Archive for the 'Legends' category

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

Nov 21 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Manhattan Kickers, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Very windy Fall afternoon

Fans: 0

Result: 1:2 HT: 1-1

Goals: 1-1: Bradley

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

Red Cards: None

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

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

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

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

Statistic of the week:  Bradley with his debut goal and Miller with his first OMoM.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 17 (24%)

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

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

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Legends easily overcome Banatul and Referee 5-0

Nov 06 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

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

Competition: Banatul, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Pleasant Fall morning

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

Result: 5:0 HT: 2-0

Goals: 1-0: Pattinson Assist Hahn

2-0: D’Andrea

3-0: D’Andrea

4-0: D’Andrea Assist Bradley

5-0: Harrison

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

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

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Fortunately none.

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

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 15 (13%)

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

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

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

Oct 31 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Doxa Legends, League Opposition

Location: Herbert Lehman HS, Bronx

Conditions: Rain sheeting down in a rare southern storm

Fans: None

Result: 2:2 HT: 0-1

Goals: 1-2: Mckeown Assist Frazier

2-2: D’Andrea Assist Rosenbloom

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 15 (40%)

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

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

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

Oct 24 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Warm morning

Fans: None

Result: 2:0 HT: 0-0

Goals: 1-0: D’Andrea (pen)

2-0: Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 16 (44%)

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

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

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

Oct 16 2017 Published by under Legends

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Competition: Mega Alexandros, Over 30’s League Opposition

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

Conditions: Warm morning

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

Result: 0-2 HT: 2-6

Goals: 1-2: Mckeown Assist Frazier

2-5: Frazier Assist Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Man of the Bar: None

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

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

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 9 (44%)

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

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

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Extremely shorthanded Legends pay the penalty against League Champion Cozmos

Oct 13 2017 Published by under Legends

As opposed to the sunny Caribbean (b*stards!), it was heavy rain that greeted the 9 Legends arriving at the lesser seen Pitch 50 on Randalls Island. The last of us arrived late owing to Roberts’ starring role in goal for the Oranges (stay on your line Steve!), and enthusiastically lined up in our 4-3-1 formation.

Cosmoz scored on pretty much their first attack, and managed to notch 2 more goals in a difficult 20 minute spell. Pattinson looked particularly confused in his unaccustomed CB role, and the genuinely talented Cosmoz wingers were thriving whilst most around them struggled to keep their footing on a very tricky playing surface

But for the next 50 mins either side of half time, we matched the league leaders. Much of this was due to three courageous Orange players coming in following their earlier game, and we created some good chances. Willian, Simon and Santiago began to grow into the game, and Manuel caused their defense some real problems.

As our chances came and went, and several of our number began to succumb to knocks and niggles, we got punished on the break, quite severely. Cosmoz smelt blood and only the reactions and bravery of Mitch in goal prevented a bigger score. Quite bizarrely the referee seemed to enjoy himself in our misery, doing us no favors on many tight offside calls, culminating in Roberts telling him what we all thought of him, getting himself a yellow card for his troubles.

The final score of 0-8 doesn’t quite tell the tale of the fantastic effort all Legends put in to a very difficult game. Next time lads, we’ll get them next time…

Conditions: Mild, puddles and pot holes in the centre after a downpour

Fans: Manuel’s daughter (I think?)

Result:  HT: 0-3, FT: 0-8

Goals: Lots unfortunately

Yellow Cards: S. Roberts, after giving the referee some very frank, accurate and well deserved feedback after another offside call went against us

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: All 9 Legends showed, and very special appreciation for the 3 Orange guys show showed for the second half (James, James, Jonah)

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: N/A

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Roberts ran off what looked like a nasty twist, Pattinson didn’t do as well with a groin strain.

Old Man of the Match: All players come away with great credit for battling in the circumstances. Special mention to Manuel, Eduardo, Santiago and 90 mins of pure graft from Rigby, but MOM must go to Mitch for several great saves and excellent distribution.

