First Team Suffers Loss, Reserves Win, Over-40s Win, Over-30s "Win" 0-0

First Team

The Kickers’ first team suffered their 2nd loss of the season after being up 2-0 in the first 15 minutes of the game. Goals from Gonzalo Trovato and Bryan Baracaldo where among the few highlights. In opening 25 minutes, the Kickers moved the ball well and controlled most of the half but a goal late in the half gave Ukrainians a breather; it wasn’t a game until then. Second half found the Kickers starting on their back foot after a penalty was conceded early on which tied the game up. Clearly some players were not ready for the game and they looked exhausted, balls were being given away and despite all this, we were able to get some clear opportunities but unable to put away. It was with 15 minutes left that our poor performance gifted a long range shot that caught our keeper off his line and although he was able to get a hand of the ball; it wouldn’t be enough to keep the ball from bouncing in. With our starting 11 on the field for last 15 minutes, we kept pushing forward and getting opportunities but it was not to be. The poor performance from guys coming off the bench would cost us staying on top of league. The Kickers now fall to 5th, 6 points behind league leaders Celtic.

Second Team

The Kickers’ reserve team snuck away with a victory against an impressive Ukrainians side. While the Kickers did not play their best game, they still managed to control the tempo and maintain possession for large portions of the game. Numerous chances were created by both teams, however, with Marc Meny making a particularly great kick save to keep the game at zeros. with time ticking down, the Kickers switched to a 4-3-3 formation which lead to the defending Ukrainians staying extremely narrow. This allowed for a rampaging Diego Cholula to find space on the weak side and a beautiful pass from Rodolfo Domingo’s released him into a one on one with the keeper. Diego made no mistakes, scoring the game winner in the 88th minute.

Over-30 Premier

With 11 players and a Colombian superstar GK between the pipes, the Kickers held off the Greek Americans and earned a well deserved 0-0 draw. Missing 4-5 starters and having no subs, things looked bleak at the start against the 2nd-seeded Greek Americans side. But the Kickers played tough defense with Mike Morozuk (busied ribs) leading the way, along side Mike Zabroski, Abdi, Stefan and Evan. The midfield anchored by Chris Doyle and Lucas Shanks disrupted each attack from the Greeks and looked to counter with ever opportunity. Alex and Stefan (fighting off the flu) ran the wings, while Anton (calming the middle) and Dimitar (prancing through the opposition defense) were the creators and strike force respectively. However, the story of the game was Chris Villegas in goal. Chris made several one on one saves and gave the team confidence that no matter what the Greeks put forward he would save the day and he would give us a chance to get one of our own. The Greeks also missed a few certain goal scoring opportunities as did the Kickers especially late in the match. But this one felt like a victory for the Kickers against a very talented and well-organized Greek side.

Over-40 Legends

Kickers Legends continued their winning form as well as the make-things-harder-and-more-exciting-than-necessary form by eking out a 3-2 win over a fighting SC Gjoa side. Depleted by last minute absentees, Kickers had just 12 players at kick off and the novelty of DJ playing in goal.

SC Gjoa were clearly fired up as they took the game to a slightly shell-shocked Legends side which were kept pinned in their own half for the first 10 minutes. Kickers almost score on their first break away, but Joe’s laser cross from the far right to Wale two feet from the left post was tapped out in the wrong direction. As Kickers weathered the early pressure and began to take charge of the game, Joe was scythed down by an eager Gjoan and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Wale converted the penalty easily despite trepidations from his last miss. Wale would be on target again few minutes later when Joe provided a brilliant back-heeled assist that left Wale with an open goal to shoot into for the 2-0 lead. DJ showed of his natural athleticism in goal by leaping and punching at the few balls that came his way to keep the clean sheet at half time.

In the second half, Joe was again fouled in the box, and he took the penalty himself, cleanly, for the 3-0 lead. It was at this point, of course, that Kickers, instead of romping off to a huge famous victory, decided to make it worthwhile for the few fans present; first by giving away a penalty, and then by allowing a free-kick to be scrambled in, to create the dramatic, tense and anxiety-laden last minutes.

MKFC October 6th State Cup Round 1 Recaps

First Team

Kicker's first team played a very good EDSL team, CA Tumi, composed of players from Peruvian decent who knew how to play in their very short and narrow home field. Both teams had their chances in the first half but it was Tumi who dominated the possession and who had the clearer goal scoring opportunities. If it weren't for the solid goal keeping of Mo Keita, the score could have been very different than the 0-0 score at the half. In the second half Kickers started off with a high press and a continued their defensive team effort which has helped them to 3 clean sheets in last last 3 games. From Mo in back, Jake and Khirswayne playing excellent as central defenders to Senan, Gonazalo and Martin working as outside midfielders and forwards, everyone did their part. We were a completely new team in the 2nd half with the high press and great outside defensive composure by Ari and Trev. It was with 10 minutes to go that a mistake by Tumi allowed Gonzalo to get down the flank, cut into his left and find Senan on left flank who found Brian Morris streaking into the 18 and slot the ball on the corner of the net. It was a very well worked goal that was almost enough to get us to the next round. Unfortunately, some continued sloppy passing from the Kickers gave Tumi a chance to get a cross into the box that led to a handball and a PK in 88th minute to tie the game up. From there, the game would go into PK's and with outstanding PK finishing by James, Khriswayne, Rasmus and Senan, plus outstanding keeping by Mo who made one big save, the Kickers would win 4-1 and qualify for next round.

Second Team

Tight contentious game ended with the Kickers Reserves first loss of the season. Battling a Kelmendi side (with a very, erm, direct style of play) that was out to prove they belonged, the Kickers were stunned by their ferocity in the tackle and their propensity to fall over when tackled. Kelmendi's first goal came from a corner kick played not even to the near post, and a Kelmendi forward was able to get to it first. They then scored off the Kickers not hustling back after their own corner. Rodolfo Domingos was able to score off of an assist by Antonio Ruiz when his long distance shot slipped under the Kelmendi keeper. All the pressure on the Kickers to execute properly and get on level terms, but a lapse in focus lead to a shot from thirty yards being deflected into the top corner of the Kickers goal. Lukas Seebacher then recorded his first assist of the season with a beautiful through ball to Almir who scored his first goal from open play with a controlled finish. The last fifteen minutes were Kelmendi clearing the ball and Kickers piling on the pressure to no avail. Final score 3-2 Kelmendi.

MKFC Game Recaps 9/29/19

First Team

Another convincing win by the Kickers 1st team, playing solid defensively and tiring out an energetic Real Ole. Goals scored by Diego Reinero, Bryan Baracaldo, Gonzalo Trovato and FX Thiolliere. The Kickers also showed why they have not given up a goal in 3 games straight, with a solid backline of Khriswayne and newcomer Jake Moore playing center back, controlling the tempo since the kickoff. The final score could have easily been doubled was it not for a few shots of the post (Alexis Bustillo and FX) in addition to a very good Real Ole keeper and some extraordinary misses on our end. The team is coming together nicely and hope to take this momentum into first round of state cup.

Second Team

The Reserve team properly trounced a Real Ole. Despite them playing multiple trash-talking first team players that had not been rostered for the game in the second half, the biggest difficulty was getting to the field. Goals scored by Lukas Seebacher (assisted by Gio LoMonaco), Dennis Kachintsev (assisted by Jared Hirschowitz), Antonio (assisted by Rodolfo Domingos), a penalty scored by Almir that was won by Dennis, and finally Rodolfo scoring off of an Almir assist. Agus also scored off of a Rodolfo assist for a final score of 6-0. A solid if slightly uninspired performance as the team gears up for tougher challenges to come.

