By Jay Mwamba

Special to

Late-night drama at the Metropolitan Oval in the Dr. Manning Cup last Sunday ended with Shamrock edging resurgent New York Greek Americans, 7-6, on penalties to set up the first all-Irish final in the state competition.

Shamrock will play Lansdowne Bhoys for the cup in June.

Lansdowne, which blanked Boston’s Southie FC 2-0 at the weekend in the USASA Region 1 Amateur Open Cup quarterfinals, won its Manning Cup semifinal tie last December.


Andy O’Connell had netted an early penalty, following a 9:47 p.m. kickoff, to put Shamrock ahead against the Greeks. Giuseppe Barone won the spot kick.

The Greeks were level before the interval thanks to Zachary Gosse’s own goal. And with both defenses holding firm on resumption, penalties ensued.

Sean Reilly, O’Connell, Chris Uy, Emil Thomsen, Gosse, Kwesi Mills-Odoi and Dan Giorgi scored for Shamrock while goalkeeper Frankie Tsasse pulled off two saves to secure an historic win.

“Amazing victory,” boss Kevin Grogan said. “It was an end-to-end game and the Greeks are a very good team as you would expect. I’m delighted for the club to be in a State Cup final. Well deserved.”

Grogan led his lads past East Hampton, 5-0, in the quarterfinals after a forfeit win over Port Jefferson in the Round of 16.

Lansdowne saw off Real NYFC, Pancyprian, 2-0, and NY Polet, 4-1, to reach the Manning final.


In the regional quarterfinals of the national amateur cup, first half goals by Daryl Kavanagh and Lukas Zarges scripted a 2-0 win for Lansdowne.

Ovan Oakley later had a goal disallowed for the CSL champs, while Kavanagh was denied by the woodwork.

“Ibrahim Diaby, Glen Reid, Jonathan Okafor, Martin Dadaj and Marcos Nunez all came on and did well in the second half,” Lansdowne president William McGrory said.

Lansdowne succumbed 1-0 to Maryland’s Christos FC in the USASA Region 1 Amateur Open Final in Horsham, Pa., last year.

Next up for the Bhoys is an April 23 trip to Boston to play Kendell Wanderers in the Walter Fricker National Cup.


An Irish derby is also on the cards in the D’Arpino Cup semis after emphatic victories by the Lansdowne and Shamrock reserves.

Holders Lansdowne cruised into the last four of the State competition with a 4-1 victory over another Irish side, Manhattan Celtic, at Tibbetts Brook Park. The Rocks, meanwhile, blitzed East Hampton 6-0 on Long Island.

Jonathan Leon had fired Celtic ahead early. But Mike Corbi [two] – his first off Artan Balaj’s assist; Brian Kenny, from a Mike Fernandez cross; and Danny Suspiro, courtesy of Leon Aboudi, replied for the Bhoys with both sides reduced to 10-men.

Lansdowne beat Greek Americans ‘B’ 4-0 last season to retain the D’Arpino Cup.


Two-goal hero Darren Coleman, Paul McDaid, Sean O’Neill [two] and Johnny Hayes produced a second-half blitz in the Shamrock seconds’ 6-0 demolition of hosts East Hampton in Brookhaven.

Coleman also chipped in with two assists following a goalless first half.

“We made hard work of it initially and the conditions didn’t help but that second half was very enjoyable,” coach John Riordan said. “We knew we had to be patient and get that first goal. I’m glad our fellas enjoyed it and that we came away from a potentially tricky game with a big win.”


The Lansdowne-Shamrock victor collides with NYAC ‘B’ in the D’Arpino final. NYAC mauled New York Ukrainians’ reserves 9-2 in the other semi-final on Randalls Island.

Peter Lynch [two], Andrew Meisel [two], Chris Sutherland [two], Steve Whitaker, Jimmy Peters and John Stamatis [two] fired the 2009 cup winners back in the final.

“We got hammered,” admitted assistant coach Boris Shapoval, whose Adnan Zaganjor netted both goals. “We had a good run, while it lasted.”


Dennis Reyes notched a hat trick in FC Spring Valley’s 6-2 drubbing of Germania that earned them a Flamhaft Cup semi-final date with New York Ukrainians’ first XI.

