NEW YORK — In a clash of plucky upstaters paying a visit to a legendary American soccer club, the home side very much lived up to their lofty reputation despite a game effort from the visitors from the north.
Kingston Stockade FC fell to New York Cosmos B, 4-0, on Saturday at Columbia University's Baker Athletics Complex. The match was the final game of the season for Stockade.
Play was mostly level for about the first fourth of the match, but Cosmos broke through in the 21st minute, as Jonathan Borrajo played a pinpoint ball in to Wojciech Wojcik, who slotted it home to open the scoring.
The Cosmos then made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, as Biedi Bardic punished Stockade for a mistake in the back.
Bardic then made it 3-0 in the 45th minute, slotting the ball home after a pass from Jalen Brown.
Bardic then completed his hat trick in the 72nd minute, making good on some industrious work by Zaire Bartley.
The 4-0 score stood for the rest of the way, and allowed the Cosmos to finish the season a perfect 10-0-0 (wins-draws-losses), while Stockade finished the 2018 campaign with a 3-2-5 record.
After the match, Stockade head coach David Lindholm talked about Kingston's effort in the loss.
"Yeah, I was pleased with the effort tonight, in that throughout the entire match, we did everything we could," said Lindholm. "Good teams take advantage of any break that the game gives to them, and we had a couple of breakdowns. I thought they got a couple of breaks from the referees, which again, you have to expect. I think we got a couple of breaks from the referees too, so it's not a criticism of them, it's just that when the game gives you something, you take advantage, and I thought they did that really well, and we worked really hard. They're a good team."
Lindholm also lamented not having a fully fit squad, but still sees the Cosmos as one of the teams to beat in the NPSL playoffs.
"It's tough, because I don't think we put them under a lot of pressure, so if we'd had our full squad, if we had everybody, then maybe I'd have a better assessment," said Lindholm. "They were better than us tonight, for sure, and it'll be interesting to see how far they go. They're certainly — based on paper and on their record, 10-0-0 — they've got to be considered a team that can win a national championship."
Lindholm also talked about the season as a whole, both the highs and the lows.
"We look back at the season, and a couple of games where if we got the results that we should have gotten, then we're in a different position now," said Lindholm. "That's soccer. It's 10 games. If you mess up in a couple of games, you're in a lot of trouble, and that's what happened to us. But the things that we look back on — a 5-1 win against Boston City, or getting four goals in the second half (for a 4-4 draw) against the defending national champions — those were really special things for the club and the players, and things that we won't forget. And again, we have to be grateful for those moments. When you miss the playoffs, you have to take something with you that you can be proud of, and absolutely those were some high moments."
After play ended in Manhattan, Lindholm gathered the team in a huddle and addressed them as a group group. Here's what he told the Hudson Valley squad.
"I thanked them for everything that they gave to the club," said Lindholm. "Because it's amateur soccer, so the cliche is that you give blood, sweat and tears, but you also spend money to be a part of a club like this. And so, the fact that they are willing to show up for the club, work really hard in practice to be at games and play 90 minutes, and just exhaust themselves on the field is incredible. It's very special. You see teams that are in our position (traveling on the road), like Boston City last week, they bring 11 guys. We bring a full team to the last game of the season (on the road), and that's a credit to how much they care about this team. It's a credit to the fans for showing up and making it a special experience, and for the whole club structure to put us in a position to succeed. So it's disappointing that our season ends here, but I'm so grateful to the players and the staff, and everybody that makes this possible."
Man of the Match: Juan Parada
By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC GM