Tehel Cup Round 3 Predictions

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Tehel Cup Round 3 Predictions

Post  Raider9726 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:02 am

We've reached the round of 16 in the 90th edition of the Tehel Cup after the 2nd round went pretty much in chalk fashion, aside from another Great White Buffalo shocker in penalties.  Let's hope that trend doesn't continue this round.

I went 14 of 16 in predictions last round, but was really reaching when asking Stone Jug to pop SPAL in penalties, but the GWB win over the Monarchs certainly surprised me.  What's left of the aftermath now is just one "Wood Cup" eligible team heading into the sweet sixteen.  I still believe the Wood Cup is necessary, and it would be nice for teams in the 2nd and 3rd division to have the option of entering either the Tehel Cup or Wood Cup in future seasons.  That way, the choice is up to them to either challenge for a tougher tournament or try to win some hardware.

Anyway, here come the predictions, including field predictions as per usual:

7/9 Games:
Yemen Elite (6-1-3) vs Panthers (6-2-1)
Likely field - West Seneca Soccer Complex

Yemen Elite has really clicked lately, as the time it takes to get new additions to gel has finally come and passed, so this is not necessarily a great matchup for Panthers who seem to have attendance problems hindering some of their puzzling scorelines in regular season play.  When Panthers have their numbers, I think they're a better team than OP Alliance (not a dig at OP), meaning I think they could certainly keep this game within arms reach.  But the athleticism scattered across the pitch from the Elite end should keep Justin Figler busy in net all game, if he attends.  I think we'll see quite a few goals in this one, but Elite will get the job done comfortably.

Prediction: Yemen Elite 4, Panthers 2

Lazio (4-1-3) vs BSC Raiders (9-1-0)
Likely field - Mulroy Pierce

This will be the best game of the tournament perhaps, and it's in the round of 16.  To me, they're the top 2 teams in the entire BDSL, but I'd also consider BUSS for that acknowledgement.  Raiders have already played two premier teams to get to this point, while Lazio has played a bunch of orange teams in Meerkats and Wolfpack.  I'd like to think that BSC brings the house to this game, as they understand the emphasis on getting past this game in particular.  Lazio has sort of had Raiders' number; one way or another, they seem to get the better end of Rocky's squad whether it's in tournament play or regular season play.  The Raiders though are so deep, it's hard to pick against them.  Despite the loss of Keith Braun, D. Braun and Terpin have been playing well in the back, alongside outside backs Wood and Loncar(?!?!?!).  That unit keeps Lazio in the game, but I think we see a Raiders break through in the second half to get the job done.

Prediction: BSC Raiders 1, Lazio 0

Clarence (3-5-1) v SPAL (6-2-2)
Likely field - Clarence Soccer Center, Field #11

If any lower division team has the greatest chance of moving forward to the next round, it could come from this game, as Clarence is still figuring things out here in 2015 and now must deal with the transfer loss of Austin Tom, who bagged a brace against the Sharpshooters in their opening round Tehel Cup win.  Clarence struggled to finish against a pesky Depew Village team that I witnessed first hand, but ultimately they were the much more talented team.  That'll be the case again against SPAL, however, SPAL is probably a little bit more fine tuned both offensively and defensively when compared to the Village People.  Jackson Fresnel apparently brings a goal with him to every game, and George Yapa is finding much more success this season as a part of this group. But I think these guys have a hard time against Clarence's back four.  I expect Clarence to control the game, but if SPAL defends well (Kevin Donovan and company have thus far) and capitalizes on some counterattacks, they can make this a game.

Prediction: Clarence 2, SPAL 0  

FC Yemen (8-1-1) vs. Rush FC (2-3-3)
Likely field - Martin Road Elementary

I've heard this field is trash, but FC Yemen knows it well.  Something as stupid as that already gives them an advantage in my opinion.  Rush has been having an interesting season; very anti-Rush like in that they're not dominating their regular season schedule like the past four years.  Anthony Johnson, who led this team in scoring by a mile, has now transferred to Lazio, so Rush has a completely different look, one that still may be lacking a true goal scoring threat up top, as they also transferred away Kyle Clifford (he didn't play anyway) and suffered a massive blow before the season began in losing Matt Hamister.  Meanwhile, FC Yemen has like 7 strikers on their team capable of recording a hat trick at a moment's notice.  OP Quake kept their second round match with FC Yemen really close, which was impressive, so I think Rush will do the same to a slightly better degree.  But again, they simply have no offensive threat anymore, unless Scirto shows up or Kevin Au can make a run out of midfield.  I think this one goes to extra time after FC Yemen fails to convert on many regulation opportunities.

