Saturday, April 29th: Union Point Sports Complex
Massachusetts' State Champs, Loco Gunners, drew a tough opponent for the USASA Region I Quarterfinal match of the Werner Fricker Open Cup. They hosted two time National Amateur and Fricker Cup Champions, Lansdowne Yonkers. This strong club had advanced to the Fricker Cup semifinals in three of the last four years.
Loco Gunners were not intimidated by Lansdown's recent success, for they have been on the national stage too. In 2012, the first generation of Gunners, played as "Battery Park" Gunners. That year, they defeated two-time national champs, Boston Olympiakos, in the state rounds and fought their way all the way to the national final. In the final, they defeated the 2011 reigning champ, RWB Audria, to capture the club's first national title. Highlights seen here: 2012 US Amateur Cup Final. Although, many of those original Gunners have moved away or graduated to OTHSL, a few core players remain and continue to motivate the next generation of Gunners. They also play in the O30 Mengel Cup, so are no strangers to Region I competition.
Motivated by history and knowing most paths to a title go through Lansdowne Yonkers, the Gunners were prepared to seize the opportunity.
The game kicked off with a fast pace and both teams created opportunities quickly. In the opening minutes, Lansdowne finds an opening and launches a banger of a shot. Headed for the upper ninety, Gunner's keeper, Luke Citriniti, makes a phenomenal save and tips it over the crossbar as seen here: Gunners' Early Save.
But Gunners' attacking duo of Marty Galvin and Trevor Davock created opportunities early in the match and put pressure on the Lansdown defensive line. In the thirteenth minute, Trevor capitalized on a costly Lansdowne turn over. Taking the ball up the middle of the field, he and Marty took on the three defenders forcing them to make a coverage decision. Trevor calming slid the ball past the goalie, as seen here: Gunners' Goal.
The Gunners successfully held Lansdowne scoreless for the first half of play.
Gunners started the second half with several more scoring opportunities. The first five minutes featured several fantastic saves by Lansdowne keeper. However, as the second half wore on, Lansdowne gained momentum. In the fifty-second minute, Steven Nolan equalized and then in the fifty-seventh Julio Espinnah scored the go-ahead goal. The game held at 2-1 until the seventy-seventh minute when Shaquille Sanchez delivered the dagger of the third Lansdowne goal. It was only in the closing minutes of the game that Lansdowne added the fourth and final goal of the evening.
To see all goals scored in the match click here: Game Highlights
To watch the game in its entirety and enjoy the entertaining commentary by our fabulous media team of Joe Welsby and Damian Priday, click here: Facebook Live Stream
April 2, 2023: Dilboy Stadium, Somerville: Loco Gunners defeated Sete de Setembro by a score of 2-1.
It was the Gunners that scored first in this state final match. In the twenty-fourth minute, Gunner's Marty Galvin sent a beautiful through ball to Trevor Davock. Trevor took the ball one v one with the Sete goalie and buried it far corner.
Sete was not detered. They found themselves in similar position as they were in other opening round matches. In both the quarterfinal and semifinal round, they came from behind to beat FC Omens and Brockton FC United. Sete continued to possess, move the ball around, and test the Gunners defensive line as seen here in this shot off the post in the fourty-third minute: Sete First Half Opportunity: Post
It wasn't until the seventy-first minute that Sete was able to equalize. Late game substitution, "Junior" Alencar served up a well-placed cross that was finished by Guilherme Estevees. This felt eerily familiar to Sete's previous Cup matches.
But it was another key late game substitution that saved the Gunners from a similar fate other BSSL sides encountered at the hands of Sete. Like Junior, Gunner's Richie Cayonne entered the game late in the second half. In the eighty-first minute, Richie noticed the Sete goalie far off his line and took a chance at the long ball chip. From about thirty-five yards out, it soars over the keeper's head and hit the back of the net as seen here: Gunner's Winning Goal
This game was live streamed on Facebook. Here is a link to watch the match and the entertaining commentary by regional referee, Joe Welsby and BSSL league president, Damian Priday.
Quarterfinals: April 30th
♦ Loco Gunners (MA) v Lansdowne Yonkers FC (ENY)
♦ Christos FC (MD) 13 v Appalachian Steel (WV) 0 - Christos advances
♦ May14th: MA/ENY (home) v NJ
♦ April 30th: Christos (MD) v West Chester United (EPA)
Finals: June 18th - Ukranian American Sports Center
Open Round: 3/11-3/12
Semifinals: 3/25 - 3/26
Finals: 4/2 Dilboy Stadium
|1. Providence City FC||7. Albania United|
|2. Brockton FC United||
8. Worcester County FC
|3. Loco Gunners||9. MIT FC|
|4. FC Omens||10. Alleghany FC|
|5. Fall River FC||11. Kendall Wanderers B|
|6. Sete Setembro||12. FC Boston United|