DIVISION 1: Top seven things to look forward to in 2018

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

Jan. 17, 2018

 

The CSL top flight is on for a heck of a 2018. It could be the year the league move up the ladder in the U.S soccer pyramid and will be a year a CSL team will play in the Open Cup again. As we're waiting for the second half of the season, let's go over the top seven things that makes 2018 such a promising year for the CSL. 

 

7. All-CSL Manning Cup final

 

 

2017 ended with two memorable all-CSL cup finals: the Eastern NY Werner Fricker Open Cup and the ENY Fritz Martz National Amateur Cup. 2018 will display another all-CSL cup final as the last four remaining teams of the Manning State Cup are from the CSL: Lansdowne Bhoys, Central Park Rangers Whites, NY Greek Americans and NY Pancyprian Freedoms

The 2017 Manning Cup final was an all-CSL battle between Lansdowne and their Irish rivals NY Shamrock SC. Lansdowne blanked the Rocks 3-0.

 

6. Improved social media

The league will test drive mycujoo app, an online football live streaming app, in the winter tournament which will be held on March 4th, in the CSL final and the Manning State Cup final. The CSL is also in negotiation with HelloFC, an upcoming app that provides an over-easy social media coverage that includes one-click tweets during games and one-click game summaries.

 

5. A tight battle for the 2018 CSL Cup

NY Shamrock SC fullback Dan Giorgi and ex-Lansdowne Bhoys player Karim Russell looking to outmuscle each other.

 

One thing the CSL does not lack this year is powerhouses. Let's take a look at those CSL giants. NY Greek American reestablished themselves as one of the giants of the league last year. The club will be going after the CSL as if it was the apple of their eyes as they're trying to accomplish something that's never been done before: winning the national double and the CSL in the same season.

Shamrocks grew into a juggernaut last season out of the blue. The club isn't quite at their standard from last year but still isn't a side you would want to play in the playoffs. The Rocks never won the first division, what's better than a first CSL title to prove that they're one of the top teams in the league now?

Cedar Stars Academy improved tremendously from their shocking non-playoff season last year with the help of a few signings, one of them is a guy who scoring three, four goals a game is a normal routine for him, Christopher Katona.

Cedar Stars is closely affiliated with FC Motown (they have the same board members and about the same roster). F.C Motown is eagerly looking to reach the highest status in amateur soccer possible so expect their sister club CSA to put up a ferocious fight for the CSL trophy.

NY Pancyprian Freedoms lost the CSL final three times in the past four years. No words needed on how determined the Queens based club is to break their curse in the CSL final. The first half of the season wasn't a bad start in accomplishing their goal as the team went undefeated while racking four clean sheets in eight matches.

Last but not least, amateur champions Lansdowne Bhoys will fight to reclaim their title of CSL champions as they lost to the Greeks in the semifinal last year after winning the league for three consecutive seasons. The Greeks also knocked Lansdowne out of the Fricker Cup and the Amateur Cup in penalties. The Bhoys will look to capture the CSL back to muffle their early exit in the cups afromentioned as well.   

 

4. NY Greeks will represent the CSL in the regional stages of the Fricker Cup and the Amateur Cup

 

NY Greek American team picture.

 

As Lansdowne did last year after winning the CSL, champions NY Greek Americans will compete in the regional stages of the Werner Fricker Open Cup and the Fritz Marth National Amateur Cup. NYGA won the Amateur Cup in 2014 and still have six players from their roster then. 

 

3. First top scorer and best player award of the modern era

The CSL will award the top scorer and the best player of the season for the first time in the modern era of the league. Cedar Stars captain Christopher Katona is the topscorer after the first half of the season, tallying 14 goals in nine games and won the most Player of the Weeks as he was selected three times. 

 

2. Lansdowne will compete in the Open Cup

 

Lansdowne Bhoys starting XI in their last Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup qualifier against Junior Lone Star F.C U-23. Lansdowne Bhoys Images

 

Lansdowne will play in the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup, which will kick off on May 9th. The Irish club is also the last CSL club that participated in the Open Cup. They did so in 2016 when they reached the third round in their first crack at the competition. 

 

1. Will it be the year the CSL move higher in the U.S soccer pyramid?

The CSL filed for tier 3 USASA status. Stay tuned...

 

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