Old Man of the Bar: N/A

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): N/A

Statistic of the week: Biggest loss in Legends history, predictable if unfair given 9 players against a team that has dropped 4 points in 2+ years

Team Bar Showing: 0 out of 12 (0%)

Team Bar Night: 0 out of 5

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Bill Rigby (DF), Tom Pattinson (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Simon McKeown, Willian D’Andrea, Hermilio “Santiago” Morales, Manuel Casanova. Later joined by James Carrico, Jonah Smith (MF) and James Brown (F)

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Improved play does correspond to improved luck as Legends narrowly edged by Manhattan Celtic

Oct 03 2017 Published by under Legends

Missing their starting center back pairing on the huge Pier 40 pitch did not auger well for the Legends.  Most games played against Manhattan Celtic on their home field ended poorly given CPR’s overall lack of athleticism and youth.  Things looked even grimmer given last week’s incompetence and the apparent Mike D/No Shows of Steve Roberts and Santiago Morales.  Fortunately Mckeown’s unexpected appearance helped bolster attacking options along with Frazier.  The biggest emphasis was on staying extremely compact on the field, both narrow and shorter to force Celtic to beat multiple players instead of play in space.  Initially the plan worked well as the Legends were also able to find their speedy players in Frazier and Conboy in space.  Encouraging attacking play agonizingly did not end with the lead as the last decision inevitably ended up with the lowest percentage goal chance.  Meanwhile Celtic were keeping possession but without any dangerous chances.  Finally they were able to break the deadlock on a counterattack, their clever midfielder beating players in space before calmly stroking the ball into the back of the net.  Not much could be done by the defenders as they were exposed in space, everything the Legends had been trying to avoid but in this case with the bulk of the possession they were caught flat footed.

Celtic started to get more of a foothold in the game as the Legends initial flurry dissipated.  Although pleased to have executed their game plan it was unfortunate that they were still behind at the break.  The emphasis was to continue doing what they were doing and hope to nick a goal via Frazier or Conboy in space or a set piece.  Celtic had the bulk of the play in the second with some stellar rearguard action preventing them from scoring, but the Legends had their moments too.  Frazier went on a stellar run but his outside of the boot shot clipped the outside of the post agonizingly close to either scoring or being tapped in from the onrushing Venkataraman.  D’Andrea was wacked right around the penalty area with play inexplicably waved on.  In the end, Celtic’s narrow edge stood up as they were unable to pierce the Legends defence again and CPR were unable to convert their chances.  All in all, a significantly better performance by the Legends but unfortunately not rewarded.

Competition: Manhattan Celtic, League Opposition

Location: Pier 40 East, Manhattan

Conditions: Mild evening

Fans: 1 (Belizan)

Result: 0-1 HT: 0-1

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Frazier keeps his 100% record with an inevitable booking.  It’s remarkable that none of these have resulted in a sending off, the lack of contrition after each physical tackle not endearing him to the opposition either.

Red Cards: Mckeown with easily the most foolish sending off in Legends history.  Not even really a sending off considering the game was already over.  Vociferously complaining about being shorted time with an authoritarian referee after the game was never going to change anything, even worse when that argument was factually incorrect as both teams were timing the game.

Mike D’s aka No Shows: Santiago Morales and Steve Roberts.  At least Roberts hurt himself on the day, but Santiago was a no comment no show, not a good start to a Legends career.

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Mckeown, a welcome sight given the two Mike D’s, at least until the end of the game.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Clearly Steve Roberts who hurt his back gardening, or more probably jumping up an down in agony watching meek Everton lose to Burnley at home.

Old Man of the Match: A lot of exceptional performances on the huge wasteland of a pitch.  Honorary mentions to Frazier for the productive part of his attacking game, Conboy for tireless running and Edmunds for a commanding presence at center back.  However Rosenbloom wins his first OMoM for an excellent performance at center back while also clearing multiple goal bound opportunities away.

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:  Venkataraman maintains sole possession of all time games at 80.  First sending off since Belizan’s grossly unfair sending off against Shamrock 2 seasons ago.

