Yesterday afternoon, after a long van ride out to Poughkeepsie, the first team played a big, strong Germania team in the first round of the State Cup. Kyle Baumgartner scored a fantastic individual goal, but the Kickers ultimately fell 3-2 on PKs after tying 1-1 in regulation.
The seconds fell to Iberia for the second time this season. Unlike earlier in the season, though, the Kickers flirted with victory, missing a number of opportunities before conceding two sloppy goals.
The seconds may have crashed out of the cup, but the team is a long way from the one that was well beaten by the Shamrocks. Better organization and invaluable leadership from Neri Amaducci and Bernie Sheary is helping accelerate the building process that the club is going through.
There is still work to do, but there's little doubt the seconds are closer to achieving their goals.
Yesterday, we put forth the best over-all team performance since last seasons final and fully dominated the LI Gaels in a 2-nil victory.
From the start, it was clear that we were the better squad. We had about 80% of the possession and had two point blank shots in the first half (Ari hit the GK in the chest and Nick Bill had his shot cleared off the line by the defense), our defense was solid, switching the ball and creating channels for the offense, and the midfield were dominate. At times, we held onto to the ball a little too long and could have moved it a little quicker to avoid the pressure.
Although we struggled to score early, Nick Bill found a way to get one over the tall Gael Keeper in the 70th minute, while Gilad Bloom deflected one passed the Keeper in the 80th minute. The Gaels had a hand full of chances that FitzGerald managed but otherwise a solid performance all around.
One thing that really helped, was having the 3 subs on the sideline to give us those fresh legs and extra spark when we needed it. Especially down the wings where we have struggled a bit in the past. I hope we can continue to see those kinds of numbers in the future.
Next week, we play home at 11:00am at Grand Street vs. an old foe in the Celtic Legends.