Featured image source – Roc City Boom Facebook
Last Sunday, Roc City Boom hosted a Rochester derby against cross-town rivals RNYFC. Overall, there was an improvement from the previous performance against Sahara Gunners but still underwhelming in the end. The match ended in a 2-2 draw with both Boom goals coming, as usual, from the head of Peter DiLorenzo.
Boom went behind in the 9th minute as a ball was played out wide to Romero Nicolazzo. Dan Reger was late to get out to meet Nicolazzo and the ball crossed into the box after deflecting off Reger. Connor Halsted failed to get out to claim the ball and Jan Makula was there to tap it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to RNYFC.
Later in the 44th minute, RNYFC would make it 2-0 after a cross from Griffin Dehm found the foot of Romero Nicolazzo. Nicolazzo was able to find space after slipping his marker Wilson Wong at the back post.
Boom got back into the game in the 56th minute with a great headed goal from Peter DiLorenzo after a brilliantly placed cross from Konrad Zydowicz, who become the all-time leading assister in Roc City Boom history with his 8th career assist.
Finally, Boom drew level late in the 85th minute with another goal from DiLorenzo who received a headed cross from Wong and, from a few yards out, headed the ball into the net after James Ramsay failed to get a hand onto the ball to clear it.
Roc City Boom was definitely the better side in the second half but were very much outplayed in the first. A possible explanation for this could be that RNYFC just ran out of energy as many of their players had an MLS NEXT match just the day before. Ahead of the match, RNYFC coach Robroy Charcholla stated, “We were hoping to play this game in May, but I know Roc City does a good job and they wanted to play once a week. So, we don’t really have any of our college guys so we have to play a lot of academy guys who played yesterday in an important league game in MLS NEXT.”
Overall, one positive thing the Boom can take away from the last two results is that they earned points against two strong teams. Sahara is already looking very much like a playoff caliber team early in the season while RNYFC has the look of a well-coached, technically strong team that will likely also compete for the playoffs.
Marc Mandell, coach of Roc City Boom
Q: Last match, we were missing a few players. Besides Peter DiLorenzo, has anybody else become available for today?
A: This week we got a few college guys back: JC, Joe Moon, Juan, and Josh Price. So, we have about 5 or 4 new guys that we’re trying to introduce into the line-up today and we’ll see how well we do with that.
Q: Any new players out to report?
A: Garrett Delves is out with a sickness and Gaurev picked up an injury so, we are without a backup keeper today. I guess we could use DiLorenzo if we have to.
Q: Last time, it’s fair to say, was pretty disappointing. What’s going to change today?
A: Hopefully, we do the opposite of last week. Hopefully, we go to every ball, we win in the air, establish control, play simple, quick keep the ball moving. They’re a younger team they’re gonna press, they’re gonna be all over us and they have a system. If we play our game, which we didn’t play last week, I think we’ll be much better suited for this week.
Robroy Charcholla coach of RNYFC Academy
Q: What are your expectations for the game today?
A: I just hope none of our guys get hurt to be honest. We wanted to get this game in May but I know Roc City do a good job and wanted to play once a week so we don’t really have any of our college guys, so we have to play a lot of our academy guys who played yesterday in an important league game in MLS NEXT. The Average age in the matchday roster is 18 years 2 months. So it’s a very young roster, but I hope it’s a good game no one gets hurt and it’s fun to watch.
Q: How do you think your team being so much younger than the Roc City Boom will affect the game today?
A: They’re gonna have to grow up pretty quickly. These guys are men and a few of these guys are along and we know them well. Some of them have been playing with each other for a long time. But we have a good group and they’re a good group of kids. They work hard and they’re good at soccer so other than the surface being a little quick I hope we compete well. That would be our hope.
Q: I’m sure you don’t want to single out any of your players, but for any Roc City Boom fans who maybe aren’t as familiar with your team and players, is there anyone you think they should really look out for?
A: I’ll pick two guys who I don’t coach, or well I coach them everyday cause we mix, but there are a few U17s (16 year olds). Number 9, the forward, he’s had trials with Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew. Number 11, Canadian boy, Romero [Nicolazzo]. He just scored three in the last two games playing up with the U19s. Then the right back, Griffen Dehm, also a U17. He’s played 90 minutes in the last 6 matches up with the U19 in MLS NEXT best league in the country. There’s a lot of good players in the group. I didn’t even say the 19 year olds that I coach everyday myself. But those three boys, I mean, they’re young and they’re playing up regularly and now they’re playing against men. So it’ll be an interesting test for them.
Q: Finally Brennan McDermott, who made his debut with the RNYFC first team last season, is out today. How is that going to affect the team?
A: We’d love to have Bren. He’s been playing center back for us and he played centrally for the first team and with us last year. He’s grown up by playing with them last summer. He can do the duels. So, as a center back, he is incredible. But, he’s got a little bit of an injury. We have a big event mid May to qualify for the playoffs with the U19s so we’re protecting him. There’s no fracture, but it’s next man up. We believe in the fact that we believe in the group.
