Shamrocks center back Zachary Gosse. Shamrocks Images
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery| @onz_11
Sept. 28th, 2018
The CSL’s fourth round promises to be the most action-packed week we’ve seen so far this season. Week 4 will display two massive fixtures as Shamrocks host NY Greek Americans on Saturday while NY Pancyprian Freedoms travel to Yonkers to take on their rivals Lansdowne Yonkers F.C.
Elsewhere superclub Cedar Stars Academy will clash with Doxa S.C. on Sunday night. Central Park Rangers Whites and Zum Schneider F.C. 03 will seek their first win of the season against NY Athletic Club and Hoboken F.C. 1912 respectively.
Lansdowne keeper Kabo is eager to hit Pancyprians back with a win
NY Pancyprian Freedoms knocked Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifiers last Saturday, defeating them, 4-0, at the Bhoys’ turf, Tibbetts Brook Park Field 3. Lansdowne will fight to retaliate the Freedoms’ blow with a victory of their own at Tibbetts this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
The Bhoys’ star keeper Abdoukarim ‘Kabo’ Danso is eager to rack an avenging win versus NY Pancyprians.
“Honestly I can't wait to get it off my head and only way to do that is to beat them,” Kabo said in a pre-game interview.
Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. keeper Abdoukarim 'Kabo' Danso.
The new look Lansdowne team under new coaches Sean Kelly and Jim Kelly had a substandard start of the season as they lost all their matches against CSL clubs so far, falling to Shamrocks, 3-1, Cedar Stars Academy, 4-1, and recently to the Freedoms 4-0. Additionally, the club is on a 4-6-1 record in all competitions since winning the CSL last year and the departure of coach Austin Friel.
Kabo recently became Lansdowne’s captain and he’s keen to help the team restore its winning ways.
“Me being the captain I'll make things get back to normal as soon as Saturday,” the keeper said. “I promise you, you will see a better performance, determination and hunger. We need to show other teams we are still the champions and it starts Saturday.”
In last weekend’s Open Cup qualifiers, Adam Himeno netted twice while Michael Palacio and Gerassimos ‘Makcie’ Magoulas found the net once each.
The Freedoms started their domestic season on a bright note as they won their first two outings while scoring the most goals in the league, 11, and conceding the least, 1. Himeno leads the team in scoring in all competitions, tallying three goals. The midfielder is also the club’s assist leader alongside Jonathan Borrajo, racking three goal-passes.
Lansdowne never lost their first two CSL games in the modern era of the league, which amounts up to six seasons.
Shamrocks will fight to recover from their first loss with a win over NY Greeks
Similar to their fellow Irish side, Lansdowne, Shamrocks will also look to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss.
After starting the season with two promising wins, Kevin Grogan’s men suffered their first loss of the campaign last weekend to Cedar Stars, 5-0. The Rocks will look to shrug off their first defeat versus NY Greek Americans on Saturday at Randall’s Island Field 70 at 8:00 p.m.
NY Greeks forward Tyler Botte noted that Shamrocks is always a dangerous side whether they’re looking to recover from a loss or not.
“When you play Shamrocks you know they’re going to work and put in a shift for 90 minutes no matter what,” Botte said.
NY Greek Americans striker Tyler Botte (number 20). Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
However the former Hofstra University captain is assured his side will get the best out of the Irish club.
“We have to be able to match their intensity from the start Saturday to get the result,” Botte continued.
He later added: “No matter what 11 we have out on the field we are confident we can get three points, we’re a tight group and it feels even better when we are able to play well and hopefully win under these circumstances.”
Unlike Shamrocks who has played in every round so far, the Greeks weren’t in action last weekend. NYGA is on a 1-0-1 record compared to Shamrocks’ 2-1-0 record.
NY Greeks didn’t register the result they wanted in their last match either as they drew with mid-table club Central Park Rangers Whites, 1-1, thanks to Conor Hunter’s 80th minute goal.
Shaun ‘Fozzy’ Foster leads NYGA in scoring with two goals. Meanwhile Kurt Cameron is Shamrocks top scorer with three goals.
