By: Shobha Kondragunta
Shobha Kondragunta is a guest author and the mother of U-23 and Futsal player Vinay Chandra. She has written for Bleacher Report in the past.
Severn, MD (July 1, 2017) – It was raining goals at the Futsal game between Baltimore Kings and Washington Fire on a hot Saturday afternoon at the Annapolis Area Christian Academy. Kings beat Fire 20-10. Kings, who train twice a week at the Benfield Sports Center in Millersville, MD, opened the Futsal season on June 10 with a KingsFest playing their U23 men’s team for a 9-7 win. Today’s game marked the first game of the 2017 season against another new pro soccer development club in the Washington, DC metro area.
Fire scored three quick goals within the first seven minutes of kickoff. Kings’ coach, Mike Kin, called a timeout in the seventh minute to have a chat. His specific advice was “stop dribbling, spread out and find a way to move the ball up front.” After the timeout, Kings picked up the pace and the first goal finally came in the 10th minute from Castaneda who beat three Fire players with nifty moves. Seconds later, Russell scored by lobbing the ball from the left corner for a dip behind the keeper into the net. A series of four goals from Djokic and one from Lake followed resulting in 8-3 for Kings at the end of the first half.
Second half, Coach Kin sent the same starting four field players (Avetrani, Djokic, Castaneda, Russell), but replaced starting Keeper