ESPL Week 2: Movement

coveresplAs one would expect, there is plenty of movement on the table and we nearly had a draw free week. Let’s see what the week looked like and go in depth on the particulars.

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There was plenty of discussion over the past two weeks, that perhaps some of these epic matchups should be considered “derbys,” and those are under consideration. One that is a shoe in for being a derby is the Emerald United-Gothica matches, though some are arguing for others. The league will rule on them in time but pointed out that perhaps the fans should be the ones to decide the derby matches instead of the league.

Allen FC hosted Emerald United, with the visitors scoring at 47′ (Paco DeJesus) and 74′ (Edge Righte). There were a plethora of yellow cards handed out, mostly in the second half when things started to get moving for both clubs, but Emerald United won in the end with a 2-0 showing away.

“I don’t always have something to say,” said Trent Areonak, Emerald United team captain. “Sometimes I like to just sit back and let the feet do the talking. We did that today.”

Citrus LF hosted Gothica, with the visitors scoring at 53′ (Guillermo Martinez) and 79′ (Adam Stonewall) putting through the only two goals. Gothica’s 2-0 victory was never in doubt, even though there wasn’t a score in the first half at all.

“We didn’t really come on strong until the second half,” said Peter Stark, GM of Gothica. “I went into the locker room and rallied everyone up and told them that if they don’t start showing some effort, I’ll start selling players to second tiers of leagues they don’t want to play in. Two goals and I’m a happy camper.”

Halo FC hosted Naval Armada, with the visitors getting the only goal at 78′ (Yuri Petrikoff). This was a heated battle as three players were given double yellow cards, obvious each being booted for red cards. Halo suffered by the losses of Hogi Prince (54′) and Hector Cruz (69′), with Naval losing the services of Alan Marquardt (60′). Naval did win the day with the single goal of 1-0.

“All three of the cards were completely avoidable,” said Horatio Antonelli, GM of Naval Armada. “Prince and Cruz just kept pressing and pressing until they were booted and Marquardt is going to have some time to consider his overreaction at being scolded for that terrible tackle. He could have taken that poor boy out.” The reference was to Marquardt slide tackling Derric Stennon not once, but twice in the course of the full match.

Knightsquare hosted Octagon in the first home win of the week, with Knightsquare scoring at 38′ (Albert Styles) and 91′ (Freidrich Gunther), and Octagon only scoring once at 40′ (Josh Franklin). The quick answer to Knightsquare’s initial goal was to give everyone a reason to stand for the majority of this match. Chances were had by both sides and only in extra time did Knightsquare seal the win with the second goal for a 2-1 victory.

“Losing in week one wasn’t fun,” said Albert Styles, team captain for Knightsquare. “I wanted to make sure to put my best foot forward and step up for the club. We took the victory and we’re going to turn this thing around early so we don’t get anywhere near what happened last season.”

Queensdaisy hosted Shazam CM, with the visitors scoring the only goal at 48′ (Hoshi Tanaka). Most of the match was spent on the home side’s part of the field and Queensdaisy’s goal keeper, Cristiano Lopez, got quite the work out blocking all the chances.

“Lopez is a hell of a keeper,” said Taoufik Belbani, team captain of Shazam CM. “We kicked a lot of balls at him and he nearly blocked them all. That one that got through, though, that was all that really matters. We got one more than they did.”

Real Olympia hosted Shamrock Celtic, with the visitors scoring at 28′ (Keb Mogodai), 67′ (Arak Shemin), and 86′ (Simon Tavez) to definitively get a 3-0 win.

“Real wasn’t ready for this match,” said Ephraim Colton, GM for Shamrock Celtic. “We wanted to come in and make a statement but I thought they’d fight back a little harder than they did. We came in, punched the home side in the mouth, and simply took whatever we wanted to.”

Sporting Black Cats hosted Wordsmiths, with Sporting scoring at 2′ (Wade Wonder), 8′ (Avendale Borusa), and 79′ (Victor Khrushchev). Wordsmiths scored at 25′ & 29′, both from the foot of Jack Doyle.

“They gave us a run for our money,” said Avendale Borusa, Sporting team captain. “Wade and I scored, then Doyle scored twice. I couldn’t believe it. The second half and Victor stepping up really gave us the push we needed but this was a wake up call. I don’t want another close one like this at home against a club we aren’t supposed to have a problem with.”

Tardis hosted Vulcan FC to a 0-0 draw, with a few yellow cards handed out but otherwise not much in the way of excitement to report. Tardis, in only their second match, has now contended with two clubs they shouldn’t have had any business having a chance in.

“The league is growing and getting better,” said DJ Allen, ESPL owner and founder. “We’ve only have two weeks go by in the ESPL for our second season and I’m already evaluating the possibility of expanding again next year. Ideally, the league would be 16 to 18 clubs, and we’d have ourselves a second tier for promotion/relegation purposes, but this is a hell of a start. Tardis is already packing their stadium and this is the first year!”

Only time will tell, but there was a lot of movement in the table and things should start to stabilize for the rest of the season. Who will be contending for the title and who will be sitting at the bottom? Check next week for the next chapter in that saga!