Cedar Stars Academy star midfielder Christopher Katona (player standing) before a game against NY Pancyprian Freedoms. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
Oct. 30th, 2017
Central Park Rangers Whites midfielder Idy Watt won Round 3 Player of the Week for scoring a brace against NY Athletic Club; Cedar Stars Academy midfielder Christopher Katona finished second behind Watt in the selection, tallying two assists and scoring a goal against NY Shamrock SC.
Two rounds later, NY Pancyprian Freedoms outside midfielder Adam Himeno won the accolade, netting a goal and racking one assist against NY Greek Americans. Katona finished second again in the selection, providing one assist and scoring a goal as well against NY Athletic Club.
In the latest CSL round, Week 7, two strikers netted a hat trick on Saturday night, Lansdowne Bhoys’ star forward Ovan Oakley and NY Shamrock SC's new signing Kurt Cameron. The accolade was surely going to be awarded to one of these two players then.
On Sunday afternoon, Katona wasn’t even sure he would make it to the game on time as he was stuck in traffic caused by a heavy rain. The 27-year-old made it just on time for the coin toss and started the match without warming up.
Ninety minutes and so later, Katona finished the game with the best individual performance of the season, scoring a hat trick in about 20 minutes and providing three assists. This time the New Jersey native did win the top division’s Player of the Week.
“It was the best game I played thus far this season playing attacking midfield,” Katona said.
He previously stated: “I’m thankful to have be nominated and selected for Player of the Week honors. We have a very talented league, it’s pretty cool to know it’s the best performance to date.”
A day before playing the top performance of the season, the Cedar Stars captain was celebrating his 27th birthday.
“It was a good finish to end a birthday weekend Sunday afternoon being able to help contribute to our team’s victory and getting a hat trick,” Katona said.
The attacking midfielder’s goals were two headers and a shot from the top of the 18 after beating a couple of Doxa players.
Katona plays forward for his Jersey-club, Jackson Lions FC, in the Garden State Soccer League but stepped back a bit to attacking midfield for Cedar Stars.
“Playing attacking midfielder in the CSL is definitely something I’m starting to adapt to—[getting] more comfortable playing,” the former Richard Stockton University star player said. Any way I can contribute to the team, winning the ball in the middle of the field, drawing fouls, goals or assists.”
Scoring and assisting multiple times in a game is not new for Katona, the American had three-goals, four-goals and five-goals display in his college career with Richard Stockton University and Brookdale Community College and netted seven goals in a game once for Jackson Lions in the GSSL.
Katona tallied 66 goals and 55 assists in 77 college games. His hat trick pushed him to third place in the top scorer chat with five goals.
Ovan Oakley (Lansdowne Bhoys): 3 goals vs Zum Schneider F.C 03 in a 3-0 win
Kurt Cameron (NY Shamrock SC): 3 goals vs Central Park Rangers Whites in a 5-2 win
Ryan Scheiderman (NY Pancyprian Freedoms): 2 goals vs Manhattan Kickers in a 2-0 win
Past player of the week winners
Week 1: Lansdowne Bhoys striker Ovan Oakley-- 2 goals, 1 assist vs Central Park Rangers Whites
Week 2: Cedar Stars Academy striker Paul Nittoli-- 2 goals vs NY Pancyprian Freedoms
Week 3: Central Park Rangers Whites midfielder Idy Watt-- 2 goals vs NY Athletic Club
Week 4: Manhattan Kickers striker Mahamadou "Remi" Diaby-- 2 goals, 1 assist vs NY Greek Americans
Week 5: NY Pancyprian Freedoms midfielder Adam Himeno-- 1 goal, 1 assist vs NY Greek Americans
Week 6: NY Greek Americans left back Joseph Ruesgen-- 2 assists and a clean sheet vs Zum Schneider F.C 03