Lansdowne Bhoys had multiple reasons to celebrate their victories in 2017. (Photo courtesy of the CSL)
Today, FrontRowSoccer.com starts its countdown of the top 10 local stories of the year.
Winning one national title in a year is difficult enough.
Taking home two major trophies within a two-week span? It would seem next to impossible, unless of course, you were Lansdowne Bhoys.
The Cosmopolitan Soccer League team overcame the odds and several quality sides to capture the U.S. Amateur Cup and Werner Fricker Cup. Both competitions are sponsored by the U.S. Adult Soccer Assocation.
On Aug. 5, the Yonkers, N.Y.-based side overcame six-time national champions Bavaria SC 9-8 on penalties in Milwaukee, Wis., to become the first Irish club to be crowned the Fritz Marth U.S. Amateur Cup champions.
The teams played to a 2-2 draw in regulation and then went through 30 scoreless minutes of extratime. Momodou Sawaneh converted the winning penalty kick in the shootout.
It was fitting Lansdowne captured the Fritz Marth Cup because Marth was an important official with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League for many years. Lansdowne is one of the leading CSL First Division sides.
“Gonna enjoy this win tonight,” Lansdowne coach Austin Friel said on Twitter.
On Aug. 19, Lansdowne rolled to a 5-0 victory over Louisiana’s State CD Montague, 5-0, to take home the Fricker Cup.
The team also won the Dr. Manning Cup as Eastern New York State Soccer Association champions, giving Lansdowne a treble.
“Only two other teams have ever won the national amateur, national open and their state cup in the same year,” Bhoys president William McGrory said. “Now there’s three as Lansdowne join the elite group. [The] Bhoys are now the undisputed best amateur soccer team in the USA. This is a marvelous achievement for the team and took an enormous amount of work on and off the field. Thanks to the board, players and coach Austin Friel.”
Lansdowne will have another challenge in 2018 as the team will participate in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup.
The CSL side booked a spot by winning their third-round qualifying match over the Lone Star Under-23s, 3-1, at Tibbets Park in Yonkers, N.Y. Nov. 18. The Open Cup competition is scheduled to kick off in May.
Given its recent history of success, one would be wise in betting against the Lansdowne Bhoys going deep in the competition than most amateur teams.
Thursday: Story No. 9