Tag Archives: League

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!

ESPL Week 1: Shocking and Solid

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There were some surprises in week 1, some clubs who fought hard but couldn’t reach their goals, and a minimal number of draws to open up Season 2 in a big way. Let’s get to the action!

Nate Havram opened the scoring up for Citrus LF in the 10′, showing that Citrus LF was not going to just roll over as the new club in town. Allen FC fought back with an equalizer by Patrick Tarken at 31′ to leave the half at 1-1. November Nstinga opened up the scoring for Allen FC with a goal at 55′, giving the home side an advantage. Kovali Anand equalized for Citrus at 83′, only to have the final goal of the match be put through at 87′ by Max Vice, securing the first win of the season for Allen FC.

“We wanted a bigger goal difference,” said Charles Alexander, Allen FC team captain. “We really wanted to make our mark in the first week, a statement, that would resonate throughout the league. We got the win but things were a lot closer than we’d hoped against a brand new club.”

“With a good showing from Citrus LF,” said David Archer, ESPL Commentator, “I think we can expect great things from all the new clubs in the league. This showed everyone that just because they’re new, it doesn’t mean they’ll be rolled over.”

The match of the week, by most people’s standards, was the first clash between Emerald United and Gothica in what would be a draw. Trent Areonak scored an early 7′ goal for the home side to give them an early advantage. When, at 40′, Bill Lubiel put through Emerald United’s second goal, some were quick to worry that Gothica would take a loss in their first game of the new season but Simon Tarken put through the response at 41′ to show the champions weren’t out of the game yet. In the second half, Simon Tarken scored again at 59′ to even the score and keep it even until the final whistle, giving us the first draw of the new ESPL season.

“That was a hum-dinger,” said Simon Tarken, Gothica team captain and only goal scorer of the day. The media laughed. “I can’t say that I’m disappointed, the referees let us really hammer each other. There were a couple of times both sides should have gotten cards but they just let us play on. If this is how strong we both are, I can’t wait to see the end of the season. I would have liked a hat trick to open up the season, too, but I’ll take what I can get.”

Halo FC hosted Knightsquare, opening up the scoring at 25′ with a goal from team captain Scott Stennon. They would add a second one to their list at 42′ when his brother, Derric Stennon, put one through the the defense for a solid goal. In the second half after Ghudra Nmamba scored the third one for Halo at 71′, energizing the away side to mount a comeback. Zane Faulken scored at 76′ and Pedro Cruz scored at 85′, bringing the total to 3-2. Their last goal was denied as Zane Faulken was called offsides at 90′, leaving the away club with a loss in the first week of the season.

“The amount of effort that Knightsquare pulled out at the end of the match was epic,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL Commentator. “We were used to seeing Knightsquare just sort of peter out at the end of a match but they actually poured on the effort at the end. It’s sad they have to start the season with a loss but I think they’ll do better than we’ve given them credit for if they can keep this up.”

When Naval Armada hosted Octagon, the home club wanted to make the statement that no other club could: and they proved they’re going to be a major player this year in the title race. Khan Galaxy scored the first goal for Naval at 12′, and Patrick Barnes (their new acquisition) scored the second goal at 24′ to give the home side a 2-0 lead. That lasted until Piotr Khrush scored at 34′ to give the new club one goal before the half ended. The second half scoring opened up with Naval’s Kenton Key at 55′ and Yuri Petrikoff at 56′ to give Naval an even wider lead. Patrick Barnes scored again at 74′, putting the game out of reach in most eyes but Octagon would not go quietly into the night. Boris Putin scored at 81′, Piotr Khrush scored again at 84′, and at 90′ Pierre Benoit scored the final goal of the game, leaving Octagon a goal short against a club that decidedly “gave up” towards the end but still pulled out the win.

“We could publish what Khan Galaxy or Patrick Barnes said,” said David Archer, ESPL Commentator. “They took a strong lead and could have held on to that for the full time but seemed to roll over in the second half, cruising instead of pushing. Octagon is a new club, Naval is one of the top four clubs in the league, if they can’t bury a new club then can we really believe they’ll be chasing the title this year?”

“Their second half was embarrassing,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL Commentator. “Khan Galaxy is considered the best player in the league, but he only got one goal. Patrick Barnes, the golden child, is only credited with two goals in this one. The pair of them on separate teams could mount unbelievable numbers but together I am underwhelmed by their performance today. There is so much they should be doing and scraping by with a single goal difference is embarrassing.”

Real Olympia visited Queensdaisy and wanted to make a statement of their own, that the logo controversy is nothing to pay attention to because the “original” is better. Tim Bailey scored in the 2′, quieting the home crowd immediately. Sam Wells scored again for Real at 9′, making the opportunity for Queensdaisy to rise up look bleak. The home club didn’t roll over, in the tradition of all new comers this first week, they fought back. Tom Johnson scored the last goal of the first half for Queensdaisy at 12′. The second half saw only a single goal from Shawn Alexander at 82′, to leave the score in a 2-2 draw.

“I’m not going to come to a new team and just let them fall over in the first week,” said Shawn Alexander, Queensdaisy team captain. “They punched first, hard, and we punched back. In the end, they held us to just two goals, meaning they’re good defensively. I think the idea that all the new clubs aren’t going to make a mark this season just because they’re all new is being dispelled real quick.”

