OVER-30 NATIONAL CUP
Between 2008 and 2011, Pancyprian Freedoms bagged three U.S. amateur titles. Six years later, veterans of those national championship-winning sides are mounting a challenge for the U.S. Over-30 Cup. Pancyprian edged New York Greek Americans 1-0 in the State final at St. John’s University to advance to the regionals.
Midfielder Jeff Matteo, whose pro career included stints in Italy and MLS with the Columbus Crew and the New Jersey MetroStars, got the only goal of the match.
“Yea, we’ve won three national championships with the men’s team in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Now we’re trying to do it as an Over-30 team!” said Tasos Polydefkis.
His 118th extra time goal against Arizona Sahuaros in Seattle clinched the Pancyprian first team the 2008 U.S. amateur crown, 2-1.
Forty-eight hours later at a wet and blustery St. John’s, Taso notched a hat trick, including the 80thh minute winner, as the Greek-Cypriots registered back-to-back victories over their hard battling Hellenic foes.
The league tussle ended 3-2 with Jimmy Shalom and Mauricio Turizo on the mark for NYGA.
“Great game in horrible weather,” remarked Taso. “We were up 2-0. They drew level and we won.”
In the First Division, Pancyprian blanked Manhattan Kickers 3-0 at St. John’s.
Adam Himeno and Ryan Schniederman [two] lifted the seven-time CSL champs into third place on the log [3-0-3, 12], three points behind leaders Shamrocks.
The reserve fixture was a different story as Kickers came from behind on goals by Patrick Doherty and Senan Lonergan.
Pancyprian’s victory aside, the Irish dominance in the CSL’s top flight entered its sixth week with comfortable wins by leaders Shamrocks and second place Lansdowne Bhoys.
The Rocks’ Kurt Cameron starred with a hat trick in a 5-2 rout of Central Park Rangers at St. Michael’s Playground. CSL top scorer James Whyte was involved in all three goals.
CPR’s James Greco got a goal back after which substitute James Zaidan made it 4-1 thanks to Kwesi Mills-Odoi’s through ball. Stephanos Hondrakis then cut the deficit to 4-2, but Scotsman Calvin Moyes’ first ever Shamrocks goal on Joey Zorba’s assist saw the game end 5-2.
“That was an extremely important win,” said coach Grogan. “We always looked dangerous in attack. We just need to be a bit more disciplined defensively.”
The Rocks are now 5-1  atop the standings as they pursue their first regular season title in the upper echelon.
In the opener, Andrew Scott extended the Shamrocks reserves’ perfect record to 6-0 [18 pts] with the only goal of the match against CPR ‘B.’
At Tibbetts Brook Park, Lansdowne needed 55 minutes to breakdown the Zum defense en route to a 3-0 romp. That’s when Ovan Oakley scored from substitute Joe Lopez’ inch perfect cross.
Oakley struck again when he fired in Fernando Cortez’s parried shot. He then completed his hat trick to seal the undefeated Bhoys’ fourth win [4-0-1, 13] and keep them two points behind Shamrocks, with a game in hand.
The Bhoys reserves zoomed to a 5-0 victory on goals by Mike Fernandez [two], Oswaldo Valencia [two] and John Ahern. They improved to 5-0  three points behind the Rocks.
Man of the Match Chris Katona was another hat trick hero at the weekend as Cedar Stars Academy steamrolled Doxa 7-0 at soggy Ramapo College to climb into fourth place. The midfielder also had three assists.
Michael Olla, Kene, Kele Slyvester and Leo Camaj were the other scorers.
Jamie Reilly and Connor Keefe connected for Manhattan Celtic in their 2-2 top-of-the-table Second Division North clash with leaders Malatyaspor USA.
The Celts [4-1-2, 13] trail the Turks by three points.
The Celtic reserves slipped 3-2 to Malatyaspor ‘B.’
CPR Reds prevailed 5-1 in the mid-table clash with Sporting Astoria on Randalls Island.
