All CSL 2017-18 champions

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

Lansdowne Bhoys players, board members, coaching staff, youth players and fans celebrating after winning the first division title. Picture by David DuPuy

 

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery| @onz_11

June 25th, 2018

 

From D1 superclub Lansdowne Bhoys’ treble to F.C Ulqini’s historical "invicible" season in the Metro 1 Division to America F.C winning the Over-38 title in their debut season, CSL reporter Onz Chery rallies up all the CSL champions of the season.

 

Domestic Champions

 

Division 1: Lansdowne wins fourth CSL title in five years

Lansdowne Bhoys re-captured their title of CSL champions after missing out on winning the league for four straight seasons last year, outlasting Cedar Stars Academy 4-2 in penalties after a 1-1 tie in the final.

Cedar Stars were seconds away from winning the first division but Lansdowne forward Ovan Oakley drew a controversial last-minute penalty kick from Daniel Cordeiro’s shoulder to shoulder challenge. The Bhoys’ captain Sean Kelly converted the spot kick to send the game to PKs.

Lansdowne got the best out of CSA in the shootout, 4-2, netting all of their four PKs through Kelly, Janos Lobe, Thomas Wharf and Michael Holzer respectively.

The Irish team blanked NY Pancyprian Freedoms 3-0 in the semis, thanks to Oakley’s brace and Holzer’s long range hit.

Oakley was selected as the second-best player of the season, tallying 14 goals in Lansdowne’s 20 league-games.

 

Division 1 Reserve: Through the bumpiest road... NYAC scoops the reserve title

NY Athletic Club Res. winning the D1 Reserve title is one the most compelling stories you will hear across the CSL this season. During the regular season the club rarely had their best XI on the field due to injuries and players’ prior commitment.

However going into their last game of the season, NYAC Res. sat in the last playoff spot. Their last opponent of the regular season was the team that was looking to hop over them in the last playoff spot, Cedar Stars Academy Res. CSA Res. was unarguably the best team of the second half of the season, going into the match on an eight-game win streak.

The Stars’ second unit needed to beat NY Athletic Res. by four goals to make the playoffs over them. NYAC Res. only had 10 players available and received a red card 10 minutes into the game. Hence with nine players, NYAC Res. had to prevent the most in-form team in the league from making the playoffs by holding them to at least a three-goal margin. They did it by the skin of their teeth. Cedar Stars Res. downed NYAC Res. 4-1.

Things didn’t get easier for the Travers Island team in the playoffs as they had to face league toppers Lansdowne Bhoys Res. in the semis. The club was down 2-0 to the Bhoys but with the help of Gabe Bagot’s brace, they rallied back a 3-2 win.

In the championship match, NYAC went down again to a hungry Central Park Rangers Res. side 1-0 going into the break. Jon Hemmert put NY Athletic Res. leveled midway into the second half from Bagot’s pass.

Both teams went scoreless in the remainder of the match, sending the game to penalties. NYAC Res. converted all of their penalties and their keeper David McKeon racked one save to inspire the club to a 5-4 penalty kick win.

NY Athletic Res. also won last year’s D1 Reserve title, edging Lansdowne’s in a 13-round penalty shootout.

“Winning the championship was in some ways more satisfying than last year,” head coach Bill Saporito said, “because frankly, we weren’t very good for much of the season. We had major injury problems and players unavailable because of work or travel. Everything was a scramble.”

He later added: “But NYAC managed to turn everything around when it mattered.”

 

Division 2: Hoboken cruised to the second division silverware

Hoboken F.C players and coaches posing for a picture with the Division 2 trophy.

 

They made it look easy.

Hoboken F.C 1912 only loss one league-game, scored 76 goals in 17 matches—check the stats—while conceding 21. In the final, the New Jersey team had a comfortable 3-1 win over F.C Spring Valley, thanks to Cory Chaplin’s brace and Jeremy Whiterspoon’s solitary goal.   

Chaplin led the team in scoring, tallying 19 goals in 17 games.

 

Division 2 Reserve: Hoboken Res. dominates the season all the way to the title

Hoboken Res. followed their first team’s footsteps, winning their division after rolling past Polonia Gwardia NY Res. 5-0.

After their defeat over Polonia, Hoboken’s B-Team didn’t only become one of the 14 CSL teams to say they hoisted a trophy this season but also became one of the two teams that went undefeated in domestic action.

“We're obviously thrilled to be champions this year,” coach Steve Korfiatis said, “which is a feeling made sweeter by managing to finish the season undefeated. Everyone knows what a challenge it is to finish undefeated in any of the divisions in the Cosmopolitan League, and I couldn't be more happy and proud of the club and players for achieving our goals this season.”

Gleb Mironenko led the team in scoring, recording 14 goals, including one in the final.

 

Metro 1: F.C Ulqini plays perfect Metro 1 season

F.C Ulqini players and coaches posing for a team picture.

 

They call themselves The Invicibles and have their ID to prove it: F.C Ulqini finished the Metro 2 season on top of the league with a 17-0-0 record, while scoring a league best of 68 goals and conceding 12. The club also went undefeated in the Strumpf Cup.

Right back Gledis Nuza was nominated as the team’s Player of the Season. Nuza netted over 15 goals and registered 10 assists. The club isn't afraid to say the 25-year-old is capable of playing in the MLS.

