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Casa Soccer League: spring season and Kelly Cup updates and previews

A look back to last weekend and ahead to this weekend the season winds down

Matt Ralph

Submitted by the league

Kelly Cup

Rose Tree Gunners FC 6 – Smitty Werben Jager Man Jensen FC 3
A tough loss for an undermanned Smitty team is a statement win for a resurgent Rose Tree side that appear to be going from strength to strength. This game was really a story of two halves. Rose Tree managed to rack up a 3-1 scoreline in the first forty-five minutes and looked dominant over their opponents. An unfortunate early own goal got them on their way, before Fletcher added two more to confirm their superiority. Misley pulled on back for Smitty in the midst of things, but this was one way traffic. The second half was an entirely different story, and, after the match, Smitty captain McBain lamented that his side hadn’t been able to give an even performance over the course of the match, asserting that the outcome might have been different if they had. Fagan scored first to give Rose Tree a 4-1 lead before going blow for blow with Smitty. Misler and Masitti fired back for Smitty, but Dyson and Graul landed counter punches for Rose Tree. The game got chippier as the match went on and it’s a surprise that no cards were issued. At the end of the battle, Rose Tree stood tall and will move on to the next round.

Rose Tree Gunners FC: GOALS – O.G., Fletcher (2), Fagan, Dyson, Graul
Smitty Werben Jager Man Jensen FC: GOALS – Misler (2), Masitti
MAN OF THE MATCH – Fletcher: Rose Tree Gunners FC

Mark Wahlberg’s Cousins FC 1 - FC Misconduct 6
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Mark Wahlberg’s Cousins FC who were tasked with taking down CASA power house FC Misconduct in their 2nd round Kelly Cup Playoff match. Having gone undefeated in the regular season, MWC FC may not have been the favorites but never doubted their ability to get the job done. However, that job become that much harder for MWC FC as they would fall behind early, allowing multiple goals in the first 20 minutes and having a hard time trying to contain #12 Robinson from FC Misconduct. Robinson would end with a brace and could have scored 5 or 6 goals but found himself victim of a hard first touch in an open area and a few shots going just wide to limit is impact on the score line but it was his play in the midfield that impacted the game the most and allowed his teammates to find the areas out wide and make well timed runs into the area. It was a valiant effort by Abel Flores and his squad and they did ruin the clean sheet for the winning side, with Kelly Cup no longer a possibility, Mark Walhberg’s Cousins FC will set their sites on another division winning effort and a deeper run in the Kelly Cup Playoffs in the upcoming fall season.

Goals: FC Misconduct: #12 Robinson 9' 22’ #33 Osborne 14’ #7 Carter 43’ 3’ #8 Allers 29’
Mark Wahlberg’s Cousins FC: #6 Abzug 27'
Yellow cards: N/A
Red cards: N/A
Man of the Match: FC Misconduct #12 Robinson

Yardy FC 1 – FC SouthHouse 2
This reporter predicted a close game between Yardy and SouthHouse, and these teams did not disappoint. Finn Reese was the hero for SouthHouse here, though, notching two first half goals to give his side a dominant lead. Yardy faced an uphill battle from there and, at half time, knew they needed to turn some promising chances into goals. Facey answered the call in the second half and got one back for Yardy. This goal set up a cagey game of cat and mouse, as both teams looked to use the speed and quality of their forwards to get in behind their opponent’s lines. Unfortunately for Yardy, SouthHouse stood strong and managed to repel Yardy’s excurisions into the opponent’s half. Credit must go to Yardy, too, for keeping their backline tight in the second half, which allowed them to stay in the game up until the final whistle.

Yardy FC: GOAL – Facey – CARDS Melhado (Y), Facey (Y), Coach (Y)
FC SouthHouse: GOALS – Reese – CARD Castro (Y)
MAN OF THE MATCH – Reese: FC SouthHouse

Washed Up United 0 – Real Vidas 3

Kelly Cup Previews

Real Vidas vs FC SouthHouse
It’s been a difficult week for both of these teams, as they’ve both crashed out of the semi-finals of the Palangi Cup against less fancied opposition. Still, they’ve got a shot at redemption in the semi-finals of the Kelly Cup. SouthHouse will be looking to make their second Kelly Cup final in consecutive seasons, and Real Vidas will be looking to relive their glory days from a few seasons ago when they won the whole thing. Key men for the sides will be Reese for SouthHouse and Baker for Real: both are important sources of goals for their sides and can cause the opposition trouble on their day. This game might come down to a battle between the defenses: who can be stingier on their opponents so that their strikers efforts count for more?

