The Pocono Snow became the first team to score on Greater Binghamton FC at home in the 2013 season, but the lone goal wasn’t enough to secure points. Thanks to another strong defensive performance and a bit of luck from a Pocono own goal, Binghamton secured the victory and three points to stay atop the Keystone Flight table. Binghamton will face Hershey FC next Saturday. Hershey is the only team to to beat Binghamton this season, and they are coming off a stunning 6-0 loss to the Clarkstown SC Eagles in a match that saw two Hershey players dismissed with red cards.
On Sunday June 16th the BuxMont Torch earned a 2-2 draw at home against National Premier Soccer League opponent Greater Binghamton F.C. (GBFC). A goal and an assist from Emmy Egbosimbah helped the Torch earn a tie against the second place team in the Keystone Conference.
The Father’s Day match opened with a spark of activity from Torch striker Sachem Wilson. Binghamton played two back passes from the kickoff and Wilson was able to intercept the second before dribbling deep into the 18 yard box and firing a shot that was saved by GBFC’s Jason Stenta. Six minutes later, GBFC would respond with a goal by Bozidar Jelovac who capitalized on a Torch defensive turnover before slotting home the first goal of the game. Jelovac would net his second of the match in the 28th minute after the referee called a foul on the Torch defense inside their own penalty area and gave GBFC a penalty kick. Faced with an early 2 goal deficit, Torch head coach Daniel Byrd made a substitution and brought on Emmy Egbosimbah in the 29th minute. The substitution yielded almost immediate dividends as Egbosimbah applied constant pressure to the GBFC back four and scored in the 34th minute off an assist from Austin Petrie.
Coming out of the halftime break, and with a week since their previous NPSL match, the Torch looked fresh, inspired, and committed to earning a good result on their home turf. Halftime substitute Wendell Gabriel was able to level the score at 2-2 with a goal in the 46th minute. The persistent pressure applied by Egbosimbah forced another GBFC turnover and allowed him to make a cross to Gabriel who corralled the ball on the left side of the Binghamton penalty area before unleashing a venomous right footed strike underneath the diving Stenta. The goal would be the last of a lively second half which saw both teams hold strong in their defensive halves of the field and attempt to work passing sequences through the midfield. Torch defenders Josh Kremers, Greg Terrell, Doug Cordi, and Kevin Skinker looked cohesive and competent in dealing with the GBFC offensive threats, while BuxMont keeper Jeremy Lee made five saves on the evening and was a strong vocal presence helping to coordinate defending efforts in front of him.
The Torch looked to build off of this result as they travel to face the Morris County Colonials on Wednesday June 19th. Binghamton gets back into action on Saturday June 22nd as they host the Pocono Snow.
Jamison Parker is the Media Relations Associate for the BuxMont Torch. Follow the Torch @BuxMontTorch or on facebook.
After a scoreless first half, the Pocono Snow jumped out to a 2 goal lead with goals in the 49th and 52nd. Binghamton’s Budnjo Armin quickly answered three minutes later in the 55th to bring the score within 1. Then five minutes later Bo Jelovac converted a penalty for the equalizer and then the go ahead goal just a minute later off of an assist from Patrick Thompson. Jelovac completed the hat trick with an insurance goal six minutes before the end of regulation. The victory, coupled with LVU Sonic’s 5-1 thrashing of Hershey puts Binghamton in a tie for first in the Keystone Flight (though Hershey leads head-t0-head series 1-0).
Binghamton was also forced to finish a match down a man for the third time this season due to Ermin Corbin picking up two yellow cards during the course of the match.
After a scoreless draw against the Clarkstown Eagles, Greater Binghamton FC traveled to Hershey to take on the Panthers in a bid for first place. Hershey scored early in the run of play and again off of a penalty, but Binghamton battled back to equalize both times. With just minutes left to play Binghamton was awarded with a penalty of their own, but the Hershey keeper came up with a big diving save to keep the game level. The Panthers dug deep and found another last minute victory in a goal from Kenneth Fultz - his second of the match. The Hershey goals were first scored on Binghamton goaltender Jason Stenta all season. Hershey is now 4-0-0 while Greater Binghamton drops to 2-1-1.
Match report by Gabe Smith (Binghamton, NY): Greater Binghamton FC went head to head in their season opener against Junior Lone Star FC and pulled out a 1-0 win in a game that could have turned out much differently. Greater Binghamton struck first in the 40th minute as #12 Jherrett Maroney scored the season’s first goal on a well placed shot from just inside the 18 yard box. The moment of triumph was followed by a red card a few minutes later as a GBFC player was sent off for pushing a Junior Lone Star defender on the sidelines well after the ball was dead.
