Archive for the 'Legends' category

Legends fritter away sizeable advantage, draw feels like a loss

Oct 23 2019 Published by under Legends

The Legends embarrassment of squad riches continued this week with Ciolli generously stepping down to allow the game day squad to reach the maximum of 18.  Even with 2 late no shows in Jones and Nizam the squad was a healthy 16.  Sawyer strode around with purpose describing his 4-2-4 (in reality a 4-2-3-1) and giving each squad member a detailed breakdown of his role.  The debut of the new kit with the number randomizer was beneficial to the fitter members of the club, not so flattering for the…older gentlemen.

CPR were playing a new league team Astoria United SC, who appeared capable of scoring a lot of goals but also shipping them.  The Legends started off purposefully and used their mobility versus their stouter opposition to pin them back.  However, despite having a strong defence CPR were showing some definite miscommunication as they were exposed a couple of times on the break, forcing Arrocha off his line for some last minute clearances.  Relatively early the Legends struck, a hopeful dribbler from distance from Sawyer could only be lamely pushed away by the keeper right into the path of the grateful Subah.  A second and what should have been decisive goal came from a deep corner by Phillips that Sawyer converted much more assertively.  The Legends composure seemed to desert them at this point as simple passes were being botched up and Astoria were winning the physical battle.  Rather than fold, they kept coming and earned a way back into the game, a corner to the top of the box resulting in an accurate shot that was deflected enough to wrong foot Arrocha and pull the game back to 2-1.

At half time the Legends knew they needed to stretch the lead as the opposition were not going away quietly.  Right on cue, a scramble in the box had Sawyer blocked in the act of shooting for an obvious penalty.  As Astoria surrounded the referee Sawyer waited calmly for his opportunity.  A little too calmly as it turned out, as his shot lobbed over and wide past the gaping right side of the goal.  With barely time to digest this misfortune, the Legends gave away a free kick in the middle of the field resulting in a booking for Belizan.  Perhaps still discombulated, Astoria launched a long ball that their striker somehow corralled and scored from, the type of mistake that would not have been expected from a defence of the caliber of the Legends.  From 3-1 to 2-2 in a matter of a minute was certainly a gut punch, with the bright side that there was a full 40+ minutes still to play.    Most of the match followed a similar pattern, the Legends left hand side wide open for whichever left side midfielder was deployed.  The ball was then brought up only to meet an unyielding low block, with few clear cut chances created.  On occasion Astoria would clear the ball and immediately be on the counter attack.  Indeed, the clearest chances of the game were presented to them only for their finishing and Arrocha’s goalkeeping to save them.

In the end there was much huffing and puffing but no more than half chances for the Legends to seal what should have been a routine victory.  Astoria proved to be a stout opponent in more ways than one, but hopefully CPR learn from this and make sure they take better advantage next time.

Competition: Astoria United SC, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Brisk Autumn morning

Fans: 3, Brindley (managing the subs), Resnik, Ciolli

Result: 2:2 HT: 2-1

Goals: 1:0 Subah Assist Sawyer

2:0 Sawyer Assist Phillips

Yellow Cards: Stower, Belizan

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Despite the abundance of strikers forcing Vale and Ciolli to drop out, Nizam was an incommunicado no show.  Not the best way to endear yourself to a ruthless management team. Jones shenanigans in the last few weeks got to him, but he had been in close communication with management about a potential drop out.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ciolli was the only one of the fans who was capable of playing, but based on the mooted attendance did not bring his kit with him.  Given Nizam’s no show, he could well have provided added heft in the box for the last few frantic minutes.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Given the maximum number of substitutes few people were out long enough to get injured.  However, some of this was also due to some dainty footwork as there were a few agricultural challenges that could well have caused problems had they connected.

Old Man of the Match: Pablo Arrocha made several key saves on the counter attacks to keep the Legends still in it.  Jeremy Phillips gets an honorable mention for several trademark winding runs that gained the Legends some dangerous free kicks.

Old Man of the Bar: With a long overdue award, Morse and his cooler deservedly win Old Man of the Bar/Pitch

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, as the players made it to the game to watch and stayed on the sidelines for refreshments.

Statistic of the week:  Legends first consecutive league 2-2 draw in their history saw them give up the lead in both games, in different forms of brutality.  One last minute, one giving up a dominating two goal lead and with a missed penalty.

