Archive for the 'Legends' category

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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Dreadful goals conceded and mental mistakes doom Legends against Barnstonworth

Oct 24 2018 Published by under Legends

The Legends managed to scrape together 15 with a late drop from all-time points leader D’Andrea, a couple late responses ending up as No’s, and one late borrowed player from Oldboys.  But while 15 on the surface seems sufficient, the Legends once again proved why in the O39 division it is always prudent to bring 16 when possible.  Was a cold and extremely windy morning.  Wind would surely play a part.  Legends won the toss and had the wind in the first half.

The first half could barely have gone worse, short of an injury or goal, for the first 10-12mins.  Legends despite having a pretty solid lineup and everyone in their position of choice, were completely out of sorts.  They could barely string 2 passes together, were late to every 50:50 ball, could barely get the ball out of their half, and were very lucky to have avoided an early goal with several half chances for the Rovers and several balls being bumbled about and ending up within several yards of goal line and a Legend pouncing just before a Rover.  After 12 or so minutes the Legends finally settled in and started stringing some passes together and getting some deep possession on the counter.  Things were going well, and then in the blink of an eye it all went horribly wrong. On the same sequence both Edmunds and Belizan went down and were forced to retire for the day during the same stopped play.  A couple tactical moves from the sideline by Resnik to add back some speed to the middle of the back line with Rosenbloom, but it wasn’t enough.  Just 5mins later, a seemingly harmless thru ball by Rovers 20+ yds behind the Legends last man was held up just enough by the wind, and combined with some miscommunication in the Legends defense, left Martins too slow off his line, and the Rovers striker happily ran onto the ball at the 15yd line, rounded the keeper and slotted home for 1-nil.  Azzo in the middle, Hahn in the back, and Sobczak up top were spurring on the Legends to keep their heads up, with some tireless running and beating the nearest Rover to ball almost every time.  But it went from bad to worse when Nizam limped off and the Legends were left with just a single substitute for the remainder of the game.  Just when it felt like the game may turn back again in the favor of Rovers, Pattison slotted in Sobczak who finished nicely from inside the box.

The Legends scrambled to hold on and the halftime whistle couldn’t come quick enough.  A quick talk and few constructive reminders at halftime.  Despite now being shorthanded and playing a decent team, the Rovers had some weaknesses, and this was a winnable game.  But as is all too often the case in amateur soccer, some of the points went in one ear and out the other.  Most notably the idea that with the wind now in Rovers favor, maybe balls back to the Legends GK were ill advised.  Not five minutes into the second half a ball back to Martins, resulted in an unfortunate clearance directly to the Rovers striker on the 18, who was able take the gift and finish the 1v1 for 1:2 in Rovers favor.  Despite the lack of enough subs, Legends kept the game fairly even.  There was a chance here or there at both ends, but most notably Legends just couldn’t get a head on a bouncing ball inside the Rovers 6yd box when they had numbers, and Sobczak agonizingly hit the ball wide after shaking off the last Rovers defender and getting a good angle just right of the Rover PK spot.  Both teams were complaining a little about offsides, but in the referees defense he was fairly consistent in calling most all the close ones as off every time.  Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the Rovers striker from getting behind the Legends makeshift backline from near 35yds out.  He dribbled all the way inside the box and was met by Martins at about 8yd line who went low and pushed the ball wide right with strong left hand.  A fantastic 1v1 save.  However the play was not over and the ball was near immediately sent back into the box, and the scramble left the Legends late to clear a ball which fell to Rovers  for a tap in for 1:3.  Legends continued to push to try to salvage some respect if nothing else, when a thru ball down the lefthand side to Stower, saw him turn the corner and just as he entered the side of the box was taken down.  A clear penalty, no complaints.  A little bit of discussion ensued as penalty taker D’Andrea was out of town, and his back up Resnik was on the bench.  Rosenbloom stepped up, and after several attempts to get the ball to stay put on the spot in the wind, strode up and calmily struck it home for 2:3.  Game on, but Legends were pretty tired.  Legends and Rovers both moved the ball around in the final 8 or so minutes, but it wasn’t to be for the Legends this day.

What if the Legends had kept all 15 healthy?  What if Legends hadn’t given up a couple goals on mistakes?  What if Legends had finished their chances?  Well, that is Over 39 soccer.  In this division nearly every team is capable of beating or losing to everybody else.  Bring plenty of players, play hard for all 90 minutes, expect a few physical mistakes, realize injuries are inevitable, and hope at the final whistle you did enough that week.  On to Cozmoz next week to continue the Legends up and down Fall…

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans

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

Conditions: Cold and very windy morning

Fans: 0

Result: 2:3 HT: 1:1

Goals:
1:1 Sobczak assist Pattison
2:3 Rosenbloom (PK) assist Stower

Yellow Cards: Frazier.  Dissent after being called offsides in the first half.

