Category: Previews

Game previews

2018/19 Player Awards

It’s time to hand out player awards for the 2018/19 season. The awards were voted on by the 8 team captains who had to choose between 40 nominations! While there are many worthy winners, we can only pick 1 in each category so here we go.

League Ambassador Award

This award goes to the player who most exemplifies the spirit of the league in everything they do and the winner is Valeria Nunez! What makes Valeria really stand out is the effort she put into recruitment of new players. This helped the league grow to over 100 players with at least a dozen more on the waiting list. Congratulations Valeria!

Most Improved Player

This award goes to the player who most stood out in their development from the prior year and the winner is Hans Wang! His composure on the ball and the calming influence that he had on his teams performance really stood out. He also contributed 6 goals in the Sharks march to the championship match. Congratulations Hans!

Rookie of the Year

This award goes to a player who was new to the league, even if they aren’t new to the game and that player is Vincent Xie! He was a key player for championship winning Crush and a nightmare for opposing defenders. He scored more than half of his teams goals and in a season of many great new players, he stood out the most. Congratulations Vincent!

Golden Gloves Award

This award goes to the top goalkeeper and in a year when all the keepers performed admirably, it was a difficult choice. The winner is Murat Cokgezen! Crush only conceded 30 goals on their way to the championship and that was in large part due to Murat and his 8 clean sheets. A class act on and off the field. Congratulations Murat!

Player of the Year

This award goes to the player who performed at the highest level and that player is Dillon Suresh! He won the golden boot as the league’s top goalscorer with 22 goals in 21 games. In every one of those games he was double or even triple teamed but he played right through it without flinching. When he wasn’t scoring he was setting up his teammates and making everyone around him a better player. Congratulations Dillon!

Thank you to everyone for making this league so much fun. A special thanks is owed to all the captains for their efforts every week, without which we could not have such a great league. With that, it’s time to sign off on the 2018/19 season.

Orange Crush are Champions!

Congratulations to Orange Crush who are the 2018/19 TISL Champions! In a hard-fought match worthy of a final, Crush overcame Sharks 1-0 on a first-half goal by Alex Salcedo. The hundreds of fans in attendance were treated to a back and forth match played between two top teams but only one could be the champion.

Crush had a great season from start to finish. They built a strong team chemistry from day one, through the leadership of Aaron St. Bernard. They were a very compact side that didn’t give the opponents much and even when they did, Murat Cokgezen was there. Congratulations to all the Crush players, 13 champions were born.

2018-19 Champions – Orange Crush

TISL Championship Match

After 7 months of world class soccer, there are only 2 teams remaining. They take to the field with visions of greatness. It’s right there for them, they just have to reach out and take it.

  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 2 for Crush, 1 for Sharks
    • Most Recent: 4 – 0 Crush on Feb 27
    • Goals: 7 – 3 in favour of Crush
  • How they got here
    • Crush beat the Rebels on the strength of a Vincent Xie penalty kick
    • Sharks beat Titans on a late Nico Ress goal which came off a corner kick
  • Quotes:
    • Nico Ress: “I have had many crushes in my life but never an orange one. I do squeeze hard fresh oranges every morning for my breakfast though.”
    • Adrien Lucisano: “I can’t wait to face our friends from the Orange team tonight and hopefully crush them in our final game… welcome to the shark tank!”
    • Murat Cokgezen: “I looked into all the possible futures of Sharks. Avengers had one in 14 million chance to defeat Thanos. Sharks dont even have that. I’m sorry Sharks, maybe next year…”
    • Aaron St. Bernard: “Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo, Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo, Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo, Baby shark! So Cute!”
  • Pro’s Picks
    • Shahin Jafari: “I think Crush takes it 2-0 with goals from Aaron and Vincent.”
    • Seamus Lynott: “Orange crush are strong, tenacious and physical and tend to grind out results. Sharks had a lot of players missing at various times in the season so their league position was a bit of a lie. With their full side out they are a strong side – getting to the final was no fluke. If I had to call it I would say 1-0 to the crush, but it really could go either way.”
    • Andrew Winnett: ” I see Orange Crush edging out Sharks 3-1 in a hard fought game with tight defense.”
    • Ivan Gojmerac: “I didn’t bet on the Sharks against Top Dogs or Titans but they won. I think they’ll surprise us again and win it 2-1.”
    • Sarah Yates: “I’m going with a 2-1 win for Crush.”

