April/May Round-up: European domestic leagues end

As the focus across Europe switches from domestic leagues to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, we bring you a bumper round-up of the goings-on around the continent and beyond in the last two months (because my holiday interfered with last month’s round-up, sorry). Congratulations to the all the Lost Boyos who have already finished their seasons, particularly Joe Ledley, Adam Matthews, and Matt Crowell who ended up as champions in their respective leagues.

Canada

In the Canadian Championship, Vancouver Whitecaps -whose assistant manager is former 52-cap Wales midfielder Carl Robinson– finished runners-up to Toronto FC. The first game of the two-legged affair ended 1-1 in British Columbia, but Toronto put their league struggles behind them to take the trophy with a 1-0 win at home.

In their MLS season, the Whitecaps had a decent April with two wins, a draw, and two defeats. May was moderately less successful with just a single victory, three draws, and a single defeat. Vancouver are currently fifth in the Western Conference.

Finland

The football season is underway in Finland and it’s been a good start for Lost Boyo Richard Dorman in the Ykkonen, the Finnish second-tier. Playing for Seinajoen Jalkapallokerho, or just SJK for short, Dorman has started each of SJK’s first seven matches for the team from Seinajoki. The season opened with a draw against JIPPO before a run of five straight victories. The team’s only defeat so far came on May 31st against OPS, leaving SJK in second place, three points behind leaders RoPs who they face in their next fixture.

Iceland

In April, Lost Boyos looked at the achievements of two Icelandic footballers playing in Wales, but in May a Welshman went the other way in search of success. Ex-Cardiff City and Wales player Rhys Weston returned to Scandinavia, after a very brief spell in Norway earlier in his career, when he moved from from Dundee to KR in Reykjavik.

Things began slowly with a draw and a defeat against Stajarnan and IA, but three straight wins since have seen KR climb the table and are currently second, three points behind IA.

FYR Macedonia

Wales’ World Cup 2014 qualifying opponents FYR Macedonia had a solid end to their 2011-12 season. Welsh coach John Toshack took his side to Portugal for friendlies against the Euro 2012-bound Portugese and Angola. Despite the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo for 73 minutes, a strong Portugal side could not break down Toshack’s men in a game that finished 0-0.

Three days later in Estoril, Macedonia got another 0-0 draw against Angola.

Scotland

The Scottish Premier League ended in success for Lost Boyos Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews. The title was confirmed on April 7th when Celtic defeated Kilmarnock 6-0 at Rugby Park. Ledley got the last of his seven league goals, netting the Celtic’s fifth late in the game. Both Ledley and Matthews featured heavily as Celtic won six of their seven league matches in April and May. The only defeat- and indeed the only goal conceded in the season’s final two months- came at Dundee United, where Celtic lost 1-0.

Celtic quest for the double was ended by Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi-finals. A Ledley handball (that he could do nothing to avoid) in injury-time allowed Craig Beattie to score a winning penalty before setting off on his now infamous celebration.

Jason Brown‘s good first season at Aberdeen was rewarded with the number one jersey for Wales in their 2-0 friendly defeat against Mexico. Brown played five times in April and May in a tough end to the season for Aberdeen that saw them finish ninth in the 12-team league. Like Ledley and Matthews, Brown also endured a semi-final defeat in the Scottish Cup, Aberdeen going down 2-1 to Hibs.

Finishing one place below Aberdeen were Inverness Caledonian Thistle for whom Owain Tudur-Jones made five appearances in April and May. Also in the SPL, David Stephens made his 14th start of the season for Hibernian in their final game of the season, a 2-0 defeat to Inverness, and Kyle Letheren also got a final day run-out, starting in goal for Kilmarnock as they got a late 2-1 win away at Dunfermline Athletic.

Rhys Weston made four appearances for Dundee in April before his move to KR in Iceland. He leaves with a Scottish First Division runners-up medal, as the Dens ended the season in second place, a staggering 24 points behind promoted Ross County.

Finally, in the Scottish Third Division, East Stirlingshire again ended the season at the bottom of the pile, but Calum Antell ended his loan spell on a high with a 2-1 home win against Berwick Rangers. Antell then went on to receive the Supporters’ Player of the Year award. You can read more about Calum’s career and his season at East Stirlingshire here.

Spain

Lost Boyo Matt Crowell helped Club Deportivo Ourense seal promotion from the Spanish Tercera to the Segunda B for the 2012-13 season. Ourense lost just once in April and May, and that was the in the period’s first game, a 2-0 loss to Ordenes. In their next fixture, Crowell came of the bench to get his first goal of the season in a 2-1 victory against Rapido de Bouzas, scoring an 81st minute equaliser. Crowell was then a starter in the 0-0 draw against Bergantinos and 3-0 win against Estradense, and made a substitute appearance in the final game of the season , a 0-0 draw with Deportivo La Coruna II that confirmed Ourense as Tercera Grupo 1 Champions.

In the two-legged promotion play-off, Ourense brought a 3-1 lead from the first leg back to the Estadio de O Couto. Crowell came on as an 85th minute substitute in a 1-0 win that takes the Galician side back into Spain’s third tier.

Thailand

Michael Byrne‘s Chainat have become the draw specialists in the Thai Premier League, with six of their 11 fixtures ending level. April began with an exciting 4-4 draw against Robbie Fowler’s former side Muangthong United, with Byrne getting the first and second for Chainat. A decent April continued with a win at Pattaya, a draw at Chiangrai, and a home defeat against Police United. May saw two victories, two draws, and another home defeat, Byrne scoring his third of the season in the 2-1 win against BEC Tero Sasana. Byrne recently gave this interview with goal.com on his time in Thailand.

In the Thai First Division, Bangkok FC’s difficult season has continued in April and May, although there has been a big improvement from March’s three defeats. The side sit 14th in the 16-team league after managing three wins, three draws, and two defeats in their eight April/May fixtures. Lost Boyo Mika Chunuonsee got his first goal for the club in the 2-1 home loss against Nakhon Ratchasima on May 26th.

USA

Orlando City continue to lead the way in the US third tier. Anthony Pulis has started all nine of his sides’ USL Pro league fixtures, and he is yet to taste defeat. Pulis got his first goal for Orlando by scoring a 90th minute penalty against Richmond Kickers in a 2-0 win.

Ex-Swan Chad Bond has so far made just one substitute appearance for LA Blues, replacing the Scot Ricky Waddell as a substitute in a 2-1 win over fellow Lost Boyo Gareth Evans‘ Wilmington Hammerheads. Evans has started all eight of his sides league games. The Hammerheads are without a win in four matches and currently lie in sixth place, one spot outside the play-offs.

May also saw all three Welshmen exit the US Open Cup. Evans and Bond made second round exits. The Hammerheads went out to surprise package Cal FC, who, managed by 100+ US international Eric Wynalda went on to beat MLS side Portland Timbers in Round 3. LA also lost out to lower league opposition with a 3-1 extra-time defeat to Ventura County Fusion. Pulis’ Orlando made it to the third round with a 7-0 win over Kansas City Athletics, before going out 3-2 to the same city’s MLS side, Sporting KC.

If you are aware of any other Lost Boyos out there that we missed, please feel free to let us know on Twitter (@LostBoyos) or by email (lostboyos58@gmail.com) and we’ll include them in future round-ups. 

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