Shamrock Celtic hosted Shazam CM and the visitors struck first by Carlos Marcos scoring a goal at 36′. Hadji Khan equalized at 41′ for Celtic, but Shazam had an answer for that as Linke Rousseau scored at 45′ to close out the first half. Linke Rousseau scored his second of the day at 78′ to open the second half, then scored the hat trick at 82′ just two minutes before Hadji Khan got his second of the day at 84′. The game ended at 4-2, giving Shazam CM their first win and a big statement that the away clubs won’t be rolled over, either.

“I’m happy to say we went on the road and pulled out a solid victory,” said Taoufik Belbani, Shazam CM team captain. “Linke got a hat trick and we’re pleased to be the league leaders right now. It’s early but there is no reason to lie down.”

Sporting Black Cats hosted Tardis in the second to last match of the week. Tardis opened up the scoring at 24′ by David Lopez, causing the home crowd to go nearly silent. At 27′, Wade Wonder scored an equalizer, giving the Sporting crowd some hope. That hope started to fade in the second half as at 49′ Juan Avilaperez put one into the net, followed by Jorge Jimenez at 72′, and Jorge Jimenez again at 89′ to give Tardis the 4-1 win.

“Everyone see the exclamation at the end of this sentence?” asked Juan Avilaperez, Tardis team captain. “Tardis is here. Top of the table.”

The final match of the week was between Vulcan FC and the visiting Wordsmiths, newly rebranded. Hector Rodriguez scored the first goal of the night, for Vulcan, at 35′, answered by Wordsmiths at 44′ by Calvin Casey. The second half saw two goals, both from Wordsmiths, at 55′ by Russell Mantrell and 87′ by Jack Doyle.

“We have a shiny new look,” said Jason White, Wordsmiths team captain. “Sometimes a shiny new look gives everyone a little energy to go out and win some games. We got three, they got one, and we believe that we should have gotten more but we’ll have plenty of time for that.”

There was plenty of action in this week and we’re looking forward to seeing more from the league as time moves forward. Looking forward to next week!

ESPL Off-Season 5: Preview Time!

coveresplIt’s been a long year, a long wait, and we now finally get to the preview edition of Season 2 now with commentary from the best in the league. It’s time to talk about the ESPL.

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Season 1 was a nail biter, as the league wasn’t won until the very end. We couldn’t have hoped for a better finish and Gothica came out on top as the club to beat for Season 2, defending their championship isn’t going to be an easy feat. Let’s see what we can tell about this upcoming season and see how close predictions will be when the ball is finally kicked for the first time in Season 2.

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“The Champions are really the club to beat in Season 2,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL Commentator. “I firmly believe they’ll be at the top of the table at the end of this next season, being the first and two time defending champions at the end.”

“Emerald United is the club to beat,” said David Archer, ESPL Commentator. “Gothica is going to be a tough club to beat but I think Emerald United made a lot of great moves this off season and they’ll be pushing to be champions in 2017.”

Experts are actually split down the middle, so we’re calling the final race between Gothica and Emerald United, with the winner of their two meetings really being the club to end up as the champions at the end of the season.
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“The club that underperformed in 2016 is in a solid third place,” said Martin Thomas. “Naval Armada is going to improve drastically and may even be knocking on the door to the championship with their stellar acquisition of Patrick Barnes to the already stellar lineup.”

“Naval Armada with Khan Galaxy and Patrick Barnes is going to be a force to be reckoned with,” said David Archer. “There is a lot of talent in the club but those two stand above all that talent. Naval Armada is going to have a great showing in 2017.”

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“The surprise club of 2016 was Shamrock Celtic and they’ll be pushing to repeating their performance and over performing in 2017,” said David Archer.

“I think Shamrock Celtic has a great lineup, but I also believe the loss of Patrick Barnes in the off season will be a bigger hit to the lineup than anyone cares to admit,” said Martin Thomas.

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One of the biggest shockers of the premier season was the explosion of Shazam CM, a club that was predicted to be “just part of the mix,” and ended up being a powerhouse for a good portion of the season. David Archer and Martin Thomas both agreed that they think that Shazam CM falls in fifth place.

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“The namesake of the league’s founder, Allen FC, are looking strong but will be more even than they were last season,” said Martin Thomas. “They made some improvements, but they haven’t improved more than anyone else has improved, so they are really just keeping pace. Allen FC could prove to be stronger than we think but I really believe they’ll fall short with the talent we’ve already covered.”

“Allen FC,” said David Archer. “Sixth place finish. I can’t see them outperforming Gothica, Emerald United… I can’t even see them performing better than Shazam, so I don’t think Allen will see the top of the table at the end of the season.”

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“Halo had a great showing in 2016 but they didn’t improve like they needed to in order to drive themselves up the table,” said David Archer. “Halo will finish seventh.”

“There are clubs who made big moves and then there are clubs that just sort of moved things around,” said Martin Thomas. “Halo moved things around and I think they could have really done better in the off season.”

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There isn’t as many quality comments for the next few positions, experts agreeing that Halo will be followed by Vulcan FC, Sporting Black Cats, and Knightsquare.

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“The club that enters the league for their debut that made the best moves was Queensdaisy,” said Martin Thomas. “I can really see them finishing well above the bottom and I’m interested to see exactly what they are capable of in the end. I don’t see them taking down any of the top four or five but I do see them finishing mid-table.”

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Real Olympia took their position behind Queensdaisy, the club wasn’t available as they could have been in the open market and they will probably overspend next year if they fail to finish well in 2017.

