Archive for the 'Legends' category

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.

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.


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.


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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Legends easily overcome Banatul and Referee 5-0

Nov 06 2017 Published by under Legends

The week started in a fortunate manner as Harrison pointed out a timing discrepancy that would have resulted in a disastrous forfeit as the Evite showed a start time of noon, while the league correctly showed kickoff as 11.  Fortunately the Friday update did not hurt the Legends as much as the Old Boyz who know could now only utilize Miller in goal for a half.  With a strong side the Legends could be fairly confident against Banatul, although they had lost to them for the first time in the disastrous 2017 spring.   One look at the Banatul team relaxed the Legends as they only had 8 to start, most of them looking like the usual suspects.  What was more a cause for concern was the referee, who although seemingly bright and perky put in one of the worst performances ever seen by the Legends.  Manager Venkataraman tried to tactfully bring up the issue of physical play which the referee blithely brushed off as the reason she was there.

Once the game started a couple of things were clear.  The first was that this Banatul team was very much in the mold of the ones the Legends traditionally spanked.  The second was that the referee’s philosophy was that unless someone was bleeding, play would go on.  Here the Legends were fortunate to have the hulking presence of Harrison to provide much needed brawn in the center, especially as they were experimenting with a 4-2-3-1 to try and inject more attackers in the final third. Despite the expected trepidation given the team’s questionable football IQ the results were fairly positive.  There were naturally occasions where the front 3 didn’t realize they should be staying in Banatul’s half leading to a ridiculous occurrence were all 11 Legends were back in the area for a free kick. Sometimes the lack of width as players chased the ball was also an issue, but for the most part the result was as planned for as more CPR bodies attacked.  The early goal in fact was caused by the formation as an overload between Casanova and Hahn resulted in a lovely deep cross that Pattinson converted, making a difficult shot appear deceptively easy.  With constant pressure the Legends soon created another opportunity as a foul in the box was finally called.  Despite normally being cold as ice, D’Andrea second guessed himself and the Banatul goalie made a nice save, pushing the ball wide for a goalie.  D’Andrea made up for the uncharacteristic mistake by bundling home a second soon after.

Although Banatul now had substitutes, it still looked like the Legends had extra men on the field.  The half time appearance of Stower and Subah were indeed reinforcements that the Legends didn’t need, despite Pattinson’s on again off again calf injury and groin strain.  The second half was one nonstop assault on the Banatul goal, with the goalie putting in a man of the match performance for them.  Despite his heroics there was no way to contain the flood as D’Andrea scored with a remarkable dribbling performance that had the sideline laughing at the audacity of his twinkle toes.  Soon after Bradley was rewarded with his ferocious defensive hounding by stealing the ball and laying it on a platter for D’Andrea to complete his hattrick. Wanting to get in on the action, Harrison decided to stroll through Banatul from the half way line to score.  At this point the referee decided that 35 minutes was enough and called the game, a self invented mercy rule despite the fact that Frazier had been unfairly sent off resulting in Banatul having an extra man.  The Legends are now 4th based purely on goal difference, something they could have easily remedied in the remaining 10 minutes had the rule of law  been applied instead of her own interpretation.

It was nice for the Legends to have a laugher, and they look forward to playing this Banatul team again.  Hopefully it will be a long long time before seeing this referee again.

Competition: Banatul, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Pleasant Fall morning

Fans: 4 (Clarita, Caroline, Mr. Frazier, Manohar managing)

Result: 5:0 HT: 2-0

Goals: 1-0: Pattinson Assist Hahn

2-0: D’Andrea

3-0: D’Andrea

4-0: D’Andrea Assist Bradley

5-0: Harrison

Yellow Cards: The irony of Frazier finally getting sent off when he least deserved it.  The petty vendetta that the referee decided to have against Frazier based on some initial chat was as embarrassing as it was obvious.  After booking him for simulation after an obvious foul that should have been a penalty, Frazier showed remarkable restraint as Banatul realized they could do anything to him and not get called. The final booking and sending off occurred when a Banatul player slapped Frazier, who instead of retaliating called attention to the fact only to be penalized for it.  One of the most embarrassing refereeing displays ever seen by the Legends, and given the understand mediocrity of Over 38’s play/officiating that is a remarkable statement.

