Flames lose home opener 1-0 to Seacoast United Phantoms
Flames midfielder Joseph Sanchez lets one rip in the 1-0 loss to Seacoast United
New Rochelle, N.Y. - A goal by forward Akable Miezan in the 32nd minute was all the Seacoast United Phantoms needed as they defeated the Westchester Flames 1-0. It was the Flames' home opener and the anticipation was high following last week's first win of the season over FA Euro. The Flames were looking to carry that momentum into this game and started very strong. For the first 30 minutes the Flames had the majority of possession and created several good scoring chances.
In the early part of the game, Seacoast were able to absorb the pressure from the Flames and create some chances of their own. Their hard work paid off with the goal by Miezan and was quickly followed with additional scoring chances. At one point, Seacoast looked like they were going ahead 2-0 as a shot bounced of the post and through the Flames goal mouth.
The half ended with Seacoast ahead 1-0 and the Flames looked to regroup for the second half. Forward Joey DeVivo came on for Dennis Reyes to start the second half and make his Flames debut. The Holy Cross forward showed why he's been highly touted during his college career as he quickly brought a spark to the Flames offense by creating some good scoring chances.
As the second half wore on, Seacoast were very strong, forcing the Flames into some bad passes and occassionally putting the Flames goal under pressure. Anytime Seacoast was able to get close, goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu from Fordham was there to keep the Flames in the game.
The Flames continued to make substitutions, bringing on Sacred Heart midfielder Shaquille Saunchez for his Flames season debut, Adelphi forward James Thristino, and former Brooklyn Italians and Fairfield midfielder Edward "Christian" Uy. This allowed the Flames to continue mounting pressure and creating chances. Midfielder Joseph Sanchez and forward Mosiah Whyte were in the middle of several good scoring chances for the Flames. Ultimately, the Flames ran out of time and were unable to take advantage of the opportunities that they created.
After the game, Flames Head Coach and General Manager Gus Skoufis said, "It was a frustrating loss because we played well, especially in the early part of the game where it looked like we would go ahead. I also thought we might get one at the start of the second half when Joey (DeVivo) came on because we started creating some good chances again. Also later in the second half, Shaq (Saunchez) brought a spark when he came in."
Skoufis continued, "I told the guys after the game that they can't get too down. Seacoast are always a tough team to break down. They have some players who've been together for a few years. We're still a new team and we're very young. We dropped off a bit after Seacoast scored and you can't do that. You've got to keep playing with the same level of intensity throughout the game. In the second half, we started to feel the pressure and made mistakes on our own with things like bad passes and mistimed tackles. This week we have to work hard in practice to make sure these things don't happen again."
The Westchester Flames next game in the 2016 USL PDL season will be at home against AC Connecticut on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM. All Westchester Flames home games are held at City Park Stadium in New Rochelle, New York.