The Bronx New York International Soccer League (BNYSL) 2012 Championship game was billed as a grudge match between defending champion Arantes SC and last year’s beaten finalist Kandia FC, but the game didn’t live up to its billing. Kandia FC was expected to avenge last year’s final loss, but instead, the underdog suffered a 6-1 shellacking by the defending champion in the night game on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Evander Childs High School on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. Arantes took home the JN Money Services-BNYISL 2012 Championship Trophy.
Powered by Jermaine Campbell’s hat-trick and goals by Kenardo Forbes, Sheldon Palmer and Nico Wright, Arantes SC won its second consecutive BNYISL championship and its third in the past four years. The win further displayed Arantes’ dominance in the 37-year-old league and culminated a four-year stretch in which the champion lost only a single game – the 2010 final versus 214 Street Soccer Club.
Commenting on the club’s success over the years, head coach Bobby Austin said consistency in bringing in top college players to blend with the locals was the main reason for Arantes’ dominance in the BNYSL. Austin also credited his assistant coach Hedley Barrett and club president Andrew Lawrence with helping to keep the club focused and on sound footing.
In a game totally dominated by the defending champion, Campbell started the ball rolling in the fifth minute when he pounced on a loose ball, spilled by Kandia goal keeper Omarlie Francis, and tapped it into the net to give Arantes FC a 1-0 lead. Forbes doubled the lead in the 25th minute when he ran onto a ball chipped over the Kandia FC defense by current Jamaica Reggae Boyz player and member of Village United of the Jamaica Premier Division, Troy Smith. With Arantes FC firmly in control, Campbell made it 3-0 just before the first half ended on an assist from Forbes.
Despite a fight-back by Kandia FC, led by midfielder Michael Binns and forwards Ricardo Geddes and Delroy Ellis, the second half eventually turned out to be a repeat of the first. Arantes FC continued its assault on Kandia FC’s goal. Substitutes Sheldon Palmer and Nico Wright entered the game in the 75th minute and couldn’t wait to get in on the scoring action. Palmer scored the fourth goal in the 55th minute for the champion from and Dwayne Smith assist, and 10 minutes later, Campbell completed his hat trick from a header off a cross from former University of Connecticut and Columbus Crew (MLS) standout Kevin Burns, who also assisted on Wright’s goal near the end.
Geddes scored Kandia FC’s goal in the 85th minute. Kandia’s goal keeper Francis had a torrid time in goal, although he could only be blamed for the first goal. The challengers just weren’t allowed to get into any sort of game rhythm. Binns played well, but as a team, Kandia FC was no match for the defending champs on game day, prompting Austin to comment that “he was expecting a better fight from the opposition.”
The quest for the 2012 Digicel Caribbean Championship and four berths to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup got under way in two of the five first round groups. In Group 1, play started in Haiti on Sept. 7 through Sept. 11. Host Haiti and Puerto Rico qualified for the second round with wins over Bermuda and St. Martin, respectively. In recent games, Puerto Rico beat St. Martin, 9-0, while Haiti overcame Bermuda, 3-1. Both Haiti and Puerto Rico won earlier games against their group foes.
The other group that completed play was Group 3 in Martinique. The host and Suriname qualified for the second as both defeated group opponents then played each other to a 2-2 tie. Both Martinique and Surinam ended on seven points, by Martinique finished atop Group 3 with a better goal difference. Montserrat and British Virgin Islands were the defeated teams in this group. However, Montserrat won after a winless 17 years when it defeated the British Virgin Islands, 7-0, in the third-place game.
Group 2 in St. Lucia includes Curacao, Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the playing dates have not been announced. Group 4 in Barbados pits the host, Aruba, Dominica and Dominican Republic with tournament play set for Sept. 23-27, 2012. Group 5 with hosts St. Kitts/Nevis, Anguilla, Trinidad and Tobago and French Guyana will play from October 10-14, 2012.
Winners and runners-up from the Groups and the best runner-up from either Group 4 or 5 will advance to a second round of three groups in late October; Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba will start play in this second round. The top two teams from each of the three second-round groups will qualify for the 2012 Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals, while two-time defending champion Jamaica and host Antigua and Barbuda will complete the eight-team Finals field in Antigua and Barbuda from Dec. 3-15, 2012. The top four finalists will qualify for next summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA.
Red Bulls win
Captain Thierry Henry had the performance of his Red Bulls career as he helped rally the home team with two goals and an assist to defeat MLS Eastern Conference rival Columbus Crew, 3-1, last Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.
Milovan Mirosevic gave the visitors a 1-0 lead within five minutes of the start of the game, but Henry went to work just seven minutes after when he equalized from an aerial pass from Mexican international Rafael Marquez. Henry controlled the ball with his first touch and scored in the corner of the net with his second. Midfielder Dax McCarty put the Red Bulls (14-7-7, 49 pts.) ahead in the 79th minute off an Henry corner kick for the winner.
The icing on the cake came when Henry scored his second of the game and 13th goal of the season directly from a corner kick during second half stoppage time. The Red Bulls are in third place behind Conference leader Sporting Kansas City and second-place Chicago Fire. The Red Bulls hosts Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night at 7 PM.
In other MLS results last weekend, Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw and so did Toronto FC versus Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers against Seattle Sounders, which is in second place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles Galaxy beat Colorado Rapids, 2-0, and moved to third place in the Western Conference, while Western Conference leader San Jose was a 2-0 winner over Chivas USA. DC United topped New England Revolution; Chicago Fire knocked off Montreal Impact; and FC Dallas was 1-0 better than Vancouver Whitecaps.