BDSL Division 1 Predictions

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BDSL Division 1 Predictions

Post  Raider9726 on Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:03 pm

Good afternoon readers,

This is now the third division in a row that I've looked at coming away thinking that on paper, most of these teams stack up really well with one another.  I have a feeling my 2016 predictions will be the worst ones yet, considering that over the past few years, teams have generally found themselves in the right divisions (no more East Aurora's in D2, making things easier to predict).  Outside of the two teams I have in the relegation zone below, I wouldn't be shocked to see the new few listed actually make the playoffs, honestly.

For the record, if the Golden Seals had remained a team, I would have placed them 2nd behind Elmwood.  Golden Seals would have been a championship caliber team, much like Elmwood in my opinion, but they're not quite on Elmwood's level overall.

14. Nickel City Wanderers - These guys turned in one of the worst BDSL seasons I can remember.  They did so in a year where the Championship division wasn't that good, compared to previous seasons, although there were a few quality teams up top, one of which that won the Tehel Cup (Still bitter).  They also lost to an undermanned Meerkats team who got relegated themselves from one division lower in their Tehel Cup match last season.  But what went wrong with this last year was their division placement to start.  Only due to the fact that they originally kept their name as "Amherst Raptors" did they get Championship division placement.  I warned a few board members that this decision would prove costly, as Alliance was head and shoulders a better team, but to them it was a coin flip and this is just how it fell. I'd expect similar results this year down a division.  Nickel City will fold after the season is over.

13. Buffalo Gunners - Gone are the days where Mo and Sam Kassem played for these guys in their 2014 debut, along with Yasser Kadhim and Kovan Menr.  This is a shell of a once VERY potent offensive team.  Yemen Elite has plucked all of the talent, and as a result, I think Chakir has too much left to do on his own.  Gunners will fight, but ultimately drop a division heading into Summer 2017.

12.  Depew Village - Here's a weird case where I think the team has improved, yet I think their placement wont.  Too many decent teams coming up a division and the addition of two new sides has me thinking Depew takes a step backwards due to an increase in division depth & talent.  I think the main point here is that they just don't seem to show up in numbers.  I watched them play a Tehel Cup game two years ago against Roos FC with like 9 guys.  And another match against Clarence last year in Cup play with 12.  Maybe it's just a Thursday thing, but the stigma has carried over in my head.

11. Alden - These guys surprised me last year. I think I pegged them 13th and they almost made the playoffs! I think a return back down towards the bottom of the division is where they likely belong though, as they have aged quite a bit over the years. There are some teams in this league that are literally half their age. The Da Silva Faria, Fix, Petri combination is still lethal enough to steal points though.

10. Catan FC - I'm glad these guys got moved up, because I think they deserve to be in this division, but that's where the good news ends.  I'm most concerned with what I read a few months ago on Twitter about how they were considering breaking apart entirely and even contemplating folding.  That's never good heading into a new year.  The loss of Scott Berardi to Wolfpack is also a pretty big blow.  It looks like they're trimming some of their roster away this year, as I actually think their OVER attendance doomed them in their semi final against Amherst Alliance last year.  Despite saying all this, there aren't as many off weeks when looking at the fixtures this year.  No more Elbow Soup automatic 3 point games out there, aside from Nickel City.  Good news is Scalzi is still here and has quality to his game, and their keeping is strong.  10th place is the bottom of the barrel for them, but I just get a weird feeling that's where it'll end up.  Inner turmoil.

9.  FC Quake - Your D2 regular season champions had a fine 2015 season, and I think they've made some decent moves this year (Lamos being the best one).  Love the fact that they're playing together in the offseason, which should help them coming into '16.  The cons:  They play a pretty tough schedule, as they miss the Gunners and an entirely different Panthers team this year.  Also, I think their playing style is something you can get away with at the lower levels, but could punish a team as you climb the division ladder.  Moving to a turf field is interesting because after seeing this team in last season's final, they're not necessarily the quickest team out there, and they don't really play a possession game, so it could be counter-intuitive.  But what do I know.