Rose Tree Gunners FC vs FC Misconduct
A rematch of this year’s Palangi Cup quarter final awaits these teams on Saturday. Rose Tree won that matchup, but Misconduct won’t forget that they won the most recent league meeting of these two sides on the last day of the season. Misconduct are the reigning champions and have the know-how to win the tournament, but Rose Tree are the plucky upstarts who are looking to make good on an impressive league season. Key men for both sides will be Misconduct’s Robinson, who is usually a handful for defenders, and Rose Tree’s Fletcher, whose goals fired them past Smitty. The real battle in this game, however, will occur in the middle of the field, where Rose Tree’s deep laying playmakers will be responsible for keeping a fluid Misconduct attack at bay at the same time as they’re charged with breaking the lines of an impressively organized defense. This one is going to be close!

Segunda

Vidas United 1 – Renob CF 1 (Vidas win 4-3 on PKs after a.e.t.)
What a tight battle between these sides occurred on Saturday! Renob had beaten Vidas on the final day of the season to make this game, but they couldn’t repeat the feat in the playoffs. That’s not to say they wouldn’t have been good value for the win: whenever such a close game goes to playoffs then all bets are off. Vidas showed composure to win the game from the spot and will advance. The game itself was very cagey, with neither side wishing to give up the advantage. Renob opened the scoring with a well worked move, but Adeleye struck back for Vidas with a beautiful hit from nearly thirty yards out. With scores tied and penalties looming, Vidas’ goalkeeper Casabon exemplified the character of the side, coming up with two saves to win the shootout. Vidas move on, and Renob will lament being so close to the promotion game.

Oaklyn United 2 – SMK 1
This match pitted a team recently demoted from Primera against a team recently promoted from Tercera. Surely the team that had recently played the higher level would take this game? Oaklyn United bucked expectations by taking a come-from-behind win against SMK on Saturday. SMK showed their talent and experience in the first half, patiently granting Oaklyn possession in their own half, only to hit them on the counterattack when the play broke down. They were rewarded early on in this game when Miller latched onto a through ball to slot home from SMK. In previous games that they’ve found themselves down, Oaklyn have struggled to get back into the game. Here, though, they showed character and new found belief to fight back. A tactical switch at the start of the second half paid off for Oaklyn as they suddenly found themselves able to play down the flanks. This plan yielded results when Lim found Alain, who equalized from a cross for Oaklyn. It continued to play dividends when attacking fullback Patterson squared a ball early, only to catch out the SMK back line who scored an unfortunate own goal. That was enough to win the game, and sends Oaklyn to the playoff final.

Oaklyn United: GOALS – Alain, O.G. – CARDS Egan (Y), Hickman (Y)
SMK

Preview

Vidas United vs Oaklyn United
Both these teams have shown guts and character to make it into the final and must now show that they have the skill to beat their opponent. Neither team enters as the favorite, then, but both teams have a point to prove. Vidas are heading into the playoff final for a second season in a row and are looking to recapture former glories by getting re-promoted to Primera. They’ll look back on an impressive season, during which they only lost one game. Oaklyn are looking for their third promotion in four seasons, having worked their way up from Cuarto. As captain Lewis made clear in his pre-match comments to this reporter, he feels his side deserve more respect from the upper echelons of CASA’s pyramid, and can imagine no better way of earning it than by beating another team that has recently been in the top league in order to join the ranks of Primera. These teams are playing for more than just promotion: pride is on the line.

Tercera

Bluestars Legends 1 Philly Black Stars 2
A matchup between the two third seeds of Tercera for a chance at the promotion final. It was a very good and competitive game that saw each tem enjoy clear scoring chances but the goalies were up to par on this one. We had to wait until the second half to see goals, when the Blacks Stars opened the scoring in the 63rd minute courtesy of who else but #10 Baidoo. The Black Stars had a couple chances to extend their lead with some breakaways they could not convert. Those misses came back to haunt them as they gave the chance for Bluestars to tie it in the 82nd minute with a goal from #3 King to force us into overtime. Already in overtime, the golden goal rule meant missing clear chances was not allowed. The Black stars learned their lesson as #9 Agyapong found the back of the net in the 4th minute to call game and move his team into them promotion final against Fishtown FC.