Red Cards: None.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: D’Andrea was late drop due to travel just 24hrs in advance, while Phillips and Casanova left themselves as maybe’s and gave less than 24hrs notice on final reply.  A reminder that we need all Yes/No responses by midday Thursday at the lastest.  After that all Maybe’s are assumed No’s and your PT may be given to Oncall or to other players in the club.  We proved this week that we need a full 16 at every game whenever that is possible.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Unfortunately on a single play/stoppage Belizan & Edmunds came off, and shortly after was Nizam as well.  All pulled muscles in the cool chilly air, and none were unable to return.

Old Man of the Match: Danny Azzo for his relentless running for 90mins.  Honorable mention to Pete Hahn for 90mins of aggressive defending.

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 significant.

Team Bar Showing:  0 out of 15 (0%, Season Low)

Team Bar Night: 0.5 out of 5.  Unfortunately with couple Tier 1 out of town, no one instigated a trip back to Blooms, but a few beers/shots were consumed on the sideline of the 12-2pm Orange game with the OldBoys who were having a post-game celebration of their 10am win.

Team (No new profiles this week): Rich Martins (GK), Pete Hahn (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Neil Stower, Franco Denari, Danny Azzo, Tom Pattison, Mark Resnik, Tim Frazier, Hakan Nizam, Sebastian Sobczak

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Legends take on Over 30’s team in Cup, with predictable result

Oct 16 2018 Published by under Legends

The Legends struggled a little more than usual in getting players out for the game, one reason being the new rule for the state cup that the league decided to share with minimal notice that players from other rosters would not be allowed to be shared.  This eliminated a few on call players the Legends would normally have gone to, but they were fortunately able to scrap up 15, even though a few of those were walking wounded.  CPR were also playing in the Over 30’s cup as the notice from the league regarding the Over 40’s cup was less than 24 hours, not nearly enough time to weight the pros and cons of eliminating the 7 players 39 and under.

Traditionally the Legends have suffered grievously at the hands of younger whippersnappers, including last years all time thrashing against the Greeks at the Met Oval.  This time the Legends were somewhat hopeful as Celtic only had the bare 11, but once play started it was clear that most of those were in shape and up to the challenge of 90 minutes.  The Legends started out decently but were unfortunate to give up the first goal after an even spell, a shot from a sharp angle spilling kindly out of Martin’s hands to the opposition striker.  Soon after Celtic made it 2-0 with a long cross finding a Celtic player in acres of space at the back post, and an ill advised cross field ball at the back quickly resulted in a third.  With the Legends trying to hold on until half time, another mistake made it 4-0.

There wasn’t much to be said at 0-4 down, the hopes of holding on for penalties having now faded.  Azzo’s encouragement to win the second half was positive and indeed the Legends started making increased substitutions to try and wear Celtic down.  A few of their players appeared to be carrying injuries, one necessitating a goalie switch.  Indeed the Legends had to make one of their own as Martins collision with a striker required a few minutes on the sideline.  Frazier came in as an imperious sweeper keeper and changed the dynamic, but CPR was unable to take advantage of his longer kicks.  The closest the Legends came to the scoreboard was a scramble in the box which resulted in the ball hitting the crossbar twice in quick succession, but it was not to be.  At the other end the Legends let in one and then near the end a comedy of errors resulted in two quick goals to unfairly pad the score line.  CPR had played decently, but not enough to make up for several mental errors and the natural physical mismatch of 50ish year olds playing against players in their mid 30’s.

Competition: Manhattan Celtic Bhoys, Over 30’s

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

Conditions: Pleasant morning, back on the astroturf

Fans: 0

Result: 0:7 HT: 0-4

Goals: N/A

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: Martins had a significant collision with an onrushing striker and had to take a few minutes off, but was back soon after.  Venkataraman’s calf surprisingly survived and the subs helped lessen the load on the rest.

Old Man of the Match: With a 0-7 drubbing it was hard to pick an OMoM but there were a few honorable mentions, notably Teesdale, Azzo and Phillips.

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 significant, with the loss dropping the Legends to 2-13 lifetime in the Cup, mostly because of playing significantly younger teams.

Team Bar Showing:  6 out of 15 (40%, Season High)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5.  A decent group back and a few ones for the road, finishing the entire first slate of NFL games.

