Kingston Stockade FC Falls on Road, 1-0, to Brooklyn Italians

Stockade's away fans in Brooklyn.

Stockade's away fans in Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Well, it was fun while it lasted.

After going six matches unbeaten, Kingston Stockade FC fell to Brooklyn Italians on Saturday night, 1-0, in downtown Brooklyn.

The loss was a particularly rough one, as it came at the death when Brooklyn's Jerel Blades put home a cross in extra time for the lone goal of the night.

Prior to the late score, play was quite balanced for the duration, with both sides alternately forcing the action.

The match was also characterized by some spirited, physical play, with eight yellow cards being given out on the night, three to Stockade and five to Brooklyn. The effort shown by both sides shouldn't come as a huge surprise, given the visitors are on top of the Atlantic White Conference, while the hosts are in first place in the Atlantic Blue Conference.

Kingston also showed itself to be a club that travels well, as dozens of Stockade fans gathered in a set of bleachers perched above the pitch. The road fans even had a bit of friendly banter with some members of the Italians' academy players, with both sides going chant-for-chant for long stretches of the match.

Kingston's next match is on Saturday, June 24 at 3 p.m. at Seacoast United Mariners in Portland, Maine.

Stockade Man of the Match: Scott Zobre

Kingston Stockade FC Takes Over First Place in Conference With 2-1 Win Over Boston City FC

Matt Koziol celebrates a successful penalty kick against Boston City FC.

Matt Koziol celebrates a successful penalty kick against Boston City FC.

KINGSTON, N.Y. — It was admittedly the most important match in the young club's history. But the upstarts from the Hudson Valley handled the big occasion like a group of seasoned veterans.

In a midseason top-of-the-table clash in NPSL's Atlantic White Conference, Kingston Stockade FC topped Boston City FC, 2-1, at Dietz Stadium on Saturday. The win lifts Stockade FC to the top of the conference with 16 points (5 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss). Boston City sits in second place with 11 points, although they have a match in hand.

The victory means that Stockade has now matched its win total from all of last season, with five. The second-year club has also now won three matches in a row, and have gone six matches undefeated under first-year coach David Lindholm.

The early parts of the match on Saturday were characterized by opportunities for both sides. Stockade FC finally broke through late in the first half when forward Michael Creswick was brought down in the penalty area for a penalty kick. Matt Koziol then converted the spot kick in the 44th minute to put Kingston up 1-0 heading into the half. The goal was Koziol's fifth of the season.

Stockade continued to threaten when play resumed in the second half, and eventually broke through in the 62nd minute, and in extremely impressive fashion, at that. 

Stockade midfielder Marco Kloster initiated the attack with a very impressive run through the guts of the Boston City defense, beating a number of Boston defenders off the dribble before deftly distributing the ball to his left to fellow Brazilian Pedro Espindola. Espindola then one-timed a side-footer from 35 yards out, successfully chipping the Boston City goalkeeper from a ridiculous distance. It was Espindola's fifth goal of the season as well.

The amazing goal sent the crowd of 992 fans — a Stockade record — into hysterics, and Espindola played to the fans with his goal celebration by running to the stands and embracing one of the young supporters before donning said fan's Stockade ball-cap after it had fallen to the Dietz Stadium track.

Led by a backline of goalkeeper Steven Skonieczny and defenders Matel Anasta, Juan Gatti, Jamal Lis-Simmons and Brandon Curtis, Stockade defended with purpose from there, yet Boston City was able to break through in the 82nd minute, thanks to a goal by defender Leandro Carvalho. Stockade saw the match out, though, thanks in particular to some fine saves by Skonieczny.

Next up for Stockade FC is a trip to the five boroughs to face the Brooklyn Italians on Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. Brooklyn is undefeated through four matches, meaning it should be another tough test for the Hudson Valley side.

Stockade Man of the Match: Matt Koziol

Stockade Starting XI: Skonieczny; Curtis, Gatti, Lis-Simmons (C), Anasta; Koziol, Kloster, Maley; Espindola, Creswick, Konicoff

Kingston Stockade FC Speed to 5-0 Win At Rhode Island Reds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The main sponsor on the front of the Kingston Stockade FC kit is a bus company. And a terrific one at that, in Trailways.

It's at least somewhat fitting for a soccer team to have a bus sponsor, as there's a very famous phrase in world football called "parking the bus," which is when a team decides to play defensively in order to try to limit the opposition's scoring opportunities.

That said, parking the bus certainly isn't the Stockade way of late. In fact, given the way Kingston has been playing lately, it's safe to say that their bus isn't stationary, but rather screaming down the highway as if piloted by Sandra Bullock in "Speed".

On Sunday, Stockade headed north to Providence in their plush Trailways bus for a match with conference rivals Rhode Island Reds. Fresh on the heels of an impressive 4-1 home win over New York Athletic Club at home on Saturday, Stockade set out with aims of nothing less than another vital win on the road.

And the boys delivered, with an impressive 5-0 away victory.

The back-to-back wins means this is the second time this season that first-year Stockade coach David Lindholm has impressively led the team to a maximum point haul of six points in a weekend (three points are awarded for each win) during the most congested parts of the schedule.

This red-hot Stockade side now has a 4-1-1 record on the year (wins-draws-losses). They've also scored 18 goals in six matches.

In short, the club's Trailways bus isn't just in high gear right now. It's darting about with such panache that it's showing itself to be worthy of a bit part in a Vin Diesel movie.

To no one's surprise, the scoring began early on Sunday, as scoresheet regular Michael Creswick scored in the 8th minute. Eric Fortier played Creswick wide into space during a 2-on-1 and the ruthless English forward converted.

Fortier himself then made it 2-0 in the 13th minute with a lovely, powerful volley.

Matt Koziol then gave Stockade a 3-0 lead going into halftime with a successful header in the 45th minute. The holding midfielder has shown an extremely impressive aerial ability all season, so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that he'd eventually convert in such fashion.

Pedro Espindola then scored in the 54th minute on a 1-on-1 breakaway with the Rhode Island goalkeeper. Espindola was played through via a lovely floated ball by Matel Anasta.

Joe Bogart then completed the scoring in the 88th minute after a give-and-go at the top of the 18 with Scott Zobre.

All told, Stockade netted five goals on the day. And nine goals in two matches. Or nine goals in 180 minutes.

A goal every 20 minutes, roughly.

It's not quite "Gone in 60 Seconds", but it's a rate of conversion that any soccer team on the planet would find acceptable.

Thankfully, this greedy gang of goal-getters just happens to reside in the Hudson Valley. Catch 'em while you can.

Stockade's next match is on Saturday, June 10 at 5 p.m. at Dietz Stadium against first-place Boston City FC.

Man of the Match: Eric Fortier

Stockade Starting XI: Skonieczny; Anasta, Gatti, Lis-Simmons (C), Curtis; Koziol, Kloster, Maley; Espindola, Creswick, Fortier

By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC GM

Kingston Stockade FC Goes On Front Foot In 4-1 Home Win Against NYAC (Highlights)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — In soccer parlance, the phrase "playing on the front foot" is used when one side is putting the opposition under pressure, playing with confidence and showing itself to be a constant threat to score.

On Saturday afternoon at Dietz Stadium, Kingston Stockade FC spent the full 90 minutes showing itself to be the embodiment of playing on the front foot, as Stockade went at New York Athletic Club early and kept the pressure on throughout, en route to an impressive 4-1 victory.

The home side went up in the 7th minute, thanks to a lovely, powerful strike from forward Victor Guirma. The goal was the Howard University product's second in as many matches, coming on the heels of his impressive goal against Hartford City FC last weekend.

Stockade then doubled their lead in the 28th minute thanks to a poised breakaway goal from David Nikansah-Siriboe. The Marist College forward made an impressive run and found himself one-on-one with the NYAC goalkeeper. Rather than blast it from a tough angle, however, Nikansah-Siriboe dragged it past the goalkeeper with a lovely dribble and then passed it calmly into the back of the net.

Scott Zobre then made it 3-0 with a well-driven follow-up in the 82nd minute. Playing at right back rather than higher up the pitch as he normally does, Zobre made life very difficult for NYAC all afternoon with an impressive mix of pacey runs and expert tackling.

But perhaps the gem of the day came from winger Pedro Espindola. Espindola also found himself on a breakaway with the NYAC sticksman, but rather than fire hard at the net or try to go around the keeper, the SUNY Albany product converted via an extremely impressive chip from close range that barely flitted beneath the crossbar before nestling into the back of the opposition goal in the 83rd minute. Espindola then ran straight to the home stand and celebrated his bona fide golazo with the Stockade fans, much to the crowd's delight.

NYAC's Laurin Vogel then scored the final goal of the day in the 85th minute, which led to the final score of 4-1. While the goal denied Stockade goalkeeper David Giddings a shutout in his first appearance of the season, Giddings still had an impressive day in net, as he made a handful of crucial, difficult saves that kept the visitors operating at a deficit for the duration of the match.

