View From Q – Game 1 – v. Brooklyn Italians
Lynn, MA- Mass United opened its 2012 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) season on Saturday against Brooklyn Italians, falling to the defending division champ, 4-1. Despite the score and statistics favoring Brooklyn, this match did not feel out of reach until the fourth goal which made a comeback, well, highly unlikely.
The match started with Brooklyn enjoying the majority of possession, but not necessarily the majority of chances, in the first 15 minutes. The Riders fell behind in the 21st minute when a Moriken Sangary shot took just enough of a deflection off a defender to leave goalkeeper Steven Liechti with no chance to make the stop. Liechti had already made a couple very good saves at that point and continued to allow United to withstand the early pressure; pressure which essentially continued until nearly the 30 minute mark when United started making some of the connections that just weren’t being made often enough to start the game.
The improved play continued into the second half as United controlled things early and turned up the pressure. The Riders would shortly have their deficit doubled however, when the first attack of the half for Brooklyn resulted in a goal for Robbie Weir in the 60th minute. United went right back on the attack and continued to push but were undone five minutes later when a clear foul in the box that, from where I stood, should have resulted in a penalty for United was not called. What came next was much worse. The loose ball was taken by the Brooklyn defense and quickly turned into a very well executed counter attack finished off by Jackeem Johnson and giving Brooklyn a 3-0 lead. As potentially demoralizing as the third goal was, the boys in Gold & Blue did not give up.
It was substitute Romeo Zeqo that got United on the board in the 76th minute after a bit of fancy footwork in the box freed him up enough to get the shot off and past Brooklyn keeper, Manuel Eljaiek. But the relief and rejuvenation that came with finally breaking through was, alas, short-lived. A mere two minutes later the game was put out of reach for good when a well-timed run and beautiful through ball sent Mike Guity in alone for the fourth and final goal, putting a frustrating cap on a frustrating day.
Next on the NPSL slate for United are league newcomers and former member of USL-PRO, FC New York (0-0-1, 0), who visit Manning Field on May 19th (kickoff is at 5pm). FCNY opened their season last week, dropping a 2-1 decision to Brooklyn. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on game day or in our Tickets section.