Over-30 Premier

With an abbreviated lineup, the Kickers O-30 Premier showed their quality against a 20-man squad from Hoboken FC. The Kickers generated good possession early, so it was only a matter of time before some quick passing sprung Ardian down the left flank who popped a shot by the keeper from a narrow angle for the 1-0 lead. A few minutes later—in a moment that has MKFC fans harkening back to the days of 2010—a long Nick Bill throw-in found the head of Lucas Shanks on the back post for the 2-0 lead. In the second half, the Kickers found themselves on their heels, finding it hard to get out of their own half against the wind. Luckily, Nick Bill was able to collect a ball on a long run and curl a shot over the keeper for the 3-0 lead. In the end, the Kickers three goals amounted to more than their two defensive mistakes, which gifted Hoboken FC two late goals. A missed PK in the last 5 minutes would have put the game away for good, but Kickers were able to survive a few more nervy minutes and held on for the 3-2 win.

Over-30 Legends

Kickers Legends made hard work out of beating SC Eintracht 4-3 on a night when it should have dominated and racked up a big goal difference. From the kickoff, it was clear that Legends' superior pace up front and control of the middle would provide a winning advantage as Wale scored twice in the first ten minutes, the first off a straight run through the Eintracht defense, and the second tapping in a DJ sky shot that came off the keeper into his attacking path. Eintracht pulled itself back into the game with a well taken shot from distance, but Joe then did the same at the other end with a beautifully struck full volley to keep the two goal lead. Eintracht again pegged a goal back with a well taken free kick at the top of the box to go into half time only a goal down at 3-2. In the second half, Kickers struggled to score against the well parked Eintracht bus and the catenaccio tactic worked well as they relied on their front two for the equalizer, and equalize they did when all three of Kickers' back line harried after their best striker, leaving open the other to receive a simple lateral for a finish. Facing the dropping of two points with only 10 minutes to go, Kickers pressed hard, won corner after corner, and finally, a back flicked header from Wale bounced off Kevin's head into the inside netting for the win.

MKFC Game Recaps 9/16

The Manhattan Kickers first team earned 3 points vs. FC Ulqini and the reserves went to 2-0 while earning another shutout. The Kickers O-30 Premier started slow and couldn’t recover vs. Pancyprian and the O-30 Legends survived 3-1 with just 11 men.

FULL RECAPS

First Team

The first team held the ball for the majority of the game, frustrating Uliqni FC and despite this, Uliqni looked dangerous in the counter attack. It was a frustrating end to the half which ended 0–0 but it was obvious that Ulqini were tired and would eventually fizzle out. We tried to be patient and continued to create chances but got caught on counters from frustration while trying to fit passes where there was no space. This frustration led to 2 key saves from Ryan V which kept the game 0–0 (counter attacks). Soon after, in the 59th minute, Mathias Jorge took a free kick from 20 yards out which beat the keeper to open the score. 10 minutes later a pass from our new comer Isaac Bruce left Senan Lonergan wide open at the left side of the box; he took a right footed shot across the goal that beat the keeper and tricked in. In the 85th minute, Isaac scored his first goal as a Kicker during a play that originated from a cross which took a few rebounds and eventually found him with the ball in the five yard box; he calmly chipped the keeper and gave us a 3 goal lead. We lost some possession close to the end of the game, they had several opportunities off free kicks and corners, but the back line and Ryan stayed consistent and would help the 1st team get our first win of the season and 1st clean sheet in a while. MVP’s Ryan V and the back four.

Second Team

Reserves matched up against an Ulqini team ill prepared for the game and seemingly the season. Despite the game starting late due to Ulqini players coming late, Kickers proceeded to pound them while playing at a three quarter pace. Highlights of the game was scoring within the first fifteen seconds of the start, a sneaky freekick by the returning Rodolfo Domingues and 4 other goals before the Ulqini coach demanded the game be finished early. The Kickers move to a record of 2-0, and the only team in the league to not concede a goal yet.

Over-30 Premier

Today at Grand Street, the Kickers fielded the youngest squad in nearly 5 years against the Pancyprian Freedoms. The injection of new, young talent has been a breath of fresh air for an aging over-30 side. With the likes of Lucas Shanks, Kyle Grato, Chris Doyle, Mike Morozuk and Chris Smith showing up on a consistent basis, the Kickers can make a run at the playoffs this season.

However, none of that seemed to shake the confidence of the defending division champions who played with no subs and an injured player for most of the match. Pancyprian took advantage of three early turnover /mistakes in the middle of the park by the Kickers and punished the home side with three early goals in the first half.

In the second half, the Kickers pushed forward, and in the 60th minute Khouri Mullings broke free of his defender, had his sights on the goal but the strike would skip just wide of the post. In the 65th minute, Nick Bill would break down the right side running past the defense but his chip of the GK would sail over the cross bar. Then in the 70th minute, Khouri (MVP) would earn the PK, take the PK and convert for the one Kicker tally of the day. Others would have a few strikes on frame but not much to write home about as time ran out on the Kickers, with a final score of 3-1.

Over-30 Legends

With barely 11 men, Kickers Legends faced off against CPR Legends and was gifted an own goal when a pass back to the CPR goalie somehow went off his side foot into the goal. A fair turn of luck compared to last year when CPR scored the one goal of the game off a freakish ball that ricocheted off their player’s head.

CPR put on the pressure and spent most of the game camped out in the Kicker's half as our thin squad conserved energy for the long, hot, 90 minutes. New Kicker signing Jake did a great job together with Jesse and Jeff in breaking up the CPR attacks, and Tim, while kept busy, had little by way of goalkeeping to do. Another bit of luck came Kicker's way when a ball bounced onto a CPR defenders' 'unnaturally' held arm. Joe converted the penalty easily despite a very bad back. Leading comfortably 2-0 at the second half, the team half time chatter was diffused and divided between the need to run into space more, or to play to feet more, with general agreement that passing and movement was a good thing.

Despite having many more substitutes, CPR appeared less energetic in the second half, and Kickers attacked more, energized by the late arriving Wale, who effectively ran onto several chances though without converting any. Passing and movement was good between the controlling middle of DJ, Kevin and Dylan, and overall, the team grounded out a good game. A Wale shot off the cross bar was easily completed by a Joe tap in, and Kickers were unfortunate to give up a goal when an errant pass back clinked off the left post for the solitary CPR goal. Kickers get another penalty call but Wale failed to convert. Final score 3-1.

2019-20 Season Kicks Off

First Team

The first team had an unfortunate start to the season after getting a red card early in the game, forcing them to play a man down for almost the entirety of the game. The Kickers gave up a goal in the fifth minute, but would tie the score at 1-1 a short while later with an impressive team goal ending with Brian Morris tapping in from five yards away. Costly defensive mistakes and an awkward bounce canceled out any great possession the Kickers would enjoy, and they were down 3-1 in the middle of the second half. The Kickers would get a few more chances and ultimately score a PK in the 90th minute, but it wasn’t enough, and would go on to lose 3-2.

Second Team

As is tradition, the Kickers looked a bit like a drunk mongoose in their first game of the season. While all the instincts were there, but all of the motions seemed discombobulated and a little too fast or too slow. Despite this, a frenetic first half yielded plenty of opportunities for the Kickers to go up one, two or a multitude of goals, notably a David Anderson one on one opportunity against the goalie which he dragged wide. While the opportunities for Richmond County were few and far between, they did pull a few good saves from newcomer Mohammed Keita, who had a commanding if uneventful performance between the sticks. With the game seemingly heading for a 0-0 tie at half time, a nifty corner lead to the ball coming to the top of the box where David Anderson's dink back into the box lead to Kahn hitting the top net with a great finish.