Team Bar Showing:  12 out of 16 (75%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Morse’s cooler proved the main attraction once again as it ended up keeping most of the team around for a fair amount of time.

Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Danny Azzo, Charles Linehan (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manuel Casanova, Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Chris Impey, Ernest Subah, David Sawyer, Jeremy Phillips, Steve Morse, Takeshi Tsujita

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Legends meet Banatul’s A team, pity the fools who bet against them

Oct 09 2019 Published by under Legends

After administering the usual thrashing of Banatul a few weeks ago, management appeared unusually cautious for this week’s cup game. A number of Banatul players that had not been used in the first match were expected to play, and the sting of losing 7-0 was supposed to light a fire under them. Quite how this match would be different given a 7 year history of domination was unclear, but it seems Legends management took it seriously. For the first time in Legends history, more players showed up than could be accommodated by the maximum 18 game day roster. Banatul themselves had a few substitutes, but the squad comparison clearly favored the Legends.

The game quickly set itself in a predictable pattern, with the Legends attacking and counterattacking with verve. Although Banatul’s roster reinforcements were clearly of a higher quality, their traditional “strategy” of having multiple players attack but not come back to defend was still in effect. Playing only 1 up front in a rare departure from the 4-4-2, the Legends were having difficulty penetrating into the penalty area with enough attackers. A lot of sound and fury was signifying not a whole lot, while Banatul started to grow into the game on the attacking side. Eventually the Legends broke through, a rampaging fullback run by Shobowale crossing in for Ciolli to finish. The Legends knew they would need a 2 goal lead to break Banatul’s spirit but defensive mishaps at the back led to an equalizer. With a few minutes to go until half time the Legends were able to take the lead, some nice interplay leading to Ciolli finishing well.

At half time CPR was confident that they could outwork and outlast Banatul, and with the large number of substitutes they had quicker rotations and started taking advantage of the spaces that were opening up, particularly down the left hand flank. Both Impey and Hahn continually made hay down the left hand side and one such foray set up the cushion the Legends were looking for. A pass into Ciolli resulted in beating the keeper but the ball going agonizingly wide. However Linehan was swift enough to retrieve and return the ball to Ciolli who this time finished at the second time of asking. The fact the Legends looked the favorites to score was more impressive given that they had been reduced to 10 men with the slightly harsh second yellow for Shobowale on contact that was greatly exaggerated by ex Legend Santiago Morales. The game continued to be somewhat chippy with plenty of hard tackles on both sides producing several bookings.

 

”Dirty
Anatomy of a dirty foul and opponent’s booking, in 4 steps. No Venkataramans were harmed (much) in the making of this collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now CPR started creating an abundance of dangerous opportunities, however few of them turned into clear opportunities. Perhaps the best was Hahn to Venkataraman, whose sliding finish was a few years too late in many respects. Finally Linehan received yet another opportunity and was able to convert it on target giving the Legends a comfortable final edge. With the welcome change to a purely Over 40 cup, the Legends should start having more chances at victories in cup competitions.

Competition: Banatul SC, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Warm morning

Fans: 4, Arrocha (not eligible), Carlsen, Subah (over the 18 game day maximum), El Presidente (Emergency keeper, team photographer)

Result: 4:1 HT: 2-1
1-0: Ciolli Assist Shobowale
2-1: Ciolli Assist Azzo
3-1: Ciolli Assist Linehan
4-1: Linehan Assist Ciolli

Goals: 1:1 Subah Assist Stower
2:1 Sawyer Assist Ciolli

Yellow Cards: Hahn, Linehan

Red Cards: Shobowale for 2 bookings, the second of which was harsh

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: A record number of extras showed up, especially odd considering the ease with which SportEasy displays the team members showing up for the game. Arrocha wasn’t aware of the cup age limitation. Carlsen suffered from some miscommunication over need, while Casanova and Subah both signed up a few hours before game time when the available numbers were already clearly high. Although high interest is obviously a positive problem to have, the process will have to be properly defined given people arrange their weekends around the games so they shouldn’t have playing time penalized due to the last minute whims of other players.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Given the maximum number of substitutes few people were out long enough to get injured.