8. Hamburg Monarchs - If you had asked me two months ago where Hamburg was going to be placed, I'd probably say 12th or 13th. But it looks like they've snatched away some of the Lykan guys who have a pulse, somehow retained Aaron Hayes who's name was floating around the Celtic organization, and returned Matt Hamister after Rush FC decided to call it quits. This is a pretty potent offense now. Plus, without most of that last year, they finished their season strong with a record over .500. Despite what I believe will be an improved league, Hamburg will hold their own.

7.  RVS United - I'm very perplexed by RVS.  Last year, I thought they could challenge for the D1 title, but ultimately fell flat in big moments.  They've lost Luke Loecher heading into 2016 who was easily their best player.  They've lost a couple other key contributors as well.  Fortunately, they retained Ryan Haines, but it's almost as if they're heading back to their 2014 roots; grabbing players that played that year but didn't sign on when they jumped a division in 2015.  They have a young keeper in Gallo this season (Lancaster Varsity Soccer), so that's a big question mark until we see if his HS talent translates to the men's league.  Side note: Is it time for a name change?  RVS used to work, but now they're the Legends.  LVS United needs to catch on and catch on now.  Plus, future name changes would be unhindered because they can always say "Lancaster".

6. SPAL Buffalo FC - I've been catching up on a lot of the moves SPAL has made recently, and to be honest, I don't know many of these guys.  I do know that they lost Jenaro Akeh, Craig Korotkow, Kevin McKenzie and Dave Spaulding, and those are some pretty big losses.  SPAL also misses out on playing Depew Village and Nickel City, so not only do they get a really tough Tehel Cup draw, but the scheduling gods, in my opinion, have given them the fixture gauntlet as well.  Stuitje was a nice pick up for keeping duty, and there could be a couple other under the radar snags here by new manager Matt Greco.  Maybe some early season kinks in terms of player positions and whatnot will lead to less points than desired, but I could see them turning in a pretty good season.  

5. Amherst Alliance - Having faced this team in the Tehel Cup, I was surprised at just how physical they were. In fact, outside of maybe Soho or BSC Raiders, I can't really think of any team that could out muscle us but these guys probably did on that day. Granted, we showed up with what you'd call a 'B' team on that evening, on perhaps the smallest field known to man, but I was able to take way that this team was pretty darn good. Very strong in the back, organized, and communicate well. They've also adopted the 'less is more' strategy moving into the new season, where only a handful of roster adjustments were made. Matt Jones joins the group this season to offer some goal scoring, as he was the focal point of Buffalo Celtic's offense last year. I don't think teams realized just how valuable it is to carry over a similar roster year over year. I thought Alliance belonged in the Championship division last year, and I think this placement is very similar to the bottom half of Championship, if not slightly better. Their divisional placement costed them at least a year or two, but the positive to be drawn from this is that they have this 'we need to prove ya'll wrong' edge to them. Skill and something to prove. Not the attitude you want to go toe to toe with as an opponent.

4. Williamsville Willies - It's way too soon or maybe even too lofty to make this comparison, but the Willies could be like the Amherst Sharpshooters of 6 years ago.  It's a combo team of Williamsville natives, many of which were pretty strong players in HS.  If they can hang on to Will Boerema in net, I don't see many weaknesses in this team.  Sure, they're young, but already excel in the possession game.  Perna, Thomas Jackson, Looney, and Ian Harris are names I'm already familiar with, but we may know more as the season progresses.  I think they'll lose some weird ones this year, perhaps due to other tournament commitments or proms or things like that we all seem to forget since they are only 17-19 years old (generally speaking), but they certainly have talent.

3. Panthers - Hmmm. They've lost their keeper Figler to Raiders, assuming he plays for them. They've lost Brian Knapp to retirement. They thought they had Rich Wilson of BUSS but he backed out. Braden Scales to Rogue. However, they did bring in Mark Howlett who could be a game changer, and they have some other quality names that are returning, like Nick Cortese and the uber competitive Kurt Schulz, so to be safe, I've got them mid-to-high pack. I'm hearing they also may link up with some local college coaches who have some game left in their legs. Francesco Cardillo is a name that could end up on this roster too, which would be a nice pickup. Tough to judge because I don't know who shows up regularly for these guys, but they have top 1-2 talent. I assume they'll make enough moves with the kind of pull they have (coaches, etc.) that'll keep them up towards the top.