Semi-Final Preview

We’re down to the final 4. Let’s see how the teams stack up.

Orange Crush vs Rebels

  • How they got here
    • Crush overcame Legacy in the only penalty shootout of the quarter-finals. It was 1-1 after regulation thanks to goals from Alex Salcedo and Neil Carey. Crush won the penalty shootout 2-1 with goals from Alex Salcedo and Vincent Xie. Jarry scored the lone goal for Legacy.
    • Rebels won a nail-biter against the Bandits. John Burinski scored twice for Rebels while John Levi scored twice for Bandits. The difference maker was Wayne Prinsloo who fired a rocket from just inside the half that left both teams speechless. His new name is Sniper.
  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 2 for Crush, 1 for Rebels, 1 draw
    • Most Recent: Crush won 4-2 on April 10th
    • Goals: 13-6 for Crush
  • Quotes
    • Julius D’Silva (Crush): “Have you ever seen a green team win anything? Me neither.”
    • Kate Lam (Crush): “My momma always says: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer and most definitely CRUSH the Rebels! I always listen to my momma. Rebels, we’re coming for you!!!!”
    • Anonymous player on Rebels: “I prefer Fanta.”

Titans vs Sharks

  • How they got here
    • Titans defeated Scorpions 2-1 in a hotly contested quarter-final. It was Calum McNeil and John Altinian with 2 unanswered goals, after Scorpions had taken an early lead through Scott Tudo. Prathesh Senthil played keeper for Titans and he absolutely stymied the Scorions, especially in the last 10 minutes.
    • Sharks won in dramatic fashion against Top Dogs. It was Hector Echezuria who scored the loan goal with 2 minutes remaining that sent Sharks into a delerium. What a time to get your first goal in the league.
  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 2 for Sharks, 1 for Titans
    • Most Recent: Sharks won 3-0 on March 13th
    • Goals: 7-5 for Sharks
  • Quotes
    • Nico Ress (Titans): “Looking forward to facing Altinian again, in a remake of the Belgium-France world cup semi-final. It will be a very tight game but in the end, you know who end up with 2 stars on their jersey!”
    • Ivan Tam (Titans): “Sharks, go back to water polo!”
    • Adrian Mos (Titans): “On paper we’ve always looked like a good team yet we finished last in the regular season. In the past few weeks we’ve finally started to raise to our on-paper potential. We’ve built some confidence that will carry us through the semi-finals”.
    • Adrien Lucisano (Titans): “It should be a relatively tight match. Two underdogs with hopefully fully squads.”

Semi-Final Draw

The semi-final draw was conducted at 2:40 pm on April 25th and the pairings are:

Semi-Final #1

Orange Crush vs Rebels

Semi-Final #2

Titans vs Sharks

You don’t want to miss the action next week!

Quarter-Final Preview

The playoffs are here, forget what happened over the past 24 weeks because the real season starts now! Check out the “Tale of the Tape” for each of the quarter-final match-ups.

Scorpions vs Titans

  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 3 for Scorpions, 1 for Titans
    • Most Recent: 2 weeks ago, 3-2 for Titans
    • Goals: 16 for Scorpions, 11 for Titans
  • Overall
    • Standings: Scorpions 1st, Titans 8th
    • Offense: Scorpions 1st, Titans 6th
    • Defense: Scorpions 2nd, Titans 8th
  • Quotes
    • Miekela Singh: “You’re in this league for a reason – to win. Win the ball, win a new friend and share your winning smile. If you lose to the Scorpions don’t worry, because everyone does.”
    • Andre Chan: “Titans to pull through and overcome the Scorpions venom.”

