Month Review: June | #vbcityfc
The month of June was a successful one overall for Virginia Beach City FC who went 3-0-2; not losing a single match. The month saw the emergence of second year man Sheriff Secka as the teams leading goal scorer and the two massive additions of former Academy product Julian Barrios-Cristales and English Forward Mikael Ndjoli. Virginia Beach City FC enters July with maybe one of the deepest rosters the club has ever boasted.
June started off with the return home against Grove United after a two-week road stint. Virginia Beach City FC had just won their first match against the same competition the week prior. Virginia Beach City FC ultimately winning the second match at home with the same margin of 2-0.
“I thought we came in with a much better game plan and played with more purpose than we did the previous game against Grove,” said Assistant Coach Jimmy McCabe.
“A lot more guys played in their true positions; had a lot more tactical awareness of what was going on. We were able to manage the match better. Obviously, scoring the goal early in the match made a bigger difference organizationally compared to scoring it at the end of the match,” McCabe concluded.
VB City FC, now with an even 1-1-1 record went on the following week to play at First State FC in Wilmington, Delaware. The team traveled the longest trip of the season with a number of guys who have played rotation rolls this season and with a short bench. The challenge was always going to be tough for that match but the coaching staff was pleased with the performance.
“I thought it was important to come away with the point. I would have much rather have come away with the full three but with the super young roster we traveled with, having them step up and fill in, we are happy with the effort the guys put in that week,” McCabe recalled.
“The end of the story is that we just need to be finding the back of the net more.”
And that they did! Virginia Beach City FC return home to Powhatan Field and, again, played the same competition from the week prior. A whopping five goals were scored by the home team in a match that concluded 5-3 in front of the City faithful.
“Returning home, we had a lot more options player wise. Although we got off to a slow start, I think we easily could have had another five or six more goals in the second half and really put the game away as they started to lose momentum,” recounted by McCabe.
This match was also the debut and long-awaited return of Julian Barrios-Cristales; one of the early success stories of the Virginia Beach City FC Academy program. After departing VB City FC’s Academy, Barrios joined D.C. United’s Academy; the direct youth feeder to Major League Soccer’s original dynasty club. From there, he joined another MLS Academy in Houston Dynamo and spent several seasons there before returning to Richmond. Julian Barrios-Cristales has committed to NCAA powerhouse program Georgetown Hoyas and will begin to play there later on this year.
“It was great to see Julian out there playing with the Men’s Team that he has been training with since he was U-14 or U-15. He’s finally come along and he’s stepped into the middle of the field and played a good solid 30 minutes. Now that he’s with us full-time, I’m excited to see what his addition will do for us going forward the rest of the season,” clamored McCabe; who has long been with the club as a youth coach to have watched Julian’s development up on to this point.
This 5-3 match against First State FC was also the match were second year VB City FC Forward Sheriff Secka went off for a hat-trick, his second, third, and forth goals of the season. Secka would carry this momentum on to the following match scoring the game winner, his fifth goal on the season, at the death of stoppage time to beat first place Alexandria Reds 3-2; clinching a playoff spot for his team.
“Secka is a proven goal scorer with us. I’m glad to see he is getting back to the form that he ended last season in,” McCabe honored.
Sheriff Secka is now on 11 goals all-time with Virginia Beach City FC in 13 matches played.
Minutes before the Friday match with Alexandria Reds, a major signing was finalized for Mikael Ndjoli; an announcement anticipated by the club’s front office for quite some time. Ndjoli is the cousin of Virginia Beach City FC Head Coach Stephane Thys and has played on several notable clubs at the youth and First Team level. Ndjoli, who has only officially been on the VB City FC roster for less than thirty minutes, scored the opener for his side just ten minutes into the match. He later scored another goal in the match to tie it at 2-2; setting the score line for Sheriff Secka to be able to hit the 90th minute danger.
Just two days later, Virginia Beach City FC would be on the road once more in the regular season, this time to play Northern Virginia United. Virginia Beach City FC would come away with just one more point towards the standings thanks to the 1-1 draw.
Virginia Beach City FC will complete the final two regular season matches at home on July 2nd and 9th against FC Frederick and Northern Virginia United respectively before finding out who they will play on their road to the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Championship Match. Ensure you don’t miss the dramatic conclusion and secure your tickets today by following this link.