Hoboken FC 1912 poses for a team photo prior to their match against Beyond FC is Week 13 (Credit: Hoboken FC 1912)
Six games over one day were the setting for Week 13 in the CSL. While the standings mostly remained firm in the end, not all the results were guarenteed. New York Shamrock SC had to battle for just one point, let along three, while New York Greek Americans II needed to play tough in order to break their losing streak. In total, 22 goals counted across the contests meaning a lot of new additions to the goal scorers list as well.
Here is the recap of every match:
Sunday, March 21
Polonia SC vs Hoboken FC 1912 (0-4)
Hoboken FC 1912 opened Week 13 with a dominant win over Polonia SC, 4-0, at McCarren Park. The visitors exploded in the final 45, scoring three goals with the returning Louis Mobbs playing a role in all three.
After dealing with an injury the past few weeks, the forward jumped up the Division 1’s scorers table and now sits in second place. His first came early in the second half when Kevin Halliday sent a through ball up to him for the finish. The second came on a nice cross from Danny Herrera, which Mobbs finished to make it 3-0. Mobbs finished his points day on a high note by crossing a long ball to Jack Pounce. The also returning from injury player headed in the pass and registered his first goal for the club.
Before the end of the match, he was taken down from behind, studs up, by a Polonia defender earning the opposing player a yellow card and shouts from the Hoboken bench. His status for the next game is currently unknown, though Hoboken head coach Steve Korfiatis said afterward that it looked pretty bad.
In addition, Halliday assisted on the day’s first goal when he fed Teddy Sisco during a goalmouth scramble in the first half.
“We were able to fix some of our issues from last week, primarily finishing our opportunities and being more clinical in front of the net,” Korfiatis said in an email. “We ve been faced with a lot of injuries over the past few weeks which has caused us to change our play and has contributed to a level of inconsistency which the players are adapting to.”
Following last week’s loss to Richmond County FC, Hoboken now goes into next week’s game in do-or-die mode. A loss against Manhattan Celtic at Laurel Hill Park will allbut crush the team’s chances at the Division 1 title. A win would keep them alive and hurt second place Celtic in the process. Meanwhile, Polonia will visit Real Olé FC on Saturday morning before hosting them the next day in a rare back-to-back home-and-away series.
Beyond FC vs New York Shamrock SC (1-2)
First goal scorer not provided by New York Shamrock SC
In what felt like a match of the year candidate, Beyond FC battled division leading New York Shamrock SC at Laurel Hill Park. Beyond held a lead for a majority of the game and even nearly left the match with a point, but the Rocks escaped with the win and possibly saved their title chances in the process.
“Credit to Shamrock for the work they put in to pull out the win,” Beyond team manager AJ Hamami said. “There's a reason they are at the top of the table and displayed it on Sunday.”
Paul Nitto scored within the first ten minutes for Beyond, the first of many chances for both sides. Each team traded blows and until the final ten minutes the Rocks looked to be the more desperate team. A late equalizer and game winner by Joey Aronovsky on the game’s last kick sealed the heartbreaking result for Beyond, who nearly earned their fourth win of the year.
If the Rocks had lost or tied, the team would be trailing Manhattan Celtic in points in the D1 table. The eventual meeting between these two teams in late April comes closer each week.
“Very proud of the team's performance, obviously some things we will work on in training,” Hamami said. “While the results haven't been what we want, the performances show us the results will come.”
Beyond will travel to Stal Mielec NY on Sunday afternoon, while Shamrock hosts Richmond County FC on Saturday night.
Kelmendi FC NY vs Stal Mielec NY (2-1)
Goal scorer information not provided by Stal Mielec NY
Kelendi FC NY continues to be one of the biggest surprises in the spring. The team defeated Stal Mielec NY, 2-1, for their third win in four weeks and now sit in fourth place in the standings.
