PREVIEW: FC Buffalo at Erie Commodores

By Alex Beilman

All Photos: Dan & Margaret | Hickling Images

[ BUY: Discounted tickets for our regular season home finale ]

FC Buffalo will continue their push for the playoffs this Saturday when they play longtime foes the Erie Commodores in a big Erie County Derby match. The penultimate game of the regular season has a lot on the line for the Blitzers.

They will need a victory to have a chance at the final playoff spot when they face off against Indy Eleven in the season finale on July 8.

“We cannot relax. We cannot get comfortable. We need to be firing on all cylinders,” head coach Brendan Murphy said. “We’ve got to be very sharp when we have the ball. Erie is going to be ready, they’re going to have a plan for us.”

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Romario Guscott figures to be a big part of the final two games. The striker has found his strike of late, notching four points in the past five matches. He also leads the team in assists with three.

Credit: Max Avery
Credit: Max Avery

“The main focus is to get the job done,” Guscott said. “We want to come out with three points and move on to our next opponent and get to the playoffs.”

Midfielder Ian McGrath also figures to be a major contributor in the home stretch. The American leads the team with three goals, and has gone the distance in all eight division games. He is ready to continue battling to try reach the goals the team set forth at the beginning of the year.

“It is getting a little tough. I think we just want to bring home three points. We need to regroup and get back to our normal play,” McGrath said, reflecting on a hard-to- swallow 2-1 loss to Rochester RiverDogZ FC this past Sunday.

“Hopefully we get a big win to carry us in to the ‘championship Sunday’ against Indy Eleven.

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Although both matches are do-or- die, the team is still taking things the customary one game at a time.

“We always keep an eye on [the playoff picture]. We understand what it means to be in the playoffs here in Buffalo,” Murphy said. “It all starts with Erie on Saturday. We are not looking past that game in any way, shape or form.”

“The games come one game at a time. We need to focus on the short-term goals first,” said midfielder Jack Donaldson. “First things first, the game at Erie, we need to win that.”

The game will kick off from Gannon University in Erie at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Fans are encouraged to make the trip. Supporters can also purchase discounted tickets for the home finale on July 8 online.