Inter New York SA head coach Carlos Gutierrez talking to his players at practice. Inter New York SA Images
By Ralph Chery
March 11, 2017
Spring season is unfolding some early flowers as the 29th edition of the John Kilby League Cup is set to kick off on Sunday.
Zum Schneider FC 03 snatched the cup last season, edging Shamrock SC 1-0 in the final.
16 teams will be going at it again this season: four reserve sides (two from D1 and two from D2), three from the first division and nine from the second one.
Zum is the best team on paper to win the John Kilby Cup, being the highest seeded Division 1 team as they sit in fifth place.
However the odds are against them to win the League Cup considering the fact that the last time a team from the top flight won the competition was in the 2013 when Central Park Rangers took the trophy home. Schneider is scheduled to play second division North Region third place team Brishna away from home on Sunday.
Division one side Manhattan Celtic is in the inter-divisional competition as well. Their player-coach Scott Rowling expressed how he feels about his side taking part of the cup actions.
"Obviously we want to have as much success as possible in the cups but we are just excited to get the second half of the season started,” Rowling said.
“We had a strong winter and brought in a bunch of new faces. We feel like we improved both on and off the field. As a club we feel like we are in a great spot to have a strong spring season. We know our opponent will be tough and we are looking forward to kicking off the season."
Manhattan Celtic defending against Cedar Stars Academy. Cedar Stars Academy Images
Zum Schneider FC 03 reserve team is Manhattan’s opponent in the round of 16. Zum’s first team blanked Celtic 3-0 in the last round of the league. The reserve team’s captain Jack Bruwin is poised that they will also defeat the Irish based club.
“As a club we beat Celtic and other first division teams in this competition last season even when we were a second division side, so we're fairly confident,” Brushwin said. “From what I saw in the match between Celtic and our firsts in the Fall, it doesn't seem like they improved much from last year.”
On another note, NYPD FC is the highest seeded second division team in the contest. Their first match is a home game against Stal Mielec NY reserve team. NYPD only lost one league game in the Fall.
New side Inter New York SA is the lowest seeded team representing Division 2, sitting in the bottom of the table on a 0-1-7 record. Their single draw was with D2 giants NYPD.
Inter SA were not only one of the newest teams in Division 2 in the first half of the season but also the youngest team. The team averaged 23 years of age in the Fall.
Inter New York SA Fall roster. Inter New York SA Images
Inter’s first game is against seven-time first division champions NY Athletic Club. However NYAC is currently fighting to get out of relegation zone.
Even though they’re a new and young team, head coach Carlos Gutierrez is not pressured about competing against teams from the top flight but thrilled.
“We’re feeling very confident and honored to play against first division teams as you know we are a new team in the second division but we enjoy the challenge. We feel very confident in ourselves because of the hard work we do in training and the discipline we have.
“That always gives you nice results but even if we don't win the game we’re going to keep working on our style on the field which is a lot of ball possession and will try to play as a team.”
Inter NY acquired ex-professional Superleague Greece player, Dean Moraitis, as their assistant coach during the break.