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“Another surprising tie we can’t seem to agree on is between Tardis and Wordsmiths,” said David Archer. “I pick Tardis, they’re new and we haven’t seen anything from the combination of players and management, so I want to give credit to them for making the moves they need to in order to stay off the bottom of the table.”

“Wordsmiths made big moves,” said Martin Thomas. “They redesigned their shield and they have redesigned their club as they are going to do better than last season and probably finish a lot higher than we’ll give them credit for.”

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The two clubs fighting to stay off the very bottom are both new, with neither one really giving confidence to any of the experts about having more of a chance than being in the bottom two. Octagon is expected to do better than Citrus LF, but in the end, second to last place isn’t that much better than last place.

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The season will be kicking off in a couple of weeks, so get ready for more ESPL action in Season 2!

ESPL Off-Season 4: The Schedule Reveal

ESPL_FeaturedThe schedule is long but at the end, there are some comments that you’ll want to read, just to make sure you don’t miss anything. Pick out your favorite matches and note a third game day each week has been added. More highlights. More action. More ESPL.

January 07, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Citrus LF
January 07, 2017 at 15:00 – Emerald United vs Gothica
January 07, 2017 at 18:00 – Halo FC vs Knightsquare
January 08, 2017 at 9:00 – Naval Armada vs Octagon
January 08, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Real Olympia
January 08, 2017 at 15:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Shazam CM
January 08, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Tardis
January 09, 2017 at 19:00 – Vulcan FC vs Wordsmiths
January 14, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Emerald United
January 14, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Gothica
January 14, 2017 at 18:00 – Halo FC vs Naval Armada
January 15, 2017 at 9:00 – Knightsquare vs Octagon
January 15, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Shazam CM
January 15, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Shamrock Celtic
January 15, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Wordsmiths
January 16, 2017 at 19:00 – Tardis vs Vulcan FC
January 21, 2017 at 12:00 – Gothica vs Allen FC
January 21, 2017 at 15:00 – Emerald United vs Citrus LF
January 21, 2017 at 18:00 – Octagon vs Halo FC
January 22, 2017 at 9:00 – Naval Armada vs Knightsquare
January 22, 2017 at 12:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Queensdaisy
January 22, 2017 at 15:00 – Shazam CM vs Real Olympia
January 22, 2017 at 18:00 – Vulcan FC vs Sporting Black Cats
January 23, 2017 at 19:00 – Wordsmiths vs Tardis
January 28, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Allen FC
January 28, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Citrus LF
January 28, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Emerald United
January 29, 2017 at 9:00 – Octagon vs Gothica
January 29, 2017 at 12:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Queensdaisy
January 29, 2017 at 15:00 – Tardis vs Real Olympia
January 29, 2017 at 18:00 – Vulcan FC vs Shamrock Celtic
January 30, 2017 at 19:00 – Wordsmiths vs Shazam CM
February 04, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Knightsquare
February 04, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Naval Armada
February 04, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Octagon
February 05, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Halo FC
February 05, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Tardis
February 05, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Vulcan FC
February 05, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Wordsmiths
February 06, 2017 at 19:00 – Shazam CM vs Sporting Black Cats
February 11, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Naval Armada
February 11, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Octagon
February 11, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Halo FC
February 12, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Knightsquare
February 12, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Vulcan FC
February 12, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Wordsmiths
February 12, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Sporting Black Cats
February 13, 2017 at 19:00 – Shazam CM vs Tardis
February 18, 2017 at 12:00 – Octagon vs Allen FC
February 18, 2017 at 15:00 – Halo FC vs Citrus LF
February 18, 2017 at 18:00 – Knightsquare vs Emerald United
February 19, 2017 at 9:00 – Naval Armada vs Gothica
February 19, 2017 at 12:00 – Wordsmiths vs Queensdaisy
February 19, 2017 at 15:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Real Olympia
February 19, 2017 at 18:00 – Tardis vs Shamrock Celtic
February 20, 2017 at 19:00 – Vulcan FC vs Shazam CM
February 25, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Allen FC
February 25, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Citrus LF
February 25, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Emerald United
February 26, 2017 at 9:00 – Shazam CM vs Gothica
February 26, 2017 at 12:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Halo FC
February 26, 2017 at 15:00 – Tardis vs Knightsquare
February 26, 2017 at 18:00 – Vulcan FC vs Naval Armada
February 27, 2017 at 19:00 – Wordsmiths vs Octagon
March 04, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Real Olympia
March 04, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Shamrock Celtic
March 04, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Shazam CM
March 05, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Sporting Black Cats
March 05, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Tardis
March 05, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Vulcan FC
March 05, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Wordsmiths
March 06, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Queensdaisy
March 11, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Shamrock Celtic
March 11, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Shazam CM
March 11, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Sporting Black Cats
March 12, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Tardis
March 12, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Vulcan FC
March 12, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Wordsmiths
March 12, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Queensdaisy
March 13, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Real Olympia
March 18, 2017 at 12:00 – Shazam CM vs Allen FC
March 18, 2017 at 15:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Citrus LF
March 18, 2017 at 18:00 – Tardis vs Emerald United
March 19, 2017 at 9:00 – Vulcan FC vs Gothica
March 19, 2017 at 12:00 – Wordsmiths vs Halo FC
March 19, 2017 at 15:00 – Queensdaisy vs Knightsquare
March 19, 2017 at 18:00 – Real Olympia vs Naval Armada
March 20, 2017 at 19:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Octagon
March 25, 2017 at 12:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Allen FC
March 25, 2017 at 15:00 – Tardis vs Citrus LF
March 25, 2017 at 18:00 – Vulcan FC vs Emerald United
March 26, 2017 at 9:00 – Wordsmiths vs Gothica
March 26, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Halo FC
March 26, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Knightsquare
March 26, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Naval Armada
March 27, 2017 at 19:00 – Shazam CM vs Octagon
April 01, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Tardis
April 01, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Vulcan FC
April 01, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Wordsmiths
April 02, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Queensdaisy
April 02, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Real Olympia
April 02, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Shamrock Celtic
April 02, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Shazam CM
April 03, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Sporting Black Cats
April 08, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Vulcan FC
April 08, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Wordsmiths
April 08, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Queensdaisy
April 09, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Real Olympia
April 09, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Shamrock Celtic
April 09, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Shazam CM
April 09, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Sporting Black Cats
April 10, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Tardis
April 15, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Wordsmiths
April 15, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Queensdaisy
April 15, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Real Olympia
April 16, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Shamrock Celtic
April 16, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Shazam CM
April 16, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Sporting Black Cats
April 16, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Tardis
April 17, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Vulcan FC

