From Jay Mwamba
May 23, 2018
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was a striker for NYAC’s Over-30s when Bill Saporito played center back for the Travers Island team at the turn of the century. Also in the Dick Cini-drilled side then were former U.S. internationals Kevin Welsh and Santiago Formoso.
Last Sunday, Saporito, now in his 60s, dusted off the old cleats to suit up for his short-handed NYAC reserves that he coaches. He was the 10th man at kick-off against Cedar Stars Academy and NYAC soon went down to nine players because of injury. It ended in a 4-1 drubbing.
“It's really difficult to win with fewer than 11 players,” said Saporito, whose Chris Sutherland scored. “I'm really disappointed by our showing; on the other hand I'm really gratified that we made the playoffs.”
NYAC finish the regular season level on points  with Cedar in fourth place, albeit with a better goal difference.
Hat trick hero Chris Katona, Matthew Nigro and Walter Calderon connected later against NYAC ‘A’ as Cedar triumphed 5-0 to clinch the First Division regular season.
Coached and owned by Oliver Papraniku, Cedar got the job done less than 24 hours after fatigued U.S. amateur kings Lansdowne Bhoys, their closest pursuers, had fallen 2-0 to Pancyprian Bhoys on Randalls Island.
Luis Estevez and Adam Himeno scored for Pancyprian, who will finish third in the league, behind Lansdowne. The two teams meet again in the playoffs.
“We were poor, probably jaded,” conceded Lansdowne president William McGrory, three nights after his side had bowed out to North Carolina FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second round.
Lansdowne’s league defeat snapped their run of six consecutive division titles in the top flight.
In brighter news for the Bhoys, their second unit, recently crowned Reserve division title champs, signed off the regular season with a bang, smashing Pancyprian ‘B’ 8-2.
Artan Balaj, James Walters, Mauricio Mora, Jeb Burnell [two] and hat trick hero Ismeal Yemor tallied.
Defending CSL champs New York Greek Americans had a win and a loss in a hectic 72-hour period with no threat to their playoff berth.
Daniel Massey’s goal sank NYAC 1-0 in midweek on Randalls Island.
In the opener, Goicochea Jonnikolas had two goals and the assist on Famularo John’s strike in the Greek seconds’ 3-1 victory. Pete Ceesay was the NYAC scorer.
Three days later, NYGA went down 2-0 to fellow Hellenic side Doxa FC at Joseph Fosina Field.
Andras Breuer and Patrick Alvarez scored for Doxa.
The Greek seconds run off 4-2 winners, thanks to Alex Kiourkenidis [two], Frankie Aleci and Velasquez Diego
James Greco’s goal in a 1-0 decision over Zum Schneider on Randalls Island secured Central Park Rangers’ stay in the upper echelon.
Faissal Sanfo struck four times, while Lulu Binabbas and Baba Anne also connected in the CPR reserves’ 6-2 romp.
Manhattan Kickers beat Shamrocks 3-1 on Randalls Island in the penultimate game of their relegation struggle.
Lucas Shanks and captain Bryan Baracaldo [pen.] scored for Kickers before fullback Dan Giorgi pulled one back from the spot. Mokrane Ait Belkacem headed in Kickers’ third.
Shamrocks head coach Kevin Grogan admitted that it was a substandard display as he was testing his players in other positions.
"It was a chance to look at a few players in different positions and give some players minutes," he said. "Not a great performance but we learned a lot about certain people and their commitment to the club."
Shamrocks’ playoff-bound reserves eked out a 3-2 decision.
Junior Elleston [two] and George Lara scored. Matias Jorge had the Kicker brace.
Hoboken FC came from behind to defeat Polonia Gwardia 3-1 in their top-of-the-table showdown and win the South.
The Jersey side clashes with North winners FC Spring Valley [who edged Malatyaspor 4-3] on June 3, with the first promotion spot to the First Division on the line.
South runners-up Polonia, meanwhile, meet KidSuper
Samba -- the second place finishers in the North -- with the victor squaring off with the Hoboken-Spring Valley loser on June 10 for the second promotion spot.
Tom Hogue [8th] took only four minutes to get Hoboken back on level terms with Polonia on Randalls Island.
Zach Kraft [27th] and Jeremy Witherspoon [77th] completed the come-back.
At the North Rockland Soccer Complex, Omar Aragon hit a hat trick while Roberto had the other goal in Spring Valley’s 4-3 squeaker over Malatyaspor.
Hoboken’s second unit saw off Zum ‘B’ 1-0, thanks to Adam Kovonuk [8th]. They end the regular season as both South Reserve titlists and the only undefeated side [14-0-2, 44] among the CSL’s 110 clubs.
Hoboken collides with North runners-up NYPD ‘B’ in the playoff semis on June 3.
The other playoff on the same day pits North title winners CPR Reds ‘B’ against the Polonia seconds.
The Reds battered Sporting Astoria reserves 6-1 at Soundview Park on goals by Junior Sanguina [three], Mike Cuzzi, Felipe Copete and Dan Flannary.
Sanguina later netted for the Reds first XI in a 5-0 shutout of Astoria ‘A.’ Donal O’Cofaigh, Mike Lindley, Tim Lonergan and Timur Mone were the other scorers in that encounter.
Bartlomiej Dziuban was a hat trick hero in Stal Mielec’s 4-2 defeat of FC Japan at Bushwick Inlet. Jacek Lawniczak had the other goal.
Akito Suzuki and Taiyo Fukushima replied for Japan.
