Archive for the 'Legends' category

Legends end season on a triumphant note with tough victory over Shamrocks

May 22 2018 Published by under Legends

The Legends had a decent sized squad available in Sunday, but were also fortunate in that key players were available.  With mediocrity assured regardless of the result, Legends Management decided to go back to the experimental 4-2-3-1 they had tried to some success back in the Autumn.  The key was having 3 mobile defensive midfielders and a strong defensive base, but as feared as soon as the game started several players clearly appeared confused about the concept of a formation other than a 4-4-2.  Within a few minutes it was just 2 players pressing the Shamrock back line as opposed to the 4 that the formation was designed to free up.  Most of the action remained in the center of the pitch as neither side seemed able to create concrete chances.  Frazier appeared eager to display his defensive chops in a debut in goal for the Legends, although with a strong back line in front of him he didn’t have much to do.  The first half saw the Legends limited to a couple of chances, Pattinson lifting a chip a little too high over the onrushing keeper and then hitting a shot bereft of curl from the outside.

As the second half started it looked like the Legends 4 substitutes could make the difference as the heat started taking its toll along with the hard new surface rending every hard tackle in a bloody scraping.  The Legends kept probing the Shamrocks high line as the referee appeared to be actually paying attention to the offside rule, calling it when necessary but letting it go as needed.  The politicking by both sides was entertaining but the referee appeared more than equal to the task.  In the end, the sole goal arrived via slapstick methodology.  Harrison won the ball and after shaking off some hard tackles hit a hopeful ball into the area.  The defender went to the ball then assumed the keeper would pick it up. The keeper was looking at the defender as the ball gently bisected both of them.  All of a sudden Mckeown aroused from his slumber and lumbered forward to gleefully (temporarily) finish his Legends career with a final game winning goal.

All in all not as bad a season as it seemed in patches.  There were several good wins over traditionally strong sides, and the team did well to finish right in the middle given the increased quality of the league and despite playing in the significantly tougher division.

Competition: Shamrocks SC Legends, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Very warm spring morning

Fans: 0

Result: 1:0 HT: 0-0

Goals: 1-0: Mckeown Assist Harrison

Yellow Cards: Putting Frazier in goal had the added benefit of reducing his interactions with anyone else including the referee.  This resulted in a rare booking free game.  Rosenbloom meanwhile had a quick early booking, but despite some hard fouls later on this would serve as the only booking of the match for the Legends.

Red Cards: None.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Morales came off hurt in the second half but fortunately the team had enough in reserve.  Many people suffered from bleeding cuts though from the new harsh surface.

Old Man of the Match: Another good game by the team.  Although it was tight, Simon ‘Harry’ Harrison edged ahead with his physicality and defensive prowess, also claiming a fortuitous assist.

Old Man of the Bar: No single individual here but a great overall performance.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): El Presidente Faherty made an appearance despite the grueling work schedule to bid a post game adieu to Mckeown.

Statistic of the week: With the season over there were no major new statistics in the last game, although Venkataraman finished only his second ever CPR season since 2000 without a goal.

Team Bar Showing:  7 out of 15 (47%)

Team Bar Night: 4.5 out of 5. The best post game shenanigans for a while, with not just the usual suspects spending a good amount of time at the pub.  Just when things appeared to be winding down, both the Oranges and the Women’s Whites showed up to add some more levity to the proceedings.

Team (No new profiles this week): Tim Frazier (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Steve Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Simon Harrison, Bevan Rosenbloom, Mike Conboy

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Bare bones Legends no match for patient America FC

May 08 2018 Published by under Legends

For a lot of the season the Legends have been feast or famine when it came to squad size.  On this day against one of the stronger teams in the league, it was famine. Although the Legends have been worse off before, they certainly weren’t in good shape with a bare 12, no regular keeper and many members the worse for wear following Cinco De Mayo / Red Bulls NYCFC Derby / Kentucky derby the day before.  America looked very well prepared, even doing organized drills before the game as CPR looked on in weary bemusement.

The Legends lined up their group as best they could given the players who had shown up, and for awhile they were able to stay compact and move from side to side in their half of the field to keep America at bay.  Unusually for a team at this level, America remained patient and were content to play the ball around, probing to find weaknesses.  There was only so much the Legends could do however, finally being undone by a long ball that caught out the goalie and defence providing a simple chip finish for the first goal.  Soon after that the best defender for CPR was proving to be the crossbar as the ball clattered against it no less than 3 times, with a 4th having been already disallowed for off side.  The Legends single substitute was just not enough as the team started wearing down and were no match for the slick passing America who started carving up the Legends at the back. Although this wasn’t the debacle it was against the NY Greeks, the sense of inevitability remained as CPR were physically overwhelmed by fitter, quicker opponents.