Zach Drayer, player for RNYFC
Q: What kind of an experience is it playing in a D1 school [like The University of Rhode Island]?
A: It’s incredible, when you think about it. It’s an experience that not many people get to have and a small percent of the population gets to do it and it’s a blessing to be able to experience it and to be able to travel across the country and even sometimes the world to play against the best players. It’s just quite an experience.
Q: As one of the older guys of the group, what’s your role as the elder of the group?
A: Well, I have a lot of experience and I’ve played all over and I play in a lot of positions. I played for the club. I like to think that I can be a little bit of a role model and something of a leader. Take some of the skills that learned at URI and bring them here.
Q: Do you think the younger age of the team will affect how they play against an older group?
A: I think in many ways this group plays differently than our years might suggest, and I think in this case age is just a number.
Post Match Interview
Interview with both Anthonny Rozzano and Peter DiLorenzo
Q: So Anthonny, who’s Peter DiLorenzo?
A: I don’t know. I had two nice goals today off my head. No, I’m just kidding. Pete, I told you he’s a big presence out there, good leader, good captain. Find the ball in the box and he’ll find a way to get his head on it. Which, obviously, two goals is better than one. Wish he could get three but we’ll talk about it later.
Q: Peter, it’s great to have you back.
A: It’s great to be back and it’s good to be back in front of the fans and put on a show for them today. I mean I wish we could’ve had a different result and we should’ve had a different result. But it is what it is. We move past it now and focus on the next game at hand.
Q: Anthony, last time we talked you said it was ‘about the worst first half ‘you’ve seen us play.’ Do you think there was an improvement?
A: I definitely think there was an improvement from last game for sure. I’d say it’s about 40 percent of where we need to be. We picked it up in the second half and got more momentum and found Pete in the box more and just started to connect and get more people forward which helped us out a lot. But we still have a lot to build on which is what we’ll do this week in practice. Not to knock these guys we played against; they were very organized, they moved the ball quickly, fit, young, and they made us pay early on.
Q: Peter what were your thoughts on the match?
A: Anthony kind of hit it on the head. I think in the first half we definitely were much slower to attack and look to attack. Again, these kids they’re young. They’re fit. They’re very organized. They practice together. I don’t even know how many days a week they’re training together. We need more guys to show up to training sessions to allow us to go ahead and move forward with our team morality and team comradery here. Hopefully, we can improve for the next time. It’s great that we came back but, 2-2 is not enough. We need to be winning these games if were looking to go ahead and continue on later on this season.
Q: Anthony, do these last two 2-2 results affect the long term goals of the season?
A: I would say no, not at all. We still know that we’re the top team in this division. We just have to get our feet under us and be a bit more organized, and then in the final third we need to put the ball in the net. Like Pete said, it starts with practice. Getting guys out there and getting some consistent 11v11 and working on our technique and we’ll be fine this year.
Q: Lastly for Peter DiLorenzo. You seemed to be having a hard time or maybe playing with a bit of a injury. Are you alright?
A: Well the real answer is no. But I’m just gonna power on through and just do the best that I can. If it does wind up taking a bigger toll, you know, I don’t think I can and I probably shouldn’t be playing but I do what I can to make sure I’m on the field to help the boys out and I’ll put my body through whatever it needs to go through to play this game. Just strengthen it and rehab it, and when game day comes, give it my all.
Q: So another 2-2 draw. Kind of a disappointing result. What went wrong again?
A: I‘ll tell you, I’m at a loss for words. This is our second time we’re giving up early goals. The only thing I can say is we’re coming back. . . we’re able to show some. . . some resolve and I don’t know, some fight. I guess the guys still have some fight in them and that’s a good thing.
Q: I’m sure you’ve already spoken with the team but what would you like to tell them?
A: Well, I’d like to tell them what I’ve told them a million times. When you win the league for the past three years you have a target on your back. No one’s just going to lay down and think, “Oh no, it’s the Boom!” So, one thing I tell them is, if we’re not gonna play like ourselves at least play like the other team because everybody is coming for us and they’re going 100 percent. They’re winning every ball and they’re fighting us for every ball and it just seems like, at times, that we don’t have that grit that’s gonna win every ball.
Q: So what are the changes you want to make? Are there changes to the line up to maybe show players that they are replaceable? Or what are you gonna do in the matchday squad against Invictus?
A: Well, we have more college guys coming back and you saw that I sprinkled a couple of guys today. Joe Moon did well in the middle. JC did alright out wide. So, little by little, we’re getting more college guys and that’s gonna create competition in practice and for games. Once you see Tamas [Nagy[ come in, I think you’ll see that our scoring will benefit with Tamas. That’s all I have to say. He’s playing with Roberts right now and every pre-season scrimmage he’s had so far. Played Brockport yesterday. They won 3-1 and he had all three goals. He’s a scoring machine. So, hopefully, when he’s back, we can incorporate him and we can show you guys what we can really do.