Red Cards: Frazier’s inevitable sending off was the least deserved of his performances.  As an example of this referee’s atrociousness, the Legends have had 8 players sent off in 1409 total games.  This referee has sent off 2 players in 2 games.  Ball don’t lie.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ernest Subah did show up along with Stower, but given the salivating of the subs to get on the score sheet there was no chance of him making an appearance. Besides, throwing Subah on against the ancient Banatul back line would have constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Venkataraman showed up to manage despite 9 stitches in his hand and bruised ribs caused by some punk’s criminal assault while on a Citibike.  Meanwhile Pattinson took himself on and on depending whether his groin or calf were bothering him.

Old Man of the Match: A surprisingly difficult decision given that when a player scores a hattrick the award is almost inevitable.  However Harrison’s introduction of much needed steel in the defensive midfield helped lock down Banatul’s attack, and he culminated an assured performance with an almost casually arrogant stroll through the defence and calm finish.  However in the end, despite the missed penalty it was D’andrea who took the award again, as much for his second goal’s Ricky Villa stroll through several Banatul defenders and goalie before a cheeky finish into the side netting.

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, although Manohar Venkataraman almost qualifies with going to the game with no intention to play but making it to the bar as well.

Statistic of the week:  D’Andrea pushes the all-time and season goal lead further with his hat-trick, while Frazier now remarkably has more bookings than games played.

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 15 (13%)

Team Bar Night: 1.5 out of 5. Disappointingly few people made it to the bar, with the marathon partly to blame.  Just Frazier and Resnik, with Venkataraman supporting.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Tim Frazier, Willian D’Andrea, Steven Teesdale (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Bevan Rosenbloom, Simon Harrison (DF), Charles Bradley, Pete Hahn (DF), Neil Stower, Manuel Casanova

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Mentally strong Legends come back to tie Doxa 2-2 in torrential downpour

Oct 31 2017 Published by under Legends

The only good thing about the expected conditions were that the storm was coming south to north, so the temperature was relatively warm even though the rain was relentless.  With some late roster managing the Legends had a solid roster and enough transit for all, but on arriving the debate was to stay in the cars or not.  Finally reason prevailed as the extra few minutes in the car weren’t going to be a match for 90 minutes on the field, with the tiny tent set up by the opposition at least allowing the roster to be signed.  Anticipating the referee to not spend any more time than necessary the Legends started strongly and had some good high possession without being able to convert anything.  Soon however it was clear that the opposition’s low league position belied the talent they had available.  The conditions appeared to have no effect as they were able to immediately control balls sent to them long or short, and were able to set up triangular passing pleasing on the eye all over the field.  Meanwhile the Legends were as sloppy as the conditions with sliced touches and balls continually slid too far away from teammates.  Despite this, CPR’s stayed in the game until the referee intervened.  Already under fire for letting too much physical contact go, the referee missed a blatantly obvious handball which had a material effect in allowing Doxa to take the lead, albeit with a well taken shot.  The Legends continued to press and had a glorious opportunity at the end of the first half when having done all the hard work Venkataraman committed the cardinal sin of taking his eye off the ball in sloppy conditions and looping a ball over the bar when well placed to tie the game.

