The week that was: May 12-18

FC Buffalo’s first weekend of matches was a success, although the team is seething after failing to pick up all six points.

What are they saying around the soccer world? Let’s take a look.

On Friday, FC Buffalo picked up its first road win against Erie in five years as a club with a 4-2 drubbing of the rival Admirals. Russell Cicerone scored twice, while UB teammate Marcus Hanson also scored before St. Lawrence’s Dan Hunt slammed the door to make it 4-1.

On Sunday, the Wolves couldn’t capitalize on a strong opening half-hour that saw the club take a 1-0 lead, finishing its home opener against AFC Cleveland with a 1-1 draw.


Nate Benson was one of several photographers on the scene for Sunday’s home opener, including the above shot of Ian Mort. View a gallery here.

Season previews:

Buffalo News season preview: “Among the returnees from last season are Bobby Ross, team Defensive Player of the Year.

Coach Brendan Murphy, a Williamsville North and St. Lawrence University graduate and also the head coach at D’Youville College, has some new talent on the roster. One is Russell Cicerone from the University at Buffalo, who was the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year.”

Goose’s Roost season preview:  “High hopes are held for a slate of newcomers, two of whom I was able to chat with following the Blitzers’ training session.”

Niagara Gazette season preview: “Only this year, the team has modified its slogan to ‘Five Our City’ to mark the organization’s fifth year of membership in the National Premier Soccer League. That’s a longer run than Buffalo’s two previous NPSL entries combined.

‘I wouldn’t say I didn’t expect it,’ said team president and co-owner Nick Mendola. ‘But there was just so much uncertainty and the financial climate had made it even harder. I think it’s a testament to our fans and our players and the demand for soccer in this city that we are still around.’

FCB 4, Erie 2:

Goose’s Roost recap of Erie/FCB: “Only 10 minutes elapsed before Cicerone sparked the match’s first goal. Whizzing through the heart of the midfield in Yaya Toure-like fashion, the UB soon-to-be sophomore was hacked down from the side, drawing a free-kick opportunity just outside the Erie box.” recap of Erie/FCB: “We conceded four goals at home, and left ourselves too much to do to win the game,” said Erie Admirals coach Micky Blythe, who has replaced owner and general manager John Melody as head coach.”I don’t want to take anything away from Buffalo. They came here and performed very well. But defensively, I think we have a lot to learn.”

Queen City Til I Die on Erie/FCB: “For the first time in the club’s five years, Buffalo drove back up the I-90 with a win against a team that just last season they had never beaten at all.  The multitude of fans who trekked down from Buffalo to support the team recognized the monumental moment even before the final whistle blew, as a “BREN-DAN MUR-PHY” chant broke out in the waning minutes of the match.”

FCB 1, Cleveland 1

Goose’s Roost recap of FCB/Cleveland: “FC Buffalo hits the road for the second time, drawing the Indiana Fire next Sunday in Indianapolis. Formerly Westfield Select, the Fire latched on with the Chicago Fire as a development team, prompting the (confusing) early-season name change.

Until then, FC Buffalo can take some pride in four points from the first weekend, while also welcoming back four starting-caliber players in Kendell McFayden, Andrew Bednarsky, Chris Walter and Jake Rinow.”

Niagara Gazette on FCB/Cleveland: “Instead of gaining another three points for the standings, the Blitzers had to settle for four out of six for the weekend.

‘Very disappointing,’ said FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy. ‘The boys battled hard but to not come away with a victory in that game is … I think we deserve more that, the way we played. We just made little mistakes. We didn’t take the chances when we had them.'”

Queen City Til I Die on FCB/Cleveland: “The near-capacity crowd was loud, supportive, and had plenty to be vocal about during FC Buffalo’s home opener at the Demske Sports Complex on the campus of Canisius College.

Right up until the final whistle of a 1-1 tie with AFC Cleveland, the game was packed with back-and-forth action as the Wolves and the Royals exchanged shots, golden opportunities and near misses.”