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 14 (36%)

Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Not bad considering the game started late at 9:30pm. 5 players, 5 pitchers and 2 birthdays for Resnik and Frazier.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Mark Edmunds (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Charles Bradley, Franco Denari, Willian D’Andrea, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Mike Conboy, Simon

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Legends manage to win first game of season against SC Eintracht

Sep 25 2017 Published by under Legends

After a draw and a loss in a highly competitive division CPR would be playing bottom team SC Eintracht.  Traditionally a strong team, the Legends had engaged them in a memorable 5-4 shootout the previous season.  As with any game in the Over 38 division, the Legends were wary of reading too much into Eintracht’s previous results given their historical pedigree and the fact that a couple of missing key players or substitutes can make a big difference.  On a scorching afternoon, the Legends were happy to have 4 substitutes to help out, and started the game at a good tempo.  The opposition appeared to be suffering more from the heat, and the Legends were permanently encamped in the opposition’s final third.  However they were unable to convert deep possession into goals with notable misses from Mckeown and Casanova along with the woodwork being rattled twice conspiring to keep the game goalless.  Eventually a corner broke the deadlock, with Pattinson’s inswinger and Oli Roberts’s hard run resulting in an own goal.

With a drinks break during each half the Legends had the chance to get some tactical reinforcement, although it didn’t appear much was sinking in.  The request to make the simple pass in an increasingly open game was often ignored for low percentage Hollywood balls with predictable results. Playing according to the score line also didn’t seem to sink in as all the midfielders flooded forward but couldn’t make it back.  But for yeoman work by the Legends back line the lead would have been forfeited.  Indeed, one such counterattack produced a moment of controversy when a header off the post “may” have crossed the goal line but with the referee unsighted by goalie Carducci he had to waive off the claims, much to the fury of Eintracht who had an excellent view from their sideline.  The goal would have been pivotal in regaining momentum from the Legends after D’Andrea’s superb free kick had stretched the lead.

In the end, the Legends won despite themselves with a 7 on 4 counterattack and hard shot by Carlsen providing the final margin.  Not scoring more despite so many counterattacks with numerical advantage was certainly a point of exasperation for management, as was abdication of defensive responsibilities by many.  If the Legends are going to do better this season than last, they will have to learn to understand basic positioning, strategy and how to handle game situations.

Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition

Location: Randall’s Island #71, Randall’s Island

Conditions: Sweltering noon kickoff

Fans: 10+ (Harper Conboy, the Casanovas, Accordinos, Jones)

Result: 3-0 HT: 1-0

Goals:

1-0: OG Assist Pattinson

2-0: D’Andrea Assist Conboy

3-0: Carlsen Assist Pattinson

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: A few minor injuries in the game but nothing major.

Old Man of the Match: The group of 6 got too distracted watching some absorbing NFL games to discuss OMoM.  Will try to remedy next week.

Old Man of the Bar: For a fairly old school showing by the new metrics (5 hours instead of 10), Faherty and Venkataraman.

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

Statistic of the week:  Venkataraman takes temporary sole possession of all time games at 79.  Finally some defensive shutout points to add.

Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 15 (40%)

Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. A decent sized group by modern standards and good longevity.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mike Carducci (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Oli Roberts (DF),  Jan Carlsen (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Hermilo “Santiago” Morales, Charles Bradley, Mike Conboy, Willian D’Andrea, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova, Drew Faherty

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Legends lose to America FC as march through Division of Death continues

Sep 18 2017 Published by under Legends

After a tough fightback and draw against the Shamrock Legends, CPR were to take on an unknown quantity, America FC.  The new team were supposedly built from the embers of Hoboken, but this was mere hopeful speculation given their home field at Phil Rizzuto park.  Before kickoff it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the typical walk in the park of playing a Hoboken team.  Soon America FC showed they could play a little football as well, pleasing combinations all over the park stretching the Legends.  On a hot day with multiple substitutes CPR still looked lethargic while America were passing and moving constantly.  Their first goal was a little fortunate, a cross hitting Oli Roberts arm from point blank range for a called penalty that was calmly dispatched.  Overall though America were significantly the better team as the Legends lack of composure on the ball was matched by their lack of basic understanding of the positions they were supposed to be playing.  The midfield was a vast wasteland populated only by America midfielders while the Legends strikers inexplicably tried to see how far from each other and the center of the field they could possibly get.  It was only a stellar performance by the Legends back line and Belizan in particular that helped stem the tide at a mere goal at half time.

