Following their second straight shutout loss last Tuesday to the Red Bulls U23 squad, the PDL first team (0-5-0) takes on the Reading United AC (4-0-0) tomorrow night with the kickoff set for 8:00pm.
FA Euro squared off against the Philadelphia United affiliate on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day, at Gurski Stadium. The first team had three shots come off the foot of newly acquired forward Cheick Karembega, but did not execute on any of those three attempts. Seven shots total were aimed on net against goalkeeper Bennett Strutz in full time.
Head Coach Ferdinando de Matthaeis spoke with I-95 Sports Network in a phone interview. "Our first game against Reading, we played a great first half. We made some tactical changes that they didn't expect. We created several opportunities every game, but too much relaxation in front of the goal from our players."
The first matchup between these two clubs made Coach de Matthaeis make a lineup change last time around as he sported a 4-5-1 with the lack of depth that was caused by mass amounts of injury so suddenly. "In the second half, [against Reading] they adjusted to our system of play and they made some changes in their lineup where they prevailed because we weren't able to adjust."
In the previous matchup played by the first team, a total of four shots (two each) were kicked off the cleats of Dominique Marvens and Sergei Bulatov. They subsequently were defeated in their second matchup of the season versus the New York Red Bulls at their training facility in Whippany, NJ by a score of 3-0. FA Euro was also out shot by three shots. (7-3)
Touted prospect from ASA College and first team forward Alexis Santa spoke about his recent struggles, as he has been tabbed leader of the forward pack. "I need to go forward and stop going back at times and do what I do best when I get to the final third. Of course, shoot more. I just need to focus on staying up more where I'm more dangerous to get the goals coming and get our first victory." Santa currently has a total of two shots in four games he has played.
Another change for FA Euro has a new striker making his way onto the roster, Daniel Velez. Velez, intends to begin his American playing career with the Brooklyn squad. "I'm looking forward to making my debut [against Reading]. I hope I can score and bring the team some joy. I heard the teams [in the PDL] are tough, and have some good competition, so we need to be ready for anything."
Injury updates remain to be a major issue for the first team as captain Johan Mauritzon re-aggravated his hamstring injury sustained in the first game of the season. He will miss tomorrow's contest and is doubtful for Saturday's contest at Lehigh Valley. Defender Khalid Al-Saud has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. He will be ready for the NCAA LIU Post season that begins in August. Defender Ben Marcu will be reevaluated on Thursday as he prepares for a return on Saturday in Pennsylvania. Forward Naeem Charles will remain out with a lower body injury, and will be re-evaluated on Friday. Forward Zhurabek Khusanboev will serve his second suspension this season and will return Saturday. Finally, Robi Sillah will be serving his fourth game of a five game ban tomorrow, and is slated to return on June 16th on Long Island.
The game can be seen on the I-95 Sports and Entertainment Network, the official TV home of the FA Euro organization. Sam Odell and Ben Marcu will be on the call for tomorrow night's matchup, with coverage beginning at 7:30pm. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for continuous updates on tomorrow's and future matches.