Kevin Zalewski, Mike Lindley [two], Donal O’Cofaigh and Dustin Cherry were on target.
Francisco Pantoja had Astoria’s lone response after turning his defender three times.
The Reds [3-3, 9] are fifth in the Division Two North.
CPR’s Trip Burke and Robin Neri traded goals with Astoria’s Joel Miranda and Pantoja in a 2-2 tie.
Also in the North, NYPD drew 1-all with Bronx Supreme at East River Park.
Ryan O'Leary was the Cop scorer and Ivan Mutete Bronx’s.
Division Two South frontrunners Hoboken FC overcame Stal Mielec 4-2 at McCarren Park to stay five points clear of Polonia Gwardia.
Stal went down fighting.
Jacek Lawniczak [46th] canceled out Zach Kraft’s first ever goal for Hoboken [12th], as did Kestutis Mykolaitis [60th] when Tom Hogue [55th] put the Jersey side ahead.
But late goals by Jeremy Witherspoon [71th] and Danny Fernandez [74th] saw off the home side.
“Hoboken won in tough conditions,” summed up GM Bill Marth. “The weather and pitch made playing difficult, but the team worked hard to get the lead back after twice giving up goals to level the match.”
The reserves drew 1-1 with Hoboken’s Andrew Stauble [70th] erasing Marcin Chlost’s first half effort [22nd] for Stal.
On Randalls Island, Polonia bested CD Iberia 4-0.
“We gave up two early goals that our team never bounced back from,” said Iberia’s Carlos Vázquez. “We knew this would be a tough match [against] a direct rival in the standings. Hats off to Polonia for the win.”
Vázquez was on target in the Iberia reserves’ 3-2 decision. Javi Beiro and Javi Mejia also scored.
It took six weeks, but New York Ukrainians finally have their first league win, thanks to David Barry, Dmitry Jacobs and Eduardo Ponce. They blanked Panatha 3-0 on Randalls Island.
The Ukrainians left Randalls on cloud nine following an earlier 3-0 triumph by their second unit. Andres Munoz, Yousef Alrobay and Lukasz Prawdzik were on target in that one.
Elsewhere in the second tier, Kazuki Ueno’s brace earned FC Japan a 2-2 tie with Beyond FC at Laurel Hill Park.
The curtain raiser was rougher for the visitors, whose Shunichiro Nakamura had the face-saver in a 6-1 shellacking.
Pace-setters Mr. Dennehy’s had a field day against Shamrocks 1960, trouncing the visitors 6-0 at the Greenbelt Recreational Center on Staten Island.
Andy Bernhardt, Dave Sandifer, Jonathan Williamson, Rob Day and Anatoliy Taranenko [two] tallied.
Dennehy’s upped their record to 6-0-1 
Later at Greenbelt, FC Ulqini, who trail Dennehy’s by a point, led NYFC Metro Stars 4-2 after 35 minutes when bad weather forced the game to be abandoned.
Ivan Reyes and Farouk Dondja scored for Metro Stars.
Third place Ridgewood Romac  hammered Deportivo Sociedade 6-0 on Ayhan Bekdemir’s hat trick, and goals apiece by Dani Ceabuca, Cosmin Chis and Catalin Ionita.
A forfeit win over Grenadier Zenith kept North leaders Flushing FC [5-1-1, 16] a point ahead of Inter New York SA who outgunned Beyond FC 6-4 at Prospect Park.
Amr Elbegrmi [two], Oz and Ali Reza were the Beyond marksmen.
Homenetmen joined Missile FC in third place on 14 points after a 4-1 romp over Deportivo Sociedade II on Randalls Island.
Tigran Nikoghosyan, Vardan Tigranyan, Artur Grigoryan and Ari Zingillioglu connected for the Armenians.
Missile, meanwhile, tied 1-1 with Kelmendi at St. Thomas Acquinas College.