At half time down 4-0 there wasn’t much to say, but adding injury to insult Casanova wasn’t able to continue which meant it would be no substitutes for the second half.  As America sensed blood in the water spaces opened up in the back but the Legends didn’t have the speed to take advantage.  The opposition were certainly top heavy and CPR lamented the lack of a full squad to take more advantage of the errors at the back, consoling themselves with a single poor throw-in which led to a well finished shot by Frazier to prevent the shutout.  Speaking of Frazier, he continued to endear himself around the league by his customary unnecessary hard fouls and constant vociferous complaining leading to confrontations with the opposition and the referee.  This culminated in a hard shoulder to shoulder charge which brought the game to a halt as the referee yelled at everyone around him as the Legends either confronted the referee or slunk away in embarrassment.  Fortunately things calmed down and the opposition didn’t take it out physically on CPR, content to keep trying to get on the scoresheet.  The final indignity was self inflicted by the Legends, a needless defensive pass to the goalie outside the box resulting in a pass to the opposition at the top whose simple long chip made it in for the last kick of the game.

With one game remaining, the Legends hope they can salvage something to provide a platform for next season.

Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #82, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Warm spring morning

Fans: 0

Result: 1:7 HT: 4-0

Goals: 1-5: Frazier

Yellow Cards: Back to regularly scheduled programming.  Frazier went ballistic after some fair physical play and then spent the rest of the game teetering on the edge of being sent off.  He was fortunate that a couple of the other Legends distracted the referee long enough to turn his ire off of Frazier.

Red Cards: None, fortunately.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: This was a tough day for Mike D’s.  Conboy’s child was sick on a day we could definitely have used him.  Edmunds was a ghost of his former self, having puked out most of his physical self on the walk to the game.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Fortunately, Teesdale was able to delay his work until the afternoon.  Hodges managed to make it as well, both giving us notice the day before.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Casanova’s tights weren’t tight enough to prevent him from suffering a calf injury at the half that prevented any further involvement.

Old Man of the Match: A tough day against a patient team.  Pattinson was his usual calm self in the center of the field and Steve Roberts tried to marshal the defence as best he could.

Old Man of the Bar: After a fun Cinco De Mayo it was difficult to expect too much longevity, but 3 hours was more than reasonable especially with the traffic fiasco following the 5 borough bike ride.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Walby brought his kid along to watch Liverpool Chelsea, although eventually wishing he hadn’t.

Statistic of the week: Maybe statistic of the week should become weekly statistic.  Frazier with 12 career games and 12 career bookings.

Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 12 (58%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Good depth for a change, half the crew making it back to the pub.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Resnik (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Tim Frazier, Franco Denari, John Hodges, Steve Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF)

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Robust Legends squad overpower threadbare Eintracht

May 01 2018 Published by under Legends

For a second consecutive week the Legends were able to bring out a strong squad with strong numbers. They would be playing an Eintracht squad that had been somewhat Jekyll and Hyde this season, sprinkling in good results with thrashings.  The Legends were taking no chances and were aiming to put pressure on right away.  With several substitutes there was no excuse for lollygagging and the plan to aggressively press started to play dividends.  As has also happened recently, the Legends were able to make the simple passes and keep possession, fighting hard to avoid the temptation to go for a 30 yard pass when a 5 yard pass would do.  Quickly passing the ball around paid dividends early as they opened up Eintracht to leave Mckeown open in the box for the simplest of finishes.  Eintracht were playing with a high line, but the outside speed of Frazier and Conboy really put them to the torch along with a referee who seemed to actually pay attention to the offside rule.  A couple of times the Legends sprung the offside trap only for poor finishing to negate the tactic.  However one person who couldn’t be accused of poor finishing was Denari, taking the ball from an acute angle and powering it right through the robust goalie.

At half time the Legends were urged to keep the ball on the ground and slide it thought to beat the offside trap rather than lob the all over the top.  The first 20 minutes were simply one way traffic with the ball constantly in Eintracht’s penalty area.  There were a variety of misplaced passes, a bad miss from Venkataraman continuing his barren spell and an astonishing miss from Frazier missing an open goal from 3 yards out.  Frazier managed to atone quickly with a good finish a couple of minutes later soon followed by a majestic top corner lob from 30 yards from Conboy.

Despite being on the edge of a thrashing, Eintracht valiantly refused to concede and kept attacking to the point of pinning the Legends back.  Perhaps CPR took their foot off the gas, perhaps they were surprised by the opposition’s refusal to quit.  They conceded a goal and then had difficultly putting the pressure back on. The chances dried up and the ball stayed in the middle of the field.  The Legends were somewhat disappointed to not score a few more, but its hard to quibble with a 4-1 victory in a league that has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few seasons.

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: 0

Result: 2:0 HT: 4-1

Goals: 1-0: Mckeown, Assist Conboy

2-0: Denari, Assist Casanova

3-0: Frazier, Assist D’Andrea

4-0: Conboy

Yellow Cards: A momentous occasion as apart from one loud outburst Frazier managed to focus his energies into staying productive but avoiding a booking for the first time in his CPR career.  Having a good referee who calmed things down certainly didn’t hurt.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Hahn was a late scratch but the squad had large enough numbers to withstand that.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Carducci’s arrival as goalie was more than welcome.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None.