“We traveled to Poughkeepsie and played well,” summed up manager Juan Pablo Ramirez.

Ukrainians had held off Floral Park 2-1 to reach the last four last December.

The other semi-final matches Central Park Rangers Whites against the EDSL’s Oranje 1777, following CPR’s 2-0 eviction of fellow CSL side Stal Mielec on Randalls Island.

Idy Watt set up Ilya Kamesh [12th] for the CPR opener while Joe Paljaj added an insurance goal from the spot in the second half.

Oranje, meanwhile, decisioned CSL Div. II [South] leaders Manhattan Kickers 1-0.


In-form NYC Metro Stars shellacked Missile 9-1 in the Strumpf Cup to reach their first ever State cup semifinal.

Boss Edison Calle’s cosmopolitan side was on song once again with Brazilian-born captain Rodolfo Oliveira hitting a hat-trick. Malian forward Mamadou Diombera added a brace, while Peruvian Glen Basurto opened his Metro Stars’ account.

There was also one goal apiece for Tassere Kindo from Burkina Faso, Togolese Farouk Dondja and another newcomer from Burkina Faso Landry Sanon.

“Basically Africa and South America were present and will be [available] in the semifinals,” Calle said.

That will be against Lansdowne Bhoys Metro, semi-finalists last December with a 5-3 romp over BW Gottschee.


Also celebrating a first ever State cup semi-final date are Metro Two [East] leaders Mr. Dennehy’s, which stunned Metro One NYFC Iliria 2-1 in the Strumpf quarterfinals.

“Jonathan Williamson got the first when he latched onto a Beckham-esque Jonathan Imundo long ball to deftly lob the keeper,” Ronan Gardiner said.

Then Andres Sole got the winner after playing a defense splitting middle-of-the-park one-two “with ageless right back turned central midfielder for seven seconds, Ronan Gardiner,” added the player-assistant coach.

Ergi Janku was on target for Iliria after missing a third minute penalty.

Waiting for Dennehy’s in the semis are Williamsburg International, who routed the LISFL’s Hicksville American SC 9-1 last fall.


The first CSL club ever to lift the trophy, Shamrock continued their defense of the Marth Cup with a 3-0 quarterfinal romp over Port Jefferson in Centereach, Long Island.

Johnny McGeeney [two] and Brazilian Leo Coimbra connected.

“This is our cup and this team intends to hold on to it. I’m very pleased to be in the semifinals,” coach Paddy McCarry said.

They face the Germania-Washingtonville winner next.


Hemir Niebles [three] led Greek Americans’ 7-2 sacking of Long Islanders Glen Cove Avellino in another Marth Cup quarterfinal tie.

Enzo Conigliaro, Dennis Reyes Mora [two] and player-coach Tom Bouklis also tallied.


In a reversal of roles for the NYAC technical staff, reserve side boss Bill Saporito took charge of the first XI in the John Kilby League Cup quarterfinals. He steered the seven-time CSL titlists to a 2-0 shutout of CPR Reds on Travers Island.

“We got goals from both our strikers,” he said. “Jeremy Witherspoon finished from close in off a brilliant cross from Ian Pilarski [60th].

Gabe Bagot sealed it in the 89th minute.

Standing between Saporito & Co. and a Kilby Cup final appearance are Stal Mielec ‘B.’ Stal Mielec outlasted Zum Schneider on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Bartek Dziuban and Kestutis Mykolaitis scored in regulation time. Then Mykolaitis, Dziuban, Pawel Marczenia and Lukasz Sowinski converted penalties.

In the other Kilby Cup bracket, Greek Americans’ reserves clash with CD Iberia in the last four.

The Greeks beat CPR Whites ‘B’ on Adam Marcu’s winner [72nd]. This after CPR’s Andres Rios had canceled out Mario Gagliano’s go-ahead-goal.

Iberia pipped Zum Schneider’s second unit 4-3 in a shoot-out after a 0-0 draw in regulation.

“Throughout the game we had numerous chances to score but we couldn’t find the back of the net,” Iberia’s David Lago said. “Overall, our guys played a very disciplined and strong match to limit Zum Schneider to nearly no real scoring opportunities.”