Bluestar Legends: GOALS - #3 King (82’) CARDS – None
Philly Black Stars: GOALS - #10 Baidoo (63’), #9 Agyapong (94’) CARDS – None
MOTM: Bluestar Legends GK Landers

Preview

Fishtown FC vs Philly Black Stars
The promotion final will see CASA veterans Fishtown FC face off against the Philly Black Stars. Philly Black Stars come into the game in great from. The team has managed to keep their explosive offense going throughout the playoff, but they have also shown more defensive organization than they did during the regular season. As for Fishtown, they find themselves in this game after losing the championship final against Yardy FC. Unlike the Black Stars, who have played multiple games in the last 2 weeks, Fishtown has had some time since their last game matchup, so we’ll see if the time off plays in favor of the Tercera East champions or the recent form of the Tercera West 3rd seed ends up prevailing.

Cuarto

Aston Phila 2 Vidas FC 1
First game of the playoff had the number 2 seed Aston Phila facing CASA veterans Vidas FC. The game was very evenly matched from start to finish but eventually Aston Phila got the lead in the 39th minute with a goal from #12 L. Koka. Aston Phila managed to keep the lead until halftime and they then extended it on the 48 th minute thanks to a goal form #22 J. Evans. Vidas got a goal in the 59th minute courtesy of #6 B. Gately to bring them back in the game and make Aston Phila nervous. Vidas never stopped pushing throughout the whole game but were lacking that extra bit of quality in the final third to get an equalizer which allowed Aston Phila to keep their lead even after a little scuffle later in the second half that saw them get a few cards. Aston Phila will move on to the promotion final in hopes of making it two promotions in two semesters.

Aston Phila: GOALS- #12 L. Koka (39’), #22 J. Evans (48’) CARDS - #88 V. Koka (yellow), #12 L.Koka (red) Vidas FC: GOALS - #6 B. Gately (58’) Cards - #21 Elwood (yellow)

Rebels FC 4 Fishtown SC 3

Preview

Rebels v Aston Philadelphia
The promotion finals will have a couple of teams that were sitting in first of the standings at some point, facing each other for the chance to advance to Tercera. Both of these teams came into the last week of the regular season with a shot a the title but both saw their efforts fall short. This time is all in their own hands so both will come out determine to make up for lost opportunities in the past. Their one matchup this season saw the Rebels beat Aston Philadelphia 2 goals to 1 in week 2 of the regular season. Rebels will look to repeat that scoreline while Aston Philadelphia will try to take some revenge.

Quinto

Philadelphia Athletic Club 2 -1 Inter Phila
Having lost the division on the final day of the regular season via a disappointing 4-1 loss to UCFC, Inter Phila came in as the #2 seed and the heavy favorites to win not just their match against a very inconsistent PAC but to win out and win promotion. Inter kept it simple in the first half but maybe it was too simple as PAC were ablet to cut off passing lanes and stop the majority of attacking possession close to the midline in the 1st half. Inter came out fast in the 2nd half, with multiple chances right away that caught PAC off guard and would result in a turnover that Inter would capitalize on with a goal in the 50th minute. Even with the 1-0 advantage Inter played aggressive, almost as if they were playing down a man and down a goal. That aggressiveness would not bode well for Inter, with a high press and keeping their mids centralized, PAC were able to attack down the heart of Inter's defense in transition resulting in 2 goals in quick succession. Having scored just 3 minutes apart to tie then take the lead, PAC were riding the momentum and found themselves absorbing the press of Inter and allowing Inter to make mistake they could capitalize on and move the ball out of their area and limiting Inter’s chances in front of goal. It was a hard fought match between both teams with PAC finding the way to make the most of their chances and even with their early exit, Inter Phila will still be seen as the Division favorites for the upcoming fall season.

Goals: Inter - #17 Lukez 50’
Philly AC - #27 Collado 63’, #11 Bangura 66’
Yellow cards: #17 Lukez 56’
Red cards: N/A
Man of the Match: Philly AC #11 Bangura

Preview

Philadelphia Athletic Club Vs Oaklyn United Pride
The Quinto Promotional Final is set to feature 2 teams that played to a 1-1 draw and had similar records in the regular season but play two completely different games. With Oaklyn it’s always defense first, set the formation and look for the opening while never compromising on the defensive half. Their opponent on the other hand, PAC, prefer a more aggressive style with long balls over the top and quick 1 touch passing in their defensive half which can sometimes lead to issues. Oaklyn lack a true striker up top so playing out of the back for PAC most likely will not be an issue as Oaklyn does not like to press to high when not in possession but with promotion on the line it may be time to leave it all out there. If PAC manages to score first and early they could abandon their kamikaze style attack and play more defensively and if Oaklyn manages to break through with the first goal they will sit back and let their defense do what they do best and hold off their opponent with ease. PAC had to play a tough game against a very tough Inter Phila to make it to the final unlike Oaklyn who were gifted their slot by way of a last minute forfeit by Philly Skyliners. The Skyliners had personnel issues and were bleeding goals left and right so it’s okay to assume that even with Oaklyn being a lower seed they could have easily came out victorious against a struggling Skyliners team that allowed 9 goals while being shut out in their last two games.

