Preview: Big Weekend in WNY

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After what can certainly be classified as a successful weekend in the Hoosier State, FC Buffalo has returned to Western New York for two critical fixtures this weekend.

The Blitzers managed to bring home four of six possible points in the table after defeating FC Indiana 1-0 on Friday night and equalizing late against Indy Eleven to salvage a 3-3 draw on Sunday afternoon.

“We definitely wanted to get two wins out of it, but under the circumstances of what we dealt with, I thought it was a true team effort,” said head coach Brendan Murphy. “I told the guys that I have never been prouder of a team with the amount of heart and fight we showed.”

The club will now turn its attention first to AFC Cleveland and then Rochester River DogZ FC this weekend. The Blitzers will seek to take three points back from the Royals on the pitch at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium after conceding a 2-0 loss in Cleveland in May.

“It’s a big defensive performance we’re going to need to have. No mental breakdowns. They’re very good, very organized, they’ve got players all over the field and we’ve got to be ready to deal with that.”

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Goalkeeper Nick Jeffs, as he has all season, figures to be a big factor in the team’s defensive performance this weekend.

“It’ll be tough. Cleveland is very good. I think if we buried our chances the last game, it would have been different. I think 2-nil was a bit of an unfair score line,” Jeffs said.

Credit: Dan & Margaret | Hickling Images Do not use without express written permission of FC Buffalo
Credit: Dan & Margaret | Hickling Images

It will prove to be a challenge. The Royals sit atop the table with 18 points and an impressive plus-15 goal differential. However, the squad knows they cannot allow themselves to be daunted by the numbers on the stats sheet. A win on Friday, coupled with an Indy Eleven loss Saturday, would see the Wolves rise to second in the table with 13 points.

Sunday will see the Wolves hit the road to play their second match against RiverDogZ FC at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium in Brockport. The RiverDogZ currently sit fifth in the table, with five points and a minus three goal differential.

“They’re both really big games. There’s no easy games. No one in this league is a walk-over,” said Jeffs.

“We’ve got a big weekend ahead of us and we’ve got some work to do,” said Murphy. “The focus is Friday right now, but Sunday is a chance to get them back from the time they beat us. We should not feel anything but fire to want to get them back.”

Friday night’s fixture kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the gates of All High Stadium. Sunday’s match is scheduled for a 3 p.m. kick off.