Archive for the 'Legends' category

Legends plumb new nadir, losing to Banatul

May 01 2017 Published by under Legends

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

Competition: Banatul, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: None

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

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 14 (29%)

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

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

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

Apr 25 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

Fans: None

Result: 1-3 HT: 0-2

Goals: 1:3 Mckeown Assist Swinkels

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 16 (19%)

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

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

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

Apr 11 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

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

Competition: Manhattan Celtic Bhoys, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely spring morning

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

Result: 0-0 HT: 0-0

Goals: N/A

Shootout:

1-1: Venkataraman

2-2: Mckeown

2-2: MISS Calcagni

3-3: D’Andrea

4-3: MISS Blagojevic

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 16 (38%)

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

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

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

Apr 05 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

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

Competition: Manhattan Celtic, League Opposition

Location: Pier 40 East, Manhattan

Conditions: Pleasant spring evening

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

Result: 0-4 HT: 0-1

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Denari on his debut, Mckeown

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

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

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None.

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

Statistic of the week: Nothing notable.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 16 (38%)

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

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

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

Mar 28 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Shamrock Rovers, League Opposition

Location: St. Michael’s Playground, Queens

Conditions: Moderate afternoon

Fans: None

Result: 0-6 HT: 0-2

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: N/A

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

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

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

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

Statistic of the week: Nothing notable

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 10 (40%)

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

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

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Legends win first ever Cup game on first ever midweek game

Mar 28 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

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

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Freezing windy evening

Fans: None

Result: 6-2, HT: 5-0

Goals: 1:0 Mckeown

2:0 Swinkels

3:0 Swinkels

4:0 Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

5:0 D’Andrea Assist Hodges

6:0 Tony Vamvouris

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

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

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None.

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 12 (33%)

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

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

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

Dec 12 2016 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Hoboken FC 1912 Legends, League Opposition

Location: Phil Rizzuto Park, Union NJ

Conditions: Chilly December morning

Fans: 2 (Doug and Owen Faherty).

Result: 9-1

Goals: 1:0 Venkataraman assist Rosenbloom

2:0 Mckeown assist Hahn

3:0 Venkataraman

4:0 Mckeown

5:0 Faherty Assist Conboy

6:0 Mckeown

7:0 Hahn

8:0 Conboy Assist Mckeown

9:1 Casanova Assist Belizan

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

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

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None.

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 16 (44%)

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

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

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Legends valiant defensive performance produces historic result

Dec 06 2016 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Cozmos, League Opposition

Location: Bush Terminal Park, Brooklyn

Conditions: Brisk afternoon

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

Result: 0-0

Goals: N/A

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

Red Cards: None

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

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None.

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 0 out of 13 (0%)

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

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

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Legends calmly dispatch Doxa with professional 2-0 win

Nov 22 2016 Published by under Legends

The Legends were able to cobble together 14 players for the evening kickoff, a veritable luxurious banquet compared to the paucity of the previous games.  Although a few of those members were walking wounded the multiple weeks off to follow was an enticement, and the Legends would also benefit by finally having their top central defending pair of O. Roberts & Belizan available.  The Legends had plenty of time to warm up because although Herbert Lehman school appeared to be deep in the wilderness of the Bronx it took most people far less time than anticipated to arrive thanks to the desultory Sunday evening traffic.

Now in their second year, Doxa’s results had shown an uptick.  Although they only had one win they had four draws and showed the capacity to score goals.  However it was apparently almost immediately that in some areas the Legends would have an athletic advantage as Teesdale motored past his outside defender and sent an inviting ball across the goal, but Tony Vamvouris’s shot was smothered brilliantly by the keeper.  The moment appeared pivotal as the Legends were unable to get clear cut chances after this, the field acting like the equivalent of high altitude with its marginal but significant increase in speed.  Shots were mistimed, passes were either over or under hit as CPR tried to come to terms with the surface.  Doxa looked to have taken the lead when a corner was headed in, but the referee waived the goal off due to an infraction on Telly Vamvouris.  Had the opposition been more subtle about impeding the goalie they may have gotten away with it, but yelling to block the goalie in clear earshot of the referee was not the way to go about it.

The Legends appeared remarkably sanguine at half time despite the game being scoreless.  There was an acknowledgement as a veteran team that although they were better they would still need to work hard, but that a goal would come.  In the meantime the need to be careful at the back was reiterated given the unfamiliar playing surface.  The second half almost immediately opened up which benefited the Legends.  Unlike the first half they were able to start actually getting shots at goal, albeit most of them tame and straight at the keeper.  The Doxa back line showed some confusion and in at least a couple of cases an unfamiliarity with the offside rule, and although the Legends were unable to take advantage these were encouraging signs.  Finally the deadlock was broken as D’Andrea glided past a couple of players to drive the ball across the goal for a simple tap in at the far post.  With Doxa increasingly disjointed and starting to turn on each other the Legends increased the pressure and were able to get a deserved second goal, one of the best team goals of the season seeing multiple players have significant touches before Tony Vamvouris finally made a quick pass for Swinkels to bury.  Doxa still possessed an element of danger at the front but Belizan and Ollie Roberts were equal to everything, speed and brawn in a perfect team combination.

Back in playoff position if the Legends can manage one more win against Hoboken it will complete a remarkable Fall which showed them at their resolute best, grinding out important wins despite averaging their lowest attendance ever.

