2016 Playoff Preview
- Updated: September 23, 2016
What’s new footy people? I know, I know, it feels like just yesterday we were happy to throw on our cleats and get outside and enjoy the fresh summer air while playing some footy at our favourite fields, but like all good things, Summer 16 has come to an end. However, the excitement doesn’t stop for us here at Toronto Rush, as we move into the playoffs; that time of the season where the best of the best battle it out for the top spot. There have been some outstanding performances this season in our leagues, some praiseworthy records to interpret, and some… not so glamourous statistics to get to as we bring you the Toronto Rush Playoff Preview.
Toronto Eye Care finished on top of the league this season, winning 13 of 14 games and finishing off with 39 pts recorded, an astounding 49 goals scored, and with the best defensive record; allowing only 10 goals. Their leading scorer Chad Aboud netted 10 times this season, followed by Muhammed Patel who found the back of the net 6 times. They go into the Semi-finals of the playoffs where they will face 4th placed AS Rosso this Friday night at Cherry Beach. Rosso finished the season with 21 pts, 31 goals scored, but at the back they’ve been a bit loose conceding 29. It would be irresponsible not to mention their prolific striker and golden boot winner Klevius Jata who netted 20… yes, TWENTY times in 14 games. That’s almost a goal and a half a game guaranteed by the gifted Albanian who is responsible for 64.5% of his team’s goals. The last time these two teams faced each other, it ended 6-2 in favour of the leaders, Eye Care. If I was a betting man, emphasis on the ‘if’, my money would be on Eye Care, however in football anything can happen. Prediction: I’m going with the upset, 3-2 for Rosso, Klevius Jata with the standard hat-trick.
The next Semi-final will see second placed FC Superclasico take on TIFC. Super, who have leap frogged their opponents since the last time we talked, finished the league with a decent 29 goals scored, an impressive defensive record only conceding 11, and a suspect discipline record accumulating the most cards in their division. Super’s leading scorer has been Sergio Marchesini, but their true strength has been in defense with players like Edgar Umana who has been an absolute bully against opponents, as reflected in the low levels of goals conceded. They will be a tough nut to crack for third placed TIFC. TIFC have had a bit of an up and down season. They have scored the least amount of goals of any of the teams in the top 4, scoring only 24 times this season. Their defensive record is decent, conceding 19. They are led by Nik Mehiu who has found the back of the net 9 times. They will surely want to avenge the 2-1 loss they suffered the last time these two teams met back in August. Okay prediction time, I’m going to say… 2-0 for the Super Latinos.
Division 2 North
Assorted Meats are this years’ league champs, no surprises there! They stormed the league with a 13-1-0 record, registering 39 pts, led by the scoring prowess of Duncan Smith (17), Nick Sonsini ( 9) and Brent Lukowski (6). They netted an impressive 57 times this term, and let in only 7 (nope, not a typo, not 17, not 70, SEVEN). For those not so good with the math like myself, that’s half a goal a game conceded ratio, and for the laymen out there (again, like myself), that’s a clean sheet every other game. These guys are lethal, they do not lose often, they move the ball with impunity and they will not let you score. Warning shots to their friends over at Sportingwood who finished 4th, with league favourite Sam Snell the leading scorer there with 7, and a formidable sidekick Dan Friedland who got 5. Despite finishing 4th, they still managed to find the back of the net 37 times and only conceded 19. These guys may be the surprise package of the playoffs, boasting some better stats than the two teams above them. The last time these two met, Meats were victorious in a 2-1 win at UCC back in August. It’s gonna be a good one on Sunday morning at Lamport Stadium, don’t forget your popcorn. Alright, predictions: I’m going to sayyyy… 3-1 to Meats (Sorry Sam).
De La Salle College, Sunday September 25th, 5:00 PM EST, the scene of the crime, at least it will be if the boys in blue walk out of there without the win. Runners up Toronto Blues will face off against Bay Street Hooligans, how fitting, a match-up of cops and hooligans (here all week folks…). Les Bleu finished on 29 pts, scoring 37 times while conceding 23. Led by the man with the plan, Mr. Happy Feet himself, Sergio Vidal smashed the league this summer with 18 goals to take home the golden boot. This is the only team that took points off of the rampant Assorted Meats when they met back in August to the tune of a 2-1 victory. There is potential here for them to win it all, especially since the last time they faced their opponents they won by 5-1, but that was back in July, and the playoffs don’t care about who you are, where you’re from, or what you did. Bay Street Hooligans have maintained their level all season as they were in 3rd at the halfway point as well. They finished on 25 pts, 1 point ahead of Sportingwood and 3 points from 5th placed The Lads, who were in the top 4 at the mid-point. Bay Street were led by Juan Pineros who finished with 8 goals.They collectively scored 31 times, and conceded 22 so there is potential there, but they have a bit of a challenge ahead for Andrej Lackovic’s Men. Prediction: Blues 2-1.