Old Man of the Match: Although lots of people played well, a hattrick and an assist did not make this decision for Ciolli particularly hard. Given his impact and versatility over the first few games this could well be the first of many.

Old Man of the Bar: None.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Morse, and more importantly Morse’s cooler made it just after the game to give people some well needed sustenance.

Statistic of the week: Now that the Legends will be playing against teams in the Cup near enough their own age, the hope is they can significantly improve their cup record from its current paltry 3 wins out of 16.

Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 18 (50%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Several players stayed by the field watching Wolves glorious victory over City, then Faherty, Venkataraman, Pattinson and Subah made it to Blooms to watch Newcastle’s equally glorious victory over United.

Team (No new profiles this week): Scott Brindley (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Danny Azzo, Charles Linehan (DF), Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale (DF), Mark Dean (DF), Mark Ciolli, Pete Hahn (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manuel Casanova, Willian D’Andrea, Tom Pattinson, Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Steve Teesdale, Mark Edmunds (DF), Chris Impey

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The importance of being Ernest

Sep 30 2019 Published by under Legends

The Legends ambled to a 7-0 victory over Banatul SC on Sunday during a rare outing on the grass of Randall’s Island. Despite the cleats and unseasonably hot weather, the 15-strong squad hit three in the first half and four in the second without reply, earning the team their second victory of the fledgling campaign following defeat the previous weekend in Brooklyn.

Ernest Subah gave a standout performance with a second half hat-trick, taking advantage of weary Banatul legs run into submission by the first half industry of Chris Impey, Neil Stower and Jeremy Phillips.

Tom Pattinson offered midfield relief from the bench, while Luciano Belizan ably marshalled the backline in front of Pablo Arrocha, who was rarely troubled by the visitor’s attack.

Peter Hanh scored his first goal of the campaign, Stower struck from long range via a deflection and a brace from Paul Vale rounded out the scoring by the time of the referee’s whistle, which inexplicably came several minutes early.

The Legends go into the next game having scored 11 times in their three opening fixtures after heavy rotation of their sizable squad. Tougher fixtures lay ahead – and a return to artificial turf will be welcome by most. But Sunday’s thumping suggests that just occasionally, the grass can be a little greener.

Banatul SC

Randall’s Island

Hot

Resnik and Pablo’s missus

7-0; 3-0

Vale 2, Stower 1, Hahn 1, Ernest 3

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Legends throw away points after hard fought effort against America FC

Sep 30 2019 Published by under Legends

Once again there was a sizeable squad available on game day by dint of hard work behind the scenes by management.  The fairly distant New Jersey field produced some logistical difficulties for the New York based team members, but the Jerseyites were happy to finally have a simple ride in.  The quirky field looked like it would provide a fair home field advantage, between the combination of narrowness, American football field markings and speedy bouncy surface.  However home field didn’t prevent America from starting with only 10, both team’s goalkeepers arriving on the late side for a game that was delayed 15 minutes.  The Legends sought to take advantage of the sun angle and the man advantage but were often undone by their sloppy passing and decision making.  America pressed up high and feasted on turnovers as the Legends passing game could barely muster 2 or 3 passes in a row.  Almost inevitably the Legends were architects of their own demise, trying to pass the ball out when a more agricultural approach was needed.  Although there were a couple of unfortunate bounces to provide the America striker a gratefully taken opportunity, the initial mistakes allowed the goal to happen.

 

The game soon devolved into a physical shouting match as the America #5 started where he had left off in the previous game against the Legends.  Having been sent off for a disgraceful tackle on Teesdale he started in on any Legend remotely near him.  After getting justifiably booked, he pulled back a player on a counterattack which inexplicably did not result in a sending off.  Meanwhile a couple of the opposition started flinging themselves to the floor holding their faces whenever a tussle for the ball occurred, a truly unsavory practice.  All of these shenanigans served to help the Legends as they held their heads while all about them were losing theirs.  Winning a free kick at the edge of the area, a beautifully weighted cross from Stower provided the simplest of tap ins for Subah.