Orange Crush vs Legacy

  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 1 for Crush, 2 draws
    • Most Recent: March 6th, 1-1 draw
    • Goals: 3 for Crush, 2 for Legacy
  • Overall
    • Standings: Crush 2nd, Legacy 7th
    • Offense: Crush 5th, Legacy 8th
    • Defense: Crush 1st, Legacy 5th
  • Quotes
    • Aaron St. Bernard: “Legacy has been one of the hottest teams in the league, but we plan to cool them off quickly with some…Orange Crush!”
    • Fernando Ayala: “We’re gonna put the squeeze on Orange Crush and make some OJ on Wednesday night!”

Rebels vs Bandits

  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 1 win each and 1 draw
    • Most Recent: Feb 20th, 4-4 draw
    • Goals: 12 for Rebels, 9 for Bandits
  • Overall
    • Standings: Rebels 4th, Bandits 5th
    • Offense: Rebels 3rd, Bandits 4th
    • Defense: Bandits 4th, Rebels 7th
  • Quotes
    • Samina Basaria: “Those thieves will not attack us, Rebels stand strong!”
    • Sam Shareski: “We’ve been lined up to play the Rebels for months now, so we’re prepared. It’s not going to be an easy win, but we’re not worried.”

Top Dogs vs Sharks

  • Head to Head
    • Wins: 2 wins for Sharks, 1 for Top Dogs and 1 draw
    • Most Recent: 2 weeks ago, 5-4 Sharks
    • Goals: 11 for Top Dogs, 7 for Sharks
  • Overall
    • Standings: Top Dogs 3rd, Sharks 6th
    • Offense: Top Dogs 2nd, Sharks 7th
    • Defense: Top Dogs 3rd, Sharks 6th
  • Quotes
    • Tomas Dauden: “Sharks? They are toothless. The Top Dogs will celebrate our 3-1 victory in Caribbean style: Bake and Shark for dinner!”
    • Mily Chen: “My completely unbiased view is that Sharks will win 3-2. Their key players are no longer tied up by work or honeymoons!”

The Last Week of the Regular Season

The last week of the regular season will see some teams jockeying for position heading into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the playoff scenarios.

Quarter-Final #1: Scorpions v Titans

Quarter-Final #2: Orange Crush vs Sharks/Legacy

Sharks and Legacy go head to this week to determine who gets to play (or avoid playing) Orange Crush. They sit even on points but the Sharks have the advantage in goal difference. This means that Legacy must defeat Sharks in order to secure 6th place, a draw will not be enough for them.

Quarter-Final #3: Top Dogs/Rebels vs Sharks/Legacy

The Top Dogs are favourites to finish in 3rd place due to their 2 point lead and (+11) goal difference over the Rebels. A draw this week against the Titans is all they need to be sure of 3rd place. They can even afford to lose the game if the Rebels fail to beat Scorpions. A quarter-final match-up against the winner of Sharks/Legacy awaits them.

Quarter-Final #4: Bandits vs Top Dogs/Rebels

The Bandits are definitely finishing 4th/5th and the only question is who will they play in the quarter-finals. According to the current standings that would be the Rebels unless they manage to leapfrog the Top Dogs, as mentioned above.

Playoff Scenarios

The playoff picture is a bit more clear after last week’s games.

1st vs 8th – Scorpions vs Titans

The first quarter-final is set and it’s Scorpions vs Titans. While it’s fair to say that Crush can still catch the Scorpions, the tie-breaker is goal difference which lies heavily in Scorpions favour at a +16. The Titans won last week but so did Legacy, thereby ending any hopes of climbing to 7th place.

2nd vs 7th – Crush/Dogs vs Sharks/Legacy

Crush hold a 5 point lead over the Top Dogs and are expected to hold on for 2nd place. Their quarter-final opponent will be one of the Sharks or Legacy who are currently even on 23 points. They’re almost even on goal difference as well, with the Sharks having a +1 advantage. These two teams played each other last week and will play again next week. This race will go down to the wire.