BUXMONT TORCH: The Torch finished at the bottom of the table last year with 6 points and a 1-3-8 record. Interestingly, out of 7 club they finished 4th in terms of goals scored, 5th in goals against, and 4th in overall goal differential. This seems to suggest that they really should have finished mid-table, but for whatever reason just couldn’t close games. In the off-season Buxmont have added several quality players from perennial NCAA DIII powerhouse Messiah College and NCAA DI Liberty University, and will hope to put the past two seasons poor finishes behind them.
CLARKSTOWN SC EAGLES: Formerly branded the Jersey City Eagles, Clarkstown has relocated and re-branded for the 2013 season. Clarkstown finished in the top three of the competitive Keystone Flight and will hope to build on that success to challenge FC LVU Sonic for the title. Clarkstown has an advantage over many clubs in that they do not primarily recruit collegiate athletes. In fact, the core team has been playing together in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League under the tutelage of former Irish Youth National player Kevin Grogan. The combination of team cohesion and a high caliber coach may just be the winning combination for the Eagles this year.
FC LEHIGH VALLEY UNITED SONIC: Besides having one of the longest club names in NPSL, LVU Sonic are the defending national champions and obvious favorites to repeat as Keystone Flight champions. Last season LVU Sonic finished with a 10-1-1 record and a a league best of only 3 goals allowed. If Sonic can lock down the defense as well as they did last year, another Flight title is all but guaranteed.
FC READING REVOLUTION: Back from a year hiatus, the Flight the Revs re-joined looks a lot different than the one it left. 2011 Keystone champions Erie Admirals and 2011 5th place FC Buffalo both left to join the new Great Lakes Flight while the New Jersey Blaze and AC Crusaders have both pulled their teams for the foreseeable future. Reading will look to return on form, but the improved quality of competition may prove a bit of a surprise.
GREATER BINGHAMTON FC: Greater Binghamton played last season in the Great Lakes Flight and will be happy to cut away travel in half for the upcoming season. Greater Binghamton struggled last season, but made a late season run to beat out fellow upstate club FC Buffalo for the last playoff spot. In the off-season Binghamton added grandstands, a press box, and concessions to their home stadium at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex in a move which will dramatically improve the fan experience. GBFC also shuffled around front office and coaching responsibilities, while bolstering their roster. If key players can avoid injuries this season, look for GBFC to have a strong season behind Captain Chris Riley and goalkeeper Jason Stenta. Veteran Johnny Sinclair has also joined the team this season, and his playing/coaching experience make him a valuable asset both on and off the field.
HERSHEY FC: Hershey FC will be joining the league for their first season. They recently played a friendly match against NPSL aspirants Electric City FC, which they won 2-0. A club in Hershey is a great addition to the Keystone region, and will hopefully promote some great local rivalries.
JUNIOR LONE STAR FC: Junior Lone Star finished last season with a 4-0-8 record, and not fairing well against the Flight’s best. Lone Star have taken aggressive action to turn the ship around for this season with an intense pre-season schedule that has seen them travel to Scranton, Virginia, and North Carolina. So far, the regimen seems to be working as Lone Star’s only pre-season loss came against Chestnut Hill College. They will open on May 11th against Greater Binghamton FC in what will be a telling match for both clubs.
MORRIS COUNTY COLONIALS: The Colonials posted a solid 7-3-1 record last season and were the only club to defeat LVU Sonic. The Morris County roster is heavy with NCAA D1 athletes representing Seton Hall, Rutgers, Iona, and Farleigh Dickonson. All early indications are that Morris County has returned a good portion of their line-up and hope to challenge LVU Sonic for the title.
POCONO SNOW SOCCER CLUB: The Snow have consistently finished near the bottom of the table since their founding in 2009. Pocono will hope to turn things around this season, and the addition of Greater Binghamton to the Flight will give them a competitive division rival. Last season the two clubs played a home and away friendly series which saw Pocono lose the first leg and draw the second. The good news for the Snow is that they can only improve.
Regular season action continued in the West Regions while several South and Northeast Region clubs continue to finalize rosters and hold pre-season friendlies in anticipation of their May start.
The Sunshine Flight (South Region) saw the second leg of the Gulf Coast Cup as hosts Tampa Marauders defeated the Cape Coral Hurricanes by the same 2 - 0 margin as the first leg. Cape Coral has now been held scoreless in three consecutive matches versus NPSL opponents (vs. Tampa 2-0, 2-0, and vs. Miami United 6-0).
The West Region slate was full and the action intense as every match ended with only a goal difference or less. In the Southern Flight the Santa Clarita Storm soured the home opener of San Diego Flash and leapfrogged them in the standings to claim sole possession of third place. The West region also saw a battle of the undefeated as FC Hasental hosted OC Pateadores in a thrilling 2 - 2 draw. OC Pateadores proved their mettle by going ahead 2 - 1 late in the game and playing with only 10 men, but the high octane Hasental offense wasn’t to be held to one goal and scored the equalizer deep into stoppage time to salvage the draw. The teams remain tied atop the Flight, though Hasental leads in goal differential by a significant margin. At the other end of the table the Las Vegas Stallions notched their first league point holding visitors San Diego Boca FC to a scoreless draw. After a blowout in their opening match the Stallions have have progressively improved, though the point is also the first for a SD Boca side that has a long way to go to live up to pre-season expectations.
