There was no room at the top in the men’s 7-on-7 soccer league going into the regular season’s penultimate games at East Hampton’s Herrick Park Monday night.
According to Leslie Czeladko, the league’s overseer, F.C. Tuxpan, Maidstone Market, and Sag Harbor United all had a chance to finish the season in first place depending on how they did that evening.
Going into Monday’s games F.C. Tuxpan (5-3-1) was in first place with 16 points, followed by Maidstone Market (3-1-5) with 14, Sag Harbor United (3-2-4) with 13, Tortorella Pools (4-5-0) with 12, Liga De Gulag (2-5-2) with eight, and East Hampton Soccer Club (1-4-4) with seven.
Monday’s pairings matched Maidstone with Liga De Gulag, Sag Harbor United with the East Hampton Soccer Club, and F.C. Tuxpan with Tortorella Pools.
“If we lose to Tuxpan,” said Czeladko, who also is Tortorella’s manager, “we’ll play them in the semifinals.”
The semifinal games were to have been played last night; the final is to be contested at Herrick on Monday at 7 p.m.
The last 7-on-7 champion was Sag Harbor United, which won the trophy in the spring season of 2022. That team’s Donald Martinez and F.C. Tuxpan’s Jeremias Simon were as of Monday the league’s leading goal-scorers, each with seven. David Rodriguez Jr. of Tortorella had six, and Juan Ruiz of the East Hampton Soccer Club had five.
In games played on Nov. 8, the Market defeated Tortorella 3-1, Tuxpan defeated the Soccer Club 2-1, and Sag Harbor United defeated Liga De Gulag 5-3.
Maidstone outplayed Tortorella in the first half, getting goals from Elvis Rojas, who converted a feed from Jorge Zambrano three minutes into the fray, and from Justin Carpio, the fleet center midfielder, who found the nets with a minute left until the halftime break.
Rodriguez, who was to fire wide on a number of occasions in the second half, got Tortorella on the scoreboard in that period, taking a 20-yard free kick by Eddie Lopez at the far post and beating Maidstone’s onrushing goalie, Alex Mesa. The Market was to put the game away with another goal by Rojas, who, unmarked, took aim from about 10 yards out.
The Soccer Club was in a must-win situation when it took the field against F.C. Tuxpan on the 8th. The first half was scoreless, and, in the second, a yellow card issued to the Soccer Club’s goalie, Esteban Aguilar, who after making a save had pushed a Tuxpan player in the goalie box, hurt. With Aguilar relegated to the sideline, Simon’s subsequent penalty kick easily beat Aguilar’s replacement, Michael Espana, “who ought to have made the save,” Czeladko said in a game report.
Another converted penalty kick in the second half, by Tuxpan’s Faustino Meza, clinched the 2-1 win, which eliminated the Soccer Club from playoff contention.
Likewise, Liga De Gulag’s playoff hopes were dashed that night as Sag Harbor United prevailed 5-3. Scoring for United were Martinez, Gerson Damian (two), Pedro Cristobal, and Miguel Reyes. Maicol Parra had an assist.
In other recent action, United and F.C. Tuxpan battled to a scoreless tie in a Nov. 6 game during which “many yellow cards were given out.” Also that night, a game between Tortorella and Liga De Gulag was called after a brawl broke out near the end that resulted in three players, Christian Solis and William Solis of Liga and Cristian Gonzalez of Tortorella Pools, being banned from league play.
On Nov. 1, the Soccer Club forfeited to Tortorella Pools, the Maidstone Market and Sag Harbor United played to a scoreless tie, and F.C. Tuxpan defeated Liga De Gulag 2-1 thanks to goals by Meza and Simon. Solis scored for Liga.