Cedar Stars Academy players and coaches posing for a picture with the Premier Division trophy.
March 6th, 2018
Cedar Stars Academy won the 2018 CSL Indoor Tournament Premier Division for the second consecutive year after rallying back a 2-1 win over Manhattan Celtic in the final on Sunday night at Superdome Sports Facility in New Jersey.
Cedar Stars midfielder Sikele Sylvester was selected as the MVP of the Premier Division. Sylvester netted the game-winning goal of the final after assisting his side’s tying goal and scored a double in CSA’s 5-4 comeback victory over Cedar Stars Reserve in the semifinals.
Sylvester was eager to win the tournament from the get-go after he had previously lost three straight indoor championship games outside of the CSL.
“I’ve been playing a lot of indoor tournaments and the last three tournaments I lost in the final so coming here today I told myself I have to win ‘cause I’ve been losing a lot,” the 30-year-old said. “It was good, man; it was a great feeling when I scored that goal [the game-winning of the final].”
Sikele Sylvester was named the 2018 CSL Indoor Tournament Premier Division MVP.
Losing finalists Celtic scored the first goal of the championship game as James Reilly steered a sizzling low shot to the near right corner past Cedar Stars keeper Bryan Lopez in the eighth minute.
CSA equalized six minutes later when Christopher Riordan hit a left footed low-drive beyond Celtic’s keeper from Sylvester’s kick-in.
Sylvester netted the winning goal in the 17th minute. Hani Nasr cleverly dummied Josue Ortiz’s low-cross, letting the ball roll to an unmarked Sylvester, who calmly buried a shot in the net.
The Stars had to crawl back to win the semifinal as well, slimming past CSA Reserve 5-4.
“I think when we went behind it gave the team a huge push, everybody started to give 110 percent, you know,” the tournament's MVP said, “that’s why we came back and won from being 2-0 down in the semifinal. Everybody started pushing from 100 percent to 110.”
Manhattan on the other end got the best out of FC Ulqini 2-1 in their semifinal game.
Group stages most memorable games
The notable matches of the group stages were 2016 champions Sporting Astoria’s 2-2 draw with CSA after being down by two goals, the D1 clash between Cedar Stars and Doxa, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Stars and Manhattan’s entertaining high scoring 5-3 win over Astoria.
|1.||Cedar Stars 1||[2-0-1]||7|
|2.||Cedar Stars 2||[2-0-1]||7|
|Pos.||Players [Teams]||No. of goals|
|1.||Markez Zalla [Cedar Stars]||5|
|1.||Marco Charnas [Celtic]||5|
|3.||Adrian Garcia [Celtic]||4|
|3.||Toni Soler [Cedat Stars]||4|
|5.||Sikele Sylvester [Cedar]||3|
|5.||James Reilly [Celtic]||3|
|5.||Vinny [Doxa SC]||3|
|5.||Berat Islami [FC Ulqini]||3|
|5.||Gledis Nuza [FC Ulqini]||3|
|5.||Trevor Albrecht [G.R.F.C.]||3|
Metro Division 2 side Richmond County F.C won the Open Division by narrowing past Lyndhurst F.C 3-2 in the final.
CSL Indoor Tournament Open Division champions Richmond County F.C.
Richmond clinched the final by edging F.C Ulqini 2-1 in the semifinals after blanking Kelmedi F.C 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile Lyndhurst reached the championship game with two penalty kick wins: a shocking 1-0 PK victory over NY CSL giants NY Pancyprian Freedoms in the quarterfinals and a 3-2 penalty win over Central Park Rangers Reds B Team in the semis.
Shockingly enough, champions Richmond started the tournament with two draws against non-playoff side Beyond F.C B Team 1-1 and with Central Park Rangers First Team 0-0 respectively.
One of the tournament’s favorites Lansdowne Bhoys Reserve didn’t make the playoffs after two draws and one win in the group games.
Another noteworthy story was Metro Division 1’s first placed team F.C Ulqini’s 3-2 penalty kick win over the top Division 2 side Hoboken F.C in the quarterfinals.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms squeezed past C.D.I 4-3 to win the Over-30 Division title.
CSL Indoor Tournament Over-30 champions NY Pancyprian Freedoms.
However when the two finalists previously met in Group F, C.D.I defeated NY Pancyprians 1-0.
To book a spot in the final, the Freedoms conquered last year’s champions Manhattan Kickers 3-1 in the semifinals after finishing second in their group.
In the other semifinal, C.D.I topped Mr. Dennehy’s 2-0.