Stefan Thorseinsson of Motherwell, right, chases down the ball with the Rangers Ricardo Smith, left, in a Downtown Soccer League scrimmage on Saturday.
Frighteningly good soccer play over the weekend
Compiled by Tyler Pray
Halloween weekend brought a holiday extravaganza to the Downtown Soccer League fields with players competing with not only determination, but also makeup on the face and colorful hair.
West Ham defeated New Castle, 6-1, on Saturday. Ciarra Reynolds made a huge save as goalie, and Brandon Liu and Otilia Olmedo-Young defended their zones and stopped many scoring attempts by New Castle. Jack McGreevy scored 3 goals, one with a great assist by Jackson Mansfield. Liam Fuerst scored 2 goals and Lucy Winokur scored her first goal of the season with a great side shot.
Everton relished their second victory of the season against Liverpool with a 5-1 win on a muddy and slippery field. Liverpool, down two players, still showed a lot of heart and managed to score a nice goal in the second half. Parents cheered as Cameron Burger scored her first goal of the year for Everton. Then Ben Karam was inspired and scored his first goal, too. The team continued to challenge the Liverpool goalie, who stopped quite a few close shots by Julian Chow and Dante Vega. Just before half time, Burger scored another goal, and after the break, she assisted Karam in his second goal of the day.
Crystal Palace and Manchester United, the divisions remaining undefeated teams, met Saturday in a highly anticipated match-up that even drew spectators from as far away as the Upper East Side. With a pearl-gray mist clinging to the wet field, both high-powered offenses sputtered through a scoreless first half. Then Manchester cracked. The swarming Crystal Palace, in Halloween black and orange, scored back-to-back goals by Jake Jiler and Noah Sutter. Manchester gamely fought back, led by Henry Martin, Laila Fadel and Owen OKeefe, but the Palace held. The ferocious play of Louis Dannatt and the shutout goalkeeping of Bayley Arens and Matthew Weldon anchored the Crystal Palace defense. The final score was 2-0.
It was a shame somebody had to lose, said Manchester coach Ken OKeefe. Our kids played their hearts out but it wasnt enough. That Orange squad was very, very tough. Both teams have three games remaining.
That was hard, remarked Palace midfielder Mei Meadow between deep breaths. Im happy and tired and hungry.
Verona and Juventus tied in a scoreless but very well played game. Verona, who had won 2 of their last 3, came into the game shorthanded, with only 9 players. They played the entire game with no substitutions. When players needed a break, they stayed back on defense. Juventus took advantage of this and had many good opportunities but Anthony Marino played a solid game in goal and stopped several excellent shots. John Barbieri, Louis Moreschi and Chynna Basso played outstanding two-way games all over the field for Verona. Nicollete Catona and Michael Marino made several key plays at midfield to stop advances by Juventus. Michael DeMaria, Skirmane Chahu and Andrew Jansen were excellent on defense for Verona. Noah Drysdale, Jeremy Karson and Noah Duran played a solid game for Juventus.
Sevilla shut out Real Madrid, 4-0, on Halloween. The players were allowed to put on Halloween makeup for the game. The Sevilla players ran around with blood dripping down their faces. Real Madrid made some terrific shots on the goal, but Joshua Colon made equally terrific saves to prevent Real Madrid from scoring. Darcy Haylor, Oren Shore, Miguel Leiro and Sarah Fadel played strong defense while Brandon Diaz, Justin Valenzuela and Charles Porcaro scored the goals.
Barcelona defeated Valencia, 5-2, also on Halloween. Roy Vlcek powered Barcelona with 2 early goals. Alessandra Rossi and Casper Henak lead Valencia in keeping the game close, but Ava Pollack and Jeremy Allen kept them at bay with tight Barcelona defense. Jake Bader clinched the victory with 3 goals in the end of the game.
Paris SG and Lyon played a Halloween game to remember. Paris arrived for the occasion with their hair dyed in team colors blue and red. The teams played a scoreless first half thanks to the strong goalkeeping of Justin Basso for Paris and Christin Hu for Lyon. The second half was a different story. Miranda Watson scored the first goal of her career to put Paris up 1-0. Once the scoring began it did not stop until the final whistle. Miles Schuck and Sam Levine scored a few minutes apart, thanks to great passes from Max Sternberg and Ridley Yongue to give Paris what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 lead. Not so. Miguel Duran with help from Harrison Laifer, Rahul Khanna and others scored 2 quick goals to make it 3-2 with 2 minutes to play. Paris held on to the victory thanks to last minute saves by Reuben Sinder.
Rapids defeated Crew, 3-1, in an exciting game. Philip Hughes scored the first two goals for Rapids, one in the first half and the other early in the second. He scored one on a penalty kick after a handball in the penalty area. Crew brought the score to 2-1 before Zachary Herman scored the clincher goal midway through the second half. Goalie Seppi Kushner made excellent saves, solidifying victory for her team.
Crew defeated burn, 6-2. Goalkeepers Charles Chan and Graham Ballard kept excellent defense for Crew. Nathan Miller, a guest player, and Max Davis each scored 2 goals while Robin Campbell and Zack Karson each scored one to make for a spirited game.
Downtown Soccer League coaches should e-mail team info to news@ DowntownExpress.com on Mondays.