ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The hottest team in the National Independent Soccer Association?


It’s Flower City Union.

The team has won five of its last six matches across all competitions, had a three-game winning streak and is on the verge of moving into sixth place.

Flower City Union (5-8-0, 15 points) can accomplish that feat if it defeats Club de Lyon FC (5-7-2, 17) at the Rochester Community Sports Complex on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The top six teams in the league qualify for the playoffs. Flower City has a game in hand over its Orlando rivals.

“It’s been fantastic to see the guys come together,” defender Noah Cavanaugh said on the Soccer is a Kick in the Grass radio show on Monday night. “We’ve got a really good sense of motivation and sense of togetherness and I think we’re going to take that into Wednesday’s match.”

One of the keys to Flower City Union’s success has been sticking to the game plan that head coach Jordan Sullivan has implemented and the players having belief in themselves.

“The biggest thing was a belief in the idea of winning,” Cavanaugh told co-hosts Andrew Battisti and Joe Sirianni. “I think for a lot of people, sometimes success can be actually quite daunting. For us to just finally kind of get ourselves into a position where winning was necessary, it’s something that I think the guys are getting super comfortable with and are more and more motivated by it.

“To see the points rack up and to see us be able to encourage each other to move up the table as we move forward onto the season, I think that’s going to be a huge piece of that motivation. It’s sort of an immediate feedback loop if you will, as we as we continue to gain points and gain traction in the league.”

That confidence comes from the team’s recent winning ways.

The team is coming off a memorable 3-2 win at Gold Star FC in Detroit last Saturday. Playing as Salt City Union, the side rallied twice from one-goal deficits to register a 3-2 win. Forward Alioune Diakhate (77th minute) and midfielder Matt Bolduc (81st minute) tallied in the second half to boost the visitors from a 2-1 deficit to the win. Defender Stephen Elias scored in the 13th minute.

“It was just about sticking to our game plan,” Cavanaugh said. “We struggled to do that a little bit in the first half. A lot of our team talk at halftime was just to put our head down focus on what our coach Jordan Sullivan had given us and what that instruction was and to just stick to our game plan. We did that and it ended up working out really well for us.”

On Saturday, Flower City Union travels down to Tennessee to meet Chattanooga FC (11-0-4, 37). Defeating the league leaders is easier said than done, considering it has not lost a game this season.

“I think it’s a big opportunity for us,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s another opportunity for us to stick with what our game plan is, what our philosophy is. I do think at the end of the day, we’re really looking forward to handing Chattanooga their first loss.”

At Flower City Union’s most recent home game, a club-record crowd of 1,112 watched the hosts defeat the Maryland Bobcats on Aug. 5.

“A record crowd at the Maryland game at home was absolutely sensational,” Cavanaugh said. “It was really an electric feeling in that stadium and to be a part of that team and to be a part the guys who are on squad who were able to win and then pull that win off against a good Maryland side. The fan support there cannot be understated. They played a massive role. I hope that we can continue our success and continue to show our appreciation for the fans so that they feel excited and motivated to come back.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at