By Jay Mwamba

Defending champions New York Athletic Club strutted to a 4-1 home win over promotion side Stal Mielec at Travers Island on the opening day of the CSL 2013-2014 season last Sunday.

Brian Rogers ignited NYAC’s campaign with a superb hat trick. Ian Pilarski scored the other goal as the seven-time titlists came out with guns blazing against the overmatched Poles.

It was an inspiring start for NYAC’s second-year coach Andrew Cullen who ended the club’s 12-year wait for that elusive seventh title with a 2-1 defeat of New York Greek-Americans in the championship match last June.

NYAC’s reserves had set the tempo earlier in the curtain raiser with an emphatic 5-0 romp.

Jon Hemmert scored within 30 seconds and, according to coach Bill Saporito, the outcome was never in doubt after that. Dav Bloom [two], a Stal own goal and David Stubbs saw off the visitors.

Back under new management – and a shortened moniker – ten-man Greek Americans came from behind to beat Manhattan Celtic 3-1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park and hand Stavros Zomopoulos a winning start as head coach.

“Celtic was better than expected [and] took an early lead, but our quality assured that the result was never in doubt, even when at 2-1 with 35 to go we went down to 10 men,” noted Zomopoulos, who spent 16 years as player-coach with Barnstonworth Rovers before his current appointment.

“The equalizer was a beauty by Stefan Barea [30th].  He could have easily had a first half hat-trick but he was very unlucky to hit the post after rounding the keeper on one and stumbling after doing the same a few minutes later,” said Zomopoulos.

At any rate, the Greeks, who’ve dropped Atlas from their name, went ahead 45 seconds in the second half on Jack McVey’s effort and sealed it with a clinical Chris Megaloudis finish [78th].

“A solid start to our season. But our aim is to be at a higher level come the spring.  We want to keep improving,” summed up Zomopoulos.

The Greeks have won eight CSL titles among numerous regional and national honors.

Their second unit, meanwhile, edged Celtic’s First Division Reserve division-winning side 1-0 on Navid Allah-Morad’s strike despite suiting up just 11 players. Navid was assisted by his brother Rashim.

Dwayne Reid made a stunning debut for Lansdowne Bhoys with a second half hat trick and two assists in a 6-2 drubbing of Pancyprian Freedoms at Tibbetts Brook Park.

Reid had set up goals for Craig Purcell [10th] and player-coach Austin Friel [20th] before he struck twice early in the second half.  He wrapped up his stellar performance with a third goal from the spot after Sikele Sylvester had notched the Bhoys’ fifth.

National amateur champions two years ago, Pancyprian had pulled a goal back in the 40th minute and added a late consolation.

Friel couldn’t have hoped for a better start.

“Overall, a great start to the season,” said the second-year coach who took Bhoys to the West division title and the Manning Cup final last season.

Lansdowne ‘B’ prevailed 2-0 on goals by Greg King and Paul Yovoh.

Former Greek player-coach Joe Ruesgen marked his debut for Clarkstown SC Eagles [nee Jersey City Eagles] with the opening goal in a 3-2 decision over United FC at Aviators Sports Complex.

“He was my number one target in the transfer market,” said Eagles’ Irish head coach Kevin Grogan of his new assistant.

Anatoli Taranenko and Artan Balaj were the other Eagle marksmen.  Paul Nittoli got both United goals.

After going the 2012-2013 season without defeat [12-0-4] en route to the Division Two title, Manhattan Kickers were dealt a first loss in over year on their return to the CSL top flight.

Teddy Nizolek’s 25-yard screamer and an own goal left Kickers nursing a 2-0 defeat to New York Croatia at East River Park.

It was a reversal of fortunes for Kickers after a 6-0 rampage in the reserve fixture, courtesy of Nick Bill [two], Seamus Kelly, Fahad Alshamsan, Andrew Burke and an own goal.

Elsewhere in the upper echelon, Barnstonworth Rovers and Central Park Rangers tied 1-1, with Eli Vovsha the CPR scorer.

“It was a classic game of two halves, we controlled the first and took an early lead,” said CPR manager Yuval Lion. “The second period saw Rovers on top as CPR tired.”

CPR striker Alberto Sanchis had the solitary goal in the reserve match.

Promotion side CD Iberia — colorful nicknames and all – announced their Division Two arrival with a 6-1 thrashing of Flank United.

Julian Escobar led the Spaniards, Metro Division One champions last season, with a trey. Carlos “Chiki” Vazquez notched a brace and Javi “Hurricane” Beiro added a goal.

Iberia’s reserves were more emphatic, demolishing the Flank seconds 7-0. Alex “Kun” Dominguez [two], Dani Alvarez [two], Beni “Bagpipes” Santiago and the Lijo brothers Eddie “Scissorhands” and David “Mr. Bicicletas” scripted the rout.

“We are looking forward to this season in Division Two as we spent the last two years in Metro One rebuilding the team both on the field and off after dropping down from the First Division voluntarily,” said David Lago. “We know that we’re in for some tough battles this year as we play some of our long-time rivals Shamrock, Polonia, Ukrainians and Hoboken [but] we’ll take it one week at a time.”

On a day of lopsided wins in the second tier, Hoboken FC 1912, back in Division Two after a season in the top flight, demolished New Amsterdam United FC 7-0 at Weehawken Waterfront Park.