Hoboken aims to overcome Zum, a side eager to win their first match
Hoboken F.C. 1912 will host Zum Schneider F.C. 03 at Stephen R. Gregg Park Turf Field 1 on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.
In their first season back in the top flight, Hoboken won their first match, blanking Central Park Rangers, 4-0, before drawing with NY Athletic Club, 1-1, last weekend. As for Zum they lost their first three matches to CSA, 6-1, NY Pancyprians, 7-0, and to NYAC, 3-2.
Hoboken's midfielder Colin Stripling, who’s playing his first season in the CSL, noted how intensive the games are and he’s expecting an even more vigorous CSL match on Sunday as ZSFC will be looking to reedem themselves after three rough losses.
“From my experience so far, games in the CSL are competitive in the nature that each side is expecting to pick up three points. No matter how it looks or how it gets done,” Stripling said.
“With Zum Schneider’s previous matches they are looking to get their first win of the season, knowing that, we are anticipating a game with high energy. Three points is a successful weekend and I know come Sunday those are the expectations for our side as well as theirs regardless of previous results.”
Stripling has one CSL goal to his name in two matches, one less than Jeremy Witherspoon who leads the club in scoring. Saad Afif and Atay Yilmaz are Zum’s scorers so far this campaign, racking one goal each.
Central Park player-coach Vovsha calls seeking win versus NYAC ‘critical’ after last week’s loss
Central Park Rangers Whites suffered a rough 3-2 loss to Doxa S.C. last weekend. CPR was up 2-1 in the 75th minute even though they were playing with 10-men. Doxa hit them with two late goals to snatch the three-points away from them.
CPR will face NY Athletic Club away from home at Travers Island at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. The club’s player-coach Eli Vovsha expressed how much more important it is to defeat NYAC this weekend after going home winless last Sunday when they have a rough schedule ahead of them.
“The objective was always to get three points in this match,” Vovsha said, “but of course last weekend's setback means these points are now critical, especially given our schedule in October.”
Central Park Rangers Whites player-coach Eli Vovsha. Picture by Andrew Faherty
CPR will face giants Cedar Stars, Lansdowne and NY Pancyprians respectively in their following three matches.
The club is winless in their first three outings as they own a 0-1-2 record. NY Athletic on the flip side won for the first time this season last week, edging Zum 3-2, to boost their record to 1-1-1.
Jake Mann leads NYAC in goals and assists, finding the net twice and sending his teammates on goal once.
As for Central Park, James Greco is their assist and goalscorer leader, racking one in each department.
Friel and his redoubtable Stars travel to New Rochelle to face Doxa
Cedar Stars Academy is without an inch of doubt the fiercest CSL side now. The professional amateur side is on a 5-0-0 record in all competitions while outscoring their opponents 20-3. Doxa S.C., on the other end, slimmed their way in the top-flight this campaign with a 0-0 tie versus Manhattan Kickers after the regular season.
The Greek club started this season with two losses to NYGA, 3-2, and Shamrocks, 3-1, before winning their first match last Sunday as they crawled past Central Park Rangers, 3-2.
No need to say it’s another David-versus-Goliath matchup for Austin Friel’s men. Doxa’s head coach Paul Grafas, one of the most energetic coach you will find in the CSL, knows all about grabbing points away from the Goliaths of the CSL.
Grafas started the club’s season back in the first division in the 2016-17 campaign with a 3-3 draw against Cedar Stars, who weren’t as powerful back then but did reach the final the previous season. Doxa drew with NY Greeks, 0-0, the following round. Three weeks later the Greek coach led his side to a 1-1 draw with Lansdowne, who was under the Stars’ very own Friel at that time.
Last time Grafas and his men faced CSA in the league, they snapped their opponents 10-game run without conceding a goal but ended up losing the match 5-2.
Similar to CSA’s encounter versus the Rocks last week, the match will display the two top scorers of the league: Cedar Stars striker Christopher Katona (6 goals) and Doxa’s forward Kareem Joachim (5 goals).