Sexto

Philly Saint-Germain 1 - 0 Telle Bouche FC
Prior to their playoff match against PSG, team manager and avid bowling shoe collector, Nick Baselice, stated that he was confident in his previous remarks that their regular season loss to PSG was a mere fluke and 99 out of 100 times we win that game" and that he expected nothing less than a victory for his team. The first half showed great promise from both sides with PSG and Telle Bouche trading shots and breakaways but neither team being able to find that final pass or sneak one by their opponent’s goalie with multiple saves for both goalies keeping the score level a 0-0 heading into half time. Neither team would give up the midfield with lots of possession being gained and loss in the open areas, while both trams possessed speed up top, neither team were able to find a through ball to spring an attacking player on goal. It started to look like this match would go to PKs as Telle Bouche were gifted a few good chances on goal but were unable to finish and PSG were having difficulties late finding space. With less than 10 minutes and their season on the line, #17 D. Loaec weaved his way through the midfield unmarked and was sent through on goal thanks to a nicely weighted pass from #16 L. Jikia, having no one but the keeper to beat, Dylan would push his shot just wide of the outstretched hands of the goalie and into the left corner for the game winning goal. Telle Bouche FC will spend another season in Sexto as their quest to return to Quinto continues this fall as PSG continue their run and will face off against Still Processing FC who beat them 2-0 in the regular season so look for PSG to turn this into a redemption match.

Goals: Philly Saint-Germain: #17 D. Loaec - 83’
Yellow cards: N/A
Red cards: N/A
Man of the Match: PSG #17 Pete

Still Processing FC 1 - 0
With top seed Telle Bouche FC knocked out in the match prior by PSG, Still Processing FC and Bench Mob FC knew either team could win in the final and win promotion to the 5th division. Having battled it out to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season, Still Processing FC looked to avoid allowing another early goal and set the tone defensively so to avoid the mistakes in their previous match against the Mob and were able to so successfully as the Mob failed to create any real promising attacks in the first half. With the 0-0 score line, neither team wanted to get caught in transition which slowed the game down to an almost snail like pace, this however did favor the center backs of Still Processing FC as this allowed more time for the midfielders to track back and assist if Bench Mob were able to send anyone with pace through on goal. Even when their legs got tired and they were fighting for every breath, Still Processing duo Jonny V. and Kristian W. would link up in the 77th minute to break the stalemate with Jonny sending Kristian through to rip a shot past the keeper to take the 1-0 lead late in the 2nd half. With just moments left, Bench Mob would send numbers forward but were unable to find the equalizer as Still Processing FC grind out an impressive 1-0 victory that sends them to the final against PSG.

Goals: Still Processing: #21 Winiarz 77’
Yellow cards: Bench Mob: #13 Rudy 61’; Reckless charge.
Still Processing: #8 Bowman 86’; Reckless Charge.
Red cards: N/A
Man of the Match: Still Processing: #25 Philipson

Preview

PSG Vs Still Processing FC
Still Processing FC will be determined to keep their winning streak going against PSG, having dispatched them earlier in the season to the tune of a low scoring but lopsided 2-0 victory and enjoying a current 4 game win streak overall, Still Processing are riding alot momentum into this match. PSG enter the match having won their last 3 matches with their most recent loss coming against Still Processing FC in week 8. Still Processing statistically are the better team, scoring 28 goals on the season while allowing only 14 results goal differential of +14 while PSG have GD of just +4. While Still Processing is the better team overall they have their weaknesses just like any other team but considering 2 of their 3 losses this season came against teams that ended 1st and 2nd in the division it proves that they get the job done when expected, just no one expected that third loss to be against Rapid FC which also proves they can be beaten. PSG will be tasked with clamping down on defense to prevent the speed SPFC has up top from wearing down their backline early and if they can manage to get enough offensive possession in their opponents half, SPFC can be provoked into giving up fouls just outside the area and get into yellow card trouble early if PSG manage to pester their backline. Overall this is anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top, SPFC had a short stint in Quinto before being relegated so they will be motivated to redeem themselves while PSG will fight to the very end to secure promotion so they can let it be known they are a team to look out for.