The second half yielded a much more composed performance from the Kickers with the team seeming to grow into the game... besides finishing. Chances poured in with Gio LoMonaco, Antonio Ruiz, Diego Cholula and more creating solid chances to no avail. The scoring was wrapped up with a bit of nifty passing leading to Dennis Kachintsev finding an opportunity to burst into the box and eek out a shot that sneaked into the bottom corner.

Over-30 Premier

Things started a little shaky for the Kickers as Oscar Villada took the position between the pipes playing as the goal keeper. Celtic scored in the 10th minute and put a lot of pressure on the Kickers, Celtic missed two open goal scoring opportunities and one that seemed to be punched out of the net by a Kicker defender.

Khouri Mullings brought things all even on a smooth pass by Aaron in the 25th minute. Khouri had a few more goal scoring opportunities to give the Kickers the lead but that would but those would to wait for the second half. In the second half, the Kickers settled things down, the defense lead by the Big Mikes and Chris Smith they controlled the back line. The midfield of Aaron, Oscar and Ardian moved the ball and created several opportunities. The real difference maker was the appearance of (MVP) Tim Peterson in Goal. Tim made a few big saves to keep Celtic to one goal. Then in the 65th minute, Mark Bau's cross was headed home by Ardian Hasko for the go ahead goal. To finish things off, Stefan Tauber played a little one two with Ardian (MHM) and Ardian finished the scoring for the Kickers in the 85th minute.

Over-30 Legends

The season literally began as it ended last season, with Kickers Legends playing against Doxa Legends, and again, despite pressing for the first 20 minutes, Doxa took the lead with their first shot on goal; the impressive Doxa striker managing to find the top right corner of the net from the far left side of the field, from what looked an impossible angle. What we did different from last season yesterday, was to come back positively immediately from the kick-off, and Dylan Dodd's quick running and one-two passes found himself straight through into the box for the equalizer.

With the score tied 1-1, Kickers continued to press for the winner, and it finally came from our debutant AJ Berlowitz, blasting past the keeper from the top of the box on receiving a nice pass. AJ then provided the assist, off a great passing buildup on the right, for the confirmation goal, Wale tapping in from about six feet with only the goalie to beat.

After taking the two goal lead, of course, we would make it harder and more exciting than necessary by conceding a soft goal with 10 minutes to go, with the marauding Doxa strikers always appearing more likely to equalize than we looked to increasing the lead. Final score of 3-2, avenging for last season's 0-1 loss.

3 More Points For The First And Second Team - 5/12 Recaps

First Team

In securing three points on the last game of the Spring season, the first team managed to do something they hadn't done all season—avoid costly errors in areas of the pitch where the opponent could easily counter and score.

The Kickers started the game defending well, even as Williamsburg FC found half-chances from distance. On a rare push forward down the 120-yard-long pitch, Gerson Lima drove a ball from left back across the field into the path of Brian Morris, who popped the ball over the goalie with the inside of his foot and into the goal for the 1-0 lead.

In the second half, the Kickers found a higher press to be the easiest way to defend and force turnovers, holding the opposition mostly back in their defensive half and creating a few more chances of their own. Despite the slick turf, nothing would sneak by on either end, and the one goal would end up being all the Kickers needed for the 1-0 win. The fate of the Kickers season and playoff hopes rests on the results of FC Japan vs. Stal Mielec next weekend.

Second Team

Before Daenerys decimated King’s Landing Sunday night, the Manhattan Kickers laid waste to the Williamsburg White Walkers to claim their spot upon the Division 2 Reserve league throne.

Having lost their goalie to a season-ending ankle injury during their last meeting with Williamsburg, the Kickers were out for vengeance. The Kickers came out with intensity, but the heavy rain made it difficult for both teams to impose themselves on the match.

However, the Kickers aggressively supplied men forward during their attacks and were rewarded when a corner bounced off several heads in the backs before a well placed header by Dennis Kachintsev found center-back Jorg Stratmann (MVP) at the back post to turn it in. Jorg would end up leading the defense to a clean sheet, and his goal shifted the momentum for the rest of the game.

The Kickers continued the onslaught by clogging the middle of the field and distributing to the wings where Jared Lichtarge and Lucas Seebacher wreaked havoc all afternoon.

The second goal came later in the first half, as the Kickers continued to find men in the box. A short corner started by Dennis circulated across the entire box before being delivered back to Dennis who lashed the volley home from 15 yards out.

The Kickers started the second half with the same intensity, flying into challenges and suffocating Williamsburg possession before it started, while growing into their game and circulating possession with confidence around the back.

Lichtarge was soon rewarded for his great wing play with a headed goal on the far post and nearly had another when his shot from the top of the box rang off the post.

The Kickers put the final nail in the coffin when striker Almir Hot drove to goal on a breakaway before cutting the ball back to the trailing Antonio who struck the near post.

The game was well won at that point and what little threat Williamsburg mustered was quickly snuffed out by sweeper keeper Ulrich and the dominant defensive four. Finals score, 4-0 to the Kickers.

The Kickers now break for two weeks before they begin their playoffs charge.

Over-30 Legends

Legends lined up against second placed nemesis Cozmoz with the thinnest of squads, and eked out a 1-1 tie in the last game of regular season, ending with a 13-2-1 record. The first half was a nervy affair as both teams had good chances but Legends’ strikers kept striking straight at the Cozmoz keeper, while Tim Peterson produced a masterful display in goal. In the second half, Cozmoz found an opening to take the lead but steady Legends’ pressure ensured a Joe Whiteman goal in the 80th to maintain the no-loss record in the league since the first game of the season.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier had a bye week.

MKFC 5/5 Game Recaps

First Team

After another lackluster first half, the Kickers first team had to overcome a 2-1 deficit to keep their playoff hopes alive. With the wind at their back and the ball skipping ahead on the wet turf at Verrazano Park, the Kickers maneuvered the ball on three separate occasions toward the goal, each finding the foot of Brian Morris who calmly slotted all three home for the hat trick and the 4-2 win.

Reserves

TBD

Over-30 Legends

Manhattan Kickers Legends showed no let up despite having sealed the regular season title last week. Taking on a very skillful Doxa Legends team that needed points to confirm their playoffs position in cold wet conditions, Kicker Legends scored its fastest goal in history when Dylan Dodd thumped the ball into the net from 30 yards with his first touch around the 30th second of the game.

Unfortunately the lead was not to be enjoyed long as Doxa pulled off a similarly thumping shot also from distance, additionally wind whipped to flummox Tim in goal. Fortunately, minutes later, Wale was put through on goal for a one on one, which the keeper addressed by diving and tripping Wale with his hands, for which the referee gave a penalty without hesitation. Wale claimed and finished perfectly the PK he created.

In the second half, with the wind and rain picking up, Doxa threw bodies forward to make life difficult for the Kicker defense. But Tim, DuPuy, DJ, Kevin and Yadh prevailed and it was a matter of time before the Kickers’ counter-attacks bore fruit.

First Joe and Christian combined down the left for Joe to score for the 3-1 cushion. And then Joe connected with his head on the right side, ending a fluid movement down the left between Dan and Christian, with Dan providing the lofted assist to Joe for the 4-1 win.

Over-30 Premier

The first 15 minutes could not have started any better for the Kickers. Nick Bill took the ball deep into Pancyprian territory, then found Abdi open at the top of the box, Abdi's missed shot fell to Ardian who hit a cross to Alex Petrovic who hammered home the header for the 1-nil lead. A few minutes later, Khouri Mullings took on the Cypriot defender forcing the hand ball in the penalty area. Khouri converted the PK for the 2-nil lead.