April 29, 2017 at 12:00 – Citrus LF vs Allen FC
April 29, 2017 at 15:00 – Gothica vs Emerald United
April 29, 2017 at 18:00 – Knightsquare vs Halo FC
April 30, 2017 at 9:00 – Octagon vs Naval Armada
April 30, 2017 at 12:00 – Real Olympia vs Queensdaisy
April 30, 2017 at 15:00 – Shazam CM vs Shamrock Celtic
April 30, 2017 at 18:00 – Tardis vs Sporting Black Cats
May 01, 2017 at 19:00 – Wordsmiths vs Vulcan FC
May 06, 2017 at 12:00 – Emerald United vs Allen FC
May 06, 2017 at 15:00 – Gothica vs Citrus LF
May 06, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Halo FC
May 07, 2017 at 9:00 – Octagon vs Knightsquare
May 07, 2017 at 12:00 – Shazam CM vs Queensdaisy
May 07, 2017 at 15:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Real Olympia
May 07, 2017 at 18:00 – Wordsmiths vs Sporting Black Cats
May 08, 2017 at 19:00 – Vulcan FC vs Tardis
May 13, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Gothica
May 13, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Emerald United
May 13, 2017 at 18:00 – Halo FC vs Octagon
May 14, 2017 at 9:00 – Knightsquare vs Naval Armada
May 14, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Shamrock Celtic
May 14, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Shazam CM
May 14, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Vulcan FC
May 15, 2017 at 19:00 – Tardis vs Wordsmiths
May 20, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Halo FC
May 20, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Knightsquare
May 20, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Naval Armada
May 21, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Octagon
May 21, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Sporting Black Cats
May 21, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Tardis
May 21, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Vulcan FC
May 22, 2017 at 19:00 – Shazam CM vs Wordsmiths
May 27, 2017 at 12:00 – Knightsquare vs Allen FC
May 27, 2017 at 15:00 – Naval Armada vs Citrus LF
May 27, 2017 at 18:00 – Octagon vs Emerald United
May 28, 2017 at 9:00 – Halo FC vs Gothica
May 28, 2017 at 12:00 – Tardis vs Queensdaisy
May 28, 2017 at 15:00 – Vulcan FC vs Real Olympia
May 28, 2017 at 18:00 – Wordsmiths vs Shamrock Celtic
May 29, 2017 at 19:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Shazam CM
June 03, 2017 at 12:00 – Naval Armada vs Allen FC
June 03, 2017 at 15:00 – Octagon vs Citrus LF
June 03, 2017 at 18:00 – Halo FC vs Emerald United
June 04, 2017 at 9:00 – Knightsquare vs Gothica
June 04, 2017 at 12:00 – Vulcan FC vs Queensdaisy
June 04, 2017 at 15:00 – Wordsmiths vs Real Olympia
June 04, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Shamrock Celtic
June 05, 2017 at 19:00 – Tardis vs Shazam CM
June 10, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Octagon
June 10, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Halo FC
June 10, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Knightsquare
June 11, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Naval Armada
June 11, 2017 at 12:00 – Queensdaisy vs Wordsmiths
June 11, 2017 at 15:00 – Real Olympia vs Sporting Black Cats
June 11, 2017 at 18:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Tardis
June 12, 2017 at 19:00 – Shazam CM vs Vulcan FC
June 17, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Queensdaisy
June 17, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Real Olympia
June 17, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Shamrock Celtic
June 18, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Shazam CM
June 18, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Sporting Black Cats
June 18, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Tardis
June 18, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Vulcan FC
June 19, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Wordsmiths
June 24, 2017 at 12:00 – Real Olympia vs Allen FC
June 24, 2017 at 15:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Citrus LF
June 24, 2017 at 18:00 – Shazam CM vs Emerald United
June 25, 2017 at 9:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Gothica
June 25, 2017 at 12:00 – Tardis vs Halo FC
June 25, 2017 at 15:00 – Vulcan FC vs Knightsquare
June 25, 2017 at 18:00 – Wordsmiths vs Naval Armada
June 26, 2017 at 19:00 – Queensdaisy vs Octagon
July 01, 2017 at 12:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Allen FC
July 01, 2017 at 15:00 – Shazam CM vs Citrus LF
July 01, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Emerald United
July 02, 2017 at 9:00 – Tardis vs Gothica
July 02, 2017 at 12:00 – Vulcan FC vs Halo FC
July 02, 2017 at 15:00 – Wordsmiths vs Knightsquare
July 02, 2017 at 18:00 – Queensdaisy vs Naval Armada
July 03, 2017 at 19:00 – Real Olympia vs Octagon
July 08, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Shazam CM
July 08, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Sporting Black Cats
July 08, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Tardis
July 09, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Vulcan FC
July 09, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Wordsmiths
July 09, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Queensdaisy
July 09, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Real Olympia
July 10, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Shamrock Celtic
July 15, 2017 at 12:00 – Allen FC vs Sporting Black Cats
July 15, 2017 at 15:00 – Citrus LF vs Tardis
July 15, 2017 at 18:00 – Emerald United vs Vulcan FC
July 16, 2017 at 9:00 – Gothica vs Wordsmiths
July 16, 2017 at 12:00 – Halo FC vs Queensdaisy
July 16, 2017 at 15:00 – Knightsquare vs Real Olympia
July 16, 2017 at 18:00 – Naval Armada vs Shamrock Celtic
July 17, 2017 at 19:00 – Octagon vs Shazam CM
July 22, 2017 at 12:00 – Tardis vs Allen FC
July 22, 2017 at 15:00 – Vulcan FC vs Citrus LF
July 22, 2017 at 18:00 – Wordsmiths vs Emerald United
July 23, 2017 at 9:00 – Queensdaisy vs Gothica
July 23, 2017 at 12:00 – Real Olympia vs Halo FC
July 23, 2017 at 15:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Knightsquare
July 23, 2017 at 18:00 – Shazam CM vs Naval Armada
July 24, 2017 at 19:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Octagon
July 29, 2017 at 12:00 – Vulcan FC vs Allen FC
July 29, 2017 at 15:00 – Wordsmiths vs Citrus LF
July 29, 2017 at 18:00 – Queensdaisy vs Emerald United
July 30, 2017 at 9:00 – Real Olympia vs Gothica
July 30, 2017 at 12:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Halo FC
July 30, 2017 at 15:00 – Shazam CM vs Knightsquare
July 30, 2017 at 18:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Naval Armada
July 31, 2017 at 19:00 – Tardis vs Octagon
August 05, 2017 at 12:00 – Wordsmiths vs Allen FC
August 05, 2017 at 15:00 – Queensdaisy vs Citrus LF
August 05, 2017 at 18:00 – Real Olympia vs Emerald United
August 06, 2017 at 9:00 – Shamrock Celtic vs Gothica
August 06, 2017 at 12:00 – Shazam CM vs Halo FC
August 06, 2017 at 15:00 – Sporting Black Cats vs Knightsquare
August 06, 2017 at 18:00 – Tardis vs Naval Armada
August 07, 2017 at 19:00 – Vulcan FC vs Octagon