2. Beast City SC - Beast has been on the verge of making noise in this division for YEARS now, but it seems like they just haven't had the consistent offense necessary to make the jump.  Sure, the Halls do get some goals, but far too many times these guys would walk away with a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, leaving points in the rear view mirror.  This season however, they've made some significant upgrades.  Remember the name Noah Keem come late August.  Bryan Daigler returns to his old club, and in this division, he can post some numbers.  Aidan Callahan, Mike Bartkowski, Scott Pannullo, Niko X and Andrew Wackenheim are all very, very capable players to surround the core that's been here for four years now.  I think this is the year the Beast takes the league by storm, unless of course team #1 ends up being a runaway train.

1. Elmwood Saints - I've had plenty of looks at this team now in the winter, and I'll say this: they've competed admirably against the likes of BUSS, Yemen Elite, FC Yemen, Celtic United, Queenston and Amherst Sharpshooters.  That's not counting some of their roster makeup that I haven't seen yet, which is the scary part.  If they end up with Ahmed Adil as a center back, I cannot see any glaring holes here, outside of maybe keeping.  Not to say Kraska isn't capable, but what's funny is that one of their field players is in my personal Top 5 goalkeepers list (I really don't have this list, but he'd be a name I'd mention off the top of my head) of WNY in Drew Colosimo.  Caleb Holmes could end up scoring a lot of goals this summer.  Their midfield can be crazy lethal between an outside presence of Johnson, and guys like Lawlor, Mura and Leszyk in the middle.  Do I think they'll be as dominant as EAFC last year in this division?  No.  Will they win at least 9 games?  Yes.

3 Panthers defeats 6 SPAL Buffalo FC
5 Amherst Alliance defeats 4 Williamsville Willies

1 Elmwood Saints defeat 5 Amherst Alliance
2 Beast City SC defeats 3 Panthers in PKs

1 Elmwood Saints defeat 2 Beast City SC


Last edited by Raider9726 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: BDSL Division 1 Predictions

Post  Michael Schieber on Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:11 pm

First Division Overview:
Continuing the theme this year of parity in the middle class we have D1. With 5 new teams here there was a fair amount of turnover for the middle of the BDSL. I think this is a deeper talent pool then last year as a whole and a handful of these teams would even be good Championship level. Honest the gap between Championship and D1 is very very at this point. Onto the predictions.
 
Alden
Team Take:  Alden is more or less unchanged from last season. They really shocked me last year with their late season boon and playoff push. With much of the same cast here they could do the same. But I think for whatever reason luck maybe wont be on their side. Call it a down year for them. Also for the love of God change your name.  Is any one on this team from Alden? Does anyone know that your also apparently known as the Eclipse? I remember seeing your team sheet and thinking who are these guys? So yeah please fix that.
Best Case – More of the same is a good thing as Alden continue to take advantage of teams underestimating them. This year a 6th place finish = playoffs and Alden scoop that up but exit in round 1. Sweet 16 run in Tehel Cup.
Worst Case – More of the same isn’t that great in a stronger D1 this season. Teams find a way to unlock their normally sharp defense and they land in 12th.
Actual – Like I said for whatever reason last year they over achieved so this year I’m going the opposite route. The underachieve to 11th.
 
