Los blancos2
07 oct.


As the rest of my playoff panelists have been forced to painfully learn, it’s been a great summer to be a Totalcampo underdog.

In Laval, not a single regular season champ followed through in the postseason – probably the first time anything of that sort has ever happened in the league. Not every division was a stunner. Bombonera and Osso Buco FC towed the panel line. And yet, Heaven 11 FC and Los Blancos managed to catch everybody (except me) off guard with their championship victories, while Calcio e Pepe took us all for the proverbial ride.

You’d think the wins would have come as equal shock to those squads. Think again.

“We always knew as a team that there was no chance anyone was going to beat us in the playoffs, explains Angus Legault, whose explosive eight-goals-in-three-game playoff performance was crucial to Heaven 11 FC’s second consecutive miracle championship run, which culminated this week with a 5-1 victory over top-seed Sunhawks.

Although the squad’s “mediocre” summer season and fifth-place finish was exacerbated by a number of players missing in action, the signing of keeper Gabriel Levesque (as well as Nicolas Courion and Julian Santella) would eventually pay dividends, original goalie Santino DeSeta “to get inside the opponents’ defenders’ heads” as a bona fide striker.

There were definitely a few close calls; the slim semifinal win against panel darlings FC Jixon in particular. For Legault, the back-to-back championship was never in doubt.

“The most surprising part about this season was that we were considered to be heavy underdogs in the playoffs. Hopefully the Playoff Panel has learned from their mistakes. They would be foolish to underestimate us again!

While the Los Blancos championship might pale in statistical comparison, captain Yusuf Karim was also keenly aware the panel odds were heavily stacked against his side.

“First, thanks for believing in us,” he pointed out before going on to describe how a 6-5 loss to division heads Euroboys United (who’d play half that game a man short) at the tail end of the season actually helped both prepare and provide all the motivation they needed for this week’s final.

And so, despite a summer of roster changes and travel, the Los Blancos crew came together when it counted. Keeper Ahmad Yassine would pull out some “amazing” saves, leaving the defensive unit to damn off the Euroboys’ gushing offensive might. Midfielders Anthony and Marwan managed to score all three goals, relying on sustained support from both their strikers and coach Sultan.

“We did what we do the best – winning games by counter attack,” the captain went on to explain. The family has never been more tightknit. “This cup will bring us closer and it will give us the opportunity to be prouder of our friendship.”

To be fair, underdogs can also lose faith. Especially when disaster strikes.

“We lost our top scorer to a shoulder injury and we stillwon the championship,” declares Calcio e Pepe captain Steven Tartamella. His squad would eventually knock out both C5C rivals Rossignols and the heavily favoured FC Scroungers by a razor thin 2-1 margin. “And to top it off, the game winner was scored by Nicholas Sforza, a guy with a torn meniscus. The doubters are always going to doubt. Put that one on the books.”

Duly noted, 2018.

Have a good soccer story, pic or video to share with us this summer? You can email me, fire off a Tweet or simply follow us on Facebook and Instagram.