Battery Park Gunners 2 New York Athletic Club 0 5/27/12

Battery Park Gunners 2 New York Athletic Club 0 5/27/12

Nice crowd on hand for Battery Park Gunners Amateur Cup Semifinal match with New York Athletic Club
Solid defensive distribution and ball movement is a hallmark of BPG’s game.  No kickball here.
BPG players communicating and moving alertly without the ball
OK I swear I saw these 2 girls bring a big silver bowl of what I’m going to assume were orange slices and/or jello squares over to the players.  This isn’t U12’s.
The field was right next to the lake, pretty cool setting for a Memorial Day game.  I didn’t know in advance or else I would have brought my trunks!
Gunner looking for support
Goalmouth festivities
Game 20
Battery Park Gunners     2
New York Athletic Club  0
US Amateur Cup USASA Region I Tournament – Semifinal
USASA (BSSL) (5th Division) vs. USASA (CSL) (5thDivision)
5/27/12 2:00 PM
Beaver Pond Field   Franklin, MA
Attendance: 40
After spending all day Saturday at the beach, and adequately recovering from the glorious 5-1 beatdown the USA put on Scotland, I headed down to Franklin to catch the Battery Park Gunners for the second time on DITP, and their second national cup.  When we last left the Gunners on Randalls Island they had just bowed out of the US Open Cup qualifying tournament to eventual USOC qualifiers New York Greek American Atlas.  Since then Battery Park had won the first three games of the BSSL regular season schedule, bowed out in the second round of the McKenzie (league) Cup to local rival Mass Premier Soccer, the evil cousin of British ringer service Maine Premier Soccer we met up in Portland, Battery Park had beaten MPS on their way to the US Open Cup in the Massachusetts state tournament this spring, and finally, traveled to Trenton, NJ to take on and beat the New Jersey German American Kickers in the US Amateur Cup to earn this home date with New York City based Cosmopolitan Soccer League side New York Athletic Club.  You have to respect a team like BPG that will travel anywhere, take on anyone, and enter all the cup competitions available to them.  They are by far the most aggressive team in New England in terms of playing an ambitious schedule and raising the profile of USASA sanctioned competition in New England.  The team is managed by the Griffith’s, of which there appear to be a lot.  Brian and Kevin for sure, plus the father who I really wanted to get a chance to talk to, but he was pretty busy shagging errant balls, procuring water for players, and generally dispatching sound advice.  Its pretty obvious he is a retired coach at some level and a sharp soccer mind. 
After stopping at Anh Thu for a couple of Banh Mi’s for the road, (Best $3 you can spend!)  I turned up in Franklin with 45 minutes to go before kickoff.  I left to find a fast food spot to track down a large coke and came back about 10 minutes before the kick.  There were already a good 10 people sitting in the stands, and as I set up my chair a little further down the sideline a steady stream of wives, friends, and family members made their way into the field.  Often when I conduct my attendance counts Ill be forced to include spectators who are there for the game, but not really actively viewing it, or large numbers of babies for example. (Yes I count babies, they comprised half of the West Africans United crowd) The 37-40 I counted in attendance today were engaged, knowledgeable, legit attendees.  This greatly enhanced the viewing atmosphere.  The field itself is a little gem of a field turf number, less impressive for its heavily lined multisport surface than for its proximity to the town beach.  You could literally walk right off the field and dive into the lake within seconds.  It made for a very cool and unique setting. 
The two teams were pretty evenly matched, and both had their share of opportunities in the first half, although BPG had the better of the possession, I wouldn’t say that they dominated.  As the second half got underway BPG kept pushing and scored around the 55th minute on a great shot from distance, just outside the corner of the box and headed for the opposite upper corner.  New York was definitely still in the game down only 1-0 when they inexplicably made a keeper substitution taking out the starter who had kept them in the game and brought in some jobber in yoga pant capris and a neon yellow t-shirt / cycling jersey.  He promptly misplayed an easy ball that got behind him and BPG literally walked their second goal into the net.  After the second goal the Gunners packed it in in their defensive third and weathered the storm until the whistle.  It was definitely a clean game, with the exception of the late nut punch/kick by a New York player resulting in a straight red.  The Gunners now advance to the finals of the Region I national Amateur Cup tournament.  This team plays a highly professional style and quality of soccer.  They are missing out on a tremendous opportunity by not marketing themselves more aggressively.  Hopefully they at least get a website together in the near future.  The final round of the Region I Amateur Cup is scheduled for June in Pennsylvania pitting BPG against either Maryland Bays or Club Athletico Virginia.  More details as I uncover them.  

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for getting some photos and recapping the match a bit. I was really interested in seeing this game, but we had plans for the long weekend. Would be fun to cruise out to the final in PA.

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