Up-close look at the first division’s Fall schedule by Ralph Chery
By Ralph Chery
NY Shamrock’s half-time team talk in a pre-season game against Central Park Rangers Whites at Randall’s Island on August 28th, 2016. Picture by John Riordan/ NY Shamrock SC
August. 28th, 2017
The schedule all the soccer fans were waiting for finally came out last week—and no, it wasn’t the Champions League schedule. The 2017 Cosmopolitan Soccer League Fall schedule was released on Thursday.
Fall opener and finale
The Fall season will kick off on Sept. 9th with a matchup between national double champions, Lansdowne Bhoys and newly promoted side Central Park Rangers Whites at 9:00 p.m. at Tibbet Brook Park Field 3; and will end on Dec. 10th (to go on winter break) as champions NY Greek Americans and the other promoted team, Manhattan Kickers clash at the Metropolitan Oval at 8:00 p.m.
Shamrock SC defender Zachary Gosse. NY Shamrock Images
One of the most anticipated encounter is last year’s semifinal’s rematch between the Bhoys and the Greeks, which NYGA won 1-0. This fixture will take place at the Met Oval on Nov. 26th.
NY Greeks midfielder Stephen Roche—a former Lansdowne captain—stated on Saturday that he’s not only eager to win the league for a second consecutive season but he also wants to hoist national trophies as the Bhoys did this summer. More on that to follow in another article.
Shamrock SC versus NY Pancyprian Freedoms is another game you might want to mark on your calendar. The Freedoms eliminated Shamrock in the semifinal last year in penalty kicks. This encounter will be on Oct. 22nd at St. John’s University Belson Stadium.
The Rocks will take part in another five-star matchup as they host the Greeks on Nov. 4th at 8:00 p.m. at St. Michael’s Playground. Last time the two sides met was in the Manning Sate Cup semifinal, which Shamrock won in penalties.
Two more key fixtures are Lansdowne’s game versus the Freedoms on Set. 24th and their match against Cedar Stars Academy on Sept. 30th. The Bhoys defeated NY Pancyprian twice in the final and Cedar Stars once in the past four seasons. But the Stars broke Lansdowne’s 46-game unbeaten run last year by defeating them 2-1 on their turf.
A few remaining must-see games are the derbies and the two promoted sides’ encounter:
The Greeks will host the Freedoms at St. John’s University Belson Stadium on Oct. 8th in the Greek-Cypriot derby, which was last year’s final.
NY Greek Americans keeper Roberto Pellegrini catching the ball in a game against NY Pancyprian Freedoms last season. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
Doxa will clash with NY Pancyprian on Nov. 5th for another Greek-Cypriot derby and with NYGA on Sept. 24th for the Greek derby.
Lansdowne will travel to St. Michael’s Playground on Nov. 18th to battle their fellow Irish-based club. The Bhoys got the best out of Shamrock the last five times they met—last time was in the Manning State Cup final last year.
New boys battle
Promoted sides Manhattan Kickers and Central Park Rangers Whites will look to vanquish each other at Randall’s Island Icahn Stadium on Nov. 5th.
Teams with the roughest schedule
Cedar Stars Academy were hit with the toughest schedule of the first division. Oliver Papraniku’s men will face the top four teams in their first four matches. Their rough schedule starts with away trips to NY Greeks and NY Pancyprian’s field then rolls to a home game against Shamrock and ends with another away game versus Lansdowne.
The Kickers will also face the top four teams right after the other but theirs will start in the fourth round.
NY Athletic Club, Zum Schneider and Doxa also have their share of a deadly schedule as they will face three giants consecutively.