Those were the high-points of the match for the Kickers. The next 60 minutes tilted in favor of the Pancyprians. While the rest of the match was played in a steady cold rain, the Kickers found themselves playing mostly on the back foot. Mark Bau (MVP) was the hardest working player on the field running down the opposition, trying to slow the attack but when Abdi went down with a groin injury, the Kickers were essentially playing with 10 men the final 30 minutes. Once again having no subs (with 4 players pulling out just before the match start) was our undoing.

STILL ALIVE - 4/28 Game Recaps

First Team

The Kickers first team—embodying the "WE ARE NOT BRAZIL" graphic on their sharp new kits—played a toothless first half against FC Ulqini, holding an 80/20 possession advantage, but lacking any real flair or creativity in the attacking half, and went down 0-2 on two sloppy counter attacks.

After a spirited halftime speech, the Kickers found a will to score goals in the second half and maintained composure as the opposition continued to commit aggressive fouls, earning themselves two red cards in the process. Off of what seemed like the 20th corner kick of the game, Tommy Fitz headed a ball back toward the middle which James Z nodded into the net to cut the lead in half. A while later, a ball that slipped under the goalkeeper was poked in by Khriswayne crashing the net from center defense. And finally, Shaiem was taken down in the box in the final few minutes and Matias calmly slotted the PK home to win the game 3-2 for the Kickers, and brought a bit of relief to a mostly frustrating afternoon.

Second Team

In an important match to maintain the top position of the league the Kickers reserves took some time finding their rhythm and took on early pressure from Ulqini’s wide attackers. Early in the first half Ulqini found their way into the 18 from a wide position and scored first. It was a real wake up call for the Kickers as they responded shortly after with a goal by Andrew off a great cross into the box from Lukas. The Kickers planned on continuing the second half how they ended the first, however a poorly defended throw resulted in a Ulqini goal off an unstoppable shot outside the box. The Kickers again equalized quickly when Almir got the ball up top, held off two defenders, and laid it of into the box for an inspired #10, Antonio, to round the goalie and score within the tightest of angles. With 25 minutes left to play in the second half, the Ref called a questionable handball against the Kickers providing Ulqini with their third goal. With the top position on the line, the last 20 minutes was a dog fight. The midfield trio were able to make important connections and help the play move in the Kickers favor. In the dying minutes of the game, Gio found himself with the ball in the opposition’s box and with Inesta like calmness, finessed the Kickers third goal. A vital goal keeping the reserves title hopes alive.

Over-30 Premier

Today was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Kickers started a man down until the 15th minute. By this point Celtic had found the back of the net once. Celtic would break down the Kickers and find the net four more times before the half-time. The one bright spot for the Kickers was newcomer Dimitar Belchev that brought some much needed ball control and toughness to the center of the park.

Khouri Mullings (MVP) made a heart felt half-time speech, challenging the players to have some pride and lift themselves up to the standard we know we can play. The Kickers responded and Khouri lead the way scoring the first goal for the Kickers in the 65th minute. Ardian Hasko would add another in the 75th minute. The defense and Fitzgerald (in spite of playing with a partial torn achillies) kept Celtic off the score board in the second half. Not our best game, but a spirited 2nd half for a squad that has been struggling all season.

Over-30 Legends

Kickers Legends sealed the pole position in the O-39 Division table with two games in hand, beating fourth placed Manhattan Celtic Masters 5-0 as a statement of intent for the June playoffs.

Learning from the 2-2 result from the last time they met, Kickers Legends took a more aggressive approach and formation from the start to finish, which paid off famously. Things looked tight for the first 20 minutes as both sides had chances, and Masters looked closer to going ahead when Ulrich palmed a shot into the path of an open Masters forward who, fortunately, skied his first touch attempt.

Dan Segelin, playing in central attacking position, ran the Masters midfield ragged, bossed his territory with his energy and control, helping Kickers take the game for long periods into the Masters' half. The break came around the 25th minute when Wale carried the ball into the box, spotted Joe unattended in front of goal, and laid it off for him to finish emphatically. Half time came with Kickers in front by one, though with strong indications of the deluge that was to come. And come it did. First Ari stringed together a series of passes to carve up the Masters for his own neatly placed goal. Then Scotti got into the act, dribbling past 3 Masters defenders from the left into a one on one position, to generously pass to Ari to finish. I think Scotti was involved in the fourth as well, this time to Dylan. Then it was Slover's turn to slalom past (the same?) 3 Masters defenders on the right to loft clinically onto Dylan's head, which he headed in with a big grin for the fifth. It was all around a great performance by everyone.

If this was Europe, Legends would have been celebrating winning the league. But instead, will have to beat two of the top four again to claim the Championship.

Manhattan Kickers 4/14 Game Recaps

Kickers Over-30 Legends

Kickers Legends squeaked by Barnstonworth Old Boys 2-1 on Sunday. Always a close game against them. We scored first around the 10th minute through a Joe Whiteman connecting with a low Ari Dolegowski cross, and the first timed shot pinged in off the left upright. Old Boys equalized soon though, capitalizing on a dawdling Kicker midfielder. About 10 minutes before the half, John Balson tip-toed through a pack of Old Boys in the box to crack an unreachable low shot into the inside right side netting for what would be the winning goal. Results between other top 5 in the league fell our way to ensure that we will stay atop on points through the end of the season. Too bad topping the table is not enough to win the Championship.

Kickers Over-30 Premier

The Kickers performance this week almost erased the embarrassment of last weeks loss in the Cup, but falling 3-2 to the Shamrocks two weeks in row still stung. The Kickers got out to the early lead in the 10th minute, when the shot by Russ Osur found its way through the Shamrocks defense and rolled into the back of net. Five minutes later, the Rocks responded by forcing the own goal against the Kickers. In the 25th minute, Nick Bill's cross was parried home by Khouri Mullings. In the 35th minute the Rocks equalized again, breaking down the Kickers midfield, striking the shot on goal and pouncing on the rebound to bring the score 2-2 at half-time.

This one had the look of a shoot-out but the heat of the afternoon sun started to take toll on both teams. After a little back and forth, it was the Kickers that would crack under the pressure. In the 65th minute, the Shamrocks would break down the midfield again, drive the ball deep into the penalty area and with the square ball to player on the penalty spot unmarked, with time and space to slice the shot into the corner for the final score. But the excitement did not end there. In the 75th minute, a little pushing and shoving between two players escalated to an exchange of head butts and then the Shamrock player started throwing punches in all directions, both benches cleared. The next 10 minutes were consumed with a lot of pushing and shoving and name calling. Both players were ejected. Leaving only 5 minutes left for the Kickers to mount a come-back, but time ran out and that's how it ended.

Kickers Reserves

In what had to be the worst refereeing performance of the season, the Kickers dropped a 2-1 decision to Panatha. Showing up more than twenty minutes late, his lack of control of the game permeated through every element of the game, culminating in denying a clearly onside goal, and then calling a penalty on the cleanest tackle of the game in the same play with little time left, leading to the winner for Panatha. Other highlights were Panatha’s players instigating a fight but not receiving any cards for that, their goalkeeper kicking out after the game ended and the referee refusing to give a card for that. Kickers had plenty of chances to win, but playing against a solid team as well as a referee proved to challenging.

Triple Elimination - April 7th State Cup Recaps

Over-30 Legends

The Kickers Legends set the tone for the day by crashing out of the O-30 League Cup to the Celtic Legends, one division level and 9 years behind in years. Kickers were well in the game until the 15th minute when a free kick was deflected into the goal. Celtics got a second from a rocket of a strike. Kickers pressured to come back and Joe Whiteman had the Celtic goal at his mercy after rounding the keeper but put it over instead. Still in the game at 2-0, the high press game was well countered by the Celtics who scored 4 more to allow Kickers Legends to focus instead on their League Championship ambitions.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier also crashed out of the League Cup with a 6-nil thumping by the NY Shamrocks. The game was competitive until the 15th minute when the Kickers went a man down on a straight red card (for retaliation). 2-nil at half-time (one a PK), the Kickers still had a chance. But in 48th minute, the Shamrocks broke down the Kickers midfield, then the defense and slotted one past Fitzgerald for the 3-nil lead and the Rocks never looked back.

