Meanwhile, at the historic Metropolitan Oval, F.C. New York hosted the first place Western Mass. Pioneers of the PDL. Johnny Arteaga gave New York the 1-0 lead into the second half, and notched two more against his former side en route to his first professional hat trick.
This now sets up a historic inter borough battle between the two Queens sides. Both teams are based in Jamaica, and both use Belson Stadium as their home grounds. Come June 21st, it is age before novelty as the Pancyprian Freedoms will be playing the role of the home side.
Now don’t let their affiliations fool you; though F.C. New York has played admirably in the higher tiered USLPRO tables, the Freedoms are not a team to be taken lightly. The age defying Julio Cesar Dos Santos and Stefan Dimitrov proved to be a handful against Brooklyn and will be equally dangerous against FCNY. They also have a respectable keeper who moonlights with the Cosmos U-23 program in Chad Calderone. Perhaps foremost, the Freedoms have a long tradition of success in the U.S. Open Cup, and a win against the upstart pro team, playing in their own backyard, would certainly be another nice bookmark in the teams history.
For F.C. New York, it has been a battle for respect all season, and this would be the next hill to claim on route to it. The winner may get a shot at playing the New York Red Bulls in an event that will certainly delight the cities hardcore soccer faithful, but before the big dreams begin, both sides will have to focus on advancing come the 21st.