Richmond County FC and Real Olé FC play on as the sun sets over Randalls Island in Week 10 (Credit: Richmond County FC)
This recap has been delayed enough so let's quickly get to the action! Please note that due to the recent snow storm, Week 11 games (Dec. 19 to Dec. 20) may be moved or postponed. Please check team social media or contact team management for any updates.
Saturday, December 12
Manhattan Kickers vs Hoboken FC 1912 (Postponed)
Saturday’s lone match between Manhattan Kickers and Hoboken FC 1912 was not played due to COVID-19 quarantine. The new match date has been officially announced at this time.
The match between the two reserve team’s set to kick off prior to this match was ruled a forfeit in favor of Hoboken. Following league bylaws, the Kickers’s first team have been deducted three points bringing it’s new total to 3 points on the season.
The Cosmopolitan Soccer League hopes every player from the Kickers who is currently isolating the best of luck during this time, and we thank them for putting the health of their teammates and fellow league teams first. An additional thanks to Kickers’ head coach Bryan Baracaldo who continues to help fight COVID-19 on the frontline in local hospitals.
Sunday, December 13
New York Shamrock SC vs Stal Mielec NY (6-3)
No goal scorer information provided by New York Shamrock SC
New York Shamrock SC kept rolling in Sunday’s first match, doubling up Stal Mielec NY, 6-3, to remain in first place.
In a game Stal described as “a hockey match” on Facebook, an early chance by the visitors led into a battle of possession for most of the first half. The game stayed in the middle of the field for the most part until about 35 minutes in. After that, three quick goals by The Rocks put Stal against the wall heading into the break.
Stal head coach Miroslaw Pasternak organized his players during the intermission and once the second half whistle blew his team pushed back. In the 48th minute, Christopher Karcz slammed a shot from the right side into the net to bring the deficit down to two. Stal looked to have the upper hand but a hard challenge by Marcin Jawork in the box accidentally shifted the match. Both sides looked to the referee expecting a whistle that never came, allowing a Rocks player to take advantage and score a fourth goal. Stal struggled from there and allowed two more goals during the final 45. Jacek Lawniczak and Lukasz Hausner both scored goals later on but the game’s final whistle came eventually.
Stal will hope to finish 2020 on a better foot against Manhattan Kickers this Saturday while New York closes out it’s fall games against New York Greek Americans II the next day at noon.
Beyond FC vs Manhattan Celtic (0-4)
Beyond FC finished December with a record of 1-0-1 after losing to second place Manhattan Celtic, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon. While Celtic remains one point out of first place’s trophy and EPSL promotion playoff spot, Beyond remains dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Manhattan’s dominant display produced four individual goal scorers during the 90 minute contest. Dan Korman, Austin Alphonse, Marco Charnas, and Tim O'Brien all knocked in goals for Celtic, with Charnas continuing to lead CSL D1 in goals scored as the Fall Season nears to a close. Cesar Serna, Korman, and Alphonse all earned assists as well.
“If I'm being honest, Beyond did an excellent job,” Celtic head coach Matthew Kane said about his team’s opponent. “They had a small roster and sat very deep killing space in behind. It was 1-0 at the half (after Korman’s goal) and it made our players very frustrated.
“We are maturing as a team. Last season these exact games frustrated us and we conceded a goal losing points. We made sure that didn't happen.”
Celtic is scheduled to play Richmond County FC this Saturday night at Pier 40, with Coach Kane hoping the game goes ahead weather permitting.
Richmond County FC vs Real Olé FC (3-1)
With both teams needing a win, Real Olé FC came up short against Richmond County FC, 3-1, and still remain at the bottom of the Division 1 table. Richmond meanwhile picked up it’s fourth win and will finish 2020 in 6th place or potentially better.
The highly competitive match saw Richmond hold control for the two-thirds, scoring all of their goals and holding Olé FC back to a near clean sheet. Mark Shnadshteyn knocked in an unassisted goal about 30 minutes in and according to Real assist coach Nick vonEgypt that derailed his group. Albert Ruci scored a second for County, assisted by Logan Tassin, before Jonard Kadriu found Shnadshteyn to bookend his team’s night with the third goal.
However, Richmond head coach Halid Brkanovic noted that a continued issue his team keeps facing is late goals and endurance. He explained that his team has allowed two goals in the first half of matches and have allowed 13 goals in the second half of matches this season, including Sunday night. With about 15 minutes to go, Saul Ramirez found vonEgypt and erased the clean sheet from Richmond’s resume. The momentum carried on and the team kept pressure high to finish out the game, despite the loss.
Despite the late lapse, coach Brkanovic noted that his team’s recent form has inspired a lot of confidence heading into the Fall final this weekend.
“We've now won four of our last five games and are hoping to end the first half of the season (weather permitting) on a high note against Manhattan Celtic (on Saturday),” he said in an email. Real Olé will try to finish 2020 against Zum Schneider FC 03 II on Sunday, with time and venue to be announced.
New York Greek Americans II vs Kelmendi FC NY (1-2)
No goal scorer information provided by New York Greek Americans II
Kelmendi FC NY provided the biggest surprise of Week 10, beating New York Greek Americans II, 2-1, on the road and jumping the latter in the standings. Both teams have two more games to play in the Fall, including January makeups, but there’s a chance these both could battle one another to escape the lower half of the table.
Overall, the visitors gave Greeks II little room for error during the game. Kelmendi’s Sokol Shqutaj found Eduard Necaj upfront for a shot. The attempt was blocked, but allowed Marino Nuculović the perfect chance to slam the rebound in to put his team up. With the pace going back and forth, the next goal for FC NY logically came from distance. Naim Kurtovic, one of the oldest players on the squad, ran up the left side. Not seeing any options to cross into, he launched a shot into the top left corner of the goal past an extended keeper to double the score.
The Greeks charged back late and eventually cut the deficit in half but were unable to take away a point from the match. Kelmendi visits the recently struggling Hoboken FC 1912 this Sunday to finish out 2020, while Greeks II visit New York Shamrock SC the same day.
Zum Schneider FC 03 II vs Polonia SC (3-1)
No goal scorer information provided by Polonia SC
Two unanswered goals lifted Zum Schneider FC 03 II to a win over Polonia SC and into fourth place on the Division 1 table.
"Credit to Polonia, they played us hard,” Zum II head coach Ryan Horch said. “Their place in the standings is not reflective of the quality they showed. December games can be difficult, I'm pleased to come away with another three points."
Mo Haridi scored first for Zum, assisted by Drew Birstingl, from 22 yards out to beat the diving Polonia keeper. The visitors tied it up before halftime on a wild play. A long strike from Polonia was blocked, but ended up in the air towards net. After a Zum defender tried to head it away, the ball looped back and past a diving Ricky Bowry to tie the game at one each. The shock goal gave Polonia the momentum for the rest of the half but the team could not find the back of the net again.
Birstingl, coach Horch's MVP of the night, kicked off the second half by assisting Youseff Afifi on the game-winner. A fantastic low, 30-yard pass, while he was nearing the edge of the field, set up Afifi behind Polonia’s back line, allowing him to beat the keeper one-on-one. Stephen Ojo sealed the game by beating a defender and finishing the effort on a pass from Afifi.
Zum is scheduled to finish 2020 against Real Olé FC this Sunday, with time and location yet to be announced.