The sixteenth week of Cosmopolitan League Soccer had a plethora of Division 2 action happening over multiple days. In total four teams were officially eliminated from possibly making the playoffs while no team has officially clinched a spot in either the north or south region.
Here's the full recap for a league round that included two hat-tricks and four cleansheets.
Saturday, May 4
Manhattan Celtic v. Central Park Rangers Reds (1-0)
After last week’s loss to NYPD FC, Manhattan Celtic rebounded with a 1-0 win of their own against Central Park Rangers Reds on Saturday night. Like last week the team was missing players but Celtics head coach Matthew Kane was proud of his team’s response.
“Happy with the squad as we were missing six players who played the game against NYPD yet the squad performed as if there had been no change,” Kane said in a postgame email.
The returning Marco Charnas made the difference for his team as he scored the game winner in the 75th minute off a volley from Mike Ryan.
The game was back and forth for the full match with the final possibly going to either and the thought of a draw not far from either team’s mind late in the game. Both teams had and missed chances during the first 45. The Celtics could have been up by three but the CPR defense and a mix of poor finishing kept the scoreline at zero.
CPR manager Mike Carducci said his team was also missing units in a postgame email but gave credit to the stronger side that day.
“Truth be told, we were missing some big parts of the roster - both starting strikers and two of our three starting center midfielders,” Carducci. “If we had a couple more of our regulars, I'm confident we would have come away with three points. However as it is, Celtic came in with a solid game plan and stuck to it throughout, so hats off to them.
“At the very least, CPR has some big positivity heading into next season.”
For Celtic the possible playoff hunt continues into Week 17 and maybe beyond.
FC Japan v. Panatha USA (6-0)
FC Japan put on a late season offensive display against Panatha USA with a huge win, 6-0. Four goals from Ken Mochizuki lead the charge for his team as the squad looked to finish the season strong.
Naoki Sekikawa and Issei Mitsui rounded out the scoring with one goal each. The team will play fellow mid-table squad FC Ulqini this Saturday in the penultimate game of the season.
Panatha remains winless on the season but did earn a victory earlier in the day. The team’s reserve side beat FC Japan’s reserve team, 3-2, with goals from Alexodimos Dimalexis, Rahail Khan, and a penalty kick from team captain Stavros Delardas. Japan’s scorers were Yuya Adachi and Mitsui who pulled double duty that day.
Sunday, May 5
Brishna v. Real Olé FC (2-1)
Brishna earned its second win of the spring when the team beat the recently slipping Real Olé FC, 2-1, at home in Queens. The two Brishna goals were scored by Karimullah Mashriqi and Essa Hotaki respectivly. Patrick Alvarez scored the only Real goal in the game as the team couldn't find the equalizer late.
The two teams have no chance to make the playoffs this year, with Real officially being eliminated from the playoff hunt due to this loss and the Sporting SC win, but will both be looking to finish the season strong. Brishna can still finish in the top half of the table, a credit to how close every team in in D2 North, while Real will be playing the north region leading KidSuper Samba AC this weekend in their final regular season game.
Stal Mielec NY v. Beyond FC (3-2)
With one game left in the regular season, Stal Mielec NY remains in second place in D2 South after beating Beyond FC, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon. Beyond has lost three straight ever since upsetting Williamsburg International FC on April 14 at home while Stal rebounds after last week's loss to WIFC.
A even game left the score even at halftime. A foul inside the Beyond box allowed Pawel Marczenia to convert a penalty kick for his team’s first goal but SMNY couldn’t come up with more in the first half. A second Beyond goal gave the team the lead early in the second but a header from Jacek Lawniczak tied the game back up.
With five minutes to go and with their team dominating possession, the squad got passed the stellar Beyond defense one final time and forced a second penalty kick in the 85th minute. Marczenia stepped up once again and with his team’s hopes rising on his feet he converted for his second goal of the game.
CD Iberia v. KidSuper Samba AC (0-4)
Division 2 North leading KidSuper Samba AC is on track to clinch the region’s top seed and a win against CD Iberia, 4-0, means the team is one step closer to doing so. A win this week against Real Olé FC will make first place a lock in the promotion playoffs.
Ibrahima Bah came up big for his team with a goal in each half, with assists coming from Alhoussain Bah and Daouda Bakayoko respectively, as his team’s offense continued to surge. Alhoussain assisted on a second goal as well when Ebrima Jallow opened up scoring for his team early on in the contest.
CD Iberia struggled to keep up throughout the contest and after two goals had already been scored in the first, a third from Youssouf Bamba off a Abdukassim Fofana assist felt like the game ender. The team kept fighting but could not find clear chances as time ticked closer to the final whistle. The loss today and the Sporting SC win officially eliminate the team from possibly making the postseason.
NY Ukrainians v. Manhattan Kickers (2-4)
With time running out on the regular season, the Manhattan Kickers kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over the NY Ukrainians, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon. The win pushes the Kickers to 29 pts and two below the second place Stal Mielec NY.
