The PDL First team kicked off their season at their new home, Aviator Sports and Events Center but their new head coach Ferdinando de Matthaeis could not come away with the victory over the Ocean City Nor'easters 2-1 in nail-biting fashion.
The league year for FA Euro began at lightning speed, when the team was awarded a free kick just outside the box, which led to the first goal of the season in the top left corner by defender Sunatillo Khusanov.
Turnovers became a problem for the first team, as the first goal for the opposition came from the cleat of Deri Corfe in the 21'.
Miscommunication also led to an own goal by NYIT defender Alejandro Del Cura, who was sent off with a red card due to a double yellow in the 47'. Del Cura, will subsequently be suspended for the following game at New York Red Bulls U23 on Tuesday evening.
FA Euro went into half time with a 8-2 shots lead, but down on the scoresheet 2 goals to a lone by Khusanov.
The two goals allowed by LIU Post star goalkeeper Oliver Foss Hansen sealed the deal for the Ocean City Nor'easters, who now have defeated the first team in three straight tries dating back the home opener at St. John's University in 2017.
In the second half, Ocean City outshot FA Euro four to three.
Coach de Matthaeis spoke to I-95 Sports Network about how he felt about his teams performance last night. "Obviously I feel disappointed because of the score, but not about the performance of the team. In my opinion, we were the better team and we dictated the tempo at least until we played 11 versus 11. Once we got the red card, we had to change a few things in our lineup but still we were able to create scoring opportunities against a very good team. The biggest difference between the two clubs in my opinion, is the fact that Ocean City has been together for the past month or so, because they needed to get ready for the US Open Cup. In our case, we haven’t trained once together and some of the boys didn’t even know each other's names on the field due to factors such as school commitments and work or other issues. we trained in spurts and I noticed during the game that we were a little disconnected during certain spells."
"But I’m very optimistic about the group and the rest of the season. We have a major challenge on Tuesday against the Red Bulls, at their home, and I feel that this is one of the games that could be the season changer. I am upset about the outcome of our home opener, and I really thought we were coming out with a positive result yesterday because I’m not used to losing games, especially in front of our home crowd, because they kept cheering for us through out the whole game. Outshooting Ocean City 11 - 7 demonstrates that we were the better team but we only scored one goal and on a set piece. We definitely need to improve in that area in order to compete for the playoffs and become a top team."
All 18 rostered players were on the field last night (Beckles, Anderson, Khusanboev, Beckles, Zamudio, A. Marcu).
In addition to the loss, captain and top defender Johan Mauritzon went down with a lower body injury and did not return to the contest. He is uncertain for Tuesday.
Making his debut last night in the final minutes of the contest was Super Y League standout, Alan Ponieman, who has been in the team's farm system for many years. "It all felt surreal [to play at the PDL level]. Having the crowd cheer when your name is announced gave me goosebumps," said Ponieman.
The first team did out shoot the Nor'easters 11-6 in last nights game, with no saves credited to the opposing keeper Alex Smir. "Outshooting [Ocean City] 11-7 demonstrates that we were the better team but we only scored one goal and on a set piece," said coach de Matthaeis. "We definitely need to improve in that area in order to compete for the playoffs and become a top team."
FA Euro's schedule doesn't get any easier as they travel to Whippany, NJ to open their 2018 road schedule against the New York Red Bulls U23 team at 6:30pm. Follow us on Twitter @faeuro and Instagram for continuous updates throughout the contest.