Sacir Hot: “We had a completely different team with a different tactic in the playoff game vs. West Chester.” (Photo courtesy of FC Motown)
MADISON, N.J. – In what is arguably the biggest match in franchise history, FC Motown will host FC Baltimore on Wednesday night in the Northeast Region semifinals of the National Premier Soccer League’s playoffs.
The match will take place at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University at 8 p.m.
FC Baltimore finished atop the Mid-Atlantic Conference but fell in the conference final to third-place FC Frederick, 2-1. But thanks to the second-chance saloon in which a wildcard team was allowed to advance to the regional final four, FC Baltimore moved on because it had accrured the most regular-season points of the three losing regional final squads.
“They are a young team with good players from reputable Division 1 soccer programs,” FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot said. “Athleticism and fitness will always present a challenge, especially with a group like ours that blends veterans and some younger players. We just have to play maturely and use our experience to neutralize their speed.”
In its semifinal encounter, FC Motown avenged a 2-1 season-finale loss to West Chester United Soccer Club
“We had a completely different team with a different tactic in the playoff game vs. West Chester,” Hot said. “In the playoffs we try to win at all costs, even if we don’t play pretty soccer.”
The winner of Wednesday’s match will play the victor of the semifinal between Cosmos B and FC Frederick in Hempstead, N.Y., on Saturday night.
In its first season in the NPSL, FC Motown enjoyed tremendous success on the field. The team finished 9-1 in the regular season, beat Red Bull II (Premier Development League) to advance to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and captured the Keystone Conference playoff title Saturday
Last week three FC Motown players were named to the Keystone Conference XI — defender Hani Nasr, midfielder Matt Nigro and forward Dilly Duka. They were joined by Sacir Hot, who was named as coach of the year.
“I’m honored to have those three players on the team but as a coach, I think we could have had a couple more players,” Hot said. “Hani Nasr has proven to be a great defender and player with a strong skillset and a high soccer IQ. He’s been a great part of this team. Nigro is a Jersey kid and a strong player, he does so many little things for us this year and has stepped up in key moments. He’s been reliable in the center part of the midfield. As for Dilly, what else is there to say about him? In every way, he has lived up to the hype. He’s had so many clutch moments for us this year.”