The Legends knew they were going to have to tighten up on the mistakes and compete better since Doxa clearly had the individual skill and team game to win.  Unfortunately near the beginning of the second half a long run and cross resulted in a hard header for a two nil lead.  Interestingly this had the effect of stretching the field and opening up play as Doxa appeared to go for more goals rather than protect the lead they had.  One goalmouth scramble had CPR agonizingly close to getting the ball in, and as the wings opened up the fullbacks started moving up further and further.  About halfway through the game the Legends made the tactical change they discussed and moved to 3 at the back, with Teesdale moving into the midfield.  The increased pressure saw the Legends take the lead in unorthodox circumstances.  The Doxa goalie appeared to win a race with Frazier for the ball but after strong arguments from Frazier the referee decided to award a free kick to CPR for handling outside of the area.  Naturally there were some handbags regarding the decision, but CPR took full advantage.  Having two skilled free kick takers from close range is a boon for the Legends, and this time it was Mckeown who scored over a several person wall to put the Legends back in the game.  As the pressure from CPR matched the relentless rate of the rain, the Doxa backline broke off another free kick.  This time the scramble resulted in Rosenbloom hipping the ball into D’Andrea’s pass who made no mistake with an exquisite finish.

Having come back to tie the Legends were in no mood to give back a share of the spoils, moving back to 4 at the back.  Despite that Doxa had the lion’s share of the possession at the end and it took a couple of spectacular saves from Miller to deny them at the death and ensure a point each.  At the end Doxa were probably the most disappointed, not just for giving up a two goal lead but for having played better overall.  This was a good scrappy point for the Legends, matching the performance they had against Shamrock earlier in the season.  It also displayed the increasing strength of the league as even the teams near the bottom are no cakewalk.  The ultimate test should be against Banatul next weekend to see if the league really has improved top to bottom.

Competition: Doxa Legends, League Opposition

Location: Herbert Lehman HS, Bronx

Conditions: Rain sheeting down in a rare southern storm

Fans: None

Result: 2:2 HT: 0-1

Goals: 1-2: Mckeown Assist Frazier

2-2: D’Andrea Assist Rosenbloom

Yellow Cards: This is now a streak of Cal Ripken proportions, something that will never be broken.  Frazier has started his career with 6 bookings in his first 6 games.  The question is more what will break that streak, not getting booked or getting sent off when he finally meets a referee who won’t put up with the dissent. Ironically for the first time in recorded history his dissent actually appeared to change the referee’s decision and winning a critical goal for the Legends.


In a streak that will surely never be beat, Frazier has started his CPR career with 6 bookings in his first 6 games













Red Cards: Fortunately Frazier’s booking came too late in the game for the referee to snap.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Santiago Morales added to a previous Mike D with a quiet change to No on the evite only a few hours before game time.  That’s not how this works.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Fortunately El Presidente Faherty stepped up when Morales snuck out and although he didn’t play, was available if needed.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Conboy was on the shelf with last week’s hamstring injury.

Old Man of the Match: Lots of good performances and enough people at the bar to actually have a debate.  Miller’s stunning game ending saves warranted him strong consideration as did Pattinson’s steady role in the middle.  Belizan’s consistent excellence (all-time leader in OMoM) hurts when the performances are close, and in this case his center-back partner Ollie Roberts took the nod for an equally assured performance.

Old Man of the Bar: Teesdale stuck it out to the bitter end of the astonishing Game 5 World Series game even though he had to drive back home at 1am in the sheeting rain to the far reaches of Weehawken.

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

Statistic of the week:  Mckeown and D’Andrea push their all-time goals further up to 23 and 22 and have a good race for Golden Boot with Mckeown leading 5-4 (winning it last year 6-5).  Frazier now ties the all-time bookings at 6 in 6 games (!!!).

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 15 (40%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. 6 fit perfectly in a Dive 96 booth, and the initial dual games of Sunday Night Football and World Series ended up with one of the all time great World Series games.  You know its good when you end up with 2 tabs and a free pitcher!

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Willian D’Andrea, Steven Teesdale (DF), Ollie Roberts (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Bevan Rosenbloom, Steve Teesdale (DF)

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Full squad Legends finally show what they’re capable of with 2-0 derby victory over Barnstonworth

Oct 24 2017 Published by under Legends

After a couple of dire attendance weeks it was nice to finally be back to having a full squad available. Although Barnstonworth Veteran’s record wasn’t good, as has been displayed many times in this league it all depending upon who showed up on the day.  Looking across at the opposition it was clear that they had managed a full squad as well, but with their starting center backs, center midfield and forwards the Legends felt quietly confident.  In addition the new recruit Simon “Harry” Harrison looked like providing the midfield size and steel that CPR had been lacking.  In fact, the Legends were boasting so much of riches that when the Grays came begging they could afford to graciously donate Santiago Morales to go play a full game for them.