With crisp, May weather at game time (meaning cloudy and a little wet) the performance played out like two teams with a season load of experience each. Despite sitting at the lower end of the D2 South table, the Ukrainians kept pace with the high offence of Manhattan. The team was able to take the lead after twenty minutes off a Jesse Alexander goal, with Jameel Almohamadi and Felipe Muntsch assisting.
The Kickers responded a handful of minutes later. Matthias Jorge found Bryan Baracaldo on the right side of the field, 20 yards from the goal, who sniped a shot past the keeper to tie it up. The pace picking up had its downfall though as NYU’s Dmitri Jacobs was taken down in the box by an opposing player. Gilbert Bayonne converted from the spot and his team once again held the lead heading into halftime.
The second half was all Manhattan as the team maintained the ball for most of the 45. Senan Lonergan’s cross and a jumping heel kick by Rasmus Michler Mogensen set up Brian Morris for the tying goal early on. Only five minutes later Morris was able to convert with a tap in thanks to a cross by Lonergan.
The Ukrainians began pushing for a late game equalizer but in doing so left their back exposed. A free kick by the team fell to Baracaldo by mistake, who saw the right side empty and a charging Morris. A cut to the middle of the field and a shot past the keeper’s left side put the game in the books.
The Kickers will be looking for a win next week against Williamsburg International FC and an FC Japan win in two weeks against Stal Mielec.
Williamsburg International FC v. FC Ulqini (2-3)
After being in contention for the top spot in Division 2 South only a few weeks ago, Williamsburg International FC was eliminated from playoff contention after the latest heartbreaking loss to FC Ulqini, 3-2.
Ulqini control all the pace of the game with forward Erbet Hoti having the MVP performance scoring all of his team’s goals. Despite the postseason not being a possibility, with Stal Mielec NY's win this week putting the second playoff spot out of reach, the team can still finish in the top half of an already stacked table.
Williamsburg meanwhile came up short despite a solid performance from team leader John Kaddo who scored a goal and assisted on his team's second. Mark Gallagher scored the other goal while Kevin Ruppel earned an assist as well. The team will finish the season on the road with games against Manhattan Kickers and Polonia Gwardia NY.
FC Spring Valley v. Sporting SC (1-9)
Sporting SC demolished FC Spring Valley, 9-1, in the team’s second biggest win of the season on Sunday night. Sporting currently sits in second place in D2 North and looking to seal the runners up spot from Manhattan Celtic and NYPD FC.
The first half was a highly offensive affair with both teams swapping goals after 15 minutes. Sporting were clinical with their scoring opportunites unlike FCSV and allowed them to finish the first with a comfortable 3-1 lead. First half scorers for Sporting SC were Don "Messi" Oba (2), and Kendon Anderson. The lone FCSV scorer was Woody Oceant.
But in the second half, Sporting SC got serious and began to dominate their bottom of the table opponents. Sporting SC scored six unanswered goals. Abbe "The Lion" Ibrahima was the high man with 4 goals on assists from Carlos "CG3" Garcia (2), Jemar Dawkins, and Tom Yourston. Jemar Dawkins and Kendon Anderson both added a goal each.
"FCSV have a lot of young players that were impressive in the first half when we played a mostly offensive match. Their young guys are fit, fast, and skillful. It was an expected win for us but FCSV has a great future," commented club manager Ed Romero.
Spring Valley’s struggles continue as the team looks to end the season strong against NYPD and Brishna.
Wednesday, May 8
Central Park Rangers Reds v. Sporting SC (1-3)
No goal scorer information given by CPR Reds
Sporting SC made easy work of CPR Reds winning 3-1 at Randall's Island field 70. With the win, Sporting SC are inching closer to qualifing for the CSL D2 Playoff Promotion Semi-Final match.
Sporitng dominated the early minutes of the match and in the 20th min. mark Kendon Anderson scored his first of the night after a solo effort inside the box. But by the 25th minute, CPR began to dominate possession and Sporting couldn't respond to the CPR offensive. A great effort by the Sporting defense kept the score at 3-1.
Defenders Mammadou Diabate, Michael Natsu, and keeper Laurence Girard were responsible for stopping much of the CPR scoring opportunites. But their luck would end in the second half.
CPR would finally get their reward in the 55th minute after scoring on a great break away that ended in a cross and tuck to the far corner of the Sporting goal.
But with 35 min. left, Kendon Anderson turned it up. Kendon added a goal in the 65th and 78th min. to seal a Sporting 3-1 victory. Kendon was assisted by Carlos "CG3" Garcia and Abbe "The Lion" Ibrahima. CPR just could not contain Kendon and company.
"Kendon bailed us out today and gave a wonderful perfomance. CPR is not an easy opponent and to score 3 times is something else. We got the best of them today but I have no doubt that CPR will be a top team next season," stated club manager Ed Romero.
Sporting SC will look to finish up their season with two more wins against CD Iberia Saturday May 11th and NYPD FC on May 19th at home in Soundview Park Soccer Field, the Bronx.