Kickers Reserves

The Manhattan Kickers reserves—still alive in the State Cup—tied a hard-fought game 3-3 and were eliminated in disappointed fashion on penalty kicks.

An Absolute Bummer - MKFC 3/31 Game Recaps

First Team

The first team missed a great opportunity to climb into a tie for first place against Polonia, but came up short losing 1-0 in disappointing fashion. In the first half, the Kickers created countless opportunities going forward, springing forwards and midfielders into dangerous attacking positions, many 1-on-1 with only the goalie to beat, yet they could not find the back of the net. In the second half, the Kickers—now against a slight wind—spent a little more time defending, but still created a few more chances to no avail. The Kickers would eventually concede with just 15 minutes to go on a slow turnaround shot that trickled off GK Ryan's hand and just barely over the line and into the goal. It was a morning with a lot of impressive play, but a poor result.

Second Team

The Kickers Reserves showed up to Randall's Island for an 8am kickoff, unfortunately Polonia Reserves did not.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier battled against the top team in the division, The Greek Americans, but came up short losing 3-1. The Kickers enjoyed more time on the ball this week thanks to the return of Aaron Vennard in the middle of the pitch. Mike Zabroski netted home a Nick Bill throw-in in the 25th minute to even the score at 1-1, but were unfortunate to not create more from any other opportunities. On the other end, the defense held tough but the quality of the Greeks came through in the end and the Kickers lost a tough one.

Over-30 Legends

Manhattan Kickers Legends were warned that Manhattan Celtic Masters would be the toughest game of the season by the manager for SC Gjoa who were trashed 6-1 by them last week. Facing a howling wind on the south west side of Pier 40, Kickers Legends survived the first half onslaught by a very good Celtic Masters team only a goal down. With the wind on our backs in the second half, and with a tactical adjustment to press high and attack, Kickers Legends would equalize through a Christian Huguenot wind-assisted free kick, followed soon after by a Joe Whiteman's chip from an impossible angle to give Kickers Legends the lead for what would have been a deserved win, but a moment of disorganization in the back allowed Celtic Masters to pull one back to share the points in the 2-2 tie. With all the other results in, Kickers Legends remain six points clear at the top of the table with 4 games left to play.

Four Kickers Wins And 12 Points - 3/24 Recaps

First Team

The Kickers first team secured another 3 points against FC Japan on Randall's Island. FX Thiolliere toe-poked a loose ball Ronaldinho-style past the FC Japan keeper in the first half to put the Kickers up 1-0, and that's the way it remained for most of the game. The Kickers dominated possession, perhaps giving the ball away unnecessarily too many times in the process and not capitalizing on countless corner kicks and set pieces, but the Kickers couldn't find the right combinations in the final third to put the game away early like they wanted to. FC Japan stayed in the game by defending well, but never really mounting much of an attack of their own. Late in the second half, some combination play between the defense and the midfield sprung James Z and Brian M in on goal against a few hapless defenders, and Brian slotted the ball into the net to put the Kickers up 2-0 before the final whistle blew.

Second Team

The Manhattan Kicker Reserves continued their good form with a commanding performance to get the victory over FC Japan. Jared Lichtarge opened the scoring early, with Danny Challita playing a cross to him and Jared ably slotting the ball past a keeper who would be the star of his team. It was an absolutely otherworldly performance by the FC Japan goalie, and the only thing keeping the score somewhat respectable. Save after save, including a mind blowing double save against Almir Hot, a one on one against Zander Pease, two incredible fingertip saves against Dennis Kachintsev, and many many more kept the dam from crashing down. It took 75 minutes and a set piece for the Kickers to finally pull further ahead. Tommy Herlihy curled the corner in, with Chris Smith contesting the header. The ensuing scramble lead to the ball falling to the feet of Dennis with the goal gaping and only the simplest of finishes required. The third came soon after. A cross by Michael Kahn was dummied by Dennis to draw the defenders away, allowing Lukas Seebacher a clear sight on goal. The final goal was provided by a player just coming back from a long layoff with injury and the days MVP Rodolfo Domingues. Receiving the ball just inside the opponents half, he dribbled past one, two, three defenders, powering into the box. FC Japan's center back clumsily took him out, making the penalty decision easy for the referee. Rodolfo put away the ensuing penalty with a delicate panenka finish. 4-0 final score, which makes it 3 games with 0 goals conceded and 10 goals scored for the reserve team roster.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier won 10-2 and it could have been more. They did all the right things all game long but it started in the center midfield with a player that defended and prevented the opposition for doing with they wanted (AS). Having said that, it was 2 goals and three assists by (MVP) Nick Bill, 2 goals and 2 assists by Seamus Kelly, 3 goals and two assist by Ardian, and a goal each from Evan, Marco, and Abi for the 10-2 victory.

Over-30 Legends

It was a tale of two halves against perennial champions Cozmoz. The first half was marked by strong pressure from the eager Legends but poor finishing as almost every upfield player took turns to blast over the post. As typical punishment for such profligacy in front of goal, Cozmoz managed to score with practically their first shot on goal through the legendary and prolific Nedgy. The good thing that came out of it was that Dave Dupuy's effort to stop the shot exacted enough punishment on Nedgy for him to leave the game in some pain. However, before the half would end, Tim Petersen, deputizing gallantly in goal, would unfortunately see another slip under him. With a go for broke strategy in the second half, Legends kept Cozmoz pinned in their half from the start, and the Cozmoz defensive wall was eventually breached at the 60th minute mark by Ari Dolegowski, volleying in a badly cleared corner, for his 4th goal in 2 games. Perhaps fearing that his top-scorer lead was being diminished, Wale Bakare went all in for a 50:50 challenge and somehow emerged with a penalty kick, which he insisted on taking and converting confidently into the top left. Having tied the game, which would have been enough to maintain top of table standing, Legends did not take the foot off the pedal, but kept going for the full three points, and Joe Whitman claimed the reward when a Cozmoz player went down to a Wale tackle, half their team stopped, and then watched in horror as Wale played Joe in to round the keeper for the winner. 3-2 final score in favor of the Kickers, and a great team performance by everyone. This would be the first time that Legends have beaten Cozmoz in open play and we go six points clear at the top.

First and Second Team Off to a Good Start - 3/17 MKFC Recaps

First Team

The Kickers first team started the Spring season on the right foot with a 4-1 win over Beyond FC, scoring 3 second half goals after going down to 10 men. The Kickers' first goal was scored by James Z. on a curling near post free kick aided by the gusty wind. Beyond FC responded just before halftime on a nice cross and unmarked header goal. Early in the second half, the Kickers were unfortunate to lose a player after his second yellow card, even though there were clumsy tackles happening all over the field. Fortunately, the added pressure of playing down a man forced the Kickers to stay organized, play simply through the midfield, and create better chances in the box than they did playing 11 on 11. Brian Morris slotted home the go-ahead goal after bringing down a looping through ball from Lucas Shanks. Hashim scored the next goal to give the Kickers breathing room on a long cross that whipped over the keeper's hands. Senan sealed the game with a dicing run from the right side, lacing a shot into the opposite side netting. The Kickers spent the last 10 minutes holding possession as Beyond FC ran out of enthusiasm.