The reserves drew 2-2 with Stal’s Kevin Janeczko and Jacek Korba trading strikes with Yu Shimano and Shinobu Ninomiya.
Adam Malinik [two] and Adnan Zaganjor were on target in New York Ukrainians’ 5-3 capitulation to Beyond FC at Laurel Hill Park in New Jersey.
The curtain raiser ended 5-2 in Ukrainians’ favor, courtesy of Vasyl Yaremchuk [two], Kassem Alkasimi [two] and Rafe Oakes.
Last crowned CSL champs in 1991, BW Gottschee moved a step closer to returning to the top flight by clinching promotion to Division Two after playing twice in a dramatic 24 hours.
Plagued by injuries and college graduations, a “short-decked Gottschee team not unsurprisingly fell 5-0 to FC Ulqini,” reported coach John Ryding.
The next day, Greg Davis’s brace lifted Gottschee past NYC MetroStars 2-1. And with promotion rivals Ridgewood succumbing 2-1 to Mr. Dennehy’s,
Blau-Weiss punched their ticket out of Metro One.
“Today was not champagne football —we had to gut out a win against a team that has had the better of us on more than one occasion,” said Ryding on the day. “But promotion deserves a champagne celebration! I am proud of the core of this team and the efforts they have put in over a long and arduous season.”
Ulqini also go up as Metro One champions.
It’s Mola vs. Flushing FC in the Metro Two championship game on June 3.
Mola beat FC Partizani 2-0 with Rocco Badalamenti and William Novini on target to seal the South title ahead of Richmond County.
Said Gianluca Palanca: “As a captain, I just wanna say thank you to all my teammates for the incredible season. We started working hard since day one, fighting on every ball, game by game, and grew not only as a team, but also as a family.
“In the long run we deserved to win the league. Now we have a final to play and we hope to end up the season with a victory. Forza Mola!”
Flushing, who’d clinched the North title earlier, ended the regular season with a 1-0 victory over Beyond FC. Edyson Salnave scored.
Gariece McPherson [two], Bryan Bustos and Marcin Fijalkiewiz were among the scorers in Richmond County’s 5-2 thrashing of Barnstonworth Rovers.
The result saw the Staten Islanders nick second place in the South on goal difference over Rovers.
“We opened the scoring but Barnstonworth answered with two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead at halftime,” said club director/manager Hal Brkanovic. “We upped the pressure in the second half and equalized with 25 minutes left. We then scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to win it.”
Joaco Lynch, from a Nelson Restrepo free kick, and Jorge Espanol, with a flick-on to Gustavo Garro’s set-piece, had Rovers ahead.
“Unfortunately having accepted two forfeits the previous two weeks combined with the heat and humidity, we ran out of gas as their fitter midfield outplayed ours in the second half to earn them the result,” conceded Rovers Tim Hattori.
New York Galicia also put five past Brooklyn Bound in return for one in their season finale
Alexis Escobar [two], Ricardo Garcia, Iain Stitt and Alejandro Salvat tallied.
“Despite our rough [patch], I’m proud of our team,” said coach Javier Caamano. “We ended the season on a positive. Hopefully next season we will come back stronger.”
Kelmendi had a goal from Alfons Bujaj in a 2-1 loss to New York United.
“Half of the starting lineup missed the game,” lamented Naim Kurtovic.
In other Metro Two action, Jeff Louisme, Dachy Ocvil, Junior Wolf, and Jeff Durosier scripted Missile FC’s 4-1 rout of Deportivo Sociedade II; while Hasan Redzic and JuanZaiter connected in Eintracht’s 2-0 decision over Homenetmen.
Pancyprian Freedoms are dancing on Cloud Nine after two accomplishments in the past week: snatching the West division title on goal differential over archrivals NY Greek Americans and advancing to the next round of the U.S. Open.
NYGA were blanked 4-0 on goals byTaso Polydefkis, Adam Himeno, Chris Helms and Anthony Barberio. The win put Pancyprian level on points with the Greeks  but pulled them ahead on goal difference, plus 27 against plus 21.
In the playoffs on June 3, Pancyprian tackle East runners-up Shamrock while the Greeks engage Kickers Premier.
Taso was on target again last Sunday against Connecticut’s Danbury in the U.S. Open Cup.
“Hard fought game by all the players,” remarked Taso. “We made our fans that traveled very proud. We play in two weeks again against the warehouse gunners from Massachusetts!”
Dominick McCartan scored the Shamrocks Over-30s’ last regular season goal in the CSL, nicking a 3-2 win over CPR Grays on Randalls Island.
The result sealed the Rocks’ second place finish in the East [12-3-1, 39], two points behind division winners Manhattan Kickers Premier.
Johnny McGeeney put the Irishmen ahead off Paddy Geraghty’s assist [40th]. It was his 23rd goal of the season.
CPR leveled on the hour and went 2-1 up five minutes later, thanks toBarry Feeney and Benny Barrios. They then conceded an own goalwhen Mark Finn’s cross was deflected into the net.
McCartan’s winner [82nd] came from a Geraghty corner at the near post.
“We set a goal to go unbeaten in the spring [and] we have done that so far,” said coach Paddy McCarry.
Short-handed SC Gjoa went down fighting against SC Eintracht in a 3-1 loss.
“They only had 9-10 guys,” according to Mark Lesser, whose Irvin, Vinny Vasconcelos and Josh Lee scored.
Simon McKeown bid farewell to CPR Legends before relocating with the lone goal in their victory over Shamrock Legends.
And at Herbert Lehman HS, Tiago Gomes’ double earned Doxa Legends a 2-all draw with America FC.