In the Northern Flight (Golden Gate Conference) table leaders Real San Jose suffered their first loss away at Sacramento Gold in a hotly contested match which is being protested by Real San Jose. Blood was drawn after a reckless Sacramento challenge only minutes into the match, which set the stage for the rest of the game. With the win, Sacramento creeps into third place only one point behind Real San Jose and Sonoma County with a game in hand over San Jose. Rounding out the Golden Gate action the Sonoma County Sol hosted the San Francisco Stompers. Having been outscored in their first two matches 9-1, San Francisco had significant work to do on both ends of the field to come away with a victory. The Stompers did well until the 44th minute when Sonoma tallied their first to take a 1 - 0 lead into halftime. San Francisco returned from the break and equalized early in the 50th minute only to to give up an own goal and a penalty kick within the next five minutes to give Sonoma a 3-1 lead. San Francisco kept pressing and pulled one goal back in the 82nd, but couldn’t get any closer as the match finished with a final score of San Francisco 2 Sonoma County 3.
Back on the East Coast, Junior Lone Star FC played friendlies away at Mid-Atlantic expansion club Chesterfield United and to aspiring NPSL club Electric City in Scranton, PA. Junior Lone Star scored the only goal of the match vs. Chesterfield in the 15th minute and held off several quality attacks and a penalty kick to seal the victory 1 - 0. The match versus Electric City proved a bit more exciting with a flurry of second half action. Lone Star took the lead just before the break in the 44th minute. Electric City came back from half time and equalized, only to go down again after another Lone Star goal. JLSFC’s lead was short lived however as Electric City capitalized on a poorly handled back pass to make it a 2 - 2 game. Lone Star was finished, and scored the final goal of the match in the 85th minute to clinch the game 3 - 2.
Junior Lone Star returns to pre-season action next weekend with a pair of friendlies against Hosa FC before they travel to Greater Binghamton FC on May 11th for their season opener.
In other news around the league:
- Mark Lavery of the Georgia Revolution signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL.
- Daniel Casey has a new NPSL Weekly column at Soccer Newsday.
- Jersey City Eagles have relocated and re-branded as the Clarkstown SC Eagles. Click the link for the full story published last week.
With the release of their 2013 season schedule, Junior Lone Star FC let drop the news that the Northeast regions Keystone Flight would be subdivided into a Northern and Southern divisions. In this arrangement divisional teams would play a home and away series while playing each team in the cross division only once. The move was made due to the large number of teams in the Keystone Flight as Greater Binghamton FC made the jump from the Great Lakes Flight and the addition of the expansion Hershey FC Panthers.
I predicted a similar re-alignment earlier in the off-season, and with the possibility of Electric City being added in Scranton, PA next year as well as with the changes in the Atlantic Flight I expect further realignment to take place. All in all this is great news - the geographic closeness of the teams keeps travel costs down, fosters great regional rivalries, and highlights the growth of the league.
Several teams around the league had busy weekends, here is a review from around the league:
US Open Cup Qualifying
- The San Diego Flash came back from a two goal deficit to defeat local rival San Diego Boca FC 4-2 and advance in Open Cup qualifying. Stephen Prendergast has the full match review over at soccernation.com.
- FC Hasental overcame an early one goal deficit to claim victory over the Santa Clarita Storm. After an even first half FC Hasental took control in the second and tallied the game winner in the 59th minute. The final score was 2-1. A full match write up is available via Santa Clarita here or here via FC Hasental.
- FC Hasental will face the San Diego Flash on March 30th for a ‘win and you’re in’ match.
- Greater Binghamton FC traveled to Syracuse, NY and defeated LeMoyne College 2-0 in Binghamton’s first match of the pre-season.
NPSL Alumni Go Pro
- According to goupper90.com FC Buffalo’s Mike Reidy and Josh Faga have both signed with the Rochester Rhino’s.
- Former Junior Lone Star forward Anthony Allison is on trial with Swedish 1st division club Umea FC after two seasons in the 2nd division. Check out the full story here.
- Former Erie Admirals defender Adam Clement signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Greater Binghamton has added local coaching product Andy Davis to its staff as an assistant coach.
Davis was an all-state player for Binghamton High School Patriots before going on to become the NJCAA Division III player of the year with Herkimer Community College. He also played for SUNY Cortland winning the SUNY Athletic Conference title in 2001.
After graduating, Davis served as an assistant coach for both SUNY Cortland and Tomkins County Community College before taking the reigns as head coach at TCCC in 2005.
You can check out the press release on pressconnects.com.