The Casa Soccer League’s 2010 spring season got underway Saturday with all forty teams in action at Pennypack Park. Starting with four Segunda division games at 9am, CASA kicked off after an offseason that featured the addition of many new teams and lots of between-division movement. It was clear from the start that teams were motivated to give Philadelphia soccer a good name after watching a tough Union loss on Thursday.
There is expected to be a lot of parity in Primera this season, and Round One certainly confirmed that suspicion. The five new teams in CASA’s top division wanted to make a mark early, and everybody wanted to stake their claim as a frontrunner to take the title. Cracovia and Grey Lodge posted convincing 2-0 shutout wins over Cannons and Drinker’s Pub respectively. West Philly was the only other team to put two in. Last year’s second place team ran out to a two goal lead before hanging on for a 2-1 win over Penn United. AC Milan and Philly United each earned a point in a 0-0 draw, while Philly Soccer Firm grabbed all three points with a 1-0 win over Real Optimus.The highlight of the day came in the Firm win, when striker Tom Gritter scored the only goal directly off a corner kick.
In Segunda, the early morning chill didn’t slow anybody down. Skulls held off United Nations FC for a 4-3 opening week win. Matt Doyle put home two for Skulls in a Man of the Match performance. In another tight game, Organized Chaos barely slipped by Nittany United with a 3-2 victory. Nittany put forth a strong effort but faces another tough test next week against Stony United. A 5-1 win places Stony on top of the division and as an early favorite to grab a promotion spot. NewPhillyUnited will be eying a move up to Primera after they took all three points in a 2-1 win over Philadelphia Athletic. In the lone shutout of the week, Steagles snuck by Memphis Taproom 1-0. The game was as close as it sounds and both defenses will be justifiably proud of their efforts. The game to watch next week looks to be Stony against NewPhilly, but with twenty-two goals scored in the first round of action, this will clearly be an exciting division to follow all year.
The biggest splash in Tercera‘s first round of matches came from the direction of New Jersey. Mt. Laurel FC put seven in on their way to a 7-1 romp over FC Spartans. Jason Kufta was front and center in the win, earning Man of the Match honors with a goal and a tireless performance. Quaker City, featuring more than a dozen players from 2009 Sons of Ben teams, walked away with a 4-0 victory over Sons of Ben Independence. Jeff Freiberg scored the first two goals to give Quaker City a lead that would never be challenged. Revolution 76 and Bayern Makefield drew 1-1, with Lot Lizards and Loose Cannons following suit in the annual Battle of the L Adjectives game. Park Towne United, fresh off an Abierto division championship, sent a clear message to the rest of Tercera with a 3-1 win over Tri-County United that they are looking to continue their upward momentum. They will face a tough test next week against the offensive juggernaut of Mt. Laurel.
Abierto looks like it will also see its fair share of goals this year. Every team scored in the first round and three teams scored three or more. Sons of Ben Zolo led the way with five in their 5-1 win over Sweet Lucy’s FC, although Sweet Lucy’s retained its Most Delicious Team Name crown. 3-1 was the final in AOH 61s victory over Spruce Goose and in The Incredibles win over Sons of Ben Union. Mark Werynski took home Man of the Match after scoring both goals for FC Kilbane’s as they held of Sidewinders, while Lukasz Zuzanski carried Pennypack Park Rangers over Revolving United in the Funny Name Game.
Round Two gets underway at 9:20am next Saturday with Stony United against NewPhilly United being the early game to watch. Full stats and standings can be found at www.phillysoccer.org. Kudos to all the teams for a red-card-free Round One.
(Image: Casa Soccer League)