Karl Verna [two] and James Cousins, who also had an assist, propelled Beyond FC’s reserves into the Harry Saunders Cup semis, 3-2 at the expense of Deportivo Sociedade.


Barnstonworth Rovers, Beyond’s foes in the semis, defeated BW Gottschee on sudden death penalties after a 2-2 tie to make the last four.

The quarterfinal tie was a replay of the Metro Two rivals’ closely-fought December league tussle that Gottschee edged 2-1.

Luis “Panama” Andrion got this cup affair of to a cracking start in the first minute when he spotted the Rovers goalie off his line and looped in a shot from the left wing.

Man of the Match Andrion would strike again late in the second half to tie the game after Rovers had taken the lead.

“League Cup rules [sent] the game straight to penalties and, at the end of five rounds, both teams had scored four penalties sending the game to sudden death,” Gottschee’s John Ryding said. “Rovers’ keeper made a brilliant diving save to his left, denying Sean Towey and sending Barnstonworth through to the semifinals.”


Williamsburg International II went down fighting in a 3-2 Saunders Cup quarterfinal loss to Sporting Astoria on Randalls Island.

A terrific effort to come from a goal down to take a 2-1 second half lead — matched by a late push from Astoria, is how Charles von Rosenberg put it.

Williamsburg’s Richard Clements won and scored a penalty to tie the match before Yann Micuta volleyed them ahead off Jordan O’Donaghue through ball.

However, Astoria leveled and clinched the winner six minutes from time.


Elsewhere in the Saunders Cup, Dave Harvey had the Shamrock 1960 goal in a 3-1 defeat by Korabi, who play Astoria next.


Tal Sheynfield struck in Manhattan Celtic Legends’ 1-0 defeat of CPR Old Boys in the Over-30 League Cup quarterfinal.

Celtic meet Manhattan Kickers Legends, 5-4 penalty winners over Cozmoz FC, for a place in the final.

Kickers Legends and Cozmoz tied 1-1, with the latter’s prolific Nedgy Nazon and Kickers’ equally lethal Joe Whitman exchanging goals. In the shootout, Jorg Stratman, Randall Stekee, Eddie Yee Woo Guo, Dave Gouldstone and Gilad Bloom converted all five spot kicks.

Raising possibilities of an all-Kicker final, Manhattan Kickers Premier knocked off Hoboken FC 4-1 to advance to the semis. Khouri Mullings, Ardian Hasko, Alex Petrovic and Alex Vargas scored.

However, Manhattan Celtic Bhoys will fancy their own chances of reaching the Over-30 final in the wake of their 4-3 penalty defeat of CPR Legends. Yuri Gajev, Danny Arkus, Jaime Gonzalez and Patrick Dougherty tallied for Celtic after 90 goalless minutes.


Stefan Dimitrov’s late penalty [80th] snatched a 1-0 victory over Manhattan Celtic at St. John’s University that consolidated Pancyprian Freedoms’ playoff hopes in the CSL top flight.

“The score is not indicative of the game,” general manager George Halkidis said. “Seventy-five [to] 25% possession on our end but we could not score because they compacted their defense, sometimes eight-deep. We’re beginning to find our form for the final push.”


Lansdowne’s Jack Aherne saw his brace canceled out in a 2-2 Metro Division One draw withRidgewood Romac at Tibbetts Brook Park.

“It looks like we don’t take things very seriously unless we have a hard task in front of us,” Ridgewood assistant Ovi Ordean said. “We went down two goals before I’d blinked twice only to cut the lead in half at the 40th minute mark through Andrew Gnandt, who was the first to react on a missed PK.”

Emre Tetik [58th] equalized and the game ended with both teams missing great scoring opportunities, added Ordean.


Vardan Tigranyan’s trey for Homenetmen sank SS Lazio 3-0 in a Metro Two fixture on Randalls Island.


Also in Metro Two action, a 25-yard Andrea Mazella rocket cannoned off the post and into the net for the only goal in SC Eintracht’s defeat of NYC Afghanistan at Flushing Meadow.


Victor Popovsky [two], Kevin Booth and Stephan Feldgoise, meanwhile, powered Celtic Masters 4-1 past Doxa FC in Over-37 league play.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at