Prediction: FC Yemen 3, Rush FC 1, OT

7/16 Games:
Boomslang FC (6-3-1) vs Buffalo Bantu (4-6-0)
Likely field - OPSC

Interesting matchup here.  For starters, they've met already this season and Boomslang came away with a 4-3 victory.  Since that point in time, Bantu continued to struggle, especially on turf at D'Youville, and Boomslang rounded into a form that made me think they were clear cut favorites to participate in Premier league play next year.  Then, the two teams sort of pulled a role reversal.  Boomslang cannot get a victory against any meaningful opponent in their own division, as they're currently on the outside looking in to the Championship division playoffs.  Bantu haven't done all that much regular season wise, but they're a top the entire Tehel Cup table with 10 goals for and 0 against in two games.  Peter DiLorenzo has left Boomslang for the season, so the offense really only can come from Zach Thomas or Jack Welsh at this point, unless anyone else feels the need to step up for the snakes.  I think we're in for another wild one here, but something tells me Boomslang is looking too far ahead at the chance to get to play former sister club Roos FC in the round of 8.

Prediction: Buffalo Bantu 3, Boomslang FC 2

Roos FC (6-1-3) vs Rangers (6-2-2)
Likely field - Mulroy Pierce

As of today's date, these teams have been playing really solid soccer this year in their respective leagues.  Roos have now gone a full two months without a loss, while Rangers continue to surprise me with their results against teams that I thought got better this offseason (and didn't I guess), who  outplaced them on the table last year.  The problem for Rangers here is that I don't think this is necessarily the best team, matchups wise, for them.  Unless of course they allow Roos to control the ball and fall back into a counter attacking style that once upon a time really worked.  The key to this game for the Roos is simply to finish.  They'll get their chances often, but getting them past Robert Weigand is easier said than done.  I think the Roos win this game out of the midfield in Skryp and Myles Taylor in a similar fashion as how they handled Lakeside last round, only a bit tougher this go around. Roos always bring solid numbers to the game, so I think they'll be able to be fresh throughout the contest.

Prediction: Roos FC 2, Rangers 0

Celtic United (3-4-3) vs Celtic Hoops (6-3-1)
Likely field - West Seneca Soccer Complex

Although you'd think Ellicott Creek would be an obvious choice here, since both teams utilize the facility as their home field, the fact that they both elected to play down in West Seneca last week makes me think that's the play here.  And we've got a derby here!  I think this game will be awesome; something I would gladly attend if not for my own game on this same night.  Earlier this season, I would have said Hoops could definitely pull this upset because of how THEY were playing.  But this past week was one to forget.  Although they got the W in Tehel Cup play last week, they certainly struggled to put West Side FC away, and got their only goal from Josh Beshaw, who had to leave at half time for FCB practice.  That goal proved to be the difference, so their defense is not the concern, but definitely their come and go offense, as it went cold again vs. FC Yemen over the weekend.  They can't afford to not finish chances against Celtic United, as Kurtz and their back 4 will limit the chances anyway.  The John Taggart pickup really helps United find a steady source of goals up top along with Rhodes.  Hoops will keep this close on the scoreboard, but I think United is a little too strong to overcome.

Prediction: Celtic United 2, Celtic Hoops 1

Queenston FC (4-4-1) vs Great White Buffalo (3-3-3)
Likely field - Veteran's Park, Youngstown

We all love a good Cinderella story, but I think this is where the dream comes to an end.  The defending champs go home and it's a hike for the guys out in Cheektowaga/Lancaster, with traffic and a 6:30 start.  I've heard some interesting stories from this bunch; first, they've got a puker who plays right back and they've cited fitness issues in the past.  Second, GWB needed penalties to get past Beast City and Hamburg Monarchs.  It's still an accomplishment regardless, but this team really has one regulation win all season.  Third and most importantly, they've got some unreliable players that may or may not show.  Toss in the fact that this game is easily 45 minutes from home and this team could show with 12 players or so.  That'll be a recipe for disaster playing against our side that FINALLY should have our own spotty attendance issues sorted out.  Key players come back from their recruitment tours around the U.S., Empire seasons have concluded, injuries have subsided and we're close to home, so I could see us being probably as close to a full team as ever on that night.  We finally got a glimpse of how our team would look for July this past weekend against the Sharpshooters, and that was without two major starters not in attendance.  Our latest addition to the team has made an immediate impact and our keeper is in top form.  I don't want to come in overconfident, but I think we get a bunch of goals early and shift into second gear in the second half.

Prediction: Queenston FC 6, Great White Buffalo 0

This means:
Yemen Elite vs BSC Raiders
Clarence vs FC Yemen
Buffalo Bantu vs Roos FC
Celtic United vs Queenston FC
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