A shot has been fired across the bow of the juggernaught that is Gothica. The league needed Gothica to stumble and that meant someone had to step up to hold them still… someone stepped up in Week 18, so let’s get to the recap!
Shamrock Celtic hosted Emerald United in their biggest contest short of taking on the lead dog in the league. They succeeded in their mission by winning 2-1, goal scorers Thor Skjelstad and Patrick Barnes. Emerald United’s only goal came from Edge Righte. Shamrock Celtic vaults into second place with a solid victory over their first big test.
“We failed,” said Arthur Franklin, Emerald United Manager. “We put it all on the line and failed. We aren’t out of the race but this sets us back in a major way. We need to keep looking forward.”
“Stay focused,” said Ephraim Colton, Shamrock Celtic Manager. “That has been our mantra and we stayed focused against Emerald United. We’re one step closer to the championship.”
Sporting Black Cats hosted Naval Armada, with Naval winning 2-1. Naval Armada goal scorers Pedro DeJesus and Vance Alexander allowed Naval to get the victory. Sporting’s only goal came from Victor Khrushchev.
“Things are looking good for Naval,” said Horatio Antonelli, Naval Armada Manager. “One obstacle is out of the way, we only have a few more to go to take the title.”
Allen FC and Halo fought to a scoreless draw, leaving both clubs floundering in the middle of the table looking for the best finish they can find.
Shazam CM hosted Knightsquare, only scoring one goal (Jackson Alexander) to win 1-0. Knightsquare’s acting manager Jason Druid considered this a solid win, despite the score not reflecting as much.
“We could have easily lost this one by seven or eight goals,” said Jason Druid, acting manager of Knightsquare. “We held Shazam to one goal. They were fuming that they didn’t get more but we held on and kept it to only one. This club has potential and I’d like to see if we can show that potential before the end of the season.”
Gothica hosted Vulcan FC in a 3-3 draw, causing Gothica’s first stumble as the end of the season nears. Gothica goals came from Victor Vesselin, Donovan Righte, and Simon Tarken. Vulcan goals came from Dzung Tran, Tsung Zhang, and Muleaki A’anhi.
“The schoolyard bully showed up and we punched them in the mouth,” said Nathan Bristol, Vulcan FC Manager. “We didn’t do this for anyone but ourselves, so thanking us isn’t necessary. Vulcan is here to show we are a force to contend with and we will keep getting victories until the season is over.”
Real Olympia hosted Wordsmiths in a scoreless draw. Both clubs replaced their managers and neither could seem to gain an advantage in this one.
Overall, the excitement for the championship is heating up. Concern was sprung, however, with the ESPL about the high number of draws in the inaugural season.
“By our best estimates,” said DJ Allen, ESPL founder. “The league is on track to finish at 50% as far as draws are concerned. That is alarmingly high, in my estimation. We will be looking at diversifying the league as much as we can, seeing more definitive results and less draws. If that means offering bonuses for wins, making a salary cap to prevent all the best players from joining a single club, or whatever we can do to make less draws happen. The league officials and I will be investigating options.”
Let’s hope next week is as exciting!