The 2015 LISFL Indoor Tournament concluded on Sunday, February 22nd with a triumphant day for Istria SC. Read more
The 2015 LISFL Indoor Tournament concluded on Sunday, February 22nd with a triumphant day for Istria SC. Winners of the D1/D1 Res and Over-30 Championships, Istria demonstrated that they are ready for the 2014-2015 league season to resume in the spring. College Point Flames (FDNY soccer team) won a D2/D3 championship that was "much needed" according to coach Joe Brosi after an indifferent run of results during the fall. Baldwin also put some mixed results in the league behind them to win the O40 division championship with a 3-1 win over Polonia.
Baldwin started the tournament in the worst way possible with a 5-0 loss to Astoria Rudar. The mixed run of results that plagued the team during the fall continued until the final day of the tournament when Baldwin came ready to play. They defeated Locust Valley 2-1, Pele Masters 1-0, and then Polonia to claim the championship.
Istria also started the tournament with some poor results in the O30 Division including a 4-2 loss to Garden City and a 3-1 loss to rivals NY Polet. This simply added to the excitement on Sunday as Istria won the quarter-final over Integral Kings on penalty kicks. Istria followed that by avenging their earlier loss to NY Polet in the semi-final with another win by penalty kicks. Istria then gave coach Carlo Bucich and their supporters a more comfortable 6-2 win in the final over Cosmopolitan League side NY Dynamo.
College Point Flames continued the trend of losing the opening game of the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Floral Park. They rebounded with a 3-3 tie with Panatha USA, followed by wins over SS Cosma Damiano, Volts FC, and Giresunspor USA. This gave the College Point Flames some much needed momentum heading into a quarter-final match with NY Olympiacos that they won 5-2. The semi-final and final were much closer games, but the firemen prevailed with a 1-0 win over NY West Indies United and a 2-1 win over Deer Park.
After losing the D1 league finale last June, Istria's D1 team came into the tournament hungry for victory. Captain Zach Gosse and influential midfielder Osumanu Otoo were ineligble due to red card suspensions, and this added to the uncertainty following an indifferent run of results during the fall portion of the league season.
Istria started the tournament strongly with an emphatic 5-1 win over NY Serbia demonstrating their intent. A 3-1 loss to NY Irish Rovers in the final group game added to the uncertainty leading into Sunday. Istria came ready to play and motivated by the club's O30 championship from earlier in the day. A 2-0 win over NY Polet's reserve team followed by a 4-2 win over a strong Mineola Portuguese team led to the final vs Port Jefferson SC. It was a rematch of last season's league final and an opportunity for Istria to avenge the loss that has haunted them since last June.
Port Jefferson came into the final with an impressive series of results following a 4-0 defeat by Mineola to open the tournament. Coach Craig Korobow brought some of the younger players from his squad and they entertained everyone throughout the tournament with their energy and enthusiasm. Following the loss in the opening game, Port Jefferson put in some terrific performances that led to wins over East Hampton and AC Glen Cove who both had strong starts to the 2014-2015 league season.
On Sunday, Port Jefferson came ready to play and started with a comfortable 2-0 win over NY Irish Rovers in the quarter-final that was followed by a win on penalty kicks over an impressive Westbury FC Azzurri in the semi-final.
This led to a dramatic and sometimes heated final against Istria that lived up to the exciting league final from last June. Istria and Port Jefferson left everything they had on the field and left everyone in the building wanting more. Istria opened the scoring on a goal from Giorgio Ferrara and Port Jefferson tied it up on a goal by Angel Velez, a former player for Istria. The goal by Velez was disputed by Istria and their supporters, but the referee determined that it was a good goal and it stood. Both teams battled throughout for the winning goal and to avoid having the game decided by penalty kicks. This time Istria broke through as Ferrara scored the late winner to claim the championship for Istria.
When the refereee blew the final whistle, Istria began the celebrations and coach Carlo Bucich could finally breathe a sigh of relief after a long and exciting day for him and his club. LISFL President Gus Xikis described the tournament as "one that Joe (Goldberg) would have enjoyed quite a bit." The LISFL Indoor Tournament is held annually and was named in honor of Joe Goldberg to recognize his many years of service to the league and contributions to soccer on Long Island.
Xikis stated, "I'm very proud of all of the teams, players, and coaches. They entertained us all throughout the entire week and demonstrated how great soccer is here on Long Island." Xikis continued, "We can't thank our volunteers enough for all of their hard work to make this tournament possible. Every year it's a great event and a great way for us to close out the winter and get ready for the league to resume the season in the spring."
Xikis went on to describe how happy he felt for Istria coach Carlo Bucich, "Carlo is a close friend. He's a true gentleman who has given so much of himelf for soccer and our league for many years. Those who know Carlo, know that he's been one of the best people involved in soccer in New York for many years."
Xikis also discussed the championship win by the College Point Flames, "I've said before how proud everyone in the league is to have the soccer team representing the FDNY in our league. These guys are true heros to us all and we're very happy for them. Joe (Brosi) has given a lot of himself for the team and our league for many years. Joe is not only a tremendous representative for the FDNY, but also for the LISFL and soccer in the New York area."
O-40 Champion Baldwin Runner-up Polonia
O-30 Champions Istria Runner-up NY Dinamo CSL
D2/D3 Champion College Point Flames Runner-up Deer Park
D1/D1R Champion Istria SC Runner-up Port Jefferson