankfully none.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Steve Morse managed to show up at the last, helping keep the score to single digits.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Phillips reaggravated his groin and calf, but remarkably considering everyone played 90 minutes there were no more injuries than pride and sore muscles.

Old Man of the Match: Everyone played hard but when conceding 8 its difficult to look at the positives.  Resnik put in a much more accomplished performance than previously although his rapid short distribution raised eyebrows.  Azzo as always provided interceptions, physicality and neat distribution.  Narrowly edging them out was Phillips whose attacking drive produced the best work in the first half and who continued working in the second, including a pinpoint finish for his debut goal.

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

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

Statistic of the week:  Philips with his debut goal, hopefully the first of many once his confidence matches the finishing ability of his first goal.  Venkataraman is now on 99 Legend caps, which should spark wild celebrations and an Honor Guard from both teams next week for the Century.  Maybe.

Team Bar Showing: 0 out of 5 (0%)

Team Bar Night: 0 out of 5. 11 exhausted players in the Brooklyn pier wilderness did not set the stage for any type of pints, let alone an hour to get back to Manhattan with dreadful traffic.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Resnik (GK), Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Steve Morse, Danny Azzo (DF), Mark Dean (DF), Neil Stower (DF), Jeremy Phillips, Enrico Tomassoli, Franco Denari, Frank Cristaudo

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