Amherst Alliance
Team Take:  Alliance narrowly avoided missing the playoffs last year but then rode that momentum into a D2 title. Having seen them in person on three occasions I feel like these guys are up for the D1 work load. They might now have the craftiest group but they have a overall strong physical team that won’t back down from anyone.  Hopefully this year they practiced PK’s. I like Alliance to have a similar up and down season but turn it on come playoffs.
Best Case – Alliance might have the deepest defense in the league. They find ways to put in enough goals to take 2nd. They enjoy a small Cup run meanwhile to the Sweet 16. In the playoffs they fend off a natural rival in Willamsville before falling in the final to Panthers. Mr. Headband yells a lot on the sideline all year to spectator delight.
Worst Case – Scoring becomes rare for Alliance while injuries creep into the side. They can’t recover from silly lost points like last year but still finish a respectable 8th.
Actual – I think they grab the last playoff spot and even make the semis before just missing a second straight promotion season.
 
Beast City SC
Team Take: Damn you Brian! I really thought I’d surprise people with how good I think these guys could be this season. Some sharp adds here have them finally looking like a team that is ready to make the playoffs and heck challenge for a top two spot. It’s taken them a few season to get the forumla right but I think 2016 is the year Beast finally breaks out a bit.
Best Case – Beast maul their way to a shocking 2nd place finish and take a bye into the playoffs they top Hoops in round 1 of Tehel Cup too and then ride the momentum to the Elite Eight. In the playoffs they take down Amherst Alliance in the semis but fall to Panthers in the final. Promotion is possible.
Worst Case - I’ve read read this totaly wrong and they continue to be a mildly disappointing middle pack team in D1. 1 and done in Tehel coupled with a 9th place finish.
Actual – I’m going to roll the dice on them because why not. They earn 3rd and their first ever BDSL playoff berth.
 
Buffalo Gunners
Team Take:  New Management here that let to many changes. Honestly dont know a lot of the names here but it seems like their former best players have all moved onto new sides. I just don’t have a great feeling about them especially with the division being in the state it is currently in.
Best Case – Teams sleep on them and they steal some points to keep them ut of relegation and in 11th place. They manage to get by Alden in Tehel Cup
Worst Case - They could finish dead last easily I think if they start with some poor results and guys lose interest.
Actual – Sadly I have them 13th and set for a trip down into D2.
 
Catan FC
Team Take:  Early on the jury was out on them. It sounded like they were a team in turmoil especially considering they failed to earn a promotion bid in the playoffs. They lost one of their best players early but once word got out that there got a D1 spot the roster seemed to fall into place. Former Roo Matt Richards is a sneaky good add as a motor guy. I feel a lot better about the Settlers then I did say a week or two ago.  
Best Case – Their form holds from last year and they grab the last playoff spot in D1. they upset SPAL Buffalo before falling to the Elmwood Saints in the semis but its a good step towards 2017.
Worst Case - The cracks in the make up bubble to the surface after a rocky start and by late in the year they are closer to relegation then playoffs hitting as low as 12th.
Actual – I’ve got them squarely in the middle at 9th. I think they are more likely to climb then fall though.
 
Depew Village
Team Take:  I’m never sure on them. Sometimes they seem to care and when that happens they can play some decent soccer. The reality seems to be that it happens not as often as it should though. They added some good players but some of them again have questionable motives here so I’m still leary. Riccardi is a steal for them while you can say the Franjoine’s are but, well, see my previous statement. This side should do better more often but they just don’t for whatever reason.  
Best Case – They show some heart and challenge for a playoff spot even though only manage to grab 8th. At least they show more signs of returning to better form building to 2017.
Worst Case - The basement is possible here. They barely staved off the drop last year but cant do the same this season.
Actual – Idon’t know what team is showing up week to week and thats not a great thing. I have them in 12th and another year of a relegation battle.
 
Elmwood Saints
Team Take: A couple things about the Saints. First I think they learned a lesson quickly last year announcing their formation for this year basically in the middle of 2015 season. Names they dropped as players now arent found here. It wasn’t the best look early on for them. But despite rumors they might not exist at all the gutted it out and are now one of the more dangerous teams here in D1. A line up here that has tested again the top teams over at Sportsplex they’ll be tested and ready for their inagural season. I also think they are one of the best twitter follows as they are witty and sharp.
Best Case –  Saints show no mercy as they beat up on squads in route to the D1 title. They do the double with a D1 playoff championship as well. In Tehel they stun EA FC and Celtic United before falling to a familiar foe in Queenston FC.
Worst Case - Constistant results and attendance never arrives as they jumble around the standings before playing themselves out of the playoff race into 8th.
Actual – I think they will have some spells of inconsistency but will do enough to earn playoffs. Once there things just click and they go on a run to the D1 title.
 
