Archive for the 'Legends' category

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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Into the Valley of Death rode the 11 Legends…to Victory!

Oct 31 2016 Published by under Legends

A big part of the run of insipid results for the Legends was the difficulty in rousing a full squad.  The optimum game day number had been determined to be 15, but they had managed that number only once in five games including this one.  Against a seemingly resurgent Banatul it was only a few last minute entreaties that established the bare minimum 11 with Mazzi altering his plans to come to the rescue.  Meanwhile the opposition showed up with a full 16 and ready to play across the vast plains of Field #75, a field that could not be less conducive to trying to preserve energy for 90 minutes.

The team started with a 4-4-1 while waiting for Mazzi to arrive, but fairly quickly discovered that Banatul’s record flattered to deceive as most of their cast of characters remained the same.  One of the only teams in the league that made the Legends look positively youthful, they inexplicably chose to play a high line.  The referee blew the whistle a few times but given the (relative) speed of Accordino and Teesdale on the outside this seemed a full hardy strategy.  Meanwhile just when the Legends looked set with 11, Pattinson pulled his groin and had to move from his string pulling defensive midfielder position to forward, gamely wandering around as much as he could.  There was good news too for the Legends though as Teesdale’s superb strike off the underside of the crossbar from a corner gave the Legends a priceless lead.

At half time it was clear the Legends had a real shot at winning, especially since a couple of years previously they had done just that with only 11 players.  It was not going to be a cake walk on the large field however as Banatul were showing good attacking prowess with through balls.  To counter this the Legends were urged to fall back deeper, leaving less space for the through balls and increasing the congesting within the middle of the pitch.  Banatul started launching long balls from the back which CPR were quite comfortable in clearing.  Although the opposition were getting their fair share of chances there were plenty of chances opening up for CPR as well on the counter attack.  Unfortunately it looked like the rearguard would be all for naught as Teesdale looked to go from hero to villain with contact in the box to a Banatul defender who gleefully went down like he’d been shot.  Although it looked like a very soft penalty, in this league it was too close for comfort.  The first crumb of encouragement for the Legends was the distinct reluctance of any Banatul player to step up to take the penalty.  When one finally did, his weak effort was smothered by Vamvouris and the follow up panicked way over the bar.

The air distinctly ebbed out of Banatul while the Legends were given a new lease of life.  The Banatul goalie had to rush out to narrowly beat Teesdale to a one on one and Accordino missed a sitter, but finally the Legends got what they deserved.  Another breakaway saw D’Andrea in acres of space with only a single defender to beat.  Cutting back and forth while ambling closer to the goal he finally got within shooting range and tucked the ball away as befits the Legends all-time scorer.  This turned out to mercifully be the last kick of the game.

”Languid
D’Andrea took all the time he wanted, twisting and turning the hapless defender before slotting the ball away

 

 

 

 

With all signs pointing to a grim outcome the Legends somehow managed a victory to take them into second place and a playoff position with a game in hand.  One hopes they can keep the momentum up for the next few games left in the Autumn season.

Competition: Banatul, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Gorgeous Sunday morning, almost too warm

Fans: None.

Result: 2-0, HT: 1-0

Goals: 1-0: Teesdale

2-0: D’Andrea Assist Mazzi

Yellow Cards: An irate Steve Roberts after yet another dirty play by a Banatul player

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Mazzi with a welcome last minute appearance

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Tom Pattinson disobeyed strict orders not to pull anything with a groin pull, but manfully wandered around the pitch and even took a few corners

Old Man of the Match:  Strong arguments to be had, but Teesdale narrowly edged out Telly with not just the goal but a bustling performance all over the pitch.  In addition to Telly’s penalty save, Accordino gets an honorary mention and would have had a stronger case for OMoM if he hadn’t missed an open goal in the second half.

Old Man of the Bar: Resnik put in a valiant performance on the field and at the bar after getting home at 3am the night before.

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

Statistic of the week: Finally the first defensive shutout, one that was thoroughly earned all across the field.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 11 (55%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. More than half the team made it to the bar and hung around for a fair bit with CPR Orange. 

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Drew Faherty (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Oliver Roberts (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Tom Pattinson, Tom Accordino, Willian D’Andrea

 

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Mistakes and blunt edge render another Legends loss to club rivals Barnstonworth

Oct 26 2016 Published by under Legends

A troubling aspect of the current season is the difficulty in rallying enough squad members for games each week.  This week in particular after much cajoling and persuasion a scant 13 were finally rounded up, including Accordino who had to leave early in the second half.  Meanwhile the opposition only had 11, but certainly seemed in better shape and able to handle the full 90.  Unfamiliarity with positions showed early on with a lack of coordination and team work especially while putting pressure on the opponents.  CPR certainly seemed sluggish compared to their opponents and most of the game was played in the center until an unfortunate mistake at the back led to a simple finish for Barnstonworth.