 

At the half the Legends team talk mainly focused on keeping their heads and letting the referee handle the dirty tackles, while also making sure they had a plan in place for the predictable goal kicks and throw ins.  Also as hoped for, the extra substitutes started wearing down America as they struggled to keep pace.  The Legends started taking advantage of the increasing gaps but once again their decision making let themselves down, almost unerringly making the wrong choices when outnumbering the defence.  Almost by accident they finally took the lead, 3 men in the box allowing Ciolli to find Sawyer for his trademark clinical finish.  Despite having all the momentum, the Legends knew they needed a safety margin but for the life of them could not get one.  Subah’s chip dropped agonizingly wide and a later shot caromed off the keeper.  Phillips blew by almost the entire team but from a tight angle could not find the net, and sundry other advantageous attacks could not be converted.

 

With a mere couple of minutes left, disaster struck.  The Legends once again had issues getting the ball out of the back.  With most of the American team camped in the Legends end, they were able to get the ball in a dangerous area, pass around the packed CPR defence and almost pass the ball into the net.  The Legends tried desperately to regain the advantage but there was not enough time.  A draw that felt like a loss against a strong team showed how far the Legends had come.  The last game of last season had the same result, but this time 2-2 felt like a loss instead of a win.  With a little more nous the Legends could have walked off victors, and the hope is that they use this as a learning experience going forward.

Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition

Location: Phil Rizzuto Park, New Jersey

Conditions: Pleasant bright afternoon

Fans: 5, Resnik, Jones’s, Stowers

Result: 2:2 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1:1 Subah Assist Stower

2:1 Sawyer Assist Ciolli

Yellow Cards: Azzo, Linehan

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Phillips schedule changed so he was able to make it, giving the game day squad a robust 16.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None on the Legends side, fortunately given some of the appalling tackling going on especially from the opposition #5.

Old Man of the Match: Disappointing as the result was, there were many strong performances all over the field.  Phillips direct attacking runs, Ciolli’s midfield robustness and Carducci’s long distribution from the back.  However it was Jones narrowly edging out Shobowale for the way they handled what could have been a very awkward day with the long ball booming kicks dropping out of the sky.  Some have suggested the narrow edge could be attributed to providing refreshments post game, but this could neither be confirmed nor denied.

Old Man of the Bar: None.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Hodges dropped by to watch his beloved Saints outlast the Cowboys in a fairly putrid game.

Statistic of the week:  Enticott was back for cameo appearance but was unable to add to his prolific totals, the rust needing to be dusted off a little more.

Team Bar Showing: 12 out of 16 (75%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Almost everyone stayed for at least a beer before heading out.  Venkataraman and Resnik joined Hodges for the Saints Cowboys game at Blondies

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Ernest Subah, David Sawyer, Danny Azzo, Andrew Jones, Charles Linehan (DF), Jeremy Phillips, Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale (DF), Mark Dean (DF), Mark Ciolli, Jan Carlsen, Jason Jarecki, Rich Enticott

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Tough loss for the Legends against perennial favourites Manhattan Kickers

Sep 20 2019 Published by under Legends

Another blazing hot afternoon at Bush Terminal Piers started full of promise following the previous weekends hard fought victory. Management had received intel of the opponents quality and so started the team in a 4-5-1 with Charlie and Neil pressing high on the wings, and Danny sat anchoring the middle. Mark Dean and Manuel returned to the fold, and Legends welcome Chris Impey into the match day squad for the first time.

 

The ball was moved around well for the first five minutes, and it quickly became apparent that the teams were well matched. Then misfortune struck. A 40yd back-pass from Edmunds, squirmed its way under Pablo’s foot and nestled into the back of the net. The goalkeepers ability to pass the ball around the backline has quickly been adopted by the team, and recognized as one of the Legends core strengths in building from the backline. Management noted this error was probably due to the fact Pablo had picked up this weeks ‘Ernest Award’, for arriving within 30 seconds of kick-off, and so had not been able to warm-up properly.

 

Quickly adapting to a 4-4-2, the Legends looked to lift themselves and press the game only for lady luck to drop her drawers for the second time in twenty minutes. The ball pinballed between a cluster of players, only to bounce up and strike Luciano’s hand for a penalty. The striker sent the keeper the wrong way, and the Legends found themselves 2-0 down after two extremely fortunate goals. This gave life to the opposition who now began to take control of possession for the remainder of the half.