FC Quake
Team Take:  The ever polarizing FC Quake. They proved us wrong last year earning the D2 regular season title though coming up PKs short in the final. Iv’e already stated that I think Alliance will fair pretty well here but for some reason I’m not ready to pull the trigger on them yet. I think the line up is good and Eaton is a top goalie while Kerr has emerged as a classified ad steal for them in the middle. I just don’t have a ton of faith in the offense to consistantly score for them. But maybe they’ll prove me wrong again.
Best Case – The keep riding their defensive unit and win lots of nail biters. By year end they sit in 6th place but fall in first round to the Saints. A Sweet 16 tehel cup run is ended by Southtowns
Worst Case - The scoring dry up and injuries in the midfield leave the defense stranded. They hit 11th by year end. Can’t best Hamburg in round 1.
Actual – I’m not just not convinced for whatever the reason. I like the guys but I have them at 10th right now. Just not enough offense for me. I do like them for sweet 16 though.
 
Hamburg Monarchs
Team Take:  Man they had an interesting off season. It seemed like Hayes was gone and that could lead to further loses but instead they nabbed some Lykan players while keeping Hayes and being back club legend Hamister. Now I’m not sure what sort of Hamister they are getting with him coming off his injury but still for D1 it's a great grab. I liken these guys to a Beast City. Sort of stuck in the mud in D1 waiting to bust out. The moves this year are a step towards it.
Best Case – Hayes and Hamister form the best striker tandem in the division and Hamburg grabs third place. They make the Sweet 16 and even catch Southtowns napping with a shock Elite Eight appearance. In the playoffs they take out Alliance but fall to SPAL Buffalo in the semis. 2017 D1 favorite.
Worst Case - Hamister is a shell of his former self, one or both of the Eckhardts gets hurt and Hayes is sold in June to a contender. They fall to 11th in the standings while losing to Quake in Tehel.
Actual – Look I can only back two perennial D1 middling sides a year and these guys just miss the cut. 8th place but moving in the right direction.
 
Nickel City Wanderers
Team Take:  I was shocked to see them return to the league at all. I’m not sure they’ll survive past this season either but I’ve been proven wrong by them already so we shall see. My expectations couldn’t be lower for another team aside from Rust Belt in any division though.
Best Case – 13th I guess is possible if they have a pulse or someone forfeits to them.
Worst Case - See their 2015 season. Rinse. Repeat.
Actual – 14th Let’s just move on shall we?
 
Panthers
Team Take: Initially I was a little worried about the Panthers. I had heard that Figler was expected to leave. Knapp wasn’t returning, Scales was moving to Rogue. It just seemed like the roster was losing so much. But when you look at the final team make up they did such a great job in making up for those loses. Cardillo is a star at this level, while Howlett is a great grab too. They might be a little worse off defensively but top to bottom they are better then last year I think. As always the question with them is commitment. They have top two talant but will they show up enough to make it work.
Best Case – They pounce on teams early and often. Never really challenged they run away with the top seed and then lift the trophy in August over Saints. They upset Yemen Elite on their way to the Elite Eight in Cup play.
Worst Case - This new group is as committed as the old. It’s a Jekel and Hyde season as you never know what team will show up. Still their talent drops them no lower then 5th. They fall in the semis to SPAL Buffalo though.
Actual – I do think they’ll be better then the rest of the division when there. I have them slotted 1st but losing in the final to the Saints.
 
