GBFC Top Le Moyne In Pre-Season Opener

Greater Binghamton Futbol Club (sorry, I refuse to call them the ‘Thunder’) topped Le Moyne College 2-1 in their pre-season opener on two second half goals. Le Moyne took the early lead with a goal in the 21st minute and lead 1-0 entering halftime. Newcomer Sean Streb (Tioga County Community College and Lansing High School) tallied just 4 minutes into the second half on a solo effort to level the score. Another first year GBFC player, Nate Lewis (Central Baptist Christian School) scored the second goal on an assist from returning veteran Cody Healey.

GBFC will face Le Moyne again on March 30 away at Le Moyne College.

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Binghamton vs. Cleveland Recap

Greater Binghamton FC recorded the first win in franchise history tonight by shutting out conference leaders A.F.C. Cleveland 2-0.  The game started out very even with both teams alternating bouts of possession.  There were a couple of shots both ways, but nothing that really tested either keeper.  Then, about midway through the first half Binghamton’s Chris Riley found himself with space, took the shot, and buried it from 25 yards out.  It was much of the same thing through the first part of the second half, though Cleveland started to dominate the possession later in the half.  Binghamton seemed to be tiring, and were settling for long balls instead of playing possesion through the midfield as they had done earlier.  Coach Dimitriou seemed to take note, and made several personnel changes obviously hoping to preserve the win.  The fresh legs were just what was needed and 5 minutes later Binghamton scored the insurance goal after a dazzling series of passes deep in Cleveland’s penalty box.  It was a hard fought match and a well earned result.

With the win Binghamton moves up one slot in the table to tie FC Buffalo with 5 points.  The two teams face each other tomorrow in a battle over the final playoff spot.

In other conference news, Detroit City shut out FC Buffalo 3-0 to overtake Cleveland at the top of the Great Lakes table.

The Rust Belt Derby and Supporter Culture

The Rust Belt Derby was a regional derby created by the supporters clubs of Detroit City (The Northern Guard), FC Buffalo (The Situation Room), and A.F.C. Cleveland (6th City Syndicate).  It is a great competition that fosters a real supporter culture and engages the communities these teams are located in.  

Initially, I was going to post about how I thought that the Erie Admirals and Greater Binghamton FC ought to be considered for this trophy; however, after reading an excellent article by Daniel Casey on footy culture in America (see link below) I have come to a different conclusion.

You see, Casey is right.  The talking heads of Major League Soccer have attempted to create certain faux rivalries as a way to engage fans and drive consumption of a product, MLS.  But because these rivalries have no deeper roots, they are essentially meaningless.  Casey points to the Brimstone Cup as an example; the only reason Dallas and Chicago vie for the ‘Brimstone Cup’ is because of the flame related nature of these two teams names (Chicago Fire and Dallas Burn = although Dallas has since dropped the Burn moniker in favor of the simpler FC Dallas title, a fact which makes the persistence of this competition all the more ridiculous).

So, why should Greater Binghamton and Erie be allowed to participate in the Rust Belt Derby?  Some might argue they ought to automatically qualify because of their status as rust belt cities.  However, I believe that this status must be earned.  It wasn’t the NPSL or the teams executives who cooked up the Derby as a cheap publicity stunt.  It was the fans, the ardent supporters of Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo that collaborated to give these games meaning.

In that light, Erie and Binghamton have a long way to go, though I hope for my part that we we will soon see the Parlor City Supporters clamoring for the Upstate Cup with Buffalo.  In the meantime, check out the supporters websites of the 6th City Syndicate, The Norther Guard, and The Situation Room – they are great examples of top notch American supporters clubs on a grass roots level.