Plodding to the fence under the blessed shade, the Legends were given an earful about playing simple basic football.  It appeared everyone had an opinion, interestingly but not surprisingly including some of the culprits.  However the talk had managed to be absorbed as the second half started noticeably better.  The shape of the team was tighter, and when it drifted the players were vocally reminded of their responsibilities.  Despite the improvement yet another weak goal was conceded.  As players were chirping amongst themselves America cannily took a quick corner and whipped over a ball to a wide open player inside the 6 yard box who gleefully converted.

With the heat beating down and down 2 goals, the Legends didn’t wilt as well they could have. With strong attacking talent to match their usually reliable defence, CPR were able to cause America problems at the back.  A nice run by Frazier resulted in an open header from Subah to pull one back, however America were able to extend their lead back to 3-1 when a misplaced pass allowed a goal off the crossbar.  Some unfortunate bounces and some quality saves from America’s exemplary keeper kept the Legends at bay for the most part, until that rarity of rarities an indirect free kick within the penalty area was called.  As the America players cynically complained and their wall meandered, the Legends speculated on what their best approach of attack would be.  The best approach consisted of a touch to D’Andrea who casually drifted an inch perfect lob over the wall and into the back of the net, the best Legends goal since Teesdale bought a ticket to the lottery with a first time volley from outside the box last season.

Alas unlike last week the Legends were unable to pull a further goal back and succumbed, although with more pride than it looked given the dismal first half.  With new players bedding in, hopefully the lessons learned can be implemented against a typically strong team on the grass field of #71 at Randall’s Island next week.

Competition: America FC 1927, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Very warm noon kickoff

Fans: 10+ (Several Old Boyz + WAGS)

Result: 2-3 HT: 0-1

Goals:

1-2: Subah Assist Frazier

2-3: D’Andrea Assist Frazier

Yellow Cards: Hahn, Frazier

Red Cards: N/A

Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A

Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Santiago Morales, who as a new guy needs to understand the importance of notifying us of his appearance before simply showing up at game time.

”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: A decent sized squad helped avoid any injuries.

Old Man of the Match: A little controversial as D’Andrea’s moment of brilliance appeared to swing the small sample size of voters, although he did play well.  Belizan had an exceptional performance at the back but lost out due to the somewhat reasonable premise that giving up 3 goals eliminates a defender as OMoM, despite the fact that one was a penalty and one was slack marking from a corner.

Old Man of the Bar: None.

El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, although Stower was close to counting.

Statistic of the week:  D’Andrea takes back sole lead of all time goals at 20 from Mckeown.  Frazier is starting to rack up the assists along with the bookings with 2.

Team Bar Showing: 5 out of 16 (31%)

Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5. A third of the team came and stayed for the first NFL game .

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Oli Roberts (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), John Hodges, Hermilo “Santiago” Morales, Charles Bradley, Willian D’Andrea, Steve Teesdale, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Ernest Subah, Manuel Casanova

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Resilient Legends come back twice to thwart Shamrocks 2-2

Sep 12 2017 Published by under Legends

After the fiasco of last spring where the Legends ended the season forfeiting not once but twice, a lot of care was taken into recruiting new players from inside and outside the club.  Although like any transfer window the team wasn’t able to hit its goals, the Legends certainly appeared to have been successful overall.  The parent friendly 8pm kickoff and first game of the season may have helped, but having 17 players available was encouraging nonetheless.  With the Shamrock Legends having taken advantage of undermanned Legends in the past, it was good to be able to play them with a virtually full strength squad.