Second Team

The Second Team condemned Beyond FC to be tied for bottom while maintaining their 2 point lead at the top of the table. What could have been a frustrating first half turned a little sweeter when Danny Challita 30 yards from goal collected a pass from Antonio Ruiz and ding'ed it against the upright and in. One of the themes of the game was consistently spurning chances off of crosses and corners, but Tommy Herlihy showed the proper form of a header when he rose highest for a cross and powered a header past the hapless goalie. Danny Challita collected his second on a one on one after a through ball by Antonio Ruiz. Further goals were scored by Lukas Seebacher off of a header, and then Antonio switched goal scorer to provider off of a counter attack started by a beautiful pass out of pressure by Tommy Herlihy and a lung busting full field sprint by Antonio. Final score 5-0.

Over-30 Premier

From club president Mike Fitzgerald:

“When I got home from today's match at East 6th Street, I watched the EPL, La Liga and an MLS match to help cleanse myself of our most forgettable performance of the season. At some point, a reporter asked one of the managers ‘What happened on that goal?’ and he said (paraphrasing his Spanish), ‘We did not take care of the ball and gave it away to the opposition, I count that one as an own goal.’ By that measure, we had five own goals today. Take nothing away from Between Two Rivers (a very good and deserving squad), they had the build up to bring the ball into our penalty area. But due to our lack of intensity and our general carelessness, we let this one slip away. The only bright spot was a Seamus Kelly goal (assist by Nick Bill) in the 85th minute. We had a number of opportunities, including a Seamus ping off the corner post, but it was way too little too late.”

Over-30 Legends

The Over-30 Legends did not have a game but did have a spirited training in the Lower East Side followed by brunch.

End Of Fall - Over-30s Get 2nd Win, Reserves Impress

First Team

Despite playing well for much of the game, the Kickers ended the Fall season on a disappointing note, falling to Stal Maelic 2-1 on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. The Kickers created chances early and often, but always seemed to be at the wrong angle to find the back of the net. A surprise through ball and a quick shot by a Stal forward swerved into the corner, and an unmarked attacker slipped in behind the defense to poke home the second. The Kickers found themselves frustrated and down 2-0 at halftime. The Kickers would pour all their effort forward, eventually finding a goal from Albi Rexha. The final 15 minutes were frantic, with the Kickers creating more chances, the opposing goalie making a few lucky saves, and the referee making a host of confusing calls and no calls, and the Kickers took away no points.

Second Team

The Reserves blended steel and panache to put a feisty Stal Mielec team in their place, and remain atop the rankings for the winter break. The first half proved frustrating for the Kickers, as only one of the numerous chances were put away. That honor went to Gio LoMonaco, a player who is enjoying his most productive season for the Kickers. Even this goal required no less than three shots from three different players until Gio finally rolled the ball into the net. Finishing aside, the Kickers began building a head of steam with swashbuckling attacks ripping the Stals back line to shreds. In response, Stal began pushing the boundary of legal play, intentionally grabbing players that went past them, slide tackling from behind, and generally turning the game more into a fight than a game. This boiling point came with a particularly violent challenge on Jared Hirschowitz as he was slipped through on goal. Jared ended up with a dislocated thumb and torn ligaments. The Kicker Reserves, growing more and more familiar with these tactics in every coming game, did not shrink from the challenge but without sacrificing quality of play began showed that they would not be bullied. This, better finishing, along with the referee taking more control of the game, lead to a second half decimation of the team. The goal was scored by Jared Lichtarge off of a through ball by first teamer recovering from injury, Diego Reineiro. Wave after wave of attack pressured the same player who injured Jared into another stupid challenge, forcing the referee to show a second yellow. The Kickers pressed their advantage, scoring 3 more unanswered goals, two scored by Michael Kahn and the final goal scored by Dennis Kachintsev. The Kickers Reserves go into the Winter break not only top on points but also with the highest points total of both the north and the south division, second least goals conceded of either division (least in our Southern division) and most goals scored in our division.

Over-30 Premier

For only the second time all season, the Kickers Over-30 Premier were victors 6-2 over Megas Alexnadros. Mike Zaborski charged forward up the wing from his defensive position to slice home the quality finish from the left side of the box in the 5th minute. Megas responded with two easy goals from inside the penalty area near the 6-yard box. Niccoslo Ball took the Megas GK on one-on-one and chipped him for the equalizer to bring the match all even at the break. The second half was all Kickers. David James hit a rocket (50th min) from outside the penalty area that went through the Keepers hands for the go-ahead goal. Later, Ardian scored two goals to give the Kickers a convincing lead and we never looked back.

Over-30 Legends

Manhattan Kickers Legends, needing goals to catch up with league leaders Cosmos, did the job against Banatul with half a dozen goals, though letting one in through a midfield giveaway. Kickers went on the offensive from the whistle but struggled to find a way past the catenaccio defense of Banatul. On their counter-attacks, Banatul with their sole speedy and skillful #15 playmaker threatened and could have snuck ahead if not for safe hands of Ulrich, and alert defending of Dupuy, Jesse, DJ and Jef. Running out of ideas, Kickers resorted to their go-to strategy to get ahead. Wale was brought on. After a few bad touches, Wale eventually figured out where the goal was and scored with oomph around the 35th minute. Five minutes later, Slover on a deep run down the right, would slam in first time a long cross box lobbed into the penalty box for his first goal of the season, and Kickers' second just before half time. With the ice broken, Joe would score, then John, and then a Jesse lobbed header fell to Scotti on the goal-line to skillfully back-heel into goal. The last word/action would come from Joe, who looked up from about 30 yards out to survey the many Kickers players screaming for a cross, ignored them all, and thumped the ball perfectly into the top right 90 for the last touch and goal of the Fall season. Elsewhere, former Kicker Legend Fred Levrat was having the game of his life, leading SC Gjoa to a fantastic 3-1 win over Cozmoz. The result meant Legends went into winter break on the top of the table, leading by points, goal scored and goal difference.

Another Stumble For The MKFC First Team - 11/18 Game Recaps

First Team

It was a tale of two halves in the Kickers first team matchup against Polonia NY who went into the match tied for second place in the division. Both teams found bouts of possession throughout the game but it was Polonia who would strike first when a piercing through ball made its way to a midfielder streaking into the box, who calmly slotted it home to put the visitors up 1-0. The Kickers gave up an unfortunate goal just a few minutes later when a clearance gone wrong found the foot of a Polonia player who had a wide open net from 10 yards out.

In the second half, the Kickers continued to create dangerous chances on goal—including a header and a second-chance shot that were both cleared off the line by the Polonia defense. The Kickers would finally get a goal when a Bryan Baracaldo cross found the head of Brian Morris, only to give up an open header on the back post corner just a short while later to keep the Polonia ahead by two goals. Later in the half, Bartek laced a cross/shot across the goal line which was redirected off the foot of Lucas Shanks, then off a Polonia defender and into the net to bring the game back to 3-2. Countless free kicks and corners into the box never fell onto the right foot or made their way toward the Polonia goal, and the Kickers came up short despite outplaying their opponents, continuing the trend of the 2018 Fall season. Final score 3-2.

Reserves

The Kickers reserves earned a forfeit victory when Polonia only fielded 8 players and the game went 6-0 to the Kickers before halftime.

Over-30 Premier

When three players (Alex Petrovic, Anton Camaj and Nick Bill) pulled out last minute, the Over-30 Premier team played with 10 men to start. Despite dominating, the Kickers were unable to convert and the score was all even at halftime. The defense, lead by Toric and new comer Abi Bedel, moved the ball well out of the defense and kept the opposition off balance. Just before half-time, Seamus Kelly went down with a leg injury, leaving the Kickers with essentially nine men for the remainder of the game.