 

The interval was a short ‘let’s go big or go home’ talk, as the Legends switched to a 3-5-2. Ernest saw a header fly over the bar and Jones had a left shoot shot curl agonizingly wide of the post. Pressing the high line was always going to leave the Legends exposed, and a shot came back off the crossbar, before the Kickers striker – through on goal – was bought down by the Legends goalkeeper for the second penalty of the game. Pablo guessed right with a reflex save, keeping the Legends hope alive.

 

Despite the rolling subs and the packed midfield, the Legends just couldn’t get hold of the ball. Charlie made a number of marauding rights down the flank and Jeremy’s dribbling through the middle caused problems, but the final action fell short of troubling the Kickers goalkeeper. With time running out, the Kickers scored the first (and only) goal of the game from open play as the Legends sought the ever-evasive spark to ignite themselves. The high backline was finally broken and a cross to the far-post, was gleefully smashed home to seal the game for the Kickers.

A second own goal – this time a generous 20 yarder by the Kickers – and a sliding attempt by Sawyer cleared off the line, bought the game to a close.

Competition: Manhattan Kickers Legends, League Opposition

Location: Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

Conditions: Baking hot

Fans: Mrs Arrocha, plus junior members of the Jones and Stower clans

Result: 3:1 HT: 2-0

Goals: own goal

Yellow Cards: Toks

Red Cards: None

Ernest Award: Pablo

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Following the own goal, Pablo’s form saved the Legends on multiple occasions.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Any injury free week? Miracle of miracles.

Old Man of the Match: Andy Jones and Toks.

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: Toks 2 yellows in two games is one yellow away from a league game ban.

Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 18 (50%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. A couple of hours ruing bad luck but quickly moving onto the season ahead and the positive mood around the squad. Great beers and much to look forward to this season.

Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Mark Dean, Ernest Subah, Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Chris Impey, David Sawyer, Danny Azzo, Andrew Jones, Charles Linehan (DF), Tom Pattinson, Jeremy Phillips, Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale, Manuel, Pete Hahn (DF)

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Refurbished Legends hold on for encouraging win against Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys

Sep 09 2019 Published by under Legends

With three CPR Over 30’s teams collapsing into two, the Legends saw an influx of talent similar to last year. The knock-on effect was that previous occasional contributors were now put on the on-call list, and the roster now comprised of a higher level of regular attendees. This was a roundabout way of explaining the record tying 18 players who showed up at the sunshine drenched Bush Terminal Piers Park bright eyed and bushy tailed for the season opener. Well, all except for the predictably late Subah who has singlehandedly resuscitated will he/won’t he/what time, something that needs to be incorporated into the SportEasy app for team management. The change from the stale, jaded Legends management to the new regime was stark as Sawyer bustled about with intent, instructions and a notebook copiously filled with tactical jottings. Printed rosters were handed out, the kit was laid out neatly, the team was aware and ready to go.

”Bitter
The Legends added a few veterans from the other CPR teams, including Charlie Linehan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legends started the game off with purpose, dominating the first skirmishes and setting up camp in the Rovers half. The final third as ever was not friendly to CPR as they could not quite turn their domination into goals. Barnstonworth started to grow into the game and exhibited a more fundamental passing game, basic and safe compared to the adventurousness of CPR. However at this level, basic and safe helped negate the cruelties that Father Time had inflicted on the participants as the Rovers maintained possession with the Legends soon relegated to counterattacks amidst numerous careless turnovers. It took a fortunate goal for the Legends to wrest the momentum back, a hopeful lob from Jones coming out of the sun to elude the opposition keeper. Soon after, an excellent attack saw new managers Stower and Sawyer combine and it felt like a new dawn. However, on the cusp of seizing full control the Rovers stormed back. A left side attack resulted in the ball pinging around the CPR penalty area without being properly cleared, falling to a Rovers attacker who took full advantage. Given life back, the opposition tied the game when a superbly executed scissors kick was cleared off the line by a Belizan handball. The resulting penalty was dispatched unstoppably into the side netting and the Legends were nonplussed to find themselves tied in a game they looked to have in hand. There was a glorious opportunity to regain the lead with the last kick of the half but Belizan’s twist and shot dropped agonizingly over the bar.

