All four teams were back in action on Sunday to kick off the 2015-16 CSL season. Below are game recaps.
First Team: 1-0 (W)
Despite a hectic first half, the first team took care of a pesky Ittihad FC team who are new to the CSL second division. Brian Morris, Nick Bill and Alex Torres created quite a few opportunities in front of goal, but it was a back post header by Lucas Shanks on a Bryan Baracaldo corner kick that put the Kickers up 1-0 mid-way through the second half. Bernie Sheary made 2-3 key one-on-one saves throughout the match to preserve the shutout and the three points.
Second Team: 0-3 (L)
With a roster of newcomers, the second team struggled to find the organization they needed to score any goals. Despite controlling the pace and holding the ball for much of the game, they lost 3-0 to a scrappy, young Ittihad FC second team.
O-30 Premier: 1-2 (L)
In a match where the Kickers dominated the run of play for most of the game, the 1-2 loss was not representative of the match and was a bitter result against last seasons Over-30 champions. This is a Team the Kickers should have beaten last season on the Finals and this was a disappointing defeat to start the season.
In the first 15 minutes, Shamrocks S.C. had the better opportunities but the Kicker defense lead by Colin O'Banion, Mark Supple, David Dupuy and Dave Reichsfeld, were solid through the back line. Then in the 20th minute, the Shamrocks earned a free-kick from outside the penalty area after a a questionable free-kick that was easily converted for the 1-nil lead for the Rocks. The Kickers dominated the rest of the match through the midfield of Richard Webb, Andy Stern, Nick Bill, Ari Dolegowski, Oscar Villada, Andres Garcia and Alex Petrovick. The Kickers, had many-many goal scoring opportunities with Gilad Bloom, Nick Bill and Oscar Villada leading way, but failed to convert. In the 50th minute, the Shamrocks extended the lead with a very fortunate and controversial bounce over our keeper that lead to an easy 2-nil lead.
The kickers responded on a serendipitous Ari Dolegowski goal in the 80th minute. Ari had another point blank chance to draw things even in the 85th minute but the shot hit the Shamrocks Keeper (who had a decent day with 2-3 routine saves) square in the gut. The Kickers had several more opportunities in the final moments, but lacked the magic touch to to covert those opportunities into scores.
In a match where for 80 plus minutes, the Kickers dominated ball possession, dominated the goal scoring opportunities and dominated the run of play, we lacked the finishing touch to win the match against a very good Shamrocks squad.
O-30s: 1-1 (T)
With close to half the players playing together for the first time, and with exactly 11 at kick-off against one of the top teams in our Division, last night's 1-1 tie for O-30s' first point for the season was a satisfactory result.
With half of the regular defensive line missing the game, O-30s had somewhat of a make shift defense with almost everyone playing out of their normal position. Big Mike was in goal instead of Raj, Greg was at Right Back, myself on left, with new midfielders Mads and Jonathan doing time in center defense, and Mo debuting in new role as sweeper. Jesse and Randy joined the defensive team later. Quentin and Pic roamed the wings, with Dylan and Scotti working overtime in the middle. Lone strikers - new man Ibrahim and then good old Paul provided us our single offensive outlet as we parked our bus and waited for our chances on the counter, playing a rare and conservative 5-4-1 formation.
It worked perfectly thanks to the great focus and team effort. We took the lead from a classic Paul Cowler screamer from outside the box in the 60th minute and were cruising for an upset. But around the 75th minute, Dinamos equalized through a rather soft goal due to some mix-up in the back. We had 3 people on the play against their one striker, but misunderstanding led to his getting a soft header into the net . A shut-out would have been well-deserved for an excellent performance in goal by Mike.