It’s a long list. This is due to several factors, one being that four new clubs added to the lineup means that the season went from 22 games to 30. There are lots of interesting matchups to pay attention to, for instance: both of the Emerald United/Gothica matches. The first one happens on January 7, opening day, and then the two clubs meet again on April 29. The winner of this series is likely to be the front runner for the 2017 Championship, though don’t count out the Naval Armada purchasing power that has brought some high quality talent into an already deep pool.

We are nearing the end of the year, which will start the new season, but there is more to talk about… and speculate about! Join us!

ESPL Off-Season 3: Wordsmiths

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As stated last time, in an unprecedented move, we have the reveal of a founding club logo redesign, something that is sure to turn some heads.

“The original logo suited a launch just fine,” said Zeke Pike, club manager on behalf of Wordsmiths ownership. “However, when ownership saw that merchandise wasn’t coming off the shelves in the same fashion as many of the other clubs, they decided to redesign the shield and do something that would not only give supporters something more modern and effective to wear, but also something to signify the new direction for the club.”

As you will recall, the Wordsmiths changed managers from Matthew Albright to Zeke Pike, because of the “second from the bottom” finish on the ESPL table. Club ownership decided that their position not only warranted an entire staffing change, they also wanted to change the look.

“I’m excited about what they decided,” said Jason White, new team captain of the Wordsmiths. “We had a nice look before, but this really pops. I’m proud to be leading the club on the pitch with this new shield representing all of the players, the stadium, and the supporters, as we will do better than last year and look forward to continuing to advance into the future.”

What the Wordsmiths revealed is below:

Wordsmiths_2017

As with any logo, there will be detractors and the Wordsmiths ownership hopes that those detractors aren’t going to be amongst the ranks of their supporters. The launch of this redesign, right before the deadline, is sure to be turning some heads as the club looks to not just “rise in the table,” but also actually bring more points to the club via wins.

“I’m here to win,” said Zeke Pike. “We are here to win. If we win two matches, that’s a 100% turn around. I’m not going to be satisfied with two wins, though. I want to win double digits and I want to give players a reason to check us out for Season 3. There is a general feeling that none of the clubs in the bottom half of the table will do much better this season, and I want to make sure that we look much more attractive to the top players in the league. I want to make sure brand new players want to come here, too, in order to make this club a champion.”

Only time will tell.

The schedule comes out next! Stay tuned!

ESPL Off-Season 2 – Logo Reveals

ESPL_Featured

Welcome to the second Off Season post for the ESPL! This time, we have some brand new identities to look at for the new clubs that are joining the league for Season 2!