RVS United
Team Take:  Last year was a strange season for RVS. It seemed like they sjust couldnt find constant form to really keep them in the top 4. Their slow start doomed them and then they essentially no showed in July. They are going to have to lean more on Haines to score with Luecher out of the mix. Maybe someone on new here steps up but I’m not sure why I should have faith they are anything more right now then a middling D1 side.
Best Case – They start hot this year and bank enough early points to get themselves into the playoffs as the 4th seed. A Tehel Cup Sweet 16 appearance. They fall to Beast City SC in round 1 though.
Worst Case - Haines cant bear the load himself and the new recruits aren’t much of a help. They start off ice cold and the season just goes downhill quick as they are relegated in 13th. Sort of a season like Meerkats last year here.
Actual – Lessons learned from last year only go so far as they struggle to score. A more consistant effort but in a strong D1 that has them 7th.  
 
SPAL Buffalo FC
Team Take:  Matt Greco has taken the reigns here from Ankur and given SPAL Buffalo FC a seemingly more focused outlook. I like a lot of the moves here. They just missed the playoffs this year but I have them making it this season. This side is deeper and more potent then ever. They have performed admirably in Sahlen’s 11v11 including an upset over BUSS. Thinks are looking good for this club coming into the season.
Best Case – The carry over the good vibes to outdoor and look like Championship side stuck in D1. They are never playoff threatened and even have a look at 1st before claiming 2nd place. They again upset BUSS in Tehel Cup and take Amherst Sharpshooters to PK’s. In playoffs they smoke Beast City SC in the semis and then upset Panthers in the final.
Worst Case - Like last year they are sitting pretty but then implode in July falling from a safe 3rd right down and out in 7th.
Actual – I’m going to go with the best possible scenario actually. I think they finish second in the table but they ultimately come up just short in their promotion bid losing to Saints in the semis.
 
Williamsville Willies
Team Take:  This team are basically completely new to the BDSL scene aside from Jackson. The good news for them is they’ve had so fairly good success together in high school and should have a very good chemistry with each other. I think attendance wont be an issue either. It seems like there GK spot might be in question though as they lost out on Boerema who maybe woulda made them a top 2 side. Overall though they, like Pendleton, remind me a lot of OP Alliance and I think will have similar success.
Best Case – Willies goaltending woes are overrated and they quietly put together enough points to finish 2nd to the rest of the divisions surprise. They even upset Yemen Elite in Tehel Cup making a Elite Eight run. In playoffs they take out SPAL Buffalo before falling to Saints in the final but promotion earned.
Worst Case - They aren’t quite ready to be a promotion threat but challenge every team all year. They just miss out on playoffs in 7th.
Actual – I Have them penciled in at 4th. I think the make up and chemistry carry them over similar clubs to a playoff spot.
 
First Division Table:
1) Panthers
2) SPAL Buffalo FC
3) Beast City SC
4) Williamsville Willies
5) Elmwood Saints
6) Amherst Alliance
7) RVS United
8) Hamburg Monarchs
9) Catan FC
10) FC Quake
11) Alden
12) Depew Village
13) Buffalo Gunners
14) Nickel City Wanderers
 
Playoffs:
6) Amherst Alliance over 3) Beast City SC
5) Elmwood Saints over 4) Williamsville Willies
 
1) Panthers over 6) Amherst Alliance
5) Elmwood Saints ove 2) SPAL Buffalo FC

5) Elmwood Saints over 1) Panthers

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Re: BDSL Division 1 Predictions

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:47 am

Just wanted to point out a piece of trivia: now that Depew Village has added Tony Franjoine, the co-captains of the Canisius High School 2001 varsity team have been reunited (JP Sfeir being the other). Clearly Depew Village are the team to beat in this division for that reason alone

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Re: BDSL Division 1 Predictions

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:53 am

gotta side with BDSL Rumors over you two in regards to the placement of Hamburg in this division. I think Hayes and Hamister alone is good enough to contend for the title

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Re: BDSL Division 1 Predictions

Post  clarkie6 on Mon May 02, 2016 10:50 pm

Panthers are off to a strong start! Beating easily many of your #1 picks, Elmwood, 2-0. I think that the assessment that our commitment is the only thing holding us back...is correct. If our top squad is there, we will be very very difficult to beat I think. Very excited that the season is under way! Good lord I need to drop about 15 lbs.

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