The goals came from Dylan Magarrell [18th], debutants Jeff Natale [29th, 37th], Nick Matthews [32nd, 42nd] and Moath Hamzeh [80th]; and Isaac Asomani [63rd].

Devin O’Connor’s late leveler earned Hoboken ‘B’ a 1-1 draw after Brian Munoz had fired United ahead from a Jeremy Rampon pass.

New blood also had Shamrock firing on all cylinders on Roosevelt Island where they crushed FC Japan 5-0.

Man of the Match Mike Stone, Brazilian striker Antonio Rebello [two] and Brendan Lane were on target on their debut. Skipper Shane Moore accounted for the other goal.

“We had a busy summer recruiting and added a number of new players,” said coach Glen Wrafter, pleased with the result.

The reserve fixture was a seesaw affair. Captain Ruairi Lavery canceled an early Japan strike before the visitors replied in kind late after Pól O’Kane had put the Irishmen in front.

Also in Division Two, NYPD defeated New York Ukrainians 3-1 while Polonia knocked off newcomers Doxa 4-0.

Damian Paz and Terrol Ishmael had two goals apiece as Sporting Astoria rallied from 3-2 down to outshoot CPR Black 5-3 in a Metro Div. One tussle on Randalls Island.

But the real Sporting hero might have been goalie Adam Rolfe who. In what GM Ed Romero noted was the turning point of the match, Rolfe denied CPR’s best player one-on-one to prevent Astoria from falling into a 4-2 hole.

“What could have been a 4-2 CPR lead became a 3-3 match,” observed Romero. “And then from then on the Sporting onslaught was unstoppable.”

Paz, on target in the 15th minute, sealed it [80th] after Ishmael [65th, 75th] had equalized and then put Sporting ahead. Jorge Monsalve [35th] was the other scorer.

“Intense game,” said Romero.” We were surprised by the CPR performance. We didn’t expect it. It shocked us so much that before we knew it we were down 3-2.”

Mateusz Chlost, Patryk Jarosz and Konrad Sobotka tallied in FC Gwardia’s 3-0 trouncing of Mr. Dennehy’s at Greenbelt Recreational Park, in another Metro One affair.

Frederick Mokolo had four goals in NYC Metro Stars’ 6-0 pasting of relegated Homenetmen on Randalls Island. Cesar Lima and Luis Marin got the other two.

Also on Randalls Island, debutant Rory McCann set up both goals for Jorge Español [15th, 30th] and bagged one himself [75th] to earn Barnstonworth Rovers Metro a share of the points from a 3-3 draw with new boys Mola SC.

At Bushwick Inlet, Brishna scored four times through Idris Mashriqi [two], Gurash Paiman and Mohammad Madhriqi but still came up short in a 5-4 loss to rookie side Doyle’s Corner FC.

Manhattan Celtic Legends succumbed 4-3 to Barnstonworth Premier at the start of their CSL Over-30 title defense at Pier 40.

Duane Pena struck the Premier winner with the rivals deadlocked at 3-3 in the division one fixture. Patrick Geraghty, Eugene Reynolds and Ansumana Gaye tallied for Legends while Errol McFarlane, Jon Bennenson and Nedgy Nazon replied for Premier.

Premier were the only victorious Barnstonworth team on the day. Across the Hudson, Hoboken FC 1912 hit Barnstonworth Rovers Over-30 for five with none in reply at the Overpeck County Park.

It was just 1-0 at the interval on Kerry Hall’s stoppage time goal from a Eoghan O’Dwyer corner before the floodgates opened on resumption.

Jason Simmons had assists on goals by Edward Vincent, Derek Grimes and Jason Gayle as Hoboken repeatedly tore the Rovers defense apart. Hall added a second goal in the dying minutes.

“We are delighted to be in the [Over-30] first division and we appreciate the competition this season,” said Simmons, who had props for goalie Garth Davidson for keeping a clean sheet.

At Tibbetts Brook Park, veteran striker Roland Demba and Marius Kapxhiu shut out Barnstonworth Old Boys 2-0.

Midfielder Izet Arslanovic, 40, capped three times for Bosnia, netted twice on a stellar debut for Manhattan Kickers Premier against New York Dinamo. They won 4-0 on Randalls Island.

Joe Whiteman accounted for the other goal and had two assists, including Bishop Sand’s first Kicker tally.

Kickers’ other Over-30 side edged CPR Greys 1-0 on Paul Cowler’s strike assisted by Steve Whitaker.

SC Eintracht came away from Van Buren High School with a point from a nail-biting 3-3 tie with Megas Alexandros in Over-30 Div. Two.

“[We] dominated play early and had a 2-0 lead thanks to Bundy Doczy [25th] and Vinny Vascocelos [33rd],” recounted Eintracht’s Tom Strumpf.

Mega then reeled in three unanswered goals, including a disputed penalty [39th] to take the lead. However, Vascocelos popped up late to salvage a point for the visitors.

Reza Watts and Ronnie Swinkels scored for VV New Amsterdam in a 2-all draw at Pier 40 with Manhattan Celtic Bhoys in Over-30 Div. Two.

Brad Andrews and Raafet Olian were the Celtic scorers.













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