Hunt for playoff

FC New York, the Long Island-based new professional team in the USL (United Soccer Leagues) defeated the Antigua Barracudas, 2-0, Friday night at St. John’s University’s Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y.

Two first-half goals within the first 20 minutes of play by Jhonny Arteaga sealed the win early for the local team. FC New York now has gone seven games with the only loss coming against the New York Red Bulls in last Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup game at Red Bull Arena. In that match, FC New York led, 1-0, before the Red Bulls rallied to win.

Against the Barracudas, FC New York, playing in front of a near-capacity lively crowd, was led by recently appointed interim coach Paul Shaw, who took over from Matt Weston. The local team played a good ball control game and created chances to extend the lead throughout the game but couldn’t.

Meanwhile, the Barracudas, first-timers in the USL like the FC New York, made a good account of themselves. The Antiguan team, which is the national squad of that country, fielded very fast players and was led by Antiguan veteran captain George Dublin. The visitors were unfortunate not to equalize in the first half when Roy Gregory shot just wide from inside the 18-yard box minutes before the half.

FC New York is in the hunt for a playoff spot and is on the heels of the Rochester Rhinos with a good chance of making the playoffs in the first year of competition in the league, which is the second division to MLS.

MLS

Midfielder Joel Lindpere scored twice to help the New York Red Bulls (5-3-10, 25 pts.) to its 10th tied game of the season in a 2-2 draw at San Jose Earthquakes’ Stanford Stadium last Saturday night. Lindpere scored in the seventh minute to give New York the early lead, but San Jose struck twice through Khari Stephensson in the 37th and Steven Lenhart in the 68th for a 2-1 lead that would last until Lindpere’s equalizer in the 85th.

Mehdi Ballouchy picked up a rebounded ball from a Lindpere shot and passed to Lindpere, whose 20-yard shot deflected off San Jose defender Bobby Burling for the draw. New York remains in second place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Philadelphia Union, which tied against D C United earlier in the day on Saturday.

Much like Lindpere, Carlos Ruiz in the 84th minute to help the Philadelphia (7-4-6, 27 pts.) to its 2-2 draw. United (4-5-7, 19 pts.), which was suiting up Dwayne De Rosario for his first game with the club since being traded a week earlier from the Red Bulls, took the early lead from a goal by Josh Wolf in the 44th minute, then an own goal in the 49th game drew Philadelphia level at 1-1. Andy Najar gave United the lead in the 58th minute, and then Ruiz saved the day for the Union.

In other MLS games, last weekend, the Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA; Kansas City is unbeaten in eight games as it picked up a 2-1 win over Portland Timbers; FC Dallas won its third straight game when it defeated Columbus Crew, 2-0. Houston and Colorado played to a goalless draw on Sunday night.

U.S. Wins

The USA women’s national team defeated Colombia, 3-0, in Sinsheim, Germany last Saturday to move to the quarterfinal stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Heather O’Reilly scored in the 12th minute from a hard shot from about 25 yards for her 30th career goal. Second half substitute Megan Rapinoe tallied in the 50th for the 2-0 lead, and midfielder Carli Lloyd finished the scoring near the end. A tie against Sweden on Wednesday in Wolfsburg will secure first-place in Group C for the Americans.

The other CONCACAF team in the World Cup, Mexico, has a slim chance of advancing after a 4-0 defeat to Japan in Leverkusen; Mexico in its first game tied England, 1-1. It must beat New Zealand in its last game Tuesday and hope that Japan beats England.

Carter Appointed Coach

Former Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Earl “Spiderman” Carter is the new director of coaching for San Juan Jabloteh in the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football (Soccer) League. Carter, 55, lived in Brooklyn (NY) the past 20 years took over the coaching duties held by Englishman Terry Fenwick. While a resident of New York, Carter had a stint as the goalkeeper coach at Columbia University.

Carter played for ASL Sports and Arima United in Trinidad and Tobago and also played for clubs in Suriname and the U. S. He represented his country as a member of the famous 1989 “Strike Squad” which lost 1-0 to the USA in an infamous game at the National Stadium in Trinidad and missed the 1990 World Cup. The home team needed only a draw to qualify for Italia 90.

Pfister’s First

Otto Pfister will lead Trinidad and Tobago senior men’s national team in his first game since being appointed coach several months ago to take Trinidad and Tobago back to the World Cup. The Soca Warriors will play in Haiti on August 10. “It’s a good opportunity for us to get a friendly international on the FIFA date. I am happy about that because we need to be playing matches as this is the way for us to evaluate where we are in our preparations and for me to have a closer look at the players, especially the ones from overseas,” Pfister told the Trinidad media.

Virgin Islands Win

The U. S. Virgin Islands got its first ever win in a World Cup qualifying game when it defeated the British Virgin Islands on Sunday, 2-0. Alderman Lesmond put the home side ahead in the 6th minute, while Reid Klopp added an insurance goal in the 52nd. The British Virgin Islands ended the game with 10 men after Jhon Samuel was ejected early in the second half. The U. S. Virgin Islands had lost its previous five all-time qualifiers by a combined score of 35-1. The second leg of the CONCACAF series will be played on July 10 in Tortola, BVI.

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