NYC Footy, Gotham Women, and Gotham Men took the stage for Beyond’s recreational leagues this week. These teams are all featuring in new leagues and with new players, but it seems as they begin to mesh and play the Beyond way, they are soon to be playing some high quality soccer.
NYC Footy | NYC Footy team suffer fourth loss of the season
NYC Footy came into their fifth match of the season looking for their second straight win. After a commanding victory over Stranger’s United, the team were hoping to gain momentum against Oscar Health.
Things were pretty even for both teams up until the second half. With the score 0-0, it was certainly anyone’s game. Both teams had been playing hard all game and with that can come some mental or physical relapses. Christian Martin made a small mistake at the center back position, allowing his attacker to dribble around him and slide home an easy finish to make it 1-0. Then a rare mistake from the goalkeeper made it 2-0 for Oscar Health, which was enough to seal the victory.
With just one win in five however, Lal Kottu seems to think there are problems that need to be solved offensively. “The team can improve on passing and attacking movement. Some simple passes are over hit [or] under hit. We need someone to hold up the ball up top, too many little forwards trying to dribble on their own.” Hopefully Lal Kottu and NYC Footy can find their player soon. Their next game is on April 24th against the scary sounding House of Red Cards.
Gotham Women | Gotham Women improve in second draw in two games
Gotham Women went into their game against Ruelers on Tuesday hoping to win their first game of the season. A lot of tactical planning went into this game as the women tried a new formation. A 3-3-1 with Jean Bagtasos in a new center back position was the lineup. The game plan was to limit and contain Ruelers’ attacks. This worked throughout much of the game, but as a result Gotham Women weren’t as dangerous as they would have liked. The possession was rather even throughout the game but finally there was a break as Gotham Women found the net first.
Tammy Lewin laid the ball off to Natalie Wizel who blasted it towards the far post. In a beautiful demonstration of technique and awareness, Jessica Wetterer continued her run and slid in to tap the ball right into the net. 1-0 to Gotham Women. They would soon suffer an equalizer by Ruerlers on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. It was 1-1 all the way up to half time. The second half offered plenty of possession and opportunities for both sides, but the game would remain 1-1 until the final whistle.
This was certainly a positive performance for Gotham Women both on a team level and personal level for their players. Jean Bagtasos was voted player of the match by her teammates for her solid defensive work and creation of many counter attacking plays. Jessica Wetterer’s goal was the cherry on top of a great day on the pitch, but it wouldn’t have happened without the connection between Tammy Lewin and Natalie Wizel. An honorable mention should also go to Jamie Remmers for a great game in goal.
Player and coach Kianoosh Hashemzadeh was full of praise for the team, but also looks forward to the team’s first win. “We are still getting to know each other on and off the pitch,” she said after the game, “and as we grow more accustomed to playing with one another I’m sure things will start to fall into place and we’ll get a win.”
Gotham Women will look for that first win as they take on Appletown on Tuesday May 3rd.
Gotham Men | Gotham Men suffer hard fought loss in 5-3 defeat
Gotham Men set out to get three points against Hudson F.C. but it would not be an easy task.Goalkeeper Johnny Walker was unavailable to start the match which was a huge blow for the men. He was replaced by Anthony Vasquez. Defense as a whole was definitely a big issue for Gotham Men as they were high pressed by Hudson F.C. all game. This lead to a few bad miss ques including some bad back passes and switch play that lead to some easy interceptions and goals for Hudson F.C. They were quickly up 1-0 over Gotham Men.
There were some bright spots offensively for the men. Bradley Ferrada equalized after some scrappy play from a free kick. A goal they certainly deserved by all their possession and attacking play. By halftime however, Hudson F.C. had found the back of the net a second time making the score 2-1 at the break.
Gotham Men managed two goals in the second half, both from Sherief El-Helaifi. The first one was a glorious strike from close range as El-Helaifi received the ball at the end line, cut outside to keep himself in play, and then fired brilliantly into the net. His second goal came after he was played into a one-on-one situation with the keeper, he had no problems coolly finishing off the play. Unfortunately Gotham Men were still very prone to the high press of Hudson F.C.. They conceded three goals in the second half, all in the span of about five minutes. Final score Hudson F.C. 5, Gotham Men 3.
Although this is a disappointing loss, there were many positives to take away for this new team. Man of the match Sherief El-Helaifi was very happy with the team’s performance, saying “We’re getting better as a team. Everyone fights for his teammates and is supportive.” It was certainly a good performance for a team that hasn’t really played with each other for very long. Obi Aquino hailed it as the team’s “best game.” He also said “Only about four of us have played together and we are finding each other and getting better every game.”
Definitely a building block for better performances; Gotham Men will look to improve for their next game on Thursday April 28th against OTPHJ F.C.