The first club that revealed their logo was also the most straightforward logo that could have been revealed. Octagon (officially Octagon FC, though they will be identified primarily without the “FC”) released their logo fairly soon after the rosters were announced in the last update. Their logo is below:

Octagon_2017

“We chose to go with something that doesn’t carry a lot of flash,” said Drago Visilli, club manager. “There were other options that presented some more ‘flair,’ but in the end the ownership wanted something that wouldn’t take away from the action on the pitch.”

The predominant white banner in the center takes center stage on this one, perhaps more than the ownership of Octagon intended, though this is only their debut logo and as many of the other clubs have already stated, their debut logo may undergo some changes as time progresses.

Next up is Citrus LF (the LF standing for Lime Flavored, in honor of the website formerly owned by EmeraldSpecter.com):

CItrusLF_2017

“Citrus LF has designed something that encompasses everything the club is about,” said Matthew Albright, club manager. “The lime shape, the soccer ball pattern, and the colors. Citrus LF is all about the action on the pitch, bringing supporters in for brand new club action, and hopefully we’ll last long into the future.”

Next in line is the one that had a clear direction with their logo:

Tardis_2017

“Tardis wants to bring in the Doctor Who crowd that is also a football crowd,” said Jason Druid, club manager. “We are interested in keeping the focus on the pitch but representing who we can, where we can.”

The final club to reveal their logo is also one that looks eerily similar to a logo that is already in use:

Queensdaisy_2017

Queensdaisy has defended their decision to co-opt the crown in the logo because Real Olympia stated, roughly mid-season, that they were intending to go away from the crown logo in favor of something more resembling a coat of arms, or a “proper football badge.”

“We are proud to be represented by what has come out of the logo design meetings,” said Shawn Alexander, team captain. “I’m going to be thrilled to stroll out onto the pitch every week and I think we’ll distinguish ourselves over Real Olympia, so there won’t be any confusion. I don’t personally see any confusion.”

There are now 16 clubs in the league and there is a buzz, a discussion primarily among the league’s club owners, about adding two more clubs for Season 3. Since we haven’t even started Season 2, some speculate that the expansion talk for a season not yet guaranteed by the league itself is a little premature.

In other logo news, Wordsmiths have announced plans to reveal a new logo before the start of Season 2. They didn’t want to roll into this announcement, as to not get lost in the shuffle, but this website can state that they revealed the design to ESPL officials early enough to make the uniform/logo design use  cutoff for a season.

“Any uniform or logo changes need to have a release early enough to allow us to present merchandise for the season its used in,” said DJ Allen, owner of EmeraldSpecter.com and founder of the ESPL. “A team, or club, can’t release a new logo the day before opening matches expecting the league to allow it in because supporters want kits, they want blankets, they want the scarves, and the league wants to allow them to have that in their stadium stores.”

Wordsmiths will reveal their new logo, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for that.

ESPL Off Season 1 – The Wrap Up

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Welcome back to the ESPL! It’s been a little over a month since Gothica claimed the first ESPL Championship and now we come to the thick and thin of the off season action. There is a lot to report, too.

On the managerial side of things, several clubs solidified their faith in their managerial staff. Gothica kept Peter Stark, Emerald United kept Arthur Franklin, Shamrock Celtic kept Ephraim Colton, Naval Armada kept Horatio Antonelli, Shazam CM kept Locke Carson, Vulcan FC kept Nathan Bristol, Allen FC kept Roberto Ruiz, and Sporting Black Cats kept Javier Gerrardo. While all the clubs failed to give reasons, some clubs didn’t need to give any reasons. The two clubs that did offer something were the two most in need of explanation.

Sporting Black Cats released a statement ensuring that a single season wasn’t enough to judge Javier Gerrardo, so they retained him to help set up for the upcoming season. Allen FC stated that Roberto Ruiz had surpassed their expectation for season one but they held him on because they felt he was the best chance for expanding their horizons for season two.

Some surprising changes weren’t necessarily the fault of the manager. Halo lost the services of Otto Borden, who stated that Halo’s plans for the upcoming season didn’t match his vision for the club. Borden was shortly thereafter signed by Knightsquare in the hopes he can repair and elevate the club from the bottom of the table, where they spent the entire season.

“I’m confident with my hand,” said Otto Borden, new Manager for Knightsquare. “That we can get more than a couple of wins in season two, building up the club, and actually preparing for a serious run at the top of the table for season three. I’m confident we can make the moves necessary to accomplish this goal.”

The temporary services group of Jason Druid (Knightsquare), Lee Watterson (Wordsmiths), and Yuri Gurkov (Real Olympia) all had interesting moves. Jason Druid was signed by Tardis, citing his experience in the league would be a good basis to start for the club. Lee Watterson was signed by Real Olympia, citing that his managerial style fit the club’s expectations for the coming season. Gurkov was signed by Queensdaisy after Real Olympia failed to make an offer in time, so he packed up and left to take charge of one of the new clubs for the coming season.

Citrus LF signed Matthew Albright, former manager of Wordsmiths. The club stated that they felt that Wordsmiths hadn’t provided adequate resources and thus set Albright up for failure.

Halo signed Vince Pratchett, former manager of Real Olympia. Halo saw what Pratchett was attempting to accomplish but the former club wouldn’t allow him to make the moves that needed to be made in order to succeed, so Halo snagged his services for at least the next season.

Octagon, one of the new clubs coming, hired Drago Visilli as their manager. Visilli was a defensive specialist for Halo and was interested in moving up. With the change in managerial staff at Halo, Visilli was left without employment and thus available.