Old Man of the Match: A very tough decision that came down to one vote. There were several solid performances but a productive game with a superb goal by Conboy was narrowly bested by yet another accomplished appearance by Belizan at the back.  His speed and reading of the game allowed Oli Roberts to be more robust against other defenders and allowed the midfielders to roam a little further forward to support the forwards.

Old Man of the Bar: A throw back night that included not just the sponsor bar Blooms but an impromptu visit to say goodbye to neighbourhood stalwart Macaleers.  Tier 1 Venkataraman and Resnik both put in veteran performances.

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

Statistic of the week: One of the oddest statistics in Legends history, but Frazier’s consecutive booking streak finally ended.

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 16 (31%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. A long enjoyable stay at Blooms followed by an appearance at Macaleers. The only thing missing would be a couple of other Legends along for the ride.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Oliver Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Tim Frazier, Franco Denari, John Hodges, Mike Conboy, Steve Teesdale (DF)

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Legends fight through for good win against Manhattan Celtic Masters

Apr 25 2018 Published by under Legends

After last week’s minimum squad numbers against a top flight team, this week showed a larger contingent ready to play a team more at their level.  Manhattan Celtic were always a tough opponent and the Legends had lost to them by a solitary goal in the spring.  With the unfortunate early retirement of their goalie Miller it was once again a scramble to find someone to play between the posts.  Morse had volunteered from the Old Boys but one look at him when he eventually arrived showed he was in no shape to play in that important position.  With few other solutions Resnik had prepared himself with a new pair of gloves and was ready to go at game time.  The Legends won the toss to take the sun protected bridge side for the first half but were immediately on the back foot.  The team pressed well but Manhattan Celtic were showing themselves as formidable offensively.  A couple of scrambles in the box but no lethal touch let the Legend get some breathing room.  With the ball out to the midfield CPR were able to pass the ball around and had some chances of their own before a lovely flowing move had Pattinson find Casanova wide open at the top of the box and he made no mistake, finishing and then celebrating in his typically exuberant Chilean way.

 

”OFFSIDE!”
The referee was a nice guy whose been around the block, but he’s certainly susceptible to suggestion when it comes to offside calls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half started exactly the same as the first, with Celtic pouring the pressure on but leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter attack.  For the most part the Legends had been able to calmly handle the ball out from the back, but in this instance discretion would have been the better part of valor.  Rather than hoof the ball up to the forwards they attempted to daintily play it out at the top of the box only to be dispossessed and have Celtic finish from the scramble from near the penalty area.  Now that they had their tails up it was all the Rangers could do to withstand the onslaught while trying to make something happen on their own.  Some good defensive work at the top took possession of the ball and spread it wide.  Morales took a shot from wide that the keeper was able to parry, but Rosenbloom was on hand to tap the ball into the empty goal.

 

Celtic tried to thread the needle with frustrating effect, the Referee having shown himself all game susceptible to “encouragement” regarding off side calls.  Whereas the Rangers had been unfairly punished on occasion Celtic certainly seemed to be more frustrated with some of the calls.  With his own unique style the referee was calling out how long remained in the game, giving the Legends some extra impetus to do what they needed to close the game down.  A welcome win against a tough opponent was just the tonic after last week’s embarrassment.

 

Tier
Morse did deserve kudos for showing up relatively on time to an 8am game after a 16 hour bender, but lost points for not coming to the bar post game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition: Manhattan Celtic Masters, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: 0

Result: 1:0 HT: 2-1

Goals: 1-0: Casanova, Assist Pattinson

2-1: Rosenbloom, Assist Morales

Yellow Cards: None, as Frazier is still on sabbatical and Celtic happened to be physical but fairly so.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: As always, having a large number the day before does not necessarily lead to having that number at game time.  Teesdale was sick and Denari had late domestic issues, but at least the team had a full 15.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None.

Old Man of the Match: An overall good performance by everyone, with good defensive pressure and nice passing.  Belizan came close once again shutting down the back along with Oli Roberts.  However the award goes to Resnik who reluctantly sacrificed himself for the team to go in goal when it was clear that Morse should be anywhere else but goal.  The aggressive sweeper keeper was expected from those who have seen him back in the day, but the game long deep kicks were a welcome surprise that took pressure off the players at the back.

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:  Resnik won his first OMoM, mostly due to playing at outside back which has an additional degree of difficulty to win that award.  Tom Pattinson took sole possession of second place in the all time assists table.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 15 (27%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Extending the regular stay while hanging out with the Grays for a decent time interval.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Resnik (GK), Oliver Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, Steve Morse, Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Manuel Casanova, Santiago Morales, Mark Edmunds (DF), Marc Walby (DF)

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It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times as Legends get their souls destroyed 0-11

Apr 17 2018 Published by under Legends

As it stood, the Cup game against the Over 30’s division leading NY Greek Americans was already a daunting task.  Once the schedule came out for Sunday 9pm at the Met Oval in Queens, daunting turned to virtually mission impossible.  For several days the Legends scrambled to bring in reinforcements, but on a cold, windy, miserable night in Queens they could only scrounge up a bare 11 with Resnik shouting out encouragement on the sidelines.

