Giuseppe Barone: “When you hear you’re playing against guys who have played in the MLS or in the NASL, you go out there with a chip on your shoulder and you show them what you got, make a name for yourself.” (Photo courtesy of LIU Communications Dept.)
By Michael Lewis
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Playing in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup should be plenty of motivation for most teams.
For the Brooklyn Italians, bumping heads with a Cosmos B squad laden with professional experience gave the National Premier Soccer League side an extra incentive.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Giuseppe Barone, who tallied in the Italians’ 3-2 play-in win over Cosmos B at LIU Brooklyn Sunday night. “When you hear you’re playing against guys who have played in the MLS or in the NASL, you go out there with a chip on your shoulder and you show them what you got, make a name for yourself and give it all you’ve got because at the end of the day, you’re fighting for a spot that they have.”
Barone put the Italians up 1-0 in 32nd minute as he bolted down the right side and beat two defenders and goalkeeper Macklin Robinson as a Cosmos defender lunged in vain for the ball that went into the net.
“We knew that they were going to play a high line,” Barone said. “We knew they weren’t the quickest in the back. i saw one of their guys lift his head up, the right back, and i knew they had a high line so I broke their line. i went right through. The goalie was coming out. Had a little chip right over him and the ball wound up rolling in. It was a great feeling.”
The opening 15-20 minutes was a feeling out period for both teams before the Italians had a feeling they could exploit Cosmos B’s flanks.
“Obviously, when the game starts, everybody wants to be 100 miles an hour,” Barone said. “Once the game settled down, we came together and said, ‘You know, we have this one. we’re capable of pulling it off.’ ”
LIU Brooklyn head coach TJ Kostecky has seen the hard work pay off for the 5-7, 160-lb.Barone.
“Throughout the spring Giuseppe has put in extra time on improving his game, more than anyone else, after our regular training sessions,” he said. “During our off days he consistently focuses on a specific aspect of his game and improves it. I was delighted to see the fruits of his labor rewarded last night. He’s moving forward in the right direction.
“Hhe took a big step forward in the right direction.”
Barone certainly had a unique family rivalry going on. He drove to the game with his father Joe Barone, a long-time member of the Brooklyn Italians who also is the Cosmos senior vice president.
“Before the game, it was a bit tense, but i guess, hey, it’s soccer,” Giuseppe said. “It happens, and we move forward.”
Well, the Italians moved forward into the first round of the Open Cup against Lansdowne Bhoys at LIU Wednesday night.
Asked what he and his father talked about, Giuseppe replied: “A little bit of jokes and how if I would score. Hey, don’t do this, don’t do that. It was great to joke around with him about the game and I’ll get the last laugh now, once we get home.”
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