Division 2 South
FCB finished on top of Div 2 South with 29 pts this term. The FCB boys scored 27 times while only conceding 11. Marshall Peacock netted 5 times to be their top scorer, followed by Wayne Jones (4), and Jeffery Graham (4). They’ll face off against 4th placed Gabian FC who finished on 20 pts. The last time these two teams met, Gabian FC got the victory in a 1-0 win back in August. Gabian have been led by Nicolas Kerebel with 6 goals, Abdeneur ‘Le Petit Benzema’ Sefsaf with 4 goals, and Vincent Pruefert with 3 goals. Gabian have potential, they always have potential, what they don’t always have is a full team. If they can figure out their attendance, they’ll be a huge threat to FCB. Prediction: FCB 1-0
‘Mad’ Max Pacheo’s Hells-Satans FC come up against Humble Bees’ at LCI on Sunday night. The Satans have done quite well this season, finishing 2nd on 23 pts, with 26 goals scored and 17 conceded. They have been led by Andrew Taylor who finished the league’s top scorer with 7, followed by Dan Malconson and Kosta Barka with 3 a piece. They come up against a Humble Bees side who are definitely strangers to the playoffs, so kudos to them. Humble finished 3rd on 21 pts, with 19 goals scored and 17 conceded. They haven’t scored too many goals this term, that may be a hindrance under the pressure of the playoffs. Leading scorers at Humble Bees are Jehanzeb Arshad with 3, captain Attique Ajmal with 2 and Faizan Butt with 2. The last time these two met it was a 2-2 draw in August, so it is fair to say these teams are fairly balanced. Prediction: Ouu this is hard…I’m going to go with Hells Satans 1-0.
CO – ED
NASDAQ FC finished at the top with 37 pts in the co-ed division. They scored 53 goals, conceding only 8, with league top male scorer Mirza Celik finding the back of the net 14 times, followed by female top scorer and all around amazing performer Kiiri Kuld bagging 7 of her own. This team is very strong and very balanced, with outstanding male and female players like Sami El- Sibaey and Jenna Schroeder who netted 6 and 4 times respectively. They are the team to beat, so ABCDE FC have their work cut out for them. ABC finished the league on 15 pts, scoring 25, but leaking in 36 goals, the highest number of goals conceded of anyone in the playoffs. Their top male scorer Kevin Gaughan netted 5 times for them which is a decent return. He was followed by J. Brucker who got 3, and Jeff Haig who bagged 2 of his own. For the ladies, Samantha Beaton scored a couple goals. For ABCDE to win they are going to have to make sure the defence is on point, unlike the last time they faced NASDAQ back in August where they conceded 4 unanswered goals. Prediction: NASDAQ hands down 4-0 again!
James Allen’s Eagles finished second in the division in heartbreaking fashion, losing the last game of the season to winners NASDAQ. Eagles finished with 31 pts, scoring 51 times and conceding only 14. They are every bit a lethal as the winners, with male goal scorers David Harpula (8) and Lucas Martin (4) on the roster, as well as female players Dunya Zia (3), Daniellea Malta (2), and scorer of great goals Nancy “The Almighty Lob” Lobb on the team. Their opponents Mosaic FC finished on 24 pts this season, scoring 34 times but letting in 26. Mosaic will be led by Sam Snell who netted 8 times this term, followed by Andrew Murdoch who got 7 for the guys. For the ladies, Nicole Manronese netted an impressive 5 times term showing they’ve got fire power to match their opponents. This will most likely be the better game to watch as the last encounter ended in a 1-0 win to Mosaic back in August. Prediction: …Im going to have to go with Eagles in this one, 1-0. (Sorry Sam… again…)
Alright there we have it. The teams have been presented, you can make your own predictions, all that’s left is the footy. Quick side note for players, your discipline record does follow you into the playoffs so for those of you on 2 yellow cards, tread carefully as to not miss the finals. Wish all the teams the best of luck in the playoffs, and as always, enjoy your footy!