Having players playing in either unfamiliar roles or areas they weren’t particularly suited to didn’t help, especially given the long Met Oval pitch.  The Legends knew the opposition would be good based on their record, but the speed and technique of the youngsters was tough to handle.  Long 30 yard Crossfield balls not only found their targets but were taken down with aplomb.  The rainy conditions making the field slick actually helped the Greeks as they blew by their defenders on the wings.  The scoring started early and continued relentlessly.  The Legends were actually able to pass the ball about decently but given the conditions and the natural atrophy of their skills due to old age they just couldn’t damp the tide.  A couple of shots from outside the box and a bouncing ball evading Casanova and Venkataraman inside the box was as close as they got.

The second half was more of the same as adding insult to injury, the Greeks started bringing on a horde of substitutes.  Space did open up for both sides but the ponderous Legends were unable to make much happen in the final third. The Greeks were treating the game as a training exercise and showed no signs of letting up or taking pity on their old opponents.  As the wind whipped down the Legends valiantly tried to get a consolation but it wasn’t to be.  There were so many goals that the Legends had to actually look up the final score the next day only to wish they hadn’t.

An unreasonable ask, a heroic attempt but the result was never in doubt.  At least the Legends got some free practice in a game situation.

”White
Alas poor Legends, they did try against superior forces. And failed spectacularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition: NY Greek Americans, Over 30’s

Location: Met Oval, Queens

Conditions: Ugly rainy cold night

Fans: 1, Resnik who commendably came out to watch

Result: 0:11 HT: Nobody cares

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: There might have been someone, can’t remember

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Gabe from the Oranges was going to help us but ended up a late scratch.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Sadly none.  If we had one more we might have been able to hold them to single digits.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Surprisingly none, given everyone had to play 90 minutes.

Old Man of the Match: Lol.

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:  Biggest loss in Legends history.

Team Bar Showing: 0 out of 11 (0%)

Team Bar Night: N/A

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Franco Denari, Mike Conboy, Eduardo Mazzi, Santiago Morales, Steve Teesdale, Manuel Casanova

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Legends take advantage of undermanned SC Gjoa for a welcome league win

Apr 10 2018 Published by under Legends

On a cold and chilly Sunday morning under the bridge the Legends numbers had arrived but their goalie had not.  With Miller out, Carducci had stepped in only to suffer his own old man ailment playing for the Whites the night before.  This meant El Presidente Faherty had to do a quick costume change from Photojournalist to goalkeeper.  Fortunately, the opposition were in dire straits of their own, with seven ready and the other four late arrivals changing with no sense of urgency.  The late arriving referee was keen to get the game started and so blew the whistle while Gjoa had only eight on the field.  With many years of experience the Legends knew that they had precious minutes to make their numerical supremacy count, especially against a team that matched up very well against them.  Indeed, going immediately on the offensive they were able to take advantage.  With players flooding the final third, a speculative ball from Pattinson drifted past everyone to find Hodges loitering at the far post where he converted the easiest of headers.

 

Move
With very little notice Faherty made the change with a match winning performance in goal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually the final couple of Gjoa players loped onto the field and right away they exerted pressure while forcing the Legends to cough up the ball again and again.  The game plan for the Legends had been to keep things close and then take advantage of the counter later in the game as Gjoa traditionally sent everyone forward at the expense of their midfield and defence.  However, given the early lead Gjoa had quickly changed to a hyper aggressive strategy that was working.  The flipside to that is that they left themselves horribly exposed on the counter attack, and with CPR outracing the languid Gjoa midfielders it was Denari’s first career assist to provide Rainares with his first career goal.

The Legends weren’t exactly in command, but their defence was doing what was necessary before the referee felt the need to influence the proceedings with a laughably egregious penalty call.  Oli Roberts had blasted the ball clear from the penalty area but somehow the referee had deemed his follow through as too high and pointed to the spot.  The quality of the Legends entreaties were more bemusement than anger as to how a paid referee could possibly make such an obvious mistake.  The bald Gjoa midfielder took the penalty as their best player and made no mistake past the diving Faherty.

With the game unfairly tightened Gjoa used their second wind to launch an onslaught that had the Legends exerting a break but don’t bend defence ably backed up by Faherty.  One save in particular brought out groans from Gjoa and fervent cheers, as the striker trapped the cross 3 yards out but Faherty spritely launched himself across to block the shot wide.  Meanwhile the Legends were able to continually take advantage on the counter, with Mckeown superbly placing a ball up into the side netting from distance and then crossing the ball to an open Rainares who buried the ball for his second.  The Legends should have had another but this time the referee inexplicably ignored a handball in the Gjoa penalty box, one of many odd decisions that would enrage both sides over the game.