Team (No new profiles this week): Rich Martins (GK), Andrew Faherty (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Franco Denari, David Sawyer, Willian D’Andrea, Jeremy Phillips, Steve Teesdale (DF), Danny Azzo, Mark Resnik (DF),  Mike Conboy, Tim Frazier, Hakan Nizam

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Legends survive scare to top SC Eintracht 4-2

Oct 10 2018 Published by under Legends

After the Legends started the season with a legion of players, normal service has predictably been resumed.  It was a tight 15 that was available for the game, with that being reduced to 14 within 2 minutes as Venkataraman’s calf proved fine for walking but not so much for running.  With El Presidente forced to down camera for shinpads and Carducci exchanging keeper gloves for defence, the fitter Legends were finally going to get the abundant playing time they had craved.  Eintracht’s record wasn’t particularly impressive but they did bring a large squad, although Mrs. Jones somewhat unkindly exclaimed that they looked older than the Legends (a pointed double insult).  Playing on a grass field for an unprecedented third time in a row, the Legends passing game clearly suffered as their technical ball control outside of D’Andrea will never be confused with Barcelona.  In addition to giving the ball away cheaply, the Legends appeared somewhat sluggish as it was Eintracht who tended to be first to every ball and who won most battles.  The Legends were fortunate to take the lead as a hopeful cross into the box was surprisingly dropped by the normally solid Eintracht keeper, allowing Sawyer a simple tap in.  With nerves settled the Legends continued to attack and had numerous opportunities in the box, but either shot wide, straight at the keeper or the keeper made solid saves.  Meanwhile at the other end seemingly out of nowhere a punt up field found a possibly offside striker whose lob evaded the ambling Carducci.

The Legends had a right to feel aggrieved at being tied after a first half they dominated, but worse was to come.  An early free kick elicited foreboding on the sideline as Eintracht had proven themselves capable technically and from set pieces.  The feeling was proven true as a header across the goal was tapped in at the far post.  Eintracht started moving from strength to strength as the Legends seemed to fall apart.  All the domination of the first half evaporated and CPR looked in real trouble.  Fortunately they were able to win a corner, and with Pattinson’s usual pinpoint delivery Sawyer equalized to calm nerves.  CPR were now able to reset themselves and wrestle back control of the game which began to open up.  The opposition’s infighting increased while the CPR forwards Sawyer and Sobczak used their speed and physicality to open up space and bully the opposition.  A pass from Sobczak let Sawyer claim his hattrick and the precious lead for the Legends.  Meanwhile new boy Martins made a spectacular save that drew grudging applause from the opposition sideline at a critical juncture.  The Legends superior stamina (a phrase seldom uttered before) resulted in a clincher, this time with Sawyer returning the favour to Sobczak.

The Legends showed they could dig themselves out of a daunting hole, with the critical win helping them to the 4th and last playoff place.  With a long way to go and teams bunched up in the middle this is the type of win that will give the Legends confidence that they can go a long way this season.

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #50, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Pleasant morning, the grass pitch was hard and bumpy

Fans: 7 (The Jones’s, Sawyers and young Stower)

Result: 4:2 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-0: Saywer Assist Phillips

2-2: Sawyer Assist Pattinson

3-2: Sawyer Assist Sobczak

4-2: Sobczak Assist Sawyer

Yellow Cards: D’Andrea for what is starting to become a habit of dissension.  Sobczak was also booked somewhat unfairly after a hard but fair collision with the goalie on a corner.  The booking seemed to be more a result of the goalie’s injury than the process of going up for a header.

Red Cards: None.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Conboy

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: A couple of notable ones here, especially since they may be lingering.  Venkataraman’s calf injury from the previous game had been dormant but reared its ugly head only 2 minutes into the match. Edmunds quad gave way again leaving the Legends dangerously thin at center back, but they were able to hold on.

Old Man of the Match: One of the more obvious awards after a hattrick and assist by Sawyer.  Honorary mention to Jones who noticeably picked it up a notch physically in challenging for 50-50 balls.  Unfortunately for the most part he was the only one, apart from Sobczak’s base level of physicality (naturally Frazier was absent).

Old Man of the Bar: None.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Tier 2 Hodges made it after an unfortunate bout of illness.

Statistic of the week: Although kept off the scoresheet this week, D’Andrea maintains the overall all time points lead given Resnik’s continuing world tour.

Team Bar Showing:  7 out of 15 (47%, Season High)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5.  A solid group back to the pub for the less than scintillating Liverpool Manchester City game followed by NFL, along with the Grays making it to the bar.

Team (No new profiles this week): Rich Martins (GK), Andrew Faherty, Manohar Venkataraman, Tom Pattinson, Neil Stower (DF), Gavin Moore (DF), Franco Denari, David Sawyer, Willian D’Andrea, Andrew Jones, Mark Edmunds (DF), Sebastian Sobczak, Mike Carducci (DF), Andy Jones (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom

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