Centerback Rocky Bujaj scored his first goal of the year in the first half to put his team on the board. Later on, forward Naim Kurtovic continued his own point streak and assisted Marino Nuculović for what was the game winning goal. All the while centerback Robert Gjelaj played a huge role in holding back Stal from scoring more goals, while also making critical offensive plays to keep possession away.
Kelmendi will host Zum Schneider FC 03 II this Sunday in hopes of making it three straight wins, a first for a team that finished the fall towards the bottom of the standings. Stal hopes it can jump back into the top half of the standings with a win against Beyond FC the same day.
Manhattan Kickers vs Real Olé FC (2-4)
Goal scorer information not provided by either team
In a match between two struggling sides, Real Olé FC looked like a team in form as the side downed Manhattan Kickers, 4-2, on the road.
The Kickers, sitting in 12th place, have gone winless through their last nine games dating back to the fall. The win for Real broke their own six game losing streak.
Real Olé now has the daunting task of playing two league matches in two days this weekend. First they will host Polonia SC on Saturday at 9 AM, before traveling the next day to McCarren Park to face Polonia again. This comes after their first meeting was postponed in the fall. The Kickers will host New York Greek Americans II on Sunday.
Richmond County FC vs Manhattan Celtic (0-3)
Following their close fall make-up, Richmond County FC was hoping it could find that little extra something and beat Manhattan Celtic to continue their streak of top table upsets. Instead, Celtic’s defense upped their game and held Richmond scoreless while the offense scored three goals again.
“Going into this match we knew it would be very tough as we had faced Celtic two weeks ago and knew the threat they bring offensively,” Richmond head coach Halid Brkanovic said afterwards. “This weekend they showed us their defense can also match their offense.”
Marco Charnas opened up the scoring early on, assisted by Daniel Arvidsson, and made it three straight games with a goal this Spring. The league’s leading scorer was playing well but a tackle set him off midway through the first half, and he never returned back to the pitch.
County tried to respond with an increased tempo but two goals called back by offside hampered any momentum. The team opened up late in the second but Celtic responded with counter-attack goals from Kwadwo Asante and Arvidsson, assisted by Michael Neish and Asante respectively.
“It was a very competitive match and credit to Celtic for the deserved three points,” Brkanovic said.
Manhattan now turns its attention to Sunday when they visit Hoboken FC 1912. Both teams sit at second and third in the divisional table, and not earning three points could cripple a title chance for either team.
“We are starting to take it up a level and are fully focussed on Hoboken, which we know will be a tough game,” said Celtic head coach Matthew Kane.
Richmond will take on first place New York Shamrock SC the next day, looking to shock the current title favorites.
New York Greek Americans II vs Zum Schneider FC 03 II (2-1)
Goal scorer information not provided by New York Greek Americans II
New York Greek Americans II snapped Zum Schneider FC 03 II’s three game winning streak and ended their own two-game slide that had been ongoing since the fall. The 2-1 results put Greeks II over 10 points on the season, now sitting at 12, while Zum II fell out of the top four.
In the words of Zum assistant coach Lucas Doucette, his group had plenty of opportunities but not enough finishing prowess.
“It was a tough game, we played well and created some quality chances but just weren’t up to match fitness,” he said in an email.
His team was able to capitalize early on a cleared corner kick. Right back Drew Birstingl recovered the ball and took a shot, which Amal Amchal redirected from about eight yards out to give his team the lead. A Greeks II header just before halftime tied the game back at one each.
During the 90 minutes, Zum keeper Ricky Bowry once again put on a great performance. He made several quality saves and, in the words of Doucette, kept his team in it.
However, a stunning long range goal from 25 yards out, into the top of the netting, was one shot Bowry couldn’t stop. Zum tried to counter and Doucette beat a man in the 89th minute down the left side but his cross to Stephen Ojo only led to another missed chance from six yards out.
Zum plays the surging Kelmendi FC NY in Week 14’s nightcap, while Greeks II visit Manhattan Kickers earlier in the day.