At 4-1 up there was no celebration for the Legends as they knew that Gjoa had the ability to score 3 goals, even if they would have to do so with no substitutes.  A few of the Legends themselves were starting to succumb to some ailments as the game had started to become rougher, with the referee taking a laissez-faire approach to calling fouls and Gjoa taking out their frustration on the Legends.  The second half consisted of Gjoa pressing in the final third while the Legends tried to spring on the counter attack.  Faherty was continuing to roll back the pounds and years with save after save, while the defence was stoutly making things hard for the opposition.  Gjoa were able to claw one back at the near post and looked to have an opportunity to have another penalty as Faherty clattered through a Gjoa striker, but while everyone stood around waiting for the penalty the referee pulled out his magic eight ball and decided the result of the play was a corner.  After fluffing a few counter attacks the Legends finally converted one with high defensive pressure allowing Mckeown to pull defenders towards him before laying the ball off for Rosenbloom who made no mistake.

The Legends will enjoy this victory as next week promises to be far less enjoyable as they take on the NY Greeks, leading the Over 30’s division.

Competition: SC Gjoa, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Very chilly windy morning

Fans: 0

Result: 5:2 HT: 4-1

Goals: 1-0: Hodges Assist Pattinson

2-0: Rainares assist Denari

3-1: Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

4-1: Rainares assist Mckeown

5-2: Rosenbloom assist Mckeown

Yellow Cards: The Randomizer Referee booked players based on whims and fouls that were not even given at other times.  Rosenbloom received a booking after being repeatedly fouled with no repercussions, Teesdale got one for a collision of bodies and Venkataraman received one while walking away after responding to the whiny irish crybaby.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Perhaps by the end of the season the Mike D will be renamed the Santiago Morales as yet another no show, lacking of course the late night fun and shenanigans of Mike D.  Carducci had an injury suffered playing for the Whites the night before, a perfectly acceptable reason for the late no show and also leading to El Presidente’s heroics.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Rosenbloom showed up and added some much needed legs and physicality on the outside, chipping in with a goal.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Several due partly to the physicality being allowed by randomizer ref.  Hahn went out with sore ski legs late in the first half and Rainares went out with hopefully a short lived groin strain.  Belizan’s collision with Resnik required him to take a few minutes to resuscitate his manhood and Teesdale took a battering in the box but kept on ticking.  The Legends will absolutely need them playing Over 30 league leaders NY Greeks next week.

Old Man of the Match: For the first time in quite awhile the OMoM was fairly clear right after the game.  El Presidente Faherty was pressed into service in goal at short notice and proved to be more than just a replacement player, with his point blank save in the first half in particularly revealing a deceptive level of agility.  Rainares and Mckeown were honorary mentions for providing some long needed attacking nous.

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Edmunds could be considered an El Presidente having played for the Old Boys on the adjacent field.

Statistic of the week: Pattinson is now tied for second all time with assists at 12.

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 15 (20%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. Only Tier 1 made it back to the bar, meeting up with Andy Jones and Mark Edmunds for a couple.  Some Masters golf was watched, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Team (No new profiles this week): Drew Faherty (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Oliver Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Pete Hahn (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Eduardo Rainares, Bevan Rosenbloom, Franco Denari, Mark Resnik (DF)

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Once again the Legends fall agonizingly short against the mighty Cozmos

Mar 27 2018 Published by under Legends

Numbers once again weren’t the issue for the Legends as they gathered a sizeable contingent of 16 for the game against the perennial champions Cozmos.  Some of the Legends were eager to gain a semblance of respect after the 8-0 crushing that happened in the Fall. Back then Cozmos took full advantage against 8 men while the core of the Legends were watching the US men’s national team embarrass themselves in Trinidad.  With double that number CPR were still facing a tall order, especially with the team leaning towards the elderly contingent and missing key players like MVP Belizan.  Playing on the vast expanse of Field #75 certainly didn’t help but the Legends tried to set up tactically compact to do what they could.

Early on Cozmos showed why they are so hard to play with constant movement always finding players open between the lines.  It’s one thing to tell players to play narrow and compact, but another to keep track with the athletically superior opponents, especially with the ball sometimes travelling all over the field.  The opening goal arrived in such a manner, a Cozmos player strategically kept outside at an angle in the penalty box but nevertheless able to take a step wide and having the precision and power to smash the ball past a helpless Carducci.  Far from beginning a rout it roused the Legends who started to impose themselves on the proceedings.  New boy Rainares came close with a shot pushed wide by ex Legend Telly Vamvouris, who had left last season for greener pastures.  A few corners were scrambled wide and a couple of shots were saved by Vamvouris but didn’t find an onrushing striker.  Eventually the Legends gained their reward.  Rainares was fouled in a defensive sandwich just outside the box.  With Vamvouris very keen on the danger presented by D’andrea, he cleverly dummied over the ball so that Frazier could finally open his account with an accurate shot into the side netting.