After a slight delay for an unnecessarily fussy referee the season kicked off.  The Shamrocks were who the Legends thought they were, physical with some talented individuals and speed on the wings.  The first few minutes were fairly even but a midfield mistake led to a Shamrock counter that was expertly converted.  CPR were able to settle down after that and made some attacking forays of their own.  Conboy was able to beat his man several times on the left with the crosses being received unimpeded on the right.  Unfortunately a lack of composure saw first time shots attempted despite plenty of room, with balls either sailing over the cross bar or sideways.  However possession in the last third was encouraging.

The four new additions comported themselves admirably, with Miller’s athleticism and distribution immediately noticeable.  Edmunds at center back added some more speed and composure to perfectly complement Belizan, and Morales passing range was also evident.  Frazier certainly made his mark with the opposition.  It’s hard to remember the last time the Legends had someone who could get under an opponent’s skin as much as Frazier, with all due respect to Steve Roberts calculated verbal darts.  Along with his mouth and physicality, Frazier was also able to bring in a goal threat to match Mckeown.  Although not featured on the score sheet he was able to draw attention from the opposition for a variety of reasons, opening up space for the rest.  The hope is that he is able to channel that aggression positively including staying on the field.

”Stay
Frazier won’t make any friends with opposition defenders this season. As long as he’s wily about it instead of being obvious, the distracting edge should help the Legends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down 1-0 at the half the Legends continued to press and were able to get their just rewards.  The ball pinged around the area and while some Shamrocks confusedly stopped play while misunderstanding the offside rule Conboy corralled the ball from the defender’s deflection.  His cross clipped a defender’s arm for a clear penalty.  Despite having a notable failure against Cozmos on his rap sheet Mckeown requested the responsibility and this time converted into the side netting.  Shamrocks converted their irritation into a superbly taken goal, the danger man #11 pounding an unstoppable shot from distance to regain the lead.  The Legends started pressing and players other than Frazier started matching the physicality of the Shamrocks to their displeasure.  For the most part the referee had a handle on the game which never boiled over, but it certainly became fiercely contested.  In the dying embers, D’Andrea’s dancing feet attracted some late tackles resulting in a free kick at the top of the box.  Once again Mckeown stepped up and this time converted with a superbly taken free kick.  Although Shamrocks tried there were only seconds remaining, and so the Legends were able to secure a draw.

Although the Shamrocks certainly didn’t feel so, on reflection a draw was a fair result.  CPR needs to work on their finishing and converting possession in the final third into high xG chances, but that should come as the front 6 become familiar with each other.  All in all, an encouraging start to what promises to be a competitive season in the division of death.

Competition: Shamrocks SC Legends, League Opposition

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

Conditions: Lovely pleasant late summer evening

Fans: 1 (Tom, Tim’s friend)

Result: 2-2 HT: 0-1

Goals:

1-1: Mckeown (pen) Assist Conboy

2-2: Mckeown Assist D’Andrea

Yellow Cards: Hahn, Frazier, Morales

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: Thankfully none for the first game of the season, the number of players helping.

Old Man of the Match: There was some discussion at the bar but it was brief, with Mckeown getting the nod for both goals despite one being a penalty.  The free kick obviously made all the difference and being active in the box helped with winning the penalty, despite some of the opposition being confused regarding the rules.  All the new boys made strong debuts and Hahn gained an official honorable mention for both attacking and physical defensive play.

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: With two goals Mckeown broke the tie with Venkataraman for second place all time goals leader and is now tied with D’Andrea for the lead at 20, though with a far superior conversion rate (20 in 29 vs 20 in 67).  Venkataraman ties Resnik at 77 for all time caps in a battle that is sure to continue for a few years while D’Andrea pushed his all time assists lead further with 16.

Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 17 (24%)

Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Given the increasing age of the squad, the scale will have to be adjusted.  The fact 4 people came for a few beers after an 8pm game is a reasonable display.

Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Franco Denari (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Drew Faherty (DNP), Tom Pattinson, John Hodges, Hermilo “Santiago” Morales, Bevan Rosenbloom, Mike Conboy, Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier

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