3rd vs 6th – Dogs/Rebels/Bandits vs Sharks/Legacy

The Top Dogs currently sit 2 points ahead of the Rebels who in turn sit 2 points ahead of the Bandits. None of these teams play each other in the last 2 weeks so they’ll have to focus on their own games. Whoever takes 3rd place will face either the Sharks or Legacy, as already mentioned.

4th vs 5th – Dogs/Rebels/Bandits vs Dogs/Rebels/Bandits

Any combination of these 3 is possible and that makes this the most exciting race heading into the playoffs. Every one of these teams is staying tight-lipped about who they prefer to face in the quarter-finals.

Playoff Picture Still Unclear

With 3 weeks left in the regular season, the playoff picture is still unclear.

The last three weeks of the season have an interesting twist. Weeks 22 & 24 have identical match-ups. Week 24 was originally scheduled on Feb 6th but the snowstorm closed the Hangar and it was subsequently moved to the end of the season. Teams can really hurt each others ambitions heading into the playoffs.

The Quarter-finals will follow the expected format with 1st playing 8th and so on. Here are the potential QF match-ups.

1st vs 8th: Scorpions/Crush/Top Dogs vs Titans/Legacy

The Scorpions sit 4 points ahead of Crush and 8 ahead of Top Dogs. It’ll likely be too big of an ask for Top Dogs to get to 1st place but Crush are definitely in contention. Whoever comes out on top will most certainly face the Titans who sit 8 points behind Legacy with only 9 points left on the table.

2nd vs 7th: Crush/Top Dogs/Rebels/Scorpions vs Legacy/Sharks

Crush currently holds a 4 point lead over Top Dogs and 6 points over Rebels. While the lead does appear comfortable, Crush will have to face Rebels next week which could prove decisive should Rebels beat Scorpions tonight. The Top Dogs on the other hand, have 2 matches against the Titans who have struggled to field a full team most of the season. They could very well nip into 2nd place. On the other side we have Sharks and Legacy who play each other twice in the last 3 weeks. The Sharks currently hold a 3 point lead but it’s too early to tell what happen in this battle.

3rd vs 6th: Top Dogs/Rebels/Bandits/Crush vs Sharks/Legacy

The Bandits will have to beat Crush twice if they want to nip 3rd place. Even if they do, they’ll need Rebels to slip up in the last 3 weeks. The odds are stacked against them but that’s just how they like it. The opponent would be Sharks or Legacy which as stated earlier, will be a tight finish.

4th vs 5th: Some combination of Top Dogs/Rebels/Bandits

This is one of the hardest match-ups to predict so we won’t try. Rebels face Scorpions twice, Bandits face Crush twice and Top Dogs face Titans twice. What do you think?

The Week of the 6 Pointer

A “6 Point Match” is one in which the two teams are very close to each other in the standings and the result could swing the balance by 6 points. All of the weeks match-ups are between teams that are right beside each other in the standings.

Scorpions (1) vs Orange Crush (2)

There is one point separating the 1st place Scorpions and 2nd place Crush. A win for Scorpions will put them four points ahead while a win for Crush puts them 2 points ahead. These teams have traded wins but their most recent match was a 1-1 draw. It’s the leagues top offence against the top defense.

Top Dogs (3) vs Rebels (4)

The Dogs currently enjoy a comfortable five point lead over the Rebels. If they avoid defeat to the green machine, they’ll be almost assured of at least 3rd place. Top Dogs have won two of the three matches between these teams, with Rebels winning the other.

Bandits (5) vs Sharks (6)

The Bandits are currently four points ahead of the Sharks and will likely finish anywhere from 4th to 6th place. The Sharks can climb as high as 5th or even drop to 7th. The season series is 2-1 for Bandits and if they win tonight, they can feel confident of finishing no lower than 5th place.

Legacy (7) vs Titans (8)

A win for Legacy would move them closer to 6th place. It would also ensure that Titans will finish in 8th. The season series is 2-1 for Legacy. While the Titans are likely to finish in 8th, they can still build momentum heading into the playoffs.