The first match in the group stage was against Fan Klub Liverpool FC Polska in Field One at the Anfield Road End. The match however, got off to a rough start as the Polish Reds capitalized on an error by Steve Lee to make it 1-0 on an open goal. As the match progressed, LFCNY were made to reap the rewards of growing confidence with a penalty converted by Wes Young to make it 1-1. Mike Strupp-Levitsky and Chris James were trying to find their shooting boots going close. But LFCNY were unlucky as they were caught out of possession on a rolling substitution for the Polish Reds to drive home the winner one minute from full-time to take the three points on a 2-1 win.

The next match in the group stage, LFCNY took on the Dubai Reds at Field Two also at the Anfield Road End. Learning from the previous mistakes, LFCNY started the match very strong with Mike Strupp-Levitsky putting on immense pressure on the Dubai defense and putting LFCNY up 1-0 with a clean strike. The midfield started to take shape with the marauding Wes Young taking control and cutting out the Dubai passing at will. LFCNY would have tact on two or three more goals if it weren’t for the quick reaction by the Dubai keeper who made some outstanding saves to deny the LFCNY strikeforce. But again, luck wasn’t on LFCNY’s side as a laps in defense due to a rolling substitution put the fortuitous Dubai forward clean on goal. With a quick strike, the forward leveled the score to the dismay of Steve Lee who put a foot to the shot, but was helpless to see the ball just creep into the far corner with the deflection at the stroke of full-time. Match ends 1-1.

The third match put LFCNY up against Liverpool Supporters Club Iceland. The trial and error of the past two matches learned, LFCNY switched to a 2-1-1 formation which paid dividends. Even with the obvious height difference with their Icelandic counterparts, LFCNY strung some acute passes through the towering defense to keep them on the back foot. Eddie Doku and Ali Sharif dealt with the late long balls with Steve Lee keeping out strikes from the flanks. LFCNY cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory with another strong strike by Mike Strupp-Levitsky and Chris James who opened his scoring account with to ensure the three points for New York.

LFCNY finished the group stage with the match against Flemish Reds from Belgium. Mike Strupp-Levitsky with the hot hand put LFCNY up 1-0 after three minutes and Chris James adding another near the fifth minute to make it 2-0. With New York pressing, it was too much for the Flemish Reds to handle as they conceded a penalty which Wes Young converted low to the keeper’s right. The Flemish Reds picked up a consolation goal quickly after as the Flemish defender threaded a ball down the left-hand side splitting the defense right to the striker who smashed the ball from close range. Final score 3-1.

LFCNY faced Wexford Branch Liverpool Supporters Club from Ireland. The penalties were eventful with captain Ali Sharif immolating the Fowler fist-pump jump and Paul Hellings doing his own rendition of the Kop slide after putting away their turns. Mike Strupp-Levitsky miss this chance by going for placement instead of power going wide right. Wes Young and Greg Dillon both clinically putting away their penalties to the keeper’s high right. Eddie Doku made the penalties close by putting his shot high above the bar. In the final rounds, goalkeeper Steve Lee converted his penalty to the keeper’s left and immediately saving the final Wexford penalty to stamp the win for LFCNY in the penalty session.

In the semi-finals, LFCNY faced the Liverpool Supporters Club Leicestershire Branch. The match had a tense affair until Mike Strupp-Levitsky cutting to his right before unleashing a strike putting the NY Reds up 1-0. Paul Hellings kept the defense honest by harrassing the Leicester keeper on his distribution. Wes Young pulled back deeper from his left hand position to put three at the back for LFCNY to progress with a solid 1-0 much to the dismay of the Leicester players.

The final was a rematch at the Kop End with the Polish Reds who progressed after dispatching the Finnish Reds in the other semi-finals. Attacking the Kop End, the match got off to a hot start with Mike Strupp-Levitsky putting New York up 2-0 with a pair of quick strikes from the right side to knock the Polish Reds off their feet. Chris James went close with two volleys to the right side of goal before he took a pass from Wes Young, turned the defender going to his right and sending a screamer high to the far corner making the score 3-0. Poland weren’t about to give up as they began working the flanks to get around the stiff LFCNY midfield and forcing the LFCNY defenders to go wide. The Polish Reds pegged one back with one of their midfielders threading a strike high through the crowded LFCNY defense to put it pass the reach of Steve Lee. The Poles, with a sense of urgency, took quick shots with Steve Lee making a reaction save to his right to keep out a volley from a Polish throw-in. The Polish Reds finally got their second with another quick shot high in the corner from closer range. With time running down, Greg Dillon was moved forward to lead the defensive duties with Paul Hellings on the right and Wes Young holding down the speedy Polish winger on the left hand side. Eddie Doku steadied the defense cutting out the Polish passes and bombing up front to add extra pressure to the Polish midfield forcing their strikers to turn defenders. Mike Strupp-Levitsky came on and almost put the match to bed with two strikes that skimmed the Polish far post. Shortly after, the referee blew his whistle and the LFCNY team poured on to the field to celebrate a result that they never even considered. Massive hugs and a few tears flew as the familiar voice of George Sephton on the Anfield tannoys announcing LFCNY winners of the OLSC Tournament.

With the dream of playing on the hallowed Anfield pitch completed, the fantasy of actually lifting a trophy on the pitch against international competition was unimaginable. Yet, there was the LFC staff calling the names of the happy few LFCNY members to the front of the honor guard and captain Ali Sharif lifting the trophy high in the name of New York City. As the players passed the trophy around in celebration with the friends and family of the team who traveled far and wide to support and witness the event, the moment epitomized the concept and purpose of Liverpool Football Club New York. That day, the team members weren’t businessmen, bankers, researchers, architects, and designers. That day, they were goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, forwards in the name of LFCNY. Even though, many members aren’t based in New York City, they still join and support the club for the community and friends and were rewarded with a moment to remember for a lifetime and stood as champions!