Despite only playing with 11 Barnstonworth were able to continue putting more pressure on the Legends, who were having trouble maintaining possession in the middle and up front.  Players wandering out of position and not holding the ball up increased the frustration level.  Finally CPR were able to take advantage of the field player playing in goal as Rosenbloom carried the ball 30 yards before calmly slotting the ball into the side netting from outside the box.

At the half CPR still held out hope that an extra substitute would help them but the superior fitness and speed of the opponents negated the advantage.  Although the game looked like a potential stalemate it was another defensive blunder from the Legends that gifted a goal to Barnstonworth.  A hopeful chip in to the area seemed to pose no danger but was inexplicably allowed to bounce at the 3 yard line, the opposition right back nipping in gleefully to score as the several defenders and goalie glaring balefully at each other.  With a distinct lack of speed up front CPR tried to throw more players further up in a numbers game but could not generate any decent chances.  In the end Barnstonworth were the ones who took advantage, a keystone kops comedic sketch in the box finally culminating in a Barnstonworth clincher with the last kick of the game.

It is hard to become too dispirited with the Legends play given the constraints they are playing under.   They won’t get any younger or fitter (or on occasion less hungover).  At this point, they are what they are.

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Another lovely Sunday morning.

Fans: Steve Roberts the younger.

Result: 1-3, HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-0: Rosenbloom

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None despite the paucity of subs

Old Man of the Match:  None, after that dispiriting loss.

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: Goals either come in bunches or barely at all.  More alarming is the collapse of the usually solid defence.  Not only have there been no shutouts, but no defensive assists either and not less than a goal conceded per game.  Both aspects of the game have to be improved to avoid a lost year.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 15 (40%)

Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Almost 50% with decent longevity counts as above average nowadays, especially coupled with the Grays hanging out. 

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Drew Faherty, Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Oliver Roberts (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Bill Rigby (DF), Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Bevan Rosenbloom, Tom Pattinson, Tom Accordino, John Hodges

 

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Typical Cup loss has Legends beaten by younger, faster, thinner, stronger opponents Polonez

Oct 18 2016 Published by under Legends

Cup games for the Legends typically have all the allure of a walk to the Gallows.  The Marth state cup usually draws the Legends against Over 30’s teams who tend to have a significant competitive advantage.  This has led to an overall cup record of 0-8, a record unlikely to be challenged against a Polonez team from Long Island.  As has been surprisingly prevalent this Autumn, the Legends had to scratch and claw to gather a full squad, but that wasn’t apparent given the energetic start they made to the game.  The Legends went toe to toe with Polonez and indeed had the best chance of the early exchanges, a searching cross from Solinas producing a header from Sobczak that bounced off the top of the crossbar.  After the initial skirmishes Polonez started to tighten the screws with a succession of corners but the Legends were able to scramble the balls out.  Eventually the pressure struck as the opponents were finally able to convert their pressure into a goal.

 

At half time it looked like it would be an uphill battle, but seeing as it was a cup game the Legends were prepared to throw the kitchen sink at Polonez if it came to that.  Sadly, it didn’t.  The age difference really started to tell, along with the difference is size, skill and stamina.  Hodges was bullied off the ball to convert a second goal.  Pressure on the defence resulted in an unfortunate own goal by Accordino.  Bullish strength held off Belizan and a clinical finish produced yet another goal.  Meanwhile the Legends tried valiantly but could not produce any rewards for their efforts.  Once Pattinson went off with a head injury the quality of their set pieces drastically lowered, with balls barely beating the first defender.  Venkataraman thrashed a ball narrowly wide, the same fate that met a shot from D’andrea.  Sobczak hit a ball with venom but straight at the keeper.  It was to be one of those days.

The 6-0 loss was nothing to be ashamed of against that team, and the silver lining was that the Legends played perhaps some of their best football this season.  If they are able to keep up the tempo against teams more their age then they should have a chance to edge up in the league.

”The
The Legends can’t wait to start playing teams their own age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition: Polonez, State Cup LI Team

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

Conditions: Gorgeous

Fans: None

Result: 0-6, HT: 0-1

Goals:

”No

 

 

 

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Telly hurt his leg resulting in kicks needing to be taken by Defenders.  Pattinson suffered a head injury but thanks to the generous Over 37 concussion protocols (walk it off) was able to get back on to the field in the second half.

Old Man of the Match:  With a tense atmosphere after having lost the game and their cool, there was no discussion of OMoM.

Old Man of the Bar: Venkataraman put in a solid shift as one of the Tier 1s, making it to a secondary bar with CPR Orange.

