Before the New York Red Bulls face off against the new expansion side in LAFC there will be a championship final coming to the state of New Jersey. Yes we remember when New York Red Bulls II hosted the USL championship and defeated Swope Parke Rangers five goals to one.
But this time the location will be a bit further away, but not to far away from Harrison, Newark and Hoboken. On the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ will be the National Premier Soccer League Championship Final as FC Motown in the Keystone Conference of the Northeast Region will host Miami FC 2 from the Sunshine Conference of the South Region.
And if you thought that a little championship final wasn’t enough, guess how much Red Bulls power is going to be used in this one. You would have at least four people associated with the former MLS Club as a fringe player, coming off the bench, used as a consistent starter and a former academy player.
On Miami FC 2 you would know a familiar name or two as Defender Tyler Ruthven plays for the South Florida side in the fourth division, but the one man that we all know who is the Man of Steel is of course the Northern Ireland Midfielder in Johnny Steele.
We remember some of his goals that were scored in important moments for the club when he scored six goals within the nearly two seasons he played at Red Bull Arena before transferring in the summer window to the Newcastle Jets in the Australian A-League.
But man we remember some of his great goals when he ripped a tight angle shot on the road at Sporting Kansas City when it was a nationally televised match on NBC Sports Network. Or the final goal in the last regular season match against the Chicago Fire to win the clubs first Supporters Shield.
Of course the Montville, NJ Native Dilly Duka who has had a solid season scoring plenty of goals including having three in the US Open Cup with two against the PDL Bulls and opening the scoring against Penn FC in the second round, till the damn burst open.
But the man who has lead FC Motown into this run is the head coach and former Red Bulls Academy product in Sacir Hot. This run has been absolutely sensational as FC Motown in their first season in the NPSL has only lost once and a draw in the playoffs with a combined record of 13-1-1
“I consider myself more as a realistic person and the talent we have on our roster as compared to the national player barometer of talent, it’s a pretty realistic goal for us to reach the NPSL Final.” Said Sacir Hot
“It didn’t shock me that we made it this far, it was just the guys stepping it up when they really needed to. It was ours to lose basically. Our conference isn't the easiest, we have tough teams and people don’t understand what goes on here.
(Facing teams like West Chester United, Hershey FC, Junior Lone Star FC, FC Monmouth, etc.) The Garden State Soccer League, the Cosmopolitan league, there is a lot of talent that goes on over here, but it gets overlooked. Some of our guys are based from these other leagues as well. They are taking these teams seriously.”
But for Hot he will be facing against a man who’s last name is very famous within the football world including from his home back in Liverpool, England as Paul Dalglish who is the son of Kenny Dalglish will be managing the other side and matching wits within his technical area.
“We respect Miami and we think highly of them. The results, well the proof is in the pudding. But once the opening whistle blows, that gets thrown out the window and there is a championship to be won.” Said Hot.
“This is going to be fun. You always want to go up against the best. If it is against the Dalglish blood line, then good. It’s always good to up against the best and I can’t wait to face him and his side.”
So on Saturday night, August 4th at 7:30PM FC Motown will host Miami FC 2 for the right to hoist over their heads the championship trophy of the National Premier Soccer League as the two best sides will be fighting for a trophy.