At the start of the second half, a giveaway by a Kicker defender inside the penalty area led to an easy strike and the 1-nil lead for Celtic. A few minutes later, Celtic were offsides, but a no call by the referee lead to another easy strike and the Kickers went down 2-0. The combination of Mark Bau and Ardian Hasco led to a Mark Bau goal in the 70th minute. The Kickers ran out of time and—lacking any subs—ran out of steam to drop some crucial points against a very beatable team.

Over-30 Legends

With several players injured or out of town, Kickers Legends faced a fully loaded Barnstonworth Veterans team with only two subs but managed to establish an early insurmountable lead, and then rode out the rest of the game. John Balson opened scoring around the tenth minute with the first of three tap ins off simple ground lateral crosses into the box. Joe Whitman blasted the second one in from the right side of the box around the 20th before John repeated his first goal act twice more for a 4-0 lead by half-time. Barnstonworth Veterans, with a full complement of subs, including erstwhile Kickers Paul Cowler and Shadi, staged a comeback, possessing the ball in Kickers’ half and pressing hard. The pressure produced a DJ own-goal, but Joe leisurely re-established the 4-goal lead from 4 yards off a John Balson cut back. Tiring legs allowed Barnstonworth an unchallenged but excellently headed second goal to complete the game score of 5-2. A notable play worth mentioning was Jesse Vozick’s dribbling the entire length of the field past the entire Barnstonworth team until the goalie who guessed Jesse would repeat the same prior 10 successful right swerve, and denied him a deserved goal.

Brian Morris' Five Goals Lead First Team To Victory, O-30 Legends Roll, O-30 Premier Stumble

First Team

Despite being separated by just two points in the table, the Kickers first team game vs. Beyond FC was essentially over after 45 minutes, with Brian Morris scoring five first half goals (James Z added a 6th) and the Kickers jumping out to a 6-1 lead. The Kickers were gifted a defensive blunder on the first goal, but strung together sequences of passes all over the field for much of the first half to set up the additional five goals. Things were a bit tighter (albeit a bit slower) in the second half, and to the opponent's credit, the game was hard fought for all 90 minutes. Beyond FC would add a second tally on a swerving rocket from 30 yards out, but the Kickers struck back on a cool PK converted by Khriswayne with 15 minutes to go, and the game finished 7-2.

Second Team

Kickers Reserves smashed a rather violent Beyond FC team where it counted; on the score sheet. Despite slide tackles from behind, metal studs, and challenges more than a second after the ball was passed, the Kickers were unfazed, putting seven past their opponents. Gio LoMonaco put on his scoring boots, adding a double, Albi Rexha scored two, David Anderson scored one, Lukas score one, and even David James, back from the Over-30 wilderness, got involved in the scoring. Letting up two goals was disappointing, but the Kickers have bigger fish to fry next week as they face Williamsburg International for a top of the table battle, sole ownership of the first place at stake.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier put together one of their best first half performances and followed it with one of the worst second half performances which doomed another good effort.

Playing a 3-5-2 for the first time all season, the Kickers enjoyed more time on the ball and defended well through the first 45 minutes. Khouri Mullings (MVP) earned the go-ahead goal in the 20th minute. The Kickers kept that lead with some good team defensive play.

In the Second half, Pancyprian woke up and took the game to the Kickers, scoring one goal from inside the six, from 25 yards, and everywhere in between. Khouri had one more break away goal 60th minute, Nick Bill scored on a well deserved PK (70th minute), but Panycprian were too much for the Kickers as they eventually fell 6-3 to the Greeks.

Over-30 Legends

The MKFC Legends prevailed after a hard fought goal-less first half to beat NY Shamrocks Legends 3-0 in the second half. The first goal was a thumping header from Kevin Adamson-Jackes around the 70th minute, jumping over his 6'4" marker; the second, a Joe Whiteman special, and the last, a mazey dribble by Yadh Yaich through 14 players to goal.

Reserves Impress, First Team Draws - 10/21 Weekend Recap

First Team

The Kickers team started off on the right foot 10 minutes into the game, with a goal by Brian Morris. The goal was orchestrated by a dangerous transition play that started from the Kickers’ defensive end and led to a great through ball by Mathias. The team struggled for possession due to simple mistakes which have plagued them this year. Soon after the opening goal goal, the Kickers conceded from a shot from the top of the box that seemed to come out of nowhere. After reverting back to a 4-4-2 to shore up the back line the Kickers continued to push forward. A long ball from GK Ryan V found Brian Morris, who got a shot off that took a weird bounce and made its way into the goal for the 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, as it happened against Stal Mielec, FC Uliqini tied the game with ten minutes left when a counter led to a cross from the left side and a very nice finish by the opposing forward. Ryan V came up with a few big saves throughout the match to earn MVP, and the Kickers left with a 2-2 tie.

Reserves

The reserves were in the unfamiliar position of looking up the table at their opponents and played as if they had something to prove. It proved enough for a 2-1 victory for the Kickers to flatter FC Ulqini; Kickers dominated throughout, allowing only a two shots on target and peppering the Ulqini goal with shots and pressure. Antonio looked to continue where he left off last week (a two goal performance) when he forced the Ulqini keeper into an exceptional save within the first ten minutes. The pressure didn’t let off with close calls coming off of corners, open play, and even throw ins. Incredibly, the athletic Ulqinians managed to withstand the pressure for the entire half, and even created one chance of their own, that stand in keeper Jared Hirschowitz made light work of.

The second half proved more eventful, as a run by Pat Robak carved the Ulqini defense open before laying the ball off for Gio LoMonaco to expertly finish from the top of the box. Five minutes later, the Kickers went route one with a goal kick by Jared being flicked on for David Anderson to run on to. Composed and calm, David took his time before beating the keeper with a low shot into the far left corner.

Then things took a turn for the worse. The fitness of the opponents lead to late challenges by the Kickers, and a miscommunication with the referee caused a player to be sent off for a second yellow, even though it was unclear that he had received a first one. The ensuing free kick was finished off expertly by the best player on Ulqini, with an outside of the boot curler beating Jared. If anything, this focused the Kickers up, and Ulqini didn’t get a second chance to tie the game up. Final score, 2-1.

Over-30 Premier

The Over-30 Premier team only had 11 players which required a few players to play out of position against the CP Old Bhoys. A giveaway in the defense zone lead to the chip of our GK assisted by the wind and the Kickers were down 1-nil in the 15th minute. Khouri Mullings (MVP) attacked the oppositions defense and scored the equalizer a few minutes later.

In the second half, the Kickers needed to take better care of the ball and play simple defense to have a chance to come out on top, but they did not, CPR to score an easy goal in the 50th minute. The one bright spot was the goal scored by debutant Kristian Tirri in the 55th minute (assist by Khouri), but the Kickers struggled to create more of a threat after that. In the remaining minutes, CPR was able to find space and time inside the penalty area to strike home two more and put the game out of reach. CPR also missed a few late breakaways which kept this game from getting ugly.

Over-30 Legends

Kickers Legends played their best game of the season to date against the one the top teams from last season.

Playing America FC 1927 deep in New Jersey, Legends outplayed their opponents, whom they had never beaten, to an emphatic 4-0 win.

The Jerseyites started the game on the wrong foot, pinned in their half by the onslaught of attacking runs by Joe, Wale, Yadh and Dan. Wale was taken down in the box for an obvious penalty, but it was not given. Perhaps realizing his error, the referee promptly gave one when Dan was soon fouled as well, this time a bit gentler. Wale stepped up to the spot, kicked straight at the keeper, then stepped forward to bury the bouncing rebound, but crashed it off the top of the bar. There were immediate fears that this was going to be ‘one of those days’ quickly dissipated when midfield maestro Kevin sliced a pass through to an unmarked Joe, who, unchallenged, did not miss from 20 yards. Appearing not to realize their offsides trap was faulty, America stood and watched collectively twice more as Joe and then Yadh carried the ball unchallenged towards goal for easy tap-ins for Yadh and Wale, and the Kickers led 3-0 at half time.