At half time the Legends weren’t just sure they could hold their own, they knew they could actually win the game.  Cozmos had only a pair of substitutes but most of them were in good enough shape to play the full 90.  The Legends had plenty of substitutes but positionally they were more of the attacking kind, putting stress on the old legs at the back.  CPR were certainly holding their own at both ends of the field and came dangerously close a few times, just missing opportunities bouncing around in the box.  It was Comzos speed up top that finally broke the deadlock, a long run and calm finish beating the curiously high line being played by the Legends.

The Legends tried but were not quite able to get the equalizer, finally getting the ultimate respect as Cozmos played for corner kicks to cower in the corners to waste as much time as possible.  There are no league points for moral victories but the Legends certainly cashed in their moral points at the bar later on.

Competition: Cozmos, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Chilly early morning

Fans: 0

Result: 1:2 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-1: Frazier Assist Rainares

Yellow Cards: Harrison’s physicality is the type that will more often than not lend itself to bookings in this league, and after a few robust tackles he went into the book.  Steve Robert’s booking for dissent was excessive given that by his standards his discussion with the referee was only about a 5 out of 10 on the Frazier scale.  Speaking of which, the record non pareil continues as Frazier added to his consecutive game booking record with yet another.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none, with El Presidente making it clear he was there primarily in his photojournalist capacity.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None, although the rock hard sand caused many a bloody scrape.

Old Man of the Match: A strong performance throughout, with players running hard to cover the constantly moving Cozmos on the large field.  Although the Legends were able to substitute frequently to give players a rest, both Centerbacks and Harrison had to play 90 given their positions and importance.  Given his roving all over the field and the beating he took, Harrison earned his spurs with his first OMoM award.  Honorary mentions go to the center back pairing of Roberts and Roberts, even though the choice to play a high line in the second half against the speedy Cozmos front line seemed questionable.

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:  Frazier finally added a debut goal to his interminable booking streak, now at 11 bookings in 10 consecutive games to start a career.

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 16 (31%)

Team Bar Night: 4.5 out of 5. An early post game visit to the new sponsor pub Blooms yielded an unexpectedly long session for an 8am game. It certainly helped that members of several other teams arrived and left throughout the day to keep Tier 1 company.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Simon Harrison, Tom Pattinson, Tim Frazier, Drew Faherty (DF), Marc Walby (DF), Oliver Roberts (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Eduardo Rainares, Franco Denari, Mark Resnik (DF), Santigo Morales

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Legends and Barnstonworth Rovers whine and toothless in a classic old man Sunday football stalemate

Mar 20 2018 Published by under Legends

Although far in distance, the Verrazano sports complex was fortunately easy to get to on the highways from Manhattan.  Damage from St. Patrick’s day on Saturday was virtually nonexistent, a testament to the age of the squad.  With the Legends managing to bring in Carducci in goal in place of the recovering Miller it was a decent strength squad that was ready to go.  The inevitable Morales no show was more than offset by the appearance of Hahn, giving the Legends 3 substitutes to the opposition’s 1.  However the goal to wear the Rovers down was negated by the conditions, the bobbly grass pitch more than matched challenge wise by the cross field wind.  The Legends were getting the ball in the final third but a combination of the conditions and rusty skills meant they had a hard time getting a decent shot off.  The closest opportunity they had was when Frazier was bundled over next to the keeper for a strong penalty shout that was casually ignored by the referee.

Frazier was certainly in full form, furious like a pin ball breaking off its moorings.

Early on both veteran teams with strong English contingents quickly recognized the referee was easily suggestible, setting the tone for a game long moanathon.  Some took the Over 38 middle table Leicester vs Everton mediocrity a bit too seriously, and there was always Frazier bouncing around like a Tasmanian Devil to raise the temperature above tepid.  Despite his shenanigans things never seriously looked like getting out of hand, with these old franchises having players who knew each other going back to 2000.  Although there was more action in the complaining to the referee than with the ball there was still the odd chance.  Carducci made an astonishing save off a free kick from a sheepish Venkataraman handball at the edge of the box, soon following it up with another.  The Barnstonworth striker danced all the way through several tackles and although forced wide by Carducci managed to miss an open goal having done all the hard work.

At half time the Legends were hopeful as the Rovers were clearly tiring with just a single substitute.  Space was starting to open and the Legends were hungry.  Slowly they turned the screw and started to dominate possession in the final third, but with few clearcut chances.  Frazier had a tight angle but blasted over, and a few silly fouls let the Rovers off the hook deep in their own half.  The press was starting to have its effect, and near the end Casanova was able to intercept a ball, float to his left and launch a shot that completely eluded the keeper only to bounce off the bar.  Mckeown was open for the rebound but snatched at the shot to smash it over, much to the despair of the team.  Although it felt like the Legends would eventually break through against the injured and shorthanded Barnstonworth they ran out of time.

It was a fun, competitive game with everything except goals and a bar by the side of the pitch so the teams could commiserate afterwards.