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

Statistic of the week: Although due to two games with extenuating circumstances, the alarming goals conceded by the Legends looks well on the way to breaking a record.  The 21 conceded in 5 games already matches the entire 2013-2014 season and is only one less than the 2012-2013 season.  After a 27 game streak of scoring, the Legends have now been shut out in 2 of their last 3 games.  The ship needs to be righted ASAP.

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 14 (14%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Only two made it out but there was decent longevity with Mad River proving to be a good host.  Welcome representatives of 3 other teams also helped.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Drew Faherty (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Tom Accordino (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), John Hodges, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Willian D’Andrea, Sebastian Sobczak, Willian d’Andrea, Jose Castilla

 

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Quintessential Old Man football game has Legends hanging on for 5-4 victory over SC Eintracht

Oct 03 2016 Published by under Legends

After last week’s shellacking the Legends were happy to welcome back some of their regulars, but still needed to recruit a couple of Old Boyz in Edmunds and Hollins to fully flesh out the team.  New boy Jose Castilla also made his debut and was a welcome fit at the defensive midfield position given the sparse midfield options available.  Facing a traditionally strong technical opponent in Eintracht the Legends started quite well, taking advantage of their first time on Field #84 that felt very similar to their familiar home of #74.  A few shots from distance were taken but the capable Eintracht keeper appeared up to the task of above average competency in goal.  The breakthrough came with a searching cross from Sobczak finding Venkataraman’s run to convert a left footed volley.  Soon after Casanova had a golden opportunity to stretch the lead but committed a classic ‘Casanova’ with only the keeper to beat.  Fortunately he did better on his next opportunity, and when D’Andrea converted Mckeown’s corner it looked like the Legends might actually be able to exhale for the first time this season.

Of course this is the Legends so nothing is easy.  Although not quite congratulating themselves they certainly let their guard down as soon after a shot from outside the box made it down the middle of the goal, as Vamvouris must have lost it in the (Sun? Moon? Stars?).  A second goal followed in quick succession as a corner bounced around the area before being put away from point blank range.  Now it was the Legends back on their heels and willing the half time whistle.

3-2 certainly didn’t feel good after blowing a 3-0 lead.  Focus was once again put on communication and intensity along with the bane of the Legends, making the simple pass.  CPR knew they would need a cushion and received one, a nicely set up one two between Hahn and Venkataraman seeing Hahn brought down.  There was minimal discussion as D’Andrea stepped up and buried the penalty.  Not to be outdone, Eintracht soon had a penalty of their own to reduce the deficit back to a single goal, a sweetly hit penalty into the side netting. The strength of Eintracht was in attack, close control and dribbling ability by several of their players not matched on this day with shooting ability.  Several shots went narrowly wide and one golden opportunity from an excellent save was clattered into the post when it seemed easier to score.  Lack of composure from Eintracht in front of goal cost them dearly.  With only a couple of minutes left CPR took advantage of Eintracht pushing up to get what appeared to be the clincher, a pass set up by D’Andrea for Sobczak to get on the scoreboard.  However there was still time for Eintracht to score from a nicely taken rebound from the wall to score another long distance shot.  Mercifully for CPR the Referee blew the whistle on kickoff and the Legends hung on for their second victory this season.

With the game against Cozmos postponed the Legends have two weeks to regroup and try and match their offence and defence together to become a consistent team.  With the overall standard of the Over 37’s having gone up appreciably average performances are not going to see them through to where they want to be, in the playoffs.

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island Field #84, Randall’s Island

Conditions: First Sunday that felt like Autumn.  Brisk.

Fans: Several including the Vamvouri and Marie Claire Casanova along with the prodigal Pete Lavelle.

Result: 5-4, HT: 3-2

Goals: 1-0: Venkataraman Assist Sobczak

2-0: Casanova Assist Sobczak

3-0: D’Andrea Assist Mckeown

4-2: D’Andrea (Pen) Assist Hahn

5-3: Sobczak Assist D’Andrea

Yellow Cards: Belizan with one of the few kicks out of place catching his opponent square.

Red Cards: None

Mike D’s aka No Shows: None

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Steve Roberts helped bolster the defence.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None, although the other team had a few head injuries

Old Man of the Match:  Discussed at the bar but nobody chosen with the scant Tier 1 participation.  Honorary mentions for D’Andrea, Belizan and Hahn.

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: D’Andrea lengthened his Legends all time goal scoring record over Venkataraman and also took sole possession of the all time assists record from Steve Pritchard.

Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 15 (20%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Tier One made it out but only a 2 beer afternoon after the previous night’s Tier 1/2 birthdays.

Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Drew Faherty (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman, Willian D’Andrea, Sebastian Sobczak, Manuel Casanova, Bevan Rosenbloom, Willian d’Andrea, Jose Castilla, Dan Hollins

 

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