Preview: Real Maryland v. Cleveland City Stars
This Saturday, Real Maryland travels to Cleveland for a home and home series with the Cleveland City Stars.
The Monarchs (1-2-0) head into Ohio on the back of a 1-nil loss to Western Mass while the City Stars (1-0-2) take to the home turf following a nil-nil draw with defending champions Harrisburg.
Ronald Cerritos will return to the Real Maryland line-up following his one match suspension, but Monarch’s coach Silvino Gonzalo will once again have to reshuffle his line-up. Devlin Barnes is suspended for this Saturday’s match and Philippe Bissohong is doubtful with a quad strain.
Despite the loss of two starters, Gonzalo is in a bullish mood as his team gets set to hit the road. “Our team will get better every week,” said the Spaniard. “Every game will get better and better and better. In my mind, this team has the desire and quality to become one of the best in the league in the very near future.”
Tactically, Gonzalo does not plan to change much from the way his team played in the defeat to Western Mass. “We will see if we can push the midfield up a bit,” said Gonzalo, citing that Dennis Alas was playing a bit too deep last week leaving spaces in the midfield. “But more or less we’re going to go the same way.”
Following Saturday night’s game the same two teams will be back in action next Saturday, May 17th at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
2 Real Maryland Players to Watch
If it weren’t for goalkeeper Emilio Zelaya, Real Maryland could easily have trailed Western Mass 4-0 at halftime. Following his USL-2 goalkeeper of the week performance at home to Pittsburgh, Zelaya made a string on stunning saves in Western Mass which not only kept the Monarchs in the game, but gave them a chance to win. If Zelaya can keep his early season form, Goalie of the Year may well be in the cards.
Following his one game suspension, Ronald Cerritos’s return to the line-up will be a huge boost for Real Maryland. Against Western Mass there were times when the Monarch’s looked lost without their general on the field. Cerritos is the link between the midfield and the forwards. His goal against Pittsburgh served as a strong reminder as to why the El Salvador international is the seventh all time leading scorer in MLS and a warning that he may very well become one of the top marksmen in USL-2 as well.
2 Cleveland City Stars Players to Watch
2007 USL-2 Defender of the Year Mark Schutle is the anchor of a City Stars back line that has only conceded two goals in three games. The former Columbus Crew defender played every minute of every game last year and continues his streak this season featuring in all 270 minutes of Cleveland’s season so far.
Last year’s team MVP, Derick Potteiger, is the team’s leader in midfield. A classic number 10, Potteiger brings a wealth of USL experience to the table. The Mechanicsburg, PA native plays a more defensive role, but look for him to get forward, create chances in the offensive end, and possibly get his name on the score-sheet.
Cleveland City Stars Signs two new players
This week, the City Stars completed the signings of two Brazilian players, Adriano Sella (26) from Americano RJ and Jose Ze Barbosa, a 17-year-old forward from Palmeiras.
While City Stars Executive Director Aaron Tredway says he expects both players to have an “immediate impact,” their inclusion on the roster for Saturday night will be a game time decision.
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