Competition: Doxa FC Legends, League Opposition

Location: Herbert Lehman HS, Bronx

Conditions: Very chilly and windy evening

Fans: 0

Result: 2-0

Goals: 1-0: Casanova Assist D’Andrea

2-0: Swinkels Assist Tony Vamvouris

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Edmunds needed stitches for the Old Boys game so decided to go drinking at the Rangers game rather than play

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ronnie Swinkels was a welcome debutant from the Orange after their unfortunate forfeit

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Most people felt rather sore after the game due to the deceptively hard ground, but no significant injuries.

Old Man of the Match:  The ability to play 90 minutes box to box is a singular rarity for the Legends, and having done this a couple of times now Accordino gets his first ever OMoM and his first CPR MoM since the salad days of the Metroboyz.  It’s a shame he couldn’t put the icing on the cake when put straight through, but at this rate the goals should come.  D’Andrea was an honorary mention, a superb run for the key first assist of the game.

Old Man of the Bar: None.

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

Statistic of the week:  Only the second shutout this season for the Legends, with D’Andrea increasing his all time assist lead to now have 14 assists.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 14 (43%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. A decent crew given it was 9pm at night before we got to the bar. 

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Pete Hahn (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Steve Teesdale, Ollie Roberts (DF), John Hodges, Tony Vamvouris, Tom Accordino, Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty (DF), Ronnie Swinkels, Manuel Casanova, Willian D’Andrea

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Shorthanded Legends grit their teeth and hold on for creditable draw

Nov 08 2016 Published by under Legends

For a variety of reasons game day attendance continues to be a huge problem for the Legends.  Once again scrambling, this time they were fortunate that the Old Boys were playing at 8pm. With logistics an issue Steve Morse was gracious enough to not only ferry Subah’s pass from deepest Red Hook but to present himself as an alternative to Belizan’s late scratch.  Regardless it would still be a scant 11 ready for game time, with Tony Vamvouris scheduled to appear at half time.  With dismay the Legends then digested the fact that Field 70 was actually larger than the vast Field 75 from the previous week, certainly not optimal given the team makeup and the opposition.  Manhattan Kickers Legends had won every game they had not forfeited and were currently top of their division, and they certainly looked it when warming up.  However the Legends quickly settled in and set up a quick opportunity for Subah before the second one was converted well for a quick and unexpected lead.

Given the size of the field and the fact Subah was handling himself well against multiple defenders the Legends dropped into a 4-5-1 to try to clog up the midfield more.  The strategy almost paid immediate dividends as Venkataraman intercepted a lax cross-field pass to send Subah charging down the field, but this time the finish was not as clinical as the first. Meanwhile the Kickers were settling in and stroking the ball around, scoring soon after to tie and then turning defence into attack on another CPR counterattack to take the lead.  Despite the opponents superiority the Legends managed to keep the attacks at bay for the rest of the half.  With Tony Vamvouris now joining, the Legends would have the opportunity for some quick relief.  Indeed, their second half started far more equitably with more chances created including a glorious one for Rosenbloom via Subah that was blasted over the top.  The Kickers dominated the possession game but had difficulty turning that into good chances, while the Legends played rope a dope looking for Subah on the breakaway.  The fussy referee’s inconsistency was a known quantity and CPR did well to hold their tongues at some “interesting” decisions, but also benefited when El Presidente’s cynical takedowns were taken as accidental as the protagonist presented a picture of innocence.  One of the Kickers key midfielders had to be carried off after Venkataraman’s attempt at a long range strike ended up with ball against foot.

”Just
Compact and hardworking, the Legends took a beating while waiting for their chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a valiant 2-1 loss set to be the result the Legends finally had the match up they wanted, Mckeown sliding a through ball to Subah as the Kickers made the cardinal error of not playing to the whistle.  Subah ran half the length of the field and this time there was no mistake, rounding the keeper and equalizing with barely 2 minutes left.  CPR held on to a highly satisfying draw.  If they can get anything substantial from their two remaining games they will have salvaged an Autumn that at one point looked highly ominous.

Competition: Manhattan Kickers Legends, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island Field #70, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Yet another lovely Sunday morning

Fans: Kali + Dog

Result: 2-2, HT: 1-2

Goals: 1-0: Subah Assist Mckeown

2-0: Subah Assist Mckeown

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Late scratch by Belizan left us scrambling, but we managed

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Steve Morse with the assist for Ernest’s ID and playing the full 90.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Venkataraman limped off in the second after an almighty wack at the ball.  Fortunately the player on the other side of the ball was one of their strongest midfielders who had to be carried off.  Available for duty but the 11 on the field did not need it.

Old Man of the Match:  Great performances all over but Subah was a handful playing virtually alone against multiple defenders.  Several chances created but scored the two that mattered.  Accordino with another honorable mention for not only running around box to box but providing some sorely needed heft in the middle against the physical Kickers.

Old Man of the Bar: Pre and Post game drinks at the Element in Harrison for $3 Heinekens.  Shame the Red Bulls didn’t show the same fighting spirit as the Legends did

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

Statistic of the week: First draw of the season, game day numbers dragged down the average attendance to record lows (13.63), but goals scored per game now tied with lowest ever in inaugural season 2012-2013 (1.88)

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 12 (25%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Cheating a little by only including those who went to the Red Bulls playoff game when there were other willing attendees in Resnik & Rosenbloom.  However after the game Taylor Twellman did offer us his nachos because he was late for his flight.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Drew Faherty (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Morse (DF), Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom, Tom Accordino, Willian D’Andrea, Ernest Subah, Simon Mckeown

 

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