June and July are packed full of American soccer action, and I have more topics to write about than I have lunch breaks to write them on.  Some quick thoughts, and potential future posts:

  • The U.S. Open Cup – There is a LOT of material here.  See my last [re-blogged] post for a quick round 4 wrap-up.  I will be looking at different aspects of the 2012 Open Cup over the next couple of weeks.
  • The ‘Rust Belt Derby’ – Right now this has been categorized as a derby between Detroit City, FC Buffalo, and A.F.C. Cleveland of the NPSL.  This a great regional derby, but I believe that there are a couple of other teams that deserve to be considered for inclusion, namely the Erie Admirals and Greater Binghamton.  More on Rust Belt soccer late.
  • Greater Binghamton Futbol Club – Ex Pittsburgh Riverhounds player and GBFC El Capitano Chris Riley is reported to be returning to the starting line up.  Will this help spark a sputtering offense and solidify a soft defense?
  • Beer.  Because beer and soccer were meant to be enjoyed together.
  • Supporters Clubs – Thinking about launching the Parlor City Supporters Club soon for GBFC.
  • GBFC moniker – Not sure how I feel about ‘The Red’ especially since Detroit is ‘La Rouge’ (The Red in French).

FINAL: GBFC 1 – 2 FC Buffalo

Despite a stronger showing Sunday, GBFC saw its comeback hopes dashed when Syracuse University midfielder Mawuena Agbossoumonde was handed a straight red card in the fiftieth minute for a wild tackle.  For a first time meeting of the two Upstate NY teams, it was physical and intense.  The game saw two red cards (both awarded to Binghamton) and four yellows (all given to Buffalo).  The lack of a fourth official was evident.

Despite going a man down early in the second half minutes left in regulation, Binghamton showed several promising forays into Buffalo territory.  The one goal loss was a harsh result for a game that easily could have ended in a draw had Binghamton been awarded a penalty for either one of two questionable no-calls.  

Binghamton now has two weeks to improve form before a four game home stand that will finish out the season.  Currently, Binghamton is sitting at the bottom of the table of the Great Lakes conference.  

The return leg of the inaugural ‘Upstate Derby’ (as I am calling it) will be played on July 1 @ Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.  

FINAL: GBFC 0 – 4 Detroit City

Another shutout loss for the Red on the road at conference leader Detroit.  Not much to say about the game, other than that Detroit City has cultivated an amazing fan group – I’m told they have had over 1,000 fans at each of their home games this season.

GBFC return to action tomorrow at Buffalo on the return leg of the weekend road trip. Both Binghamton and Buffalo will be looking to looking to pick up their first wins of the season.  It is the first time the two teams from Upstate NY will face each other and has the potential to start a great rivalry between the two cities. Hopefully, even if Binghamton changes conferences next season (more on that later) they will still schedule friendlies to keep the Upstate rivalry alive.

GBFC News and Updates:

After several tough losses GBFC made a mid-week trip down the interstate to visit the Pocono Snow for an exhibition match and hopefully build a little confidence.  And while it wasn’t the same 6-1 result as the previous friendly, GBFC came away with a 2-2 tie after a strong second half comeback performance.  See the full write up at http://tiny.cc/olh8ew

It’s safe to say that if we can string two of good halves together, we can compete for the conference title.  

I will save some of my other casual (and sometimes critical) observations for another post.  

GBFC Record to Date (W-L-T): 1-3-3 overall, 0-3-2 conference

*Edit – The write up liked above is not mine

Final Score: GBFC 0 Detroit City 0

After a lopsided match on Saturday, GBFC tightened down the defense and held Detroit to a scoreless tie on Sunday.  Overall it was a much better showing, but being held scoreless two games in a row at home won’t win any trophies.  The NPSL Midwest Division has already seen four ties and the winner could very well come down to a home/away stand or goal differential.  As Montpellier of the French Ligue 1 can attest, early season point can make or break a season’s campaign.  After a tough weekend at home it will be interesting to see how the team responds on a weekend away trip to Erie and Cleveland, and if any changes will be made in an attempt to jump start the offense.  

Greater Binghamton Futbol Club (from now on referred to as GBFC) gets a point on the road in a disappointing 2-2 draw against A.F.C. Cleveland.  After leading 2-0 at half, the GBFC defense couldn’t hold the clean sheet.  It may be the first game of the season, but this teams HAS to put the nail in the coffin and bring home 3 points with a 2 goal lead.

Also, am I the only one frustrated that both the GBFC and NPSL websites haven’t been updated with score lines?  Thank you A.F.C. Cleveland for posting a game recap.  And thank you for nice web design.  It points to a top notch organization, no matter where the team ends up in the table…