Sacir Hot: “This group has a maturity, they have that wisdom and experience to understand that sulking over a loss will do nothing for us.” (Photo courtesy of FC Motown)
By Michael Lewis
FC Motown won’t be able to erase its only regular-season blemish by beating West Chester United Soccer club in the National Premier Soccer League playoffs Saturday night, but it would put the late season loss in its rear-view mirror.
The teams will tangle in the Keystone Conference final at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J. Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to next Wednesday’s Northeast Region bracket of the playoffs.
FC Motown still can advance to the next round even with a loss. The team would need Cosmos B to beat the Brooklyn Italians in the North Atlantic Conference final Saturday. According to Northeast Region playoff regulations, the three conference champions, including the Mid-Atlantic winners, will advance, along with the wildcard team with that had the best points per game average during the regular season. Comos B (30 points) finished first, followed by FC Motown (27). So, if New York and FC Motown both lost, Cosmos B would move on and not the latter.
West Chester (7-3) defeated FC Motown in the final match of the 10-game season, 2-1, denying the New Jersey club a perfect 10-0-0 season.
“West Chester in my opinion is the second-best team in the Keystone,” FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for them as they are the only team to beat us this year. This is a good team. They are well coached. We know that, at home, we are in for a fight against this team. We can’t rest on what we did on Wednesday in the playoffs. This is a big game for us.”
FC Motown bounced back in the semifinals, registering a 4-1 home win over FC Monmouth (6-3-1).
“I think our squad’s age and maturity is the reason for the bounce back,” Hot said. “Our guys understand its playoff time so the attitude switches to ‘Survive and Advance.’ This group has a maturity, they have that wisdom and experience to understand that sulking over a loss will do nothing for us.”
Christopher Katona scored twice and Walter Calderon and Christopher Riordan added one goal apiece in Wednesday’s encounter.
Hot called the win “our most complete performance of the year in every aspect.”
“All the players took on their responsibilities and more,” he added. Couldn’t be happier with the team’s performance.”
Well, Hot just be might be happier if FC Motown duplicates that performance Saturday and move onto the Northeast Region playoffs.
“Winning the Keystone is a target of ours but not our final destination,” he said. “Obviously we are not holding back, every game is a must win for us at all costs and it happens to be that the Keystone final is up next.”
This story explains the Northeast Region playoffs: