Zum Schneider FC 03 II goalkeeper Ricky Bowry braves the eliminates in his team's Week 7 match versus New York Greek Americans II on Roosevelt Island (Credit: Zum Schneider FC 03 II)
Tornado warnings, high wind, and heavy rain laid the backdrop for most of Week 7's matches. Of the six scheduled contests only five were completed and only one (the earliest) had a winning scoreline above one goal. The challenging envirement and competition forced each side to adapt their tactics differently.
Every team currently in the Top 4 played one another on Sunday and each tied in those matches, meaning every other Division 1 side had an opportunity to make up ground for a possible podium position or more. Read the full recap below including links to two of the week's match broadcasts:
Sunday, November 15
Kelmendi FC NY vs Manhattan Kickers (4-1)
No goal scorer information provided
For the second time this season Kelmendi FC NY found themselves with a new entry in the win column after they opened Week 7 with a 4-1 victory over Manhattan Kickers.
The three points jump Kelmendi away from the bottom two (normally the relegation zone) and into sixth place. The Kickers meanwhile remain at six points on the season.
The Kickers will look to rebound on Wednesday night against Zum Schneider FC 03 II. Kelmendi will play next on Sunday at home versus Polonia SC.
New York Shamrock SC vs Hoboken FC 1912 (0-0)
One of the more highly anticipated matches of Week 7 may not have met expectations on the scoresheet but the match itself was entertaining, fast-paced, and physical. Both New York Shamrock SC and Hoboken FC 1912 could not break down their opponents and left the field with a point each and no goals.
Both sides came into Sunday’s match knowing they had a tough challenge ahead. Hoboken head coach Steve Korfiatis said afterwards that a lot had been leading up to this point and his team felt ready.
“We have been slowly gaining in confidence throughout the season and the players were all very excited for the challenge,” he said. “The fact that the game was being filmed for the first time gave us a bit of extra motivation to perform.”
As the visitors, Hoboken focused it’s attack on keeping the ball in the air and trying to physically outmatch the Rocks. Roosevelt Island’s smaller pitch meant spreading out play wasn’t an option so Korfiatis and his players knew their best bets were to play high and direct. On the other end, Shamrock’s high powered offense had plenty of possession time and chances on net. To them, the draw, let alone no goals, feels like a wasted opportunity.
Hoboken’s Tyler Poggliogalle made plenty of saves to preserve the clean sheet during the match including stopping a James Hudson volley in the second half that looked to be going in just over his head. Despite a re-organized Hoboken pressing on the gas in the final 45, Charlie O'Loughlin helped quell any attack he faced in the back.
The Rocks will host another Top 3 side this Sunday in Manhattan Celtic while Hoboken takes on fellow NJ side Beyond FC on Wednesday night.
Match broadcast from CSL Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/132818970251012/videos/698555310797052
Beyond FC vs Richmond County FC (0-1)
For the second straight week, Richmond County FC edged an opponent thanks to a single goal. This time, hosts Beyond FC were held back long enough for the visitors to escape with the 1-0 win.
The three points were going to be critical to whichever team could take them. Both teams sat at 5 points before the game and jumping to 8 means nearing the top of the middle table. Peter Zima, like last week, scored the game’s only goal and was assisted by Mark Shnadshteyn.
Richmond will try to finish November with three straight wins on Thursday against New York Greek Americans II. Beyond will try to claw back into the table race on Wednesday when they face first place Hoboken FC 1912.
Stal Mielec NY vs Manhattan Celtic (2-2)
For Stal Mielec NY Sunday’s match was its first real test to show it belongs among the top teams in CSL Division 1. Unfortunately, it came on a day with horrible weather leading to a hampered game by both them and the visiting Manhattan Celtic. Both teams left Belmont Oval with a point after a 2-2 draw.
Coming into the important match Stal was already facing an uphill battle playing without some of their top stars. Included in that group were Patrick Majkut and the team’s leading goal scorer this season Pawel Marczenie.