In the second half, Legends adjusted to the Americas’ packing of the midfield by also shifting to a more defensive 4-5-1, resulting in a more measured, defensive posture. This effectively kept out the skillful Americas, yet created enough opportunity for Man of the Match Kevin Adamson-Jackes to score with a thumping header off a corner. The defense of Tim, DJ, Jesse and Jef, combined with the safe hands of Ulrich, gave America FC little opportunity to stage a come back.

State Cup Round 1 - 10/14 Game Recaps

First Team

In the first round of the State Cup, the Kickers team faced a familiar opponent, Panatha USA, whom they beat 8-0 a few weeks earlier in league play. Despite Panatha USA fielding a roster that hadn't just played an entire reserve match, the added energy was only enough to muster a few goals, which was no match for the Kickers nine. From the start, the game was never really in question. Though the Kickers were sloppy all over the field, they were able to connect on the few times they settled the ball down, passing through the Panatha USA defense with ease, and scoring four goals in the first half. The second half was more of the same, with even more space on the field giving way to five more goals—one blinding half volley from JamesZ—as the game became more and more out of reach. Final score 9-3.

Second Team

The Kickers Reserves flexed their potential might in a game against a team they had lost to in the opening game of the season. In the opening minutes Chris Smith scored into the bottom corner with a very un-English balletic pirouette to create space right before the finish. From there, barring a few lapses, it was all Kickers. MVP Antonio Ruiz got the double, the first being a curling shot right into the upper left corner and the second a tidy finish to wrap up the scoring. The best chance the opposing NY Ukrainians was was of the Kickers on doing, with Tommy Fitzpatrick getting into a tangle with an opponent in the box. The ensuing penalty kick rolled listlessly into the grateful arms of Connor Maines.

Over-30 Premier

For the second year in a row, the Kickers Premier come up short in PKs in the 1st Round of the State Cup. This time, it was to the Long Island Gaels (away) in Valley Stream. In spite of the rare occasion of playing on a grass field, the Kickers still looked the better side for most of game. In the 20th minute Khouri Mullings’ header was slotted home by Seamus Kelly. Less than five minutes later, the Gaels would push the ball forward down the right side of the Kicker defense and cross would find a striker unmarked with time at the top of the box who smashed home the equalizer.

Both teams enjoyed opportunities in the second half, with the Kickers best chance coming in the 50th minute, a cross from Marko found Seamus in the penalty area but the Gaels keeper (who had the game of his life) would push the header away to keep the score even.

In PKs the Kicker curse continued as we missed 3-4 opportunities. The Gaels would score three, and that's the way it ended.

Over-30 Legends

The Legends could not shake their own State Cup curse of going out in the first round. Despite dominating possession and Manhattan Celtics Masters' half of the field, Legends just could not get a shot on target. Masters on the other hand scored with every shot they managed to muster, scoring two in the first half and two in the second. Wale Bakare did pull one back for Legends from the spot. 1-4 final score.

Weekend Wrap-Up: Legends Top Gjoa 4-1, Premier Falls 3-2

The Kickers first team and second team were off this weekend. Both Over-30 teams were in action.

Over-30 Legends

With a deep bench, Kickers Legends were able to maintain control of the game for its entirety, with only a couple of lapses. Passing and moving well, midfielders Kevin, Dave, Christian, Slover, and then John and Danny, sprayed the ball around confidently and created several opportunities, but shooting practice clearly continues to be a priority. It was left to DJ to finally score, forging forward from his center-back position. Wale soon added to his season’s growing bounty with a well taken shot in the box, off a brilliant over-the-top reverse lob from Joe that would have impressed Iniesta. Gjoa had few chances as its forward line found no way past the defensive wall of Dave, DJ, Jess, Tim and then Jef) and Ulrich had little to do. Gjoa started the second half with far greater intensity and Kickers struggled to get the ball out of their own half for the first ten minutes, with their slim lead threatened. It took Danny the debutant to carry the ball all the way from midfield on a rampaging run for the insurance goal. Not only did Danny not celebrate scoring against his old team, he immediately took himself out of the game. Kickers’ complacency then put themselves in jeopardy by allowing Gjoa to counter 5 on 3, which Ulrich managed to save brilliantly one-on-one. Unfortunately, he had a bit of a fumble with a long shot that had little threat to give up a goal. It happens. Fortunately, almost immediately after, Scotti reacted positively, and managed to get an own-goal off a hapless Gjoa defender trying to block his pass. Game ended 4-1, and Legends climb to second place, just behind Cozmoz on a single goal difference.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier went down 3-0, but could only muster a two-goal comeback, missing a few crucial 1 on 1 breakaways and having a goal called back for an offside call, eventually falling 3-2. Both goals were scored by Ardian, one in the 80th minute and one around the 85th on a PK.

Winning Weekend - 9/31 Kickers Game Recaps

First Team

The Kickers first team game was essentially over before it started, as Panatha USA fielded the same 11 players in the first team game that battled for 90 minutes against the reserves. With little effort, the Kickers pushed forward against a surprisingly effective offside trap for almost the entirety of the game. However, an early PK and a low cross slotted home, both by Albi Rexha (MVP), put the Kickers ahead 2-0 within 15 minutes. Despite some sloppy and lazy play, the Kickers managed to score 5 or 6 more goals before a red card to a Panatha USA defender deflated what little enthusiasm remained in the game, and the ref called it early. Alas, 3 points is 3 points.

Second Team

The Kickers continued their winning streak with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Panathanaikos. The Astoria based club brought a level of violence that probably wasn't warranted, with many cards being shown. Mathias making his first appearance of the season, put one of the many free kicks narrowly wide after Danny Challita was elbowed in the head. Despite the opposition's physicality, the Kickers dominated possession for much of the first half and generated plenty of chances that they were unable to convert. Jared Lichtarge even struck the crossbar after some good interplay.

The second half began with momentum shifting to the opposition, with a short, rare period of possession. However, the Kickers weathered the storm, and began dictating tempo again. As the game went on, it also became more chippy, and the Kickers drew a foul late at the corner of the box. Mathias once again stood over the free kick, delivering a ball to the far post where it was headed back into the mix by Lukas Seebacher for defender Ronan Waks to head into the net. This, as well as an impeccable performance at the back earned Ronan MVP tag for the week.

The Kickers saw out the game professionally, generating few chances in the waning moments of the game before the ref blew the final whistle to confirm their victory.

Over-30 Premier

The Kickers Over-30 Premier secured a 2-0 victory today over CP Greys. Both teams had chances but failed to score in the first half. In the 50th minute, some nice build up by the Kickers lead to Seamus Kelly tapping home for the go-ahead goal. After a flurry of chances by both sides, Khouri Mulling found Seamus Kelly (MVP) again to put the match out of reach. The defense played well down the stretch, and some fortunate point blank shot saves by FitzGerald (along with some luck of the woodwork), delivered the victory.

Over-30 Legends

With a bare-bones squad of 11, greatly abetted by the eventual arrival of Kevin, Kickers Legends ground out a 2-0 win against a resilient SC Eintracht. Despite playing most of the game in the Eintracht half, SC Eintracht actually had greater possession of the ball, though were not able to generate much forward momentum with it. Kicker Legends had much more penetration when it did have the ball, but finishing was poor, and both sides went to the break with nothing to show for their efforts. Second half continued in the same vein, though Kickers had more possession and much of the game was played in the Eintracht third of the field. Christian finally broke down the Eintracht resistance with a cracker of a shot inside the right of the keeper. And Kevin secured the win with a well-placed run to tap in from generous Joe who was one on one with the keeper.