BROOKLYN, NY – The club’s first team (1-3-4, 7 points) dropped its second consecutive contest. This time, against the Reading United AC (6-0-1, 19 points) on Wednesday evening at Poly Prep Country Day School. The first team has not gotten a win since the season opening match at Evergreen on May 11. Since then, FA Euro has drawn in four, and dropped three. For Reading United, this is their sixth victory of the season, which extends their lead to six points in the Mid-Atlantic Division. They are ahead of their Pennsylvania counterpart, Lehigh Valley United.
Beginning the match with uncertainty for one player in particular, NYIT goalkeeper Andrew Pereira was scratched due to a lower-body injury. Enter Giovanni Gallina, who was called up due to the slew of keeper injuries that includes the likes of Juan Pablo Leal, Babacarr Ceesay, and Jason Belfon. Gallina, a 19-year old from Queens, made his 18-man roster debut on Saturday against the Red Bulls, but was not intending to see action just three days following his call-up.
Possession for both clubs began immediately as the first team would apply pressure on the Reading defenders early. The same would work the opposite way within the first few minutes of action. A pair of shots from Conor McGlynn would round out the first 10’ minutes for the first team. The opposite side of the field saw Jeremy Rafanello grab a shot off Davico, which just went wide of the net. This shot by the Reading forward was the first action seen from Gallina in USL League Two play.
Fast forward to the 25’ minute of action to the point of Reading being awarded with three consecutive corner kicks in a span of 55 seconds, goalkeeper Giovanni Gallina cleared all three of those to force a goal-kick and out of the zone. Three minutes following the offensive attack from the United, forward Robi Sillah gets hit with a yellow-card caution. The caution becomes his second of the season, and one that results in a free-kick. Thankfully for Gallina, the mitts were wide open for the grab and clear. Offensive pressure for the first team became notable, as opposing keeper Jahmali Waite forces a pair of blocks and a save in the 34’ minute to keep both clubs at nil.
A slew of shots from the Reading United forced a point of no return for the first team, as defenders Tomasso Davico and John Sabal, Jr, came up with saves before midfielder Joao Delgado sent one past the diving Gallina for the first and game winning goal of the match.
Past contest’s have proven that the team does not give up, as substitutions made by head coach Joe Balsamo came up just short. One sub in particular in Nermin Buljubasic, came just centimeters shy of knotting the match at one in the four-minute stoppage time. In the 91’ minute of action, a turnover from Reading caused a chance from the former 2000 standout to have a wide-open shot. Goalkeeper Jahmali Waite would see the ball the entire way and shut the door on any comeback. One final push for Reading came just a minute after the Buljubasic shot on net, as Will Baynham saw an opportunity for his second goal against the first team but was turned away by Gallina to keep the contest within one. The victory for the Reading United secured their 25th consecutive win during the regular season, dating back to 2017. Aside from the roster players on Reading, the United were missing their leading scorer in Simon Becher, Khalil-El Medkhar, and Lamine Conte. Three players who have been listed on the USL Top 100 Watch List.
Multiple yellow-cards were handed out, as Robi Sillah, Johan Mauritzson, Tomasso Davico, Conor McGlynn, and Mikail Radchenko were all issued one each. Defender Kyle Parrish was suspended against Reading due to a double-yellow, that resulted in a red-card ejection on Saturday, against the New York Red Bull.
The club’s first team returns to Poly Prep Country Day School on Saturday, June 15, as they welcome the Lehigh Valley United to Brooklyn for an 8:30 p.m. contest. The match will close out the first team’s four-game homestand. The contest will be broadcast live on the I-95 Sports and Entertainment Network, and simulcast on YouTube.com/FAEuro.