 

Metro 2: Molamerica prevails Flushing in PKs 5-4 to bag the Metro 2 title

Molamerica SC team picture.

 

Molamerica SC won the Metro 2 Division for the first time since the 70s, thanks to Ahmed El-Ghareib’s spot kick save of the team’s 5-4 penalty kick shootout win over Flushing F.C in the final.

Mola finished the regular season with a 14-3-1 record. Midfield anchor Kevin Brown was the club’s most valuable player.

 

Over-30 Division: Pancyprians wins the league in second year of existence

Last season, which was their first year of existence, NY Pancyprians O-30 habitually played with only nine, ten players and ended the season in fourth place.

The club was able to constantly field a full starting XI this season. They showed what they’re made of. NY Pancyprians won the Over-30 title, powering past their rivals NY Greek Americans Res. 4-1 after going down a goal in the first five minutes of the final.

The Freedoms O-30 is largely made up of the players that helped the first team win the CSL in 2010 and 2011 and qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The Cypriot club’s top player of the season was Anastasios ‘Taso’ Polydefkis. Taso netted 26 goals and tallied eight assists in 11 appearances, including a brace in the semis and a goal in the final.

 

Over-38 Division: America F.C conquers the league in inaugural season

Former Hoboken F.C players Norman Garcia, John Lopez and William Guarin founded America F.C in 2017 in honor of professional Colombian team America de Cali. Their goal was to win the Over-38 division in their first season. Mission accomplished.

America won the Over-38 division, getting the best out of Doxa F.C Legends 6-2 in the final.

Former America de Cali player Garcia led the team in scoring but when asked who was his top player of the season head coach Darwin Zuniga said: “It would not be fair to highlight a few player since this team has outstanding players in every position. The kudos goes to the whole squad for believing in this idea and for making America F.C 1927 a reality.”

 

 

Cup Champions

 

John Kilby League Cup: Shamrocks win first League Cup in 18 years

NY Shamrock SC players and coaches posing for a team picture with the League Cup trophy.

 

NY Shamrock SC hoisted their first League Cup in 18 years, beating reigning champions NY Athletic Club 3-1 in penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Idy Watt netted the opener of the final but his goal was canceled by a NYAC header.

Keeper Gianfranco Barone, who was only two when the Rocks last won the League Cup, guided the club to the trophy with two saves in the shootout.

 

Manning State Cup: One goal was enough for the Bhoys to snatch the Manning cup, downing NY Greeks 1-0

Lansdowne Bhoys players and coaches and board members posing for a team picture with the Manning State Cup trophy.

 

Center back Thomas Wharf netted an 85th minute header to usher Lansdowne Bhoys to a 1-0 win over NY Greek American in the Manning State Cup final.

Team president William McGregory was pleased the club won two major trophies after a rough campaign, in which they played their worst regular season in seven years, were knocked out of the Fritz Marth National Amateur Cup and the Werner Fricker Cup in the opening stage.  

“It was a fantastic feeling to do the double this season,” McGregory said, “the team and managers worked hard all year and despite some early season disappointment they showed again why we are the current U.S amateur champions by rising to the top of their game in both finals. This year’s competition was at a very high standard and that made the victories all the sweeter.”

Lansdowne also won the competition last year, blanking Shamrocks 3-0.

 

Rapaglia Cup: Lansdowne blows past NY Greeks to lift the Rapaglia Cup

Lansdowne Bhoys captain Sean Kelly receiving the Rapaglia Cup.

 

It was all the way back in September but any silverware is worth mentioning. Lansdowne blanked NY Greeks 3-0 to win one-day tournament Rapaglia Cup for the second time.

 

Strumpf Cup: The Invincibles win second silverware of the season

F.C Ulqini backed up their league title with the Strumpf Cup, overpowering Guyana Jaguars 4-2 in the final before outplaying BW Gottschee 3-0 in the semis.

Ulqini went undefeated in their cup fixtures and domestic outings, which tallies up to 23 matches. The Albanian team is the only CSL club that didn’t lose a single game amongst the league’s 110 teams.

 

D'Arpino Cup: NYAC Res. crush NY Greeks Res. 6-1 to in the D'Arpino Cup

NY Athletic Res. completed a double, winning their league and the D,Arpino Cup by defeating NY Greeks Re. 6-1.

Brian Kuritzky and Ryan O'Donnell netted a double while Jimmy Peters and Chris Sutherland scored a goal each.

 

Flamhaft Cup: Williamsburg F.C wins “biggest trophy” of the club’s history

Williamsburg International F.C players and coaches posing for a team picture with the Flamhaft Cup trophy.

 

Williamsburg International F.C slimmed past Brishna F.C 5-4 in penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw to win the Flamhaft Cup for the first time in the club’s seven years of existence.

Forward Chris Blivin stepped in the goal for the injured keepers in the semifinals and the final. Blivin only conceded one goal in the semis as the Doylies saw off NY Ukrainians 2-1 and saved Brishna’s last penalty kick of the shootout in the final to lead his club to the silverware.

WIFC secretary Charles von Rosenburg views the Flamhaft Cup as the club’s most precious trophy.

“This is the biggest trophy our club has won, so needless to say we’re thrilled to be Flamhaft Cup champions.”   

John Kaddo was Williamsburg’s top scorer of the tournament, racking five of the teams’ seven goals in their last three matches.

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