De Matthaeis's Next Test: Red Bulls
After a nail-biting loss in head coach Ferdinando de Matthaeis's PDL debut, the first team now have another test in New Jersey waiting for them, the New York Red Bulls U23 squad. The road season begins tomorrow night at 8:00pm. (Twitter/Facebook Updates)
The first team lost their opening match to the Ocean City Nor'easters by a 2-1 deficit, on a free kick goal just outside the box by newcomer Sunatillo Khusanov in the 10'. Momentum shifted back and forth for the two clubs. But, the focus has shifted now on the lone PDL club in New Jersey.
"We have a major challenge on Tuesday against the Red Bulls, at their home I feel that this one of the games that could be seen as a season changer." Coach de Matthaeis told I-95 Sports Network after the loss to Ocean City.
FA Euro will be without their captain and top defender Johan Mauritzon after he pulled a hamstring in the latter stages of the contest last night. Striker Zhurabek Khusanboev will also miss tomorrows contest with an ankle injury. They will also be without defenders Khalid Al-Saud due to a lower-body injury, along with back Alejandro Del Cura, who was suspended for one game for receiving two yellow cards, that resulted in a send off in the 47'.
Last season, the first team was shutout by the Red Bulls in two out of three contests. The two games in Queens, were a combined five goals for Zach Knudson, and Ethan Lochner. The stars of the team, who come from NCAA's Georgetown University Men's Soccer team. In the July 13th competition, FA Euro was defeated 8-2, as injuries had been piling up down the latter portion of the season.
The two goals scored against the Red Bulls in 2017 include Morten Wenaas, who notched an assist as well, and Zhurabek Khusanboev, who scored both on July 13th only.
"Always a good challenge to play against Red Bulls and especially fun to play away at a great facility." says Morten Wenaas, who has been out with a groin injury and has no timetable to make his season debut.
As injuries and suspensions begin early on, lineup changes will be inevitable for the first year head coach. But with the depth that he has this season, it could potentially be a good problem for de Matthaeis moving forward.
Siena College's Conor McGlynn and Robi Sillah leads FA Euro with two shots attempted so far this season, with Sunatillo Khusanov with the lone goal of the season.
To keep up with tomorrow's contest in Whippany, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for non-stop updates during the game that begins at 8:00pm.