The half time talk focused on better communication along with a potential shift to 4-5-1 depending upon the game situation later on. With the heat baking off the turf, the energy levels of both teams were sapped despite the mass of substitutes resulting in open spaces and opportunities for the enterprising. A counterattack on the left for CPR resulted in the lead once again being taken as Subah’s twisting and turning in the penalty area provided a somewhat harmless cross that caused enough confusion for Sawyer to nip in. Meanwhile at the other end the Legends Defenders were getting a crash course in the Adventures of Pablo, as the keeper’s sweeper keeper style resulted in some hair raising moments. Fortunately the Rovers could never quite capitalize, although they were unfortunate on one of the borderline offside decisions that went their way as a long range shot thundered off the crossbar.

As Rovers put pressure on the Legends they opened gaps at the back, but CPR couldn’t kill the game off. One notable attack saw Rosenbloom as the only player in the penalty area outside of the keeper, but the vision and then execution could never get him the ball for what would have been a tap in. Somewhat unusually in the Over 40’s and especially given the late start, the Referee did heed the beseeching of the Rovers for a couple of minutes of injury time, but it was not enough. A good win against a solid team was a great start to the season for the Legends.

”Handsome
The Legends 2019-2020. Did not have the Sharpie available to draw in the rest of Tier 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys, League Opposition

Location: Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

Conditions: Sweltering afternoon

Fans: 8, Jones’s, Stowers + friends

Result: 3:2 HT: 2-2

Goals: 1:0 Jones
2:0 Sawyer Assist Stower
3:2 Sawyer Assist Subah

Yellow Cards: Belizan

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Rosenbloom’s arrival at half time helped with the energy level, especially given his versatility and the injury suffered by Tsujita.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Tsujita suffered from a leg injury in the first half, but fortunately there were no other injuries other than Hahn’s cramping near the end of the game, which may or may not have been strategic.

Old Man of the Match: With the inaugural usage of the SportEasy app for game management, voting for OMoM is far more organized than before. In somewhat of an upset, Shobowale earned the honors for helping marshal the defence under an onslaught in the second half. The bettors would have lost money on Sawyer, whose two goals and hyper organized management were large contributing factors to the win.

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: Sawyer continues his prolific ways with 11 career goals in 11 games.  Rudy’esque, for the Metroboyz.

Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 18 (50%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. A solid wide showing from half the squad, the location of Five Boroughs Brewery around the corner and the early afternoon timing helping people stop by for a beer or two.

Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom, Ernest Subah, Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Takeshi Tsujita, David Sawyer, Danny Azzo, Andrew Jones, Charles Linehan (DF), Tom Pattinson, Jeremy Phillips, Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale, Paul Vale, Pete Hahn (DF)

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

May 21 2019 Published by under Legends

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: Nice warm morning

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 2:2 HT: 1-1

 

Goals: 1:0 Stower Assist Teesdale

2:0 Sobczak Assist Subah

 

Yellow Cards: Stower, Sobczak

 

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

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Old Man of the Bar: None.

 

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

 

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

 

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 12 (25%)

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

 

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

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Sloppy, disjointed, injured Legends lose to clinical Rovers

May 10 2019 Published by under Legends

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: A little too wet and cold for late spring

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 0:3 HT: 0-0

 

Goals: N/A

 

Yellow Cards: None

 

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

 

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

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

 

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

 

Old Man of the Bar: None.

 

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

 

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

 

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 15 (13%)

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

 

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

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

Apr 29 2019 Published by under Legends

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: Nice, cloudy and cool spring morning

 

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

 

Result: 2:1 HT: 0:1

 

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

2-1: D’Andrea (PK) Assist Sobczak

 

Yellow Cards: Edmunds

Red Cards: None

 

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

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

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

 

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

 

Old Man of the Bar:  None

 

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

 

Statistic of the week:  None

 

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 13 (15%)

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

 

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

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

Apr 17 2019 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

 

Competition: Banatul SC, League Opposition

 

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

 

Conditions: Nice spring morning

 

Fans: 0

 

Result: 5:1 HT: 1-0

 

Goals: 1-0: D’Andrea Assist Sawyer

2-0: Sawyer Assist Stower

3-0: Sawyer Assist Frazier

4-1: D’Andrea

5-1: D’Andrea Assist Sawyer

 

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

Red Cards: None

 

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

 

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 13 (38%)

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

 

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

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