Finally, Zeke Pike was signed by Wordsmiths. Pike, former manager of Knightsquare, lobbied to be considered for the position and brought an interesting plan to the interview. The plan was of some interest because Pike was hired, hoping the club will allow him to make some big purchases to elevate them for the upcoming season.

Along with the managers, there were releases and walkouts for players as well. Since the volume of those are higher than the managers, we will simply list the free agents that hit the market recently.

Allen FC parted ways with Jack Doyle, Alvin Marques, and Wade Wonder. Emerald United parted ways with Francois Liguere (GK), David Janson, Kelvin Bradley, and Bart Hathaway. Gothica parted ways with Renan Silva (GK), Hiro Takahashi, Juan Avilaperez, and Yuri Petrikoff. Halo parted ways with Hector Lopez, Ravi Garcon, and James Tracer. Knightsquare parted ways with HL Wagner (GK), Ryad Al Sayad, Theron Wildhorse, Darin Van Pelt, and Alan Marquardt. Naval Armada parted ways with Jesse Davis, Pedro Cruz, Piotr Khrush, William Tavern, and Xavier Masters. Real Olympia parted ways with RJ Thane (GK), Michael Bradfords, Walter Amos, David Lopez, and Gregoric Probst. Shamrock Celtic parted ways with Don Thomas, Zane Faulken, Luis Suarez, Tom Johnson, and Patrick Barnes. Shazam CM parted ways with Corey Carson, Drago Petroff, and Russell Mantrell. Sporting Black Cats parted ways with Nate Havram, Jean-Louis Pepon, Luigi Antonelli, Jose Lopez, and Gene Blankenship. Vulcan FC parted ways with Boris Putin, Fuji Takei, Muleaki A’anhi, and Dzung Tran. Finally, Wordsmiths parted ways with Dorian Parker (GK), Tendo Hiroshima, Shu Liang, Samuel Brankoff, Josh Franklin, Donald Blake, and Kerwin Katzer.

The biggest surprises in here are the ones we’ll concentrate on. Patrick Barnes opted to leave Shamrock Celtic after their offer was undesirable to him, so he left the contract lying on the table. Dzung Tran decided to leave Vulcan FC, citing opportunities weren’t in Vulcan and he left his options open. Francois Liguere was released by Emerald United, in a stunning move, so he’s available to try his luck not the market. Renan Silva was released by Gothica, which stunned many. Otherwise, the names may raise eyebrows but those were the big moves.

Signings were rampant. In the below graphic, all the signings are completed. The blue represents the new players in the league and the light green represents players on their new clubs. Click on the graphic to get the full size version.

Rosters_2017

The interesting points here are Gothica and Shamrock Celtic only replacing players with brand new players. This will turn out to be a big deal if they continue to dominate the top of the table in 2017. The signing of the year goes to Naval Armada obtaining Patrick Barnes. The deal is only a single year deal but Naval Armada is making their intentions known that they want the next championship.

See you for the schedule announcement later this year.

ESPL Week 22 – And There Would Be Champions

The race came right down to the end, the fate of the league’s first season is capped off with one club being crowned the champions. Will the leaders coming into the week, Gothica, pull out their victory? Will their closest competitors, Shamrock Celtic, overcome the odds and win the championship? Only the recap will tell in the season finale of the first ever season in the Emerald Specter Premier League. Let’s get to the action.

ESPL_Featured

ESPL_Week_22

Wordsmiths hosted Shamrock Celtic in the week opener, only to get routed 6-0 as Celtic fought to stay afloat in the league. Shamrock Celtic’s goals came from Shamus O’Mara, Kip Nguyen, Marco Kaspazov, Thor Skjelstad, and two from Arak Shemin. Wordsmiths weren’t able to convert a single chance into a goal, and they only got three chances. Most of the match was spent on Wordsmiths’ side of the pitch, battling to keep the away side out of their net.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my team mates,” said Patrick Barnes, Shamrock Celtic forward. “This is a great cap to the season.”

Knightsquare hosted Vulcan FC and Halo hosted Sporting Black Cats to scoreless draws.

Real Olympia hosted Gothica in the must see match of the week, and Gothica pulled out a 1-0 victory to seal their championship in this inaugural season. The goal came off the foot of Simon Tarken, the team’s captain. The goal came at 6′ into the match and though they tried to score more, Gothica only needed the one in order to secure the league. More on that after the rest of the recap.

Allen FC hosted Naval Armada in a 1-1 draw, with Allen scoring off of Max Vice’s foot and Naval Armada scoring off of Pedro DeJesus’s foot. Emerald United hosted Shazam CM in a 1-1 draw, United’s goal came from David Jason and Shazam’s goal came from Jackson Alexander.

“It is my pleasure to award the ESPL Championship to Gothica,” said DJ Allen, ESPL founder. Allen was present in Olympia for their victory. “They fought hard and persevered, even though the end looked a little uncertain. This is a momentous occasion for the league in that Gothica will always be remembered as the first champions of the league. Enjoy the win.”

2016_ESPL_Champions

“There was no way we weren’t winning this cup,” said Peter Stark, Gothica Manager as he hoisted the ESPL Cup. “I had faith that we, as a club, could accomplish this goal and I look forward to us defending this championship all next season. This is the first of many, folks. Enjoy it.”

“I think we can enjoy ourselves for a week or two,” said Simon Tarken, Gothica team captain. “After that, I want us to start working on next season because champions don’t rest. Champions are never satisfied.”