The 4-1 win means Stockade duplicated its offensive output earlier in the season against NYAC, as Kingston won 4-0 on the road on May 22.

The home match paid tribute to Kingston's local first responders, as policemen, firemen and emergency personnel from the community were all given two free tickets to the match. Official attendance was announced at 693.

Man of the Match: Scott Zobre

Stockade Starting XI: Giddings; Steigerwald, Lis-Simmons, Barrett, Zobre; Koziol, Mitchell, Konicoff; Guirma, Nkansah-Siriboe, Corbi

By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC GM

Kingston Stockade FC Manages 2-2 Away Draw With Hartford City FC

Stockade's starting 11 at Hartford City FC.

Stockade's starting 11 at Hartford City FC.

NEW BRITAIN, CONN. — It wasn't the full three points, but it was still an impressive road draw nonetheless.

Kingston Stockade FC traveled to Hartford City FC on Saturday and came away with a hard-fought 2-2 draw. This comes after Stockade lost to Hartford at home, 3-1, in the first match of the season.

Stockade opened the scoring in the 12th minute, thanks to an impressive, hard-struck goal from Eric Fortier.

The action went back and forth for long stretches, before Hartford scored twice in quick succession, in the 36th and 37th minutes.

But Stockade wouldn't head into halftime at a deficit, thanks to a lovely goal from Victor Guirma. The Howard University product fired a perfectly-placed shot from the top of the box to notch a goal in his Stockade debut.

While neither side found the back of the net in the second half, the action was relentless for the final 45. Both sides created numerous opportunities, with the play going back and forth throughout.

Stockade nearly saw Hartford take the lead in the 84th minute, but goalkeeper Steve Skonieczny came up with two huge saves to keep the visitors level with the hosts.

The draw means that Stockade now has seven points from four matches in NPSL's Atlantic White Conference, with two wins, a draw and one loss. Kingston's goal differential now stands at an impressive +4. Stockade also remains undefeated on the road.

Hartford City now has two wins and two draws from four matches in the club's inaugural season. They also have a +4 goal differential through four matches.

Stockade's next match is at home against New York Athletic Club on Saturday, June 3 at 5 p.m.

This is followed in quick succession by a trip to Providence to face the Rhode Island Reds on Sunday, June 4 at 5 p.m.

Stockade Man of the Match: Steve Skonieczny

Stockade Starting 11: Skonieczny; Curtis, Gatti, Lis-Simmons, Anasta; Koziol, Maley, Kloster; Fortier, Creswick, Espindola

Kingston Stockade FC Makes Guest Appearance on NBC's 'Men in Blazers', FOX Sports Could Be Next

KINGSTON, N.Y. — It hasn't just been a great week for Kingston Stockade FC on the pitch. It's been a great one on the telly as well.

A few hours before Stockade managed its second win in two days on Sunday against Rhode Island Reds, a Stockade kit made an appearance on NBC's "Men in Blazers", which is a nationally televised show about the Premier League. The clip can be watched below:

Men in Blazers' Roger Bennett is a fan of lower-league soccer and is known to wear the jerseys of teams he supports.

Prior to the Men in Blazers appearance, Stockade FC actually got a mention on FOX Sports, via Rob Stone, although the video segment was focused on Hartford City FC. And Stone got Stockade's name wrong in the clip. The "Stockdale" mention is at 0:35 below ...

After hearing of Stone's gaffe, the Stockade social media team was quick to issue a friendly challenge to Stone, requesting that Stone wear Stockade gear on air if Kingston won the replay in Hartford ...

To his credit, Stone had no problem accepting the challenge ...

According to his Wikipedia page, Stone hails from Simsbury, Conn., which is 11 miles from Hartford. Meaning his allegiance to his local side is understandable, if not fully encouraged. Overall, it's great to see a broadcaster of his stature involved with NPSL and its regional clubs.

Of course, it will be even better to see said broadcaster wearing Stockade gear on-air next week.

Kingston plays at Hartford this Saturday, May 27 at 6 p.m. The club will be streaming the match on its Facebook page.

By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC General Manager

Kingston Stockade FC Earns Gutsy 2-0 Home Win Against Rhode Island Reds

Stockade's starting XI against Rhode Island Reds.

Stockade's starting XI against Rhode Island Reds.

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Playing matches on back-to-back days is a tall order in soccer, even at the game's higher levels. But when you've got squad depth and players willing to fight through bloody difficult situations — literally — then anything is possible. Even six-point weekends.

Coming directly on the heels of a 4-0 away win against New York Athletic Club on Saturday, Kingston Stockade FC managed an equally impressive 2-0 home win against Rhode Island Reds on Sunday afternoon, in front of 714 spirited home fans at Dietz Stadium.