Kelmendi’s Naim Kurtovic saw his goal-per-game scoring streak since Week 1 snapped. But he happily turned provider for Anton Lekocaj.
Jo Valentin was the Missile marksman.
Hasan Redzic’s four goals powered SC Eintracht to their first win of the season, 6-4 over New York United on Randalls Island.
Ray and Ayo were the other scorers.
Eintracht’s Over-38 side succumbed 8-2 to Banatul on Randalls Island with Mark Lesser and Adrian Mendez-Toledo netting consolation goals.
“Both games we played shorthanded with 10 men -- guess the boys were afraid of a little rain,” remarked Lesser.
An understrength Barnstonworth Rovers had a goal from Jorge Espanol in a 4-1 thrashing by Metro Two South frontrunners Sons of Queens in their top-of-the-table clash on Randalls Island.
Joaco Lynch assisted.
“Red card suspensions from the State Cup and injuries took three key starters out of the game so we didn't have the personnel to adjust tactics accordingly,” lamented Timothy Hattori. “Two costly mistakes ruined our chances in a game of this caliber that was closer than the score line.”
Javier Caamano’s NY Galicia continued its winning streak with a 5-0 rout of FC Partizani on Randalls.
Alexis Escobar, Joaquin Cagliani, Mathias Pena Grez and Carlos Espinosa [two] tallied for the third place side [4-1-2, 13].
A point behind Galicia, surprise package Mola SC edged Richmond County 2-1 on Staten Island. Gianluca Palanca and Peter Curto scored.
Elsewhere, Gateway FC posted its biggest win of the season, a 6-2 battering of AO Brooklyn at Abraham Lincoln HS.
Onur Balaban hit a hat trick, Marco Thiemm Kaiser a brace and Omer Capoglu had one goal.
Manhattan Kickers Premier saw their lead atop the East cut to a point after a 3-3 tie with winless Megas Alexandros at Flushing Memorial Park.
“The weather was the great equalizer as Kickers were unable to play their typical ball control game,” said player-manager Mike Fitzgerald.
Megas’ hat trick hero Katira Aureu was another factor. He had a response for every Kicker goal.
Aureu leveled after Khouri Mullings [pen. 20th] had put the visitors ahead. Marko Loncar restored Kickers’ lead on the half hour only for Aureu to hit back again.
Then when a second Mullings PK [50th] made it 3-2, Aureu pounced on a rebound [65th] to peg Kickers back.
Meanwhile, second place Shamrocks’ forfeit win over Brooklyn Gunners inched them within a point of Kickers [6-0-1, 19]
Braving the elements, Manhattan Celtic Legends and CPR Grays went at it under floodlights on Randalls Island with Legends prevailing 3-2.
Mike Prindiville, Ty Fransen and Tal Sheynfeld were on target for Celtic. Stephen McNally and West Kraemer replied for the Grays.
At Bushwick Inlet, CPR Old Boys became the latest side to put the squeeze on sister team CPR Orange. They won 4-0 on David Sawyer’s trey and a goal by Seb Sobczak.
It was Orange’s third heavy defeat in a row following 7-0 and 5-0 losses to Kickers Premier and Shamrocks, respectively.
Neither rain nor wind could dampen hot Cozmoz FC at Bush Terminal Piers Park where the Over-38 champions dispatched Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys 2-0.
“The first half broke open with an amazing goal blasted by Chivon Thornhill and assisted by Kendall Villaroel from a corner kick,” reported Telly Vamvouris. “In the second half, Keenon Copeland took a blistering shot and scored from 35 yards assisted by Conrad Smith.”
Vamvouris himself was superb between the posts, where he’s only conceded three league goals in six matches.
Simon McKeown and Willan D’Andrea struck for CPR Legends in a 2-2 draw with Doxa at Herbert Lehman HS.
And on Randalls Island, Matt Little scored for Manhattan Celtic Masters in a 3-1 loss to SC Gjoa.