There’s a new leader in the ESPL, and they’ve got the rest of the league green with envy. Let’s get to the recaps now!
Wordsmiths hosted Gothica for what should have been an easy win for the away side, but that turned into something a little more difficult than Gothica was bargaining for: Guillermo Martinez put Gothica on top at 27′ for the 1-0, which only lasted until Josh Franklin tied the match at 31′. At 44′ Adam Stonewall knocked in a hard shot to put the visitors back on top to finish off the half. Second half opened with a series of chances by Gothica, only to have them stopped by Goalkeeper Dorian Parker time and time again. Shu Liang for Wordsmiths was given a yellow card for essentially riding Martinez to the ground in a header attempt, which opened the door for Pierre LaFayette to slip one in at 78′ under the keeper’s nose, after having three other shots blocked. Norman Tavez was given a yellow card at 88′ after Wordsmiths nearly scored a solid shot but Tavez brought Franklin down in the box. Franklin’s penalty kick was easily caught and Gothica wins 3-1.
Halo hosted Shazam CM for what was expected to be a scorefest for both clubs. There were a lot of chances made by both sides and though both sides pleaded for them, no cards were handed out the entire match. This one ended in a draw.
Emerald United hosted Real Olympia and showed what a strong home side should be able to accomplish. At 1′, actually 36 seconds, Trent Areonak blasted through the defenders to put one in hard past the keeper to score. At 27′ Michael Bradfords equalized with a well curled kick into the back of the net. The home crowd thought this was going to be a slog… then the second half began. Bart Hathaway scored Emerald United’s second goal at 59′, Xin Li was offsides but the official missed it to get Emerald United’s third score at 69′, Edge Righte juked the keeper at 78′ for Emerald United’s fourth goal, and at 89′ Garrett Parker snuck a squeaker in for their fifth goal of the day.
“Who’s stronger?” asked Trent Areonak, team captain for Emerald United. “We keep hearing how Gothica is the strongest club in the ESPL but we just shut down Real Olympia at home to take the top spot.”
Vulcan FC hosted Naval Armada, with both clubs looking to make their mark on the ESPL this week. At 2′ Muleaki A’anhi broke open the scoring for the home side, shocking the visitors even further was Jacque Lareaux’s follow up at 3′ to put the home side up 2-0. Jacque Lareaux earned a yellow card at 14′ for running over Jesse Davis, causing him to be subbed out early. Khan Galaxy scored Naval Armada’s first goal at 31′ to give his side some hope and that’s how the first half ended. The second half saw Khan Galaxy score again at 49′, Jacque Lareaux score at 52′ to put Vulcan FC back on top, only to have Khan Galaxy complete his hat trick with a goal at 79′. Neither side could overpower the other to change the draw that the match ended in.
Shamrock Celtic hosted Knightsquare for their last game without Patrick Barnes leading the charge. Franz Volstag shocked the home crowd silent with a goal at 1′, right at the 53 second mark. That would be answered by Arak Shemin at 28′ to even things up. The second half saw Arak Shemin score a second goal at 63′ so that the Shamrock Celtic could hold on for the 2-1 win.
Sporting Black Cats hosted Allen FC for the spotlight game of the week, which resulted in a 0-0 draw without much to tout as far as the action goes. Both clubs were well matched.
Emerald United slid into the top spot with 13 points, pushing Shazam CM down because the best they could do was draw. There are four clubs still undefeated going into week 7: Shazam CM, Shamrock Celtic (despite not having Patrick Barnes but one week), Allen FC, and Naval Armada. The unbeaten clubs, though, cannot seem to maintain any sort of consistency, something analysts believe will change with Patrick Barnes returning to the Shamrock Celtic lineup, making them a much bigger powerhouse than they have been.
The top goalscorer becomes Shamrock Celtic’s Arak Shemin, the sole source of bright light in the lineup. Adding Barnes back into the mix could mean that his goals dry up, or simply that he is joined by his partner in crime.
I can’t wait for next week!