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys, League Opposition

Location: Verrazano Sports Complex back grass field, Brooklyn

Conditions: Chilly and windy

Fans: 0

Result: 0:0 HT: 0-0

Goals: 0-0: N/A

Yellow Cards: As the sun rises in the east, the tedious inevitability of another Frazier booking.  Getting this phlegmatic referee to finally lose it and issue a booking would be a feat for anyone else, but for Frazier it was par for the course.  His amiable alter ego at the bar complete belies the Red Mist persona on the field, and one just hopes the Legends aren’t unwillingly dragged into an unnecessary conflagration one day after yet another late tackle.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Santiago Morales inevitably no showed via the evite less than an hour before the game.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Fortunately Hahn showed up, not only lessening the impact of the Morales no show but at a position of need.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: As the other side were struggling with a single substitute the 3 legends on the sideline helped the team finish the game with nothing more than the usual old man aches and pains.

Old Man of the Match: Belizan could win this award weekly, with his combination of elite closing speed (at the Over 38 level) along with positional nous.  Harrison came in and provided some English steel in the tackle, much to the constant grumbling of the opposition.  Although the dodgy pitch negated some of his skillful runs his physicality and passing still made a difference.  Carducci pulled off a truly jaw dropping save in the first half off a free kick, and did well to keep the Legends in the game.  However in recognition of his constant runs up and down the field and the horror of some team members when he had to be briefly substituted, Teesdale wins OMoM (a few post game pints to press the case may make this one of the more controversial weekly picks).

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:  Frazier should be listed here as long as he continues his booking streak, now at a barely fathomable 10 bookings in 9 consecutive games to start a career.  In the annals of sports records that will never be broken (or should be broken), this will surely be up there with the Cal Ripken streak.  Belizan pulls into a tie with Resnik for the all time defensive shutout lead at 24, and Venkataraman pulls ahead of Resnik for the all time caps lead at 86.  That’ll teach him to get hungover.

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 14 (21%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Compared to the new normal, this was a solid deep outing if lacking breadth.  It was especially surprising considering St Patrick’s day the day before and missing a Tier 1 member, however Teesdale slid right in, a one man advertisement for self driving cars.  On reflection, next time the team will go to a less touristy place given the size of the bill at the establishment.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Simon Harrison, Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Tim Frazier, Pete Hahn (DF), Manuel Casanova, Steve Teesdale (DF), Drew Faherty (DF)

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Sizeable Legends squad narrowly edges Gjoa for extremely rare Cup win

Mar 13 2018 Published by under Legends

The travails of management entailed going from barely enough for a team with no goalkeeper the day before the game to ending up with 17, and that didn’t include Teesdale who did yeoman’s work in bringing the balls to the field before heading back to work (nobody tell him that we could have gotten by without the balls).  4 Oranges which included Doug Breckner as a sorely needed keeper ensured the squad looked good to have a chance to win only its second ever cup game in 13 chances.  Gjoa had also brought along a decent sized squad along with several supporters, the only thing missing being the referee.  With CSL referees not known for their punctuality every person in yellow that wandered by the field brought an expectant look only for everyone to be disappointed (coincidentally, also a trait shared by most CSL referees).  Finally when it was clear there would be no lazy late referee arrival the managers gathered together to try and plot a course forward.  Fortunately Mckeown volunteered that he would be okay to ref, and a Gjoa player happened to have a whistle with him.  With that combination the game kicked off.

The Legends started strongly and within a few minutes Conboy had two good chances that provoked some excellent goalkeeping to keep the tie level.  The Legends were putting the pressure on and causing mistakes and much gesticulating from the opposition.  The Legends had a few more half chances before Gjoa’s strong possession game started to change the dynamic.  CPR had the better chances but Gjoa had more of the possession in the final third without every really troubling Breckner.

The Legends had played a decent half, but as it came to a close the players unfamiliarity with each other as well as a tendency for ball chasing had opened up some yawing gaps across the midfield.  Against a team like Gjoa with the ability to play quickly and through, that was a dangerous failing that needed to be addressed.  With more discipline in the second half, the Legends once again started putting pressure on Gjoa although this time they only had 2 clear cut chances but with more attacking pressure in the final third.  As was traditional, Gjoa’s midfielders started playing more and more attacking leaving their defence further and further open but also making them dangerous on the counter attack.

Finally with the game seemingly headed to penalties, a corner resulted in a Conboy header arrowed straight into the goal before a defender’s thigh and then hand intercepted it.  Despite the Legend’s Mckeown blowing for an almost last minute penalty, the opposition were silent to confirm the veracity of the call.  Resnik somewhat surprisingly had D’Andrea take the penalty, and although it wasn’t one of his better ones it was good enough to do the job.  Gjoa caused a couple of late scares but in the end the Legends edged their peers for a first round win.