The early exchanges were fairly even, with the Rovers bringing out a taller heftier side while the Legends had more skillful ball control.  As usual Conboy rampaged down his wing but unfortunately his crosses in the middle weren’t able to be converted.  Frazier was put out on the wing and was able to provide an attacking thrust from a different angle, but apart from Harry’s unfortunate shot pounding off the post there were few clear chances on either side.  At half time the Legends were unusually calm as they felt that as time went on clearer and better chances would present themselves.  Meanwhile some on the opposition looked winded even with 3 substitutes, giving CPR heart.  Soon after the half began gaps yawned open between Barnstonworth’s midfield and defence.  The Legends defenders crept up and the team as a whole started pressing.  D’Andrea took a ball and dribbled through the defence before being scythed down.  The only surprise about the obvious penalty award were a couple of defenders trying to defend the indefensible, much to the bemusement of the Legends and indeed some of their own teammates.  After a full day’s tailgating the day before Venkataraman decided discretion was the better part of valor in a tied game and had D’Andrea take and convert in his usual calm manner.

Barnstonworth still failed to yield and indeed had a near miss of their own, the ball bouncing off the top of the crossbar.  Shortly after a nice one two had D’Andrea take another shot that also crashed off the crossbar.  Eventually with all the space available the second goal arrived, D’Andrea drawing two defenders before dishing off to Mckeown for whom the chip finally came through.  A few more chances arrived but in the end a 2-0 win felt fair.  Hopefully the Legends have their midseason attendance hiccoughs behind them and can start to string together a series of good results.

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Warm morning

Fans: None

Result: 2:0 HT: 0-0

Goals: 1-0: D’Andrea (pen)

2-0: Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

Yellow Cards: Like a broken record, Frazier once again was booked for a foolish barge into the goalie who had dropped the ball several seconds before but had completely covered it up.  Unnecessary, but perhaps Frazier wanted to add a degree of difficulty in trying not to get sent off over the remaining 85 minutes.  Mission accomplished.  Hahn also got booked for a typically robust tackle.

Red Cards: Despite Frazier’s best dissension efforts, none.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none, which actually helped to the extent that the Legends were able to donate Santiago Morales to the Grays who only had 10.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Frazier forgot he had responded, but by adding Bradley late it enabled the Legends to bolster the Grays.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: With the large numbers it allowed people more rest than necessary.  Hopefully Conboy’s hamstring isn’t a lingering issue.

Old Man of the Match: A general overall good performance against a stronger than usual Barnstonworth Veterans team.  With several good performances including a recently rare defensive shutout the OMoM goes to D’Andrea.  Not just for the productivity in winning and converting the penalty and setting up the second but for generally putting the opposition under constant pressure with his dribbling.  He was also unfortunate to not score again on hitting the crossbar.

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:  Mckeown and D’Andrea push their all-time goals further up to 23 and 22 with D’Andrea pushing up the all-time assist lead to 17.  Resnik pushes the all-time Defensive Shutout score to 22.  Frazier now ties the all-time bookings at 5 in 5 games (!!!).

Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 16 (44%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Good breadth if not the usual length.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Willian D’Andrea, Charles Bradley, Mike Conboy, Santiago Morales, Steven Teesdale (DF), Ollie Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Tom Pattinson, Simon Harrison

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Legends score resounding 2-6 moral victory against Under 30’s Mega Alexandros