Despite the absences, Stal Mielec took little time to get on the board. In the first few minutes Krzysztof Karcz helped push the attack forward and put some shots on net. One of these, in the chaos of the box, found the foot of Christopher Tavern who sunk the shot for an early lead. The rest of the first half remained in Stal’s favor with Celtic only getting a few clear chances to even the score as the second place side nearly went into the break trailing. It took a late shot by Sean Doran, assisted by Cesar Serna, just before the halftime whistle to tie the game back up.
Between halves, the weather worsened as wind and rain picked up. Celtic head coach Matthew Kane explained after the match that any sort of planning on the field was nearly useless.
“Can talk tactics, quality all you want - (it) was a night not to get beat and we did that,” Kane said in an email. “The ability to play any quality football was stifled by the pitch, the elements, and the opponent.”
Stal’s home field advantage did extend to the size of the pitch at Belmont, which is narrow, but Kane praised his team’s foe on their play.
In the second half, Stal continued to control play as best it could as ball movement worsened. The biggest moment came midway through when Mateusz Chlost, assisted by Karcz, knocked in a shot to give Stal it’s second lead. Celtic struggled to get the ball into the offensive end and looked as though it would leave with it’s first loss of the year. The saving grace came in stoppage time when Dan Korman found Doran for another late goal.
Both teams left with pros and cons, considering the opponent and weather, but a hard fought point was well earned. Stal Mielec will host Real Ole FC this Sunday in another night match where a win keeps them in pace with the Top 3, including their game in hand. Celtic meanwhile will host an Irish derby earlier in the day against third place New York Shamrock SC.
Real Ole FC vs Polonia SC (Postponed)
Sunday’s match between Real Ole FC and Polonia SC only played 40 minutes before referees stopped the match due to hazardous weather. The game, which was being played at Real’s Granite Knolls Field in Mohegan, NY, was tied 0-0 at the time of stoppage.
A new date and time is currently being decided upon by the league and teams. Both Real Ole and Polonia sit at the bottom of the league table with three and four points, respectively. They will both play this Sunday, with Real taking on Stal Mielec NY and Polonia visiting Kelmendi FC NY.
Zum Schneider FC 03 II vs New York Greek Americans II (3-2)
The final sprint of Sunday’s main event saw Zum Schneider FC 03 II come from behind and beat New York Greek Americans II, 3-2, on Roosevelt Island. The wind was so bad that Zum keeper and assistant coach Ricky Bowry told his coaches that it blinded him as it whipped into his face during the first half.
"I am very happy with the result,” Zum head coach Ryan Horch said in an email. “Both teams braved the elements well and it was a hard fought contest. Our team did well to fight through and take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves."
The home side was able to get ahead early in the match thanks to Lino “Pasquale” Suriano sticking a free kick into the net. The Greeks’ were able to respond fairly quickly though, and within fifthteen minutes Gasper Jean-Baptiste knotted the game back up at one each.
After that though, the increasing rain made play sloppy as neither side really looked in control. Lowered visibility meant more passing errors while the slicker field hampered any offensive chances. However just before halftime Jean-Baptiste took the lead for his team with his second goal, a low skipping shot that hit off Bowry’s leg and into the far post to make it 2-1 Greeks.
Not letting the momentum shift any further, Zum attempted to keep as much control as possible early in the second half. With the wind at their backs, the home side was able to organize more time in New York’s end. It finally culminated when second half sub Conor Pellas fired a knuckling ball from distance around the 70th minute to tie the game back up.
With time running out for both teams, Suriano stepped up to be the hero. Fresh off a turnover, his shot from the right side on a tight angle went over the Greek keeper and into the net to make it 3-2. New York had one final chance to tie it up late with a free kick, but the attempt crashed into Zum’s man made wall and was cleared just before the final whistle.
With the win, Zum has won two of three games this month with one more match against Manhattan Kickers this Sunday coming up. Currently sitting in 8th place, the team could jump as far as 5th should the right results occur in Week 8. Greeks II will play their table neighbors Richmond County FC on Thursday night at the Metropolitan Oval. The winner of that game will put distance between themselves and the lower half of the table and help secure a place within the middle of the pack.