DIVISION 1: Top 10 stories of 2017

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

Lansdowne Bhoys players and board members celebrating after winning the Fritz Marth National Amateur Cup.

 

Jan. 2nd, 2018

 

2017 was nothing short of spectacular for the CSL.The league displayed some of the best stories we'll see in ages. As we just entered 2018, let's reminisce on the top 10 stories that gave the Cosmopolitan such a glamourous 2017:

 

10. Two derby-finals

Game shot of the Greek-Cypriot derby at St. John's Univeristy Belson Stadium. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis

 

A derby-final is not something that happens often. The CSL saw two of them in 2017. The Dr. Manning State Cup final featured the Irish derby, which Lansdowne won 3-0 over NY Shamrock SC. And the 2017 CSL final was the Greek-Cypriot derby between NY Greek American and NY Pancyprian Freedoms. The Greeks blanked NY Pancyprian 2-0.   

 

9. Matthew Lawrence and Eskandarian joined the CSL

Ex-English Championship defender, Matthew Lawrence, a player who captained Milwall in the 2004 F.A Cup final against Manchester United, joined NY Shamrock SC during the off season. Elsewhere, NY Pancyprian Freedoms acquired former MLS star Alecko Eskandarian. Eskandarian won the 2004 MLS MVP award alongside the MLS Cup with L.A Galaxy. The 35-year-old made his CSL debut on Nov. 19th in a 1-0 win over NY Athletic Club at Travers Island.

 

8. Manhattan Celtic and NY Athletic battled to stay in D1 in the last round of the regular season

Manhattan Celtic’s encounter with NY Athletic Club in the last round of the 2016-17 regular season was one of the most nerve wracking game of 2017. Celtic needed a win to stay in the top flight while NYAC—the active team with the second most CSL titles—had to tie with Manhattan or defeat them to save their spot in D1. The game ended 0-0.

 

7. Ex-NY Greeks player Savarese became a MLS coach

Giovanni Savarese (number 20) standing next to Luccio Russo during his first spell with NY Greek American.

 

MLS side Portland Timbers signed NY Greek American Hall of Famer Giovanni Savarese as their head coach on Dec. 18th. Savarese played for NY Greeks from 1990 to 1993 before going pro and after his professional career in 2007.

 

6. Katona won three straight Player of the Weeks

Cedar Stars Academy captain Christopher Katona (on the right) during a coin toss before a matchup against NY Pancyprian Freedoms. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis 

 

Cedar Stars Academy star midfielder Christopher Katona was named Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. Katona won the accolade from the seventh to the ninth round for tallying three goals and three assists against Doxa, scoring two goals and racking two assists on Zum Schneider F.C and netting six goals against Manhattan Kickers respectively.

 

5. Lansdowne qualified for the Open Cup

 

CSL giants Lansdowne Bhoys made it to the most prestigious soccer competition in the United States, the Lamar Hunt US. Open Cup. The Bhoys defeated Jackson Lions, 2-1, in the first round of the qualifiers, edged fellow Cosmopolitan side NY Pancyprian, 7-6, in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in the next round and downed Junior Lone Star U-23, 3-1, in the third and final round.

 

4. Former CSL players link with the MLS

 

Ex-Cedar Stars Academy defender Mike da Fonte inked a two-year deal with Colorado Rapids on March 16th.

Lansdowne striker Mamadou Guirassy was invited to the MLS Combine for a breathtaking collegiate career with New Jersey Institution of Technology and for his performance in the pre-combine shortly after the first half of the CSL season.

 

3. NY Greek American won the Eastern NY double

NY Greek American players running off the field after winning the Eastern NY Amateur Cup. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis

 

NY Greeks took home the ENY Fricker Cup and the ENY Amateur Cup. The Greeks squeezed past Lansdowne in the ENY Amateur Cup semifinals in penalty kicks, 7-6, before beating the Pancyprians, 6-5, in PKs in the final.

And in the Fricker Cup, NYGA defeated the Bhoys, 8-7, in penalties in the final after elminating NY Pancyprian in the semis with a 3-1 scoreline.  

 

2. NY Greeks went from eighth place to CSL champions

NY Greek American players and board members posing for a picture after winning the 2017 CSL title.

 

NYGA finished the first half of the 2016-17 season in eighth place. After acquiring a load of player during the break the club clinched the last playoff spot by plus one goal differential, got the best out of three-time league champions Lansdowne, 1-0, in the semifinals and went on to win the final by blanking NY Pancyprian 2-0.

 

1. Lansdowne won the national double and the Manning Cup

Lansdowne Bhoys players and board members celebrating after winning the Werner Fricker Open Cup.

 

The Bhoys became the third team to ever win a national double in 2017. They bagged the Fritz Marth Amateur Cup by conquering Bavaria SC, 9-8, in penalties after a 2-2 draw on Aug. 5th in Milwakee. Two weeks later the Irish club cruised past Motagua New Orleans, 5-0, in the Fricker Cup final.

To add to the national double, Lansdowne bagged the Manning Cup through a 3-0 victory over Shamrocks

 

 

 

 

 

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