 

”White
No not that Doug, the other Doug! Goalie Doug!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition: SC Gjoa, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #82, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Decent early spring afternoon

Fans: 0

Result: 1:0 HT: 0-0

Goals: 1-0: D’Andrea (pen), Assist Conboy

Yellow Cards: To nobody’s surprise, Frazier earned yet another booking to add to his jaw dropping never to be equaled streak of 9 consecutive games with bookings to start a career.  Adding to the level of difficulty was getting a booking when your teammate was refereeing the game, making the fouls so egregious and cumulative that Mckeown had no other option.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Teesdale will get a pass this time having driven all the way to Randall’s to hand the balls over before going back to work.  Fortunately we had a lot of players this week.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Mckeown showed up despite the flu only to have to referee the entire game.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Fortunately there were enough substitutes that only Belizan had to play 90 as a field player.

Old Man of the Match: Some good performances, with Belizan as usual with stellar work at the back marshalling the defence with his speed and agility.  However in this case he was edged out by his running mate Pete Hahn who not only stuck a boot in at the back when necessary but was consistently an offensive force that constantly worried the opposition on his side.  Strong honorary mention to Mckeown, who came out to play and ended up refereeing 90 minutes and doing a stellar job, upper tier compared to most CSL Referees in both our and Gjoa’s estimation.

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:  D’Andrea stretched his overall all time goal lead to 28.

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 17 (29%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. Time to adjust to the new normal, which is that getting 5 people back to the bar is decent (would have been 6 if Conboy had found parking).  Stepping the toe in to the water at Bloom pub will help for bringing folks back to the future with a location in midtown a block away from the 59th street trains.

Team (No new profiles this week): Doug Breckner (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steve Roberts (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown (DNP, Ref), Franco Denari, Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Tim Frazier, Mike Conboy, Pete Hahn (DF), Jason Cyrus, James Carrico (DF), Gabriel Cowles (DF)

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Strong Legends squad can’t overcome Manhattan Kickers and strong wind to lose 2-1

Nov 21 2017 Published by under Legends

Roster juggling is an annoying weekly past time, but this week the flipside of begging for players came into view.  Recruiting a couple of Old Boyz combined with a couple of unexpected players resulted in 17 available, the most players the Legends have had for a game in quite a while.  Winning the toss and taking the wind in their favour they put the Kickers immediately on their heels but despite gaining good possession in the final third they were unable to put together any significant attacks on goal.  After the initial onslaught the Kickers started to show why they were the class of the opposite division with a couple of dangerous strikers putting the Legends on their heels.  CPR persevered with their 4-2-3-1, but the formation only worked intermittently as some of the attacking midfielders drifted far too deep.  The defensive midfielders provided good cover but despite having enough numbers back the opposition striker was given far too much room at the top of the box to stroke the ball well into the side netting.  Kickers confidence visibly rose and they had a few more opportunities while the Legends struggled to maintain any type of possession.  Their equalizer came out of the blew, Bradley leaving the confines of his position to charge across the middle as a huge blunder at the back between a defender and goalkeeper allowed Bradley to sneak in and finish the ball into an empty net.

Half time came and the complexion of the game completely changed.  Apparently the Kickers summoned the wind as a substitute because it picked up markedly. Most of the second half was played in the final third of the Legends as they were unable to clear the ball.  The few times they were able to clear the ball up, the strikers were unable to get to the ball or make it stick and back it came.  Indeed, the surprise of the Kickers goal was why it took so long, a deep corner resulting in a straightforward header.  The Legends defence still manfully fought a rearguard action to keep them in the game, and at the tail end they indeed had a few chances.  Harrison was taken down in what looked a clear penalty that was shrugged off by the referee, and Subah had sobered up enough to brush through various attackers before inexplicably not taking a great chance at a shot inside the area.

In the end the Legends acquitted themselves well against a very good team, but a draw would have been nice.

Competition: Manhattan Kickers, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Very windy Fall afternoon

Fans: 0

Result: 1:2 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-1: Bradley

Yellow Cards: Harrison putting a boot in to the whiny curly headed defender earned him a booking.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Once again, Santiago no showed with an accidental comment on the evite simply not good enough.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ironically for a game where the Legends had plenty of players, two more unexpectedly showed up to bolster the lineup while also providing a substitution tightrope.  Rosenbloom and Steve Roberts.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Hopefully Belizan’s groin improves over the next 3 weeks.

Old Man of the Match: Several good performances but several outstanding saves by Miller kept the Legends with a chance the entire game. Surprisingly its only his first OMoM, but with performances like this there are many more sure to follow.  Honorable mention goes to Bradley, his trademark energy resulting in his debut goal for the club.

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:  Bradley with his debut goal and Miller with his first OMoM.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 17 (24%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. A couple of the Old Boys who were joining ended up fading away.  The 4 Legends who did show up stuck around for a decent amount of time, but nothing major.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Steven Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom, Simon Harrison (DF), Charles Bradley, Neil Stower, Manohar Venkataraman, Ernest Subah, Simon Mckeown, Franco Denari, Mark Dean (DF)

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