If FC Motown wins…at Boston City FC (NPSL) or against GPS Omens – host TBA – on May 31
If Rochester Rhinos wins…at home vs Boston City FC/GPS Omens winner on May 31
If you thought that FC Motown Celtics was an Irish team from Detroit, it’s ok, but this is not an old-school ethnic club. Motown is a common nickname for Morristown NJ, where FC Motown is based. And the Celtic moniker? The team’s first jerseys copied Glasgow Celtics because they looked good, and the name stuck.
FC Motown plays in the Garden State Soccer League, Yellow Super Division and entered round 2 after a dramatic 2-1 overtime win over NJ Copa. With the score tied at the end of regulation, the first period of overtime proved to be decisive as Motown’s Sammy Gehman smacked a 32 yard freekick over Copa’s two man wall to notch the game winner.
Motown come into their game against the Rhinos with a perfect 11-0-0 record in league play with 59 goals for and 13 goals against. Coach Sacir Hot, formerly with the NY Red Bulls and US youth national teams, is the most noteworthy individual with Motown, but fans should also watch for the athletic Marcus Hackett, and, if he is healthy, Andres Barriel, a crafty player on the ball.
Rochester Rhinos enter the 2nd round of USOC play as an automatic qualifier, playing in the USL Pro Eastern Conference where they finished 4th in 2016. So far in 2017, they are 2-2-1, with a tie and a win in the last two games and 6 goals scored over that span. Players to watch are on the wings and in goal. Jalen Brown, an NYCFC draft pick, holds down the left wing and impresses with his confidence on the ball. On the right side, Cristiano Francois – a former FC Motown player and Haitian national teamer – has speed to burn and will test the Celtics with his pace. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, formerly of San Jose Earthquakes, earned the USL’s Golden Glove award in 2016 with a 0.69 goals against average and will prove a stingier netminder than FC Motown are used to facing in the Garden State Soccer League. As the last non-MLS team to win the US Open Cup, in 1999, the Rhinos start their 2017 campaign with the memory of that success in the back of their minds, while remembering to take each game as it comes in their quest for a second title.