What a game, what a night, what a week. The 2014 LISFL Joe Goldberg Memorial Indoor Soccer Tournament concluded on Sunday night with a stunning comeback in the D1/Res Final by Oyster Bay Fenerbahce USA. Read more
Joseph Ruesgen from New York Greek Americans marking Christopher Sutherland from Oyster Bay Fenerbahce USA
2/24/14 - What a game, what a night, what a week. The 2014 LISFL Joe Goldberg Memorial Indoor Soccer Tournament concluded on Sunday night with a stunning comeback in the D1/Res Final by Oyster Bay Fenerbahce USA. Down 3-0 to the New York Greek Americans, Fenerbahce stormed back by scoring 3 goals in the final 9 minutes to force a penalty shootout that they won 3-1 to clinch the tournament champonship for the fifth year in a row.
The D1/Res Final capped an exciting tournament that showcased some of the best clubs and players that Long Island soccer has to offer. Besides the LISFL clubs, the Greek Americans were invited to participate because there was an available spot in the D1/Res bracket and the club has a long history of participating in the tournament.
Oyster Bay Fenerbahce USA celebrating their win in the tournament final
The D1/Res bracket had produced some exciting and competitive matches throughout the week. On Sunday night, the Greek Americans defeated Istria SC in the first semi-final 3-0. In the other semi-final, Fenerbahce faced a Levittown U-23 team that had overcome Mineola Portugese SC 3-1 in the quarter-finals. Levittown gave Fenerbahce a tough match that ended in a 4-2 win for Fenerbahce and set up a local version of a Greece vs Turkey match-up that everyone eagerly anticipated.
Oyster Bay Fenerbahce USA team picture with the D1/Res championship trophy
Both teams featured several players who were either former professionals or standout college players. Added to the mix was the history that the New York Greek Americans bring with them along with all of their recent accomplishments, which makes them one of the top amateur clubs in the country.
LISFL President Gus Xikis presents the D1/Res trophy to Fenerbahce captain Jose Batista
The final game lived up to the billing to cap off a tournament that LISFL President Gus Xikis called "one of the best indoor tournaments that we've had in recent memory". Xikis further explained that "we were hoping this would be a showcase for the league to demonstrate all of the hard work everyone has put into making this the best amateur soccer league in the region, and hopefully one day, in the country. The clubs and players exceeded our expectations and we're very excited to see what they have in store for us this spring and in the summer with our Under-23 tournament."
Xikis quoted a message from the Kings Park Soccer Club's website, "Our volunteers are not paid - not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. Thank you to ALL the LISFL volunteers without whom, we wouldn't be able to have events such as this tournament."
East Hampton FC celebrating their win in the D2/D3 bracket of the tournament
Earlier in the evening, East Hampton FC continued their undefeated season by winning the D2/D3 final over Deer Park SC by a score of 5-1. The win capped a terrific tournament from the club who joined the league this past fall and have been dominant thus far throughout the season in D3. Their match in the semi-finals against New York Serbia (another new club in the league) went to penalty kicks, which East Hampton won 2-0 after a 0-0 score in regulation time. Xikis hailed the match as "one of the best in the entire tournament. It demonstrates the quality that we have in each division of the league. Everyone can see why we are so excited to have these terrific new clubs and players coming into the league."
Istria SC Over-30 team after winning the LISFL tournament
Istria SC continued their success in the Over-30 division by winning the tournament on Sunday over Polonez by a score of 2-0. Istria had started the tournament slowly in the group stage, but were ready to play on Sunday. They defeated New York Hota Bavarians 5-0 in the quarter-finals and Oceanside United 4-3 in a hotly contested semi-final match. Istria then controlled much of the final against a Polonez team who had stormed through the earlier rounds of the tournament.
Pele Masters had been dominant in the quarter-finals and semi-finals the Over-40 division, but couldn't get the win in the final, which they lost to Polonia by a score of 2-1. Pele Masters had played some terrific soccer on Sunday, but Polonia also played very well and had scored 17 goals in the earlier group stage.