Oct 16 2017 Published by under Legends

For the second game in a row injuries and travel decimated the Legends squad.  In addition the fact that it was a cup weekend and thus potential help from other squads would be cup-tied hurt recruitment chances even further.  Casting the net far and wide it looked like the Legends would have the bare minimum 11 but come Sunday morning they were down to 9, an unpleasant prospect against an Over 30’s team.  The potential bright spot was that this team had only scored a single goal all season, and soon after the game started it was apparent why.  The Legends played in the ever popular 4-1-3 formation, hoping that the front 3 could somehow conjure something out of nothing.  Meanwhile 3 of the 4 defenders were aged 47, 49 and 50 but what they lacked in speed and athleticism they more than made up for with communication and knowledge of the game.  Keeping strictly narrow and inviting the opposition to cross or shoot from distant worked beautifully as Mega continued to oblige.  The few times they did play one-twos down the middle they easily outran the Legends and developed one on one chances.  Nobody expected to shut an Over 30’s team out entirely, but keeping them down to 2 goals in the first half was a triumph of organization and obliging opponents.  Meanwhile D’Andrea, Frazier and Mckeown continually showed the ability to take on multiple players and weren’t far away from scoring.

Early in the second half the Legends snatched one back, Frazier taking on multiple players resulting in Mckeown having an easy tap in for a goal.  With Mega having so much possession and chances they managed to score despite themselves, although 2 goals were from acute angles and one was well struck from outside the box, while another was from what they should have been doing all game and sliding a ball straight down the middle for a foot race.  The front 3 of the Legends continued to create chances, with some of the Legends starting to creep up in support.  A second goal came in an unlikely fashion with a long punt by keeper Miller being chased down by Frazier who converted past a hapless defence.  Unfortunately the game ended with some unseemly shenanigans, with Frazier always one to annoy the opposition and a few of the opponents unnecessarily showboating and tackling hard despite being up 6-2 against 9 old men.

Apparently Frazier’s secret is that he’s always angry, something his record of getting booked in every game certainly matches











In the end, the Legends can be proud of their effort, and although Mega willingly obliged with inexplicable tactics given a 2 man advantage the Legends gave them enough rope to hang themselves.  What was more galling was that with a full team or even one more player there was a more than even chance of winning and advancing to the next round for an intraclub derby against CPR Grays.  As it were, a rare kind draw was squandered and the Legends ignominious cup record was dropped to 1-11.

Competition: Mega Alexandros, Over 30’s League Opposition

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

Conditions: Warm morning

Fans: Mitch’s dogs, who didn’t appear too thrilled with the proceedings

Result: 0-2 HT: 2-6

Goals: 1-2: Mckeown Assist Frazier

2-5: Frazier Assist Miller

Yellow Cards: Once again after a solid start a robust challenge set the red mist going for Frazier who keeps a remarkable 100% booking record going.  The fact that none of these has resulted in a sending off is almost as remarkable, the referee phlegmatically and thankfully shrugging off the nonstop berating.  Belizan also got a booking for a tackle from behind despite winning the ball.

Red Cards: Thankfully none, with Frazier continuing to tiptoe the tightrope.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Bradley on receiving an ID reminder the day before mentioned a hurt foot.  That’s what the evite is for, and that’s what we count on.  Similarly Cristaudo on the day of the game, although this was a more understandable issue in having to play goal for the team he coaches. Regardless, when playing with 9 any missing person makes a huge difference.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Almost from Teesdale and Conboy which would have been huge, but understandable reasons why they couldn’t.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Remarkable how there were no injuries considering the stress they were under.  Casanova briefly went down with a calf injury but fortunately it stretched out.

Old Man of the Match: Several good performances given the large gap in youth, agility, speed and stamina.  As always honorable mentions to Belizan, along with the front 3 of D’Andrea, Frazier and Mckeown.  However Miller wins his first OMoM despite conceding 6, none of which were his fault.  His masterful command of high crosses along with sure hands and distribution helped improve the confidence of the defence, and one particular long kick resulted in the first goalie assist in Legends history.

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:  Mckeown closing down on D’Andrea for the all time goal lead 22-21.  Frazier continuing the unprecedented start to his career of 100% bookings and 100% pub appearances.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 9 (44%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Stayed through the first slate of NFL games along with CPR Reds.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman (DF), Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Willian D’Andrea, Manuel Casanova

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