“This one is for the supporters,” said Donovan Righte, Gothica forward. “This one is for the fans!”

Gothica won, leaving Shamrock Celtic’s victory a little hollow. Shamrock Celtic declined to make an official statement in response.

What does the off season hold? Time will tell.

ESPL Week 21 – Head to Head

The penultimate week in the ESPL saw the clash of the two league leaders in what can only be called the match of the season. Who won? Who will win the championship? There is that and more as we get into Week 21 action.

ESPL_Week_21

Emerald United hosted Vulcan FC in the week opener with a 5-3 victory. Emerald United goals came from Xin Li, Edge Righte (2), and Paco DeJesus (2). Vulcan goals came from Dzung Tran, Casin Klop, and Jacque Lareaux, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Emerald United secured victory in a solid way and solidified a third place for the season.

“Twelve clubs and we came in third,” said Arthur Franklin, Emerald United Manager. “We will build and have a better showing next season. One week left.”

Real Olympia hosted Allen FC and Shazam CM hosted Naval Armada both played to scoreless draws. For Shazam and Naval Armada, their result caps off a lackluster end of the season as both clubs will seek to build for the future.

Halo hosted Wordsmiths to a 3-2 win. Halo’s goals came from Hogi Prince and two from Scott Stennon. Wordsmiths’ goals both came from Wonk O’Riley. Halo had a fair showing for the season but fell short when things mattered in the end.

Shamrock Celtic hosted Gothica in a 4-3 victory, getting the one win they needed to be able to have a shot at winning the championship. Shamrock Celtic’s goals came from Tom Johnson, Marco Kaspazov, and two from Arak Shemin. Gothica’s goals came from Pierre LaFayette, Donovan Righte, and Simon Tarken. In the end, the league leaders lost valuable ground and have a difficult next week ahead. More on that after the final match of the week.

Sporting Black Cats hosted Knightsquare in a scoreless draw, but they were in a very large shadow and almost no one was watching this one except the hard core.

“All we need to do next week is tie,” said Simon Tarken, Gothica team captain. “That’s literally the easiest thing in the world to do, especially in this league. We have an opponent next week that will have to pull out all the stops and all we need to do is finish with a tie to win the championship.”

“We’ve never pulled for another club to win so badly,” said Ephraim Colton, Shamrock Celtic Manager. “Next week, though, Real Olympia has the full support of every single Shamrock Celtic player and supporter. They can win. If Real wins and we win, we win the title. The only way we can win the title is if Real Olympia scores one more goal than Gothica next week.”

“This title is ours,” said Peter Stark, Gothica Manager. “We can’t just tie next week, we need to send a message to the league: we are the champions. This is our championship. We aren’t going to tie next week, we’re going to win.”

“Gothica can’t lose,” said David Archer, ESPL commentator. “They’d have to sit all their starters against Real to lose, that isn’t going to happen. They’ve had some issues in the end but they are walking away with the championship. I know its a week early, but I’d like to congratulate them right now on winning the league. They should have done it with a bigger margin, but that wouldn’t have been a spectacular season finale like we’re going to have.”

“I look forward to next week,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL commentator. “One club will walk away with a championship, the rest will be preparing their clubs for next season. I’m just grateful that there will be a next season, and I’m glad this season ended with such a bang.”

One week left, and then the off season. Are you ready?

ESPL Week 20 – A Shocking Turn of Events

The chest pounding and bluster is running wild through the league and the race grows tighter as the leaders commit a critical error in the worst possible time. Can the league still go to another club? Let’s find out as we dive into week 20.

ESPL_Week_20

Halo hosted Vulcan FC, Naval Armada hosted Emerald United, and all four clubs failed to score a goal. Their hopes of accomplishing anything meaningful this season were dashed.

Knightsquare hosted Wordsmiths to a 1-1 draw, also resulting in very little for either club. Knightsquare goal scorer Darin Van Pelt was matched by Wordsmiths goal scorer Jason White. Both clubs desperately needed a victory and neither could pull it out in the end.

Allen FC hosted Shamrock Celtic, with the away side winning 1-0 with their goal from Arak Shemin after only 5′ of play. The hopes are kept alive for Celtic.

“We aren’t dead and we aren’t giving up,” said Ephraim Colton, Shamrock Celtic Manager. “This club will be champions and I’ve got my eye on the prize.”

Real Olympia hosted Sporting Black Cats in a scoreless draw.

Shazam CM held Gothica to a draw, 2-2, as they struggled to send a message that they weren’t done fighting yet. Shazam’s goals came from Russell Mantrell and Carlos Marcos. Gothica’s goals came from Simon Tarken and Norman Tavez.

“The league is watching with great interest,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL commentator. “Gothica has stumbled again, something we kept saying they couldn’t do. If Celtic wins next week, we have a bona fide championship race on our hands, coming right down to the wire. Gothica cannot afford to draw or lose the rest of this season. If they want the championship, they need to win to lock that up. This weekly debate isn’t something they can afford to have distracting them.”

“We’re in control of our own destiny,” said Peter Stark, Gothica Manager. “If we win this championship, we set ourselves up as the club to come to for all of the best players in the league. I’m looking to make Gothica a dynasty club, not just a one and done or a once in a while.”

“I want a championship,” said Patrick Barnes, Shamrock Celtic forward. “I can taste a championship. This club can take that cup and be the club to beat but we need to put a stamp on this next week.”

Can Shamrock Celtic defeat Gothica? They get their chance next week. Stay tuned.