In securing three points on the last game of the Spring season, the first team managed to do something they hadn't done all season—avoid costly errors in areas of the pitch where the opponent could easily counter and score.
The Kickers started the game defending well, even as Williamsburg FC found half-chances from distance. On a rare push forward down the 120-yard-long pitch, Gerson Lima drove a ball from left back across the field into the path of Brian Morris, who popped the ball over the goalie with the inside of his foot and into the goal for the 1-0 lead.
In the second half, the Kickers found a higher press to be the easiest way to defend and force turnovers, holding the opposition mostly back in their defensive half and creating a few more chances of their own. Despite the slick turf, nothing would sneak by on either end, and the one goal would end up being all the Kickers needed for the 1-0 win. The fate of the Kickers season and playoff hopes rests on the results of FC Japan vs. Stal Mielec next weekend.
Before Daenerys decimated King’s Landing Sunday night, the Manhattan Kickers laid waste to the Williamsburg White Walkers to claim their spot upon the Division 2 Reserve league throne.
Having lost their goalie to a season-ending ankle injury during their last meeting with Williamsburg, the Kickers were out for vengeance. The Kickers came out with intensity, but the heavy rain made it difficult for both teams to impose themselves on the match.
However, the Kickers aggressively supplied men forward during their attacks and were rewarded when a corner bounced off several heads in the backs before a well placed header by Dennis Kachintsev found center-back Jorg Stratmann (MVP) at the back post to turn it in. Jorg would end up leading the defense to a clean sheet, and his goal shifted the momentum for the rest of the game.
The Kickers continued the onslaught by clogging the middle of the field and distributing to the wings where Jared Lichtarge and Lucas Seebacher wreaked havoc all afternoon.
The second goal came later in the first half, as the Kickers continued to find men in the box. A short corner started by Dennis circulated across the entire box before being delivered back to Dennis who lashed the volley home from 15 yards out.
The Kickers started the second half with the same intensity, flying into challenges and suffocating Williamsburg possession before it started, while growing into their game and circulating possession with confidence around the back.
Lichtarge was soon rewarded for his great wing play with a headed goal on the far post and nearly had another when his shot from the top of the box rang off the post.
The Kickers put the final nail in the coffin when striker Almir Hot drove to goal on a breakaway before cutting the ball back to the trailing Antonio who struck the near post.
The game was well won at that point and what little threat Williamsburg mustered was quickly snuffed out by sweeper keeper Ulrich and the dominant defensive four. Finals score, 4-0 to the Kickers.
The Kickers now break for two weeks before they begin their playoffs charge.
Legends lined up against second placed nemesis Cozmoz with the thinnest of squads, and eked out a 1-1 tie in the last game of regular season, ending with a 13-2-1 record. The first half was a nervy affair as both teams had good chances but Legends’ strikers kept striking straight at the Cozmoz keeper, while Tim Peterson produced a masterful display in goal. In the second half, Cozmoz found an opening to take the lead but steady Legends’ pressure ensured a Joe Whiteman goal in the 80th to maintain the no-loss record in the league since the first game of the season.
The Kickers Over-30 Premier had a bye week.