The New York Greek Americans pose for a team photo before their match against Zum Schneider FC 03 on Sunday night (Credit: New York Greek Americans)
With Eastern New York State Soccer Association (ENYSSA) tournaments this weekend, the top tier of the CSL was busy with league action before prelims and Round 1! Teams that had last week off due to the U.S. Open Cup returned to action with mixed results. Both new teams and the defending champions struggled this weekend while Doxa and Zum Schneider picked up big points.
Here's the full recap:
Saturday, September 28
New York Shamrock SC vs KidSuper Samba AC (4-2)
Between two teams seemingly heading in opposite directions, the New York Shamrocks SC were able to pick up a win over KidSuper Samba AC, 4-2. The Rocks first win of the season snapped Samba’s three-game undefeated streak to start the 2019-20 season.
For Samba, it’s strategy of scoring early in games was hampered by the Rocks. The team that finished last season in the top four of Division 1 is known as an all-around threat, and when the home side wasn’t pressing against KSS the backline kept it in check. Both teams had multiple chances, but Shamrocks got on the board first in the 20th minute when Darren Coleman scored, assisted by John McAleenan. Samba was able to respond before halftime when Dylan Cope, assisted Chris Peralta, leveled the score, but the team’s defense was still being pressured.
The second half was all Rocks with three seperate players finding the back of the net. Coleman found McAleenan to take the lead in the 55th minute, returning the favor from the first half, and the team didn’t look back. Mouni Kabore and Andreas Martinez scord five minutes apart from one-another (65th, 70th), assisted by Raphael Carvalho and Coleman once again.
A late response by Samba’s Karamba Janneh when Serigne Kasse found him open in the Rocks' box was not enough as the game finished with Samba’s first loss in Division 1.
Samba will return to the CSL pitch next Sunday, October 13, when it takes on Cedar Stars Academy at Ramapo College. The Rocks meanwhile will have two games following the break for tournament play, taking on both Cedar Star on Wednesday, Oct. 9 and New York Greek Americans on Sunday, Oct. 13.
Lansdowne Yonkers FC vs. NY Athletic Club (2-0)
Lansdowne Yonkers FC returned to CSL action with a win over New York Athletic Club, 2-0. The team that recently advanced in U.S. Open Cup Qualifying continued its league form with a high action performance.
Both teams played a defensive heavy style, denying chances to the opposition while trying to catch counter-attacks and fast breaks. While Athletic Club had a height advantage and tried to use that during set pieces, Lansowne focused on making tactical advances and passing around defenses.
Lansdowne broke through in the second half when Cirean McGuigan struke the ball from 30 yards out and hit the back netting in the 60th minute. With his team ahead, Coach Sean Kelly began shifting and subbing players and soon the offense was in complete control. Shaquille Saunchez and Kwesi Mills-Odoi came on as subs, and in the 80th minute the former was taken down in the box for a penalty. Konstantin Moellering converted the chance and sent the Bhoys home with three points.
Lansdowne returns to action on short rest to take on the New York Pancyprian Freedoms this Wednesday in a makeup game from last week before returning to action against Doxa FC on Sunday, Oct. 13. NYAC will take on the Freedoms in its next match on the 13th.
Sunday, September 29
Cedar Stars Academy vs. Sporting SC (3-1)
Cedar Star Academy hosted Sporting SC on Sunday afternoon in the two teams first meeting ever in Division 1. While the defending Division 1 finalists came away with the win, 3-1, the back and forth match pushed both teams with multiple chances on goal.
The Stars goals came from the usual suspects. Chris Katona assisted Jean Voltaire in the 45th minute just before halftime to get their team on the board. Tavoy Morgan and Ovan Oakley each scored in the second half with Katona picking up one more assist.
Sporting’s Saul Corado-Ramirez scored his team’s lone goal off an assist from Travis Cantrell. CSA for its part had attacking spurts throughout the contest, using a mix of fresh legs and tactics to find new ways to attack Sporting while also keeping it back from taking any more shots at goal. The game could have very easily ended 2-2, but well taken shots and a game saving performance in net kept the win for Cedar Star.
Sporting hosts Zum Schneider FC 03 next on Oct. 13 while Cedar Star takes on New York Shamrock SC on Wednesday, Oct. 9 before hosting KidSuper Samba AC on short rest the following Sunday.
Zum Schneider FC 03 vs. NY Greek Americans (4-1)
After four weeks and in just as many games, Zum Schneider FC 03 took the top spot in Division 1 after a 4-1 win over New York Greek Americans on Sunday night. A few teams need to make up games and Zum’s bye week is coming up, but after starting last season 0-4 the starting results have been a welcome change.
“Obviously we are elated,” Zum head coach Alexander Berscheid said after the game. “This was a good win against a strong team. We respect the Greek American organization and their style of football but poised by recent success we felt that we were equal unlike in other seasons past.”
In the early going, the Greeks took control and made ZSFC pay for it. Team captain Shaun Foster headed in a cross from close range in the fourth minute to give his team the lead. This wasn’t new for Zum as they’ve been scored on early in three out of its first four games this season.
The response came in the 40th minute when Tomas Gomes responded with a volley over the keeper from the left side. This was the second game in a row where the club regular made a fantastic goal, with last week’s against New York Athletic Club described as a “Wunder-strike” by Berscheid.
Not long after, Lukas Hauer headed in a ball towards the Greeks goal. The goalkeeper seemingly cleared the ball, but the linesman had already signaled for goal and Julian Poppensieker was there to confirm it with a secondary kick into the net. Both officials confirmed and the goal stood for Hauer.
A back and forth from both sides, Greek’s youth showed as it struggled towards the end of the game to hold back Zum. Team officials noted that the coming weeks will important so practices can finish molding the new talents into a unit.
Witherspoon found Tomas for another goal in the 79th minute and the 89th saw Pim Boonstra score his first goal as a ZSFC player on an assist from Tomas.
The team, which celebrated the win at a local Oktoberfest festival afterwards, will be back in action on Sunday, October 13, at Sporting SC. The Greeks on the other hand will host New York Shamrock SC the same night.
New York Pancyprian Freedoms vs. Doxa FC (1-1)
The slow start for the defending Division 1 champions continued as New York Pancyprian Freedoms drew Doxa FC, 1-1, at St. Johns on Sunday night. Despite not securing a win, the team has only played two games due to a bye week and U.S. Open Cup qualifying canceling a match last week.
The Freedoms took the lead in the first half when Adam Himeno long-passed to James Tristino on a counter-attack. Doxa’s missed chance saw most of its players up-field, leaving Tristino with little to deal to beat the keeper. Doxa’s Alex Tejera responded 10 minutes later, assisted by Apostolis Polianidis, and leveled the scoring.
Doxa finished the game with most of the games chances including a shot off the post in the first half that might have been a game winner.
“(The Freedoms) are always a tough team to play against but our guys put in big effort and stuck to the coach's game plan and got a well earned point,” Doxa team manager Peter Legakis said afterwards.
The team will host Lansdowne Yonkers FC on Sunday, October 13 while the Freedoms play catchup. The team plays Yonkers this Wednesday and then hosts New York Athletic Club on the 13th.