Coach David Lindholm was forced to make six changes to his starting XI from the squad that won in impressive fashion the day before. This brand of dramatic overhaul usually leads to continuity problems, but one of the new starters was the first to find the back of the net. Nimble Brazilian winger Pedro Espindola scored with a lovely finish in the 62nd minute, coming off an assist from English forward Michael Creswick.

Much to the delight of the home fans, after scoring his second goal of the season, Espindola ran off the pitch, onto the Dietz Stadium track and towards the home fans, who met the jubilant University of Albany product with wild applause.

Steady holding midfielder Matt Koziol completed the scoring for Stockade in the 77th minute with his second successful penalty kick in as many days.

Goalkeeper Steve Skonieczny then protected Stockade's second shutout of the weekend with a fine fingertip save very late in the match.

Perhaps just as impressive as any of Kingston's on-field play was the guts and determination shown by Poughkeepsie's own Scott Zobre. Zobre found himself on the receiving end of a hard elbow from of one of the Reds' players. Zobre's nose was well split open, and he had to come off the pitch in order to stop some extremely heavy bleeding. But after nearly 10 minutes spent on the sideline getting treatment from the trainers, Zobre taped up his nose, changed into a new Stockade white kit with his number duct-taped onto the back — his other unwearable due to the amount of blood on it — and returned to full-tilt action when most players certainly would've called it a day.

Another compelling subplot on the day belonged to Mercy College product Juan Gatti. Gatti got married just the day before, but showed up to start for Stockade the following day, and brought what looked like most of the wedding party to the match with him. The skilled Argentinian defender had his own private cheering section in the stands, and when he was subbed off in the 90th minute, he received easily the loudest ovation on the day, one that even carried over into the post-match autograph session.

A festive atmosphere for a weekend well worth celebrating, for these six-pointers (each win is worth three points in the standings) don't come about too often. Although given the depth, guts and devotion on display by this Stockade side, maybe these maximum-point weekends will be the norm going forward.

Stockade Man of the Match: Pedro Espindola

Stockade Starting XI: Skonieczny; Curtis, Gatti, Lis-Simmons, Anasta; Koziol, Kloster, Maley; Espindola, Creswick, Zobre

By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC GM

Kingston Stockade FC Sails to 4-0 Win at New York Athletic Club

Stockade's Starting XI against New York Athletic Club.

Stockade's Starting XI against New York Athletic Club.

PELHAM, N.Y. — The home grounds for New York Athletic Club — located on Travers Island in Pelham Manor, N.Y. — is one of the most luxe in the NPSL. One end of the field lies in the shadow of a large stone manor. Another side of the pitch is an errant kick away from Hempstead Bay, where yachts and sailboats float lazily by in the distance.

In short, it's a place to breathe easy and relax. Which is what Kingston Stockade FC was able to do over the course of their 4-0 win over the hosts on Saturday afternoon.

The match admittedly started out as a relatively tight affair, with both sides creating chances early on in the match.

But things turned in Kingston's favor in the 31st minute, thanks to the stellar work of a familar face, English forward Michael Creswick.

Creswick received a penetrative pass from Eric Fortier and found himself on a breakaway with a defender and the goalkeeper to beat. The second-year Stockade star managed to hold off the lone defender for a few touches, before unleashing a perfectly placed, low strike from distance that went across goal and found the side netting for his first goal of the season. Fortier collected the assist.

This put Stockade in the lead, and the second-year NPSL club never really looked back from there.

Central midfielder Matt Koziol scored in the 41st minute on a well-struck penalty kick, which was earned by Creswick.

Then newcomer Pedro Espindola scored on an impressive breakaway goal in the 76th minute. Espindola, a Brazilian forward who went to the University of Albany, came on as a sub and immediately made an impact on the match with his blistering pace and technical showmanship. He proved to be a handful for the hosts the entire day, consistently placing defenders on their heels when he had the ball.

The final goal of the day came from Josh Maley, a midfielder from LIU Brooklyn. It was a deft strike from close range that lifted Stockade to a 4-0 lead, which proved to be the result that would hold for the remainder of the match.

The win was Kingston's first away victory in the history of the club. It was also the first win for new head coach David Lindholm.

New York Athletic Club will visit Dietz Stadium on June 3.

Stockade Man of the Match: Michael Creswick

Stockade Starting XI: Skonieczny; Curtis, Lis-Simmons (C), Barrett, Kappock; Koziol, Macklin, Maley; Corbi, Creswick, Fortier

By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC GM