Match Summary Provided by Christian Taylor.
Nearly a year ago to this day, a packed FC Baltimore crowd saw a competitive and exciting opening match against DC United’s U-23 squad. The Roons fell 1-0 that day in 2018. However, Opening Day 2019 started on a better foot. To be exact, Cesare Marconi’s foot. His goal in the 69th minute was the difference maker, leading to a meaningful 1-0 win over Keystone Conference’s Atlantic City FC.
The exhibition seemed to start unexpectedly. All of a sudden the 2019 season had begun and both teams began to feel each other out. One could certainly see the early season jitters as neither team in the first half retained possession for too long. After a couple of chances by both sides, the half time score was 0-0.
The start of the second half saw Atlantic City immediately spring to life and muster up the best chance of the game to that point. Tavoy Morgan found himself wide open after teammate Hayden Criollo brought pace down the right flank. Morgan however, skied it over the crossbar, and the score remained 0-0.
Jade Mesias, one of the star returners from last year’s inaugural team, found a chance of his own chipping it past Captain Keeper Matt Perella, but it was cleared off the line at the last second.
Then came the Marconi goal. In a game where there was plenty of good and bad, the Atlantic City defense committed an error, and Marconi was ready to pounce sliding it past the keeper to break the deadlock.
It was confident defending the rest of the way for Baltimore with Center Back Kyle Saunderson leading the way right along with goalkeeper Casey Beyers. The Roons were able to see out the result and start 2019 on a good note.
Last season, it was the Aces who visited the Roons, and scoring was not hard to come by. Baltimore won that match 8-5, which at the time, showed how good this team could be. They of course won the Middle Atlantic Conference Regular Season, and advanced to NPSL Regionals.
While the opening match wasn’t perfect, the Roons showed that they have plenty of weapons up their sleeves. Not to mention, there were still plenty of players who could not make the trip to Egg Harbor Township.
The FCBC defense looked fairly strong Saturday Afternoon. Last season, Baltimore had a standout goalie in Quantrell Jones who was helped by the superb CB pairing of Cale Thorne and Jake Dengler. With the two backs returning, as well as adding a key piece in Kyle Saunderson and goalies Casey Beyers and Cody Niedermeier, the Roons will look to preserve and enhance the stellar defense in 2019.
This is a team who could potentially make a lot of noise this year in the NPSL.
Tuesday, May 7 vs West Chester United- Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Time: 7:45 PM, Streaming on ESPN+
Location: Homewood Field- Johns Hopkins University
Man of the Match– CB Kyle Saunderson- Kyle seemed to be in control Saturday afternoon against Atlantic City. The Aces could not get anything past the UMBC Retriever and they had to resort to playing down the left side of the pitch. This did not work in the end as Saunderson helped edge FC Baltimore Christos to a 1-0 win.