Landon Hungerford and FCB’s ‘gifted’ backline ready for Fort Wayne rematch

Photos courtesy of @brettballachino

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FC Buffalo took a long, tiresome drive from Northern Kentucky but returned home with a massive 3-2 comeback win to Kings Hammer FC at Scudamore Stadium last Friday. 

FCB didn’t have much going their way to begin the match. Head coach Sean Hallas’ hopes for his team to improve their defense proved a slow burn and the Wolves conceded two goals in the game’s first 11 minutes. 

[ RELATED: Lovell, Castillo lead FC Buffalo to impressive point at Fort Wayne ]

Despite the climb out of a two-goal hole, the Wolves demonstrated why Hallas consistently praises his resilient team and the blue and gold made the comeback thanks to contributions from their backline. 

German centerback Fabian Overkamp picked up his second assist of the season for Aitor Jorde’s goal to make it 2-1. Kobe Grant’s leadership guided his team to stay defensively compact for the next 80 minutes.

But the spotlight shone brightest on Niagara University defender Landon Hungerford as he scored FCB’s third goal to complete the comeback in the 87th minute. His game-winner was his first for the club as well. 

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The Michigan-raised centerback is one of the many new summer signings the club needed to improve in its second season in the USL League Two.

[ RELATED: 2024 Men’s Stats ]

As a result of his on and off-the-field work ethic, Hungerford also scored his first goal in nearly two years, dating back to his time at Lansing Common FC. The goal is special for him. 

“It means a lot. We have built some great chemistry; the fans and support is great at this club,” said Hungerford. “I think we have shown what we can do so far, and hopefully we will finish the season on a solid note.”

Hungerford and his team’s success this season comes back to the connection the ‘Blue and Gold Wall’ has built. 

“With Kobe and Fabian, we are all athletically gifted,” Hungerford said. “We have done a great job of just gelling together to ensure we do well as a back line. Fabian does a great job of driving the ball and finding that next level of pass. Kobe does a great job of communicating to ensure that Fabian and I are not stepping too high and are sticking together,” said Hungerford. “We all feed off each other well and we’ve built great chemistry early on after the first few practices. It’s built even more throughout the year.”

And for one of his partners in crimes, Overkamp appreciates having to play alongside a talented defender. 

“He is very good. You know that he can always catch the player he is marking,” said Overkamp. “He is a very good partner because we are also very similar in many ways—I admire what he does with being able to play with the ball using both feet.”

The Wolves have a rematch with Fort Wayne at Robert Rich All-High Stadium for a 7pm Wednesday kickoff. Led by head coach Mike Avery, Fort Wayne looks to bounce back in the Valley Division table following a surprise 2-1 loss at Toledo Villa, their first defeat this season. 

While FCB earned a positive 2-2 draw against Fort Wayne on June 8, the Wolves had some defensive worries as they conceded two quick goals in the first half. Hungerford acknowledges that improvements must be made on Wednesday for his team to continue on their two-game winning streak. 

“Looking back and watching the film from the first game will help us. We did have some lapses where Fort Wayne, being a great team, had their moments,” said Hungerford. “If we can fix those problems and make sure that we come ready to play on Wednesday, we will have a chance of winning the game.”

[ RELATED: Hungerford completes thrilling FCB comeback in Kentucky]

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