Dolphins Tie With John Adams A Taste Of Things To Come
Beach Channel Dolphins coach Dominic Stanco had a dilemma on his hands. In their first clash of the season with John Adams, whose talent is on par with their divisional rivals to compete for the PSAL Queens B1 Title, the most crucial play of the game set the tone of a rainy day last Tuesday.
Midfielder Dewey Johnson lifted his foot too high as he chased the ball with John Adams' Fernando Rubello, which resulted in a nasty kick to the chest of the opposing midfielder.
Johnson's cleat showed up on Rubello's chest with the ugly red markings resulting in a red card and giving Adams a one man advantage of the game.
Instead of letting Adams take the opportunity to dominate the game, the Dolphins kept their composure and battled to get a 1-1 tie on the road.
The talents flowing on both teams suggest they can compete for a PSAL B Title. Beach Channel (2-0-1-7 points) and John Adams (2-0-1-7 points) returned a number of starters and added some new components. Stanco placed midfielder Marlon Velasquez as the lone forward in a revamped 4-4-1 system and the junior showed flashes of dominance with his speed and skill.
In the third minute of the second half, Adams committed a turnover with the ball in their half of the field. Dolphins forward Dave Scott made a quick cross to an open Velasquez, who dribbled wide and tucked in a left footed shot past goalkeeper Daniel Neto for a 1-0 lead.
Stanco has a lot of admiration for his midfielder, who he says has improved his skills from a single mindset of being just a goalscorer to an all-around menace for opponents.
Velasquez had heartbreak occur for him in a playoff loss last year to Brandeis in OT when his pass led to a turnover for the winning goal. Ever since that defeat, Stanco says Velasquez is a man on a mission to win the title.
"He has contributed in every way tand makes the team better. He's a team captain, he takes charge and he is only still a junior. He's grown up and he gives it his all. He's been tremendous," Stanco said,
Prosperity would not last long for the Dolphins as Adams would even the game 20 minutes later. Kenneil Haye tried to head in the ball as it was delivered on a corner kick. He mistimed the ball and deflected off his head towards teammate Matias Sartorio, who knocked it over the outstretched arms of GK Alpha Dia.
"I had to change on the fly with only 10 men against one of the best teams in the city in John Adams.
"We had plenty of chances. We were down one man and it was an even game. Neither team dominated. Hopefully with the both teams having everyone on the field, the outcome will be different," Stanco said.
Adams coach Hector Navarette has high expectations as well for his team and the barometer on how well he believes his team can do this season, will be judged by their performance against Beach Channel.
They were eliminated on a last second goal by Arts and Business in the PSAL B semifinals to lose 4-3 and cut their title expectations short.
He's pleased at their comeback, but not as the overall performance of his team. As a former MLS player with the Tampa Bay Mutiny, Navarette is quite sure of when a team must pounce on opportunity, which his team did not do. The rematch on October 6 should prove interesting.
"We were frustrated and we were lucky to get a tie. It's a frustrating thing for me," Navarette said.
"In the second half, we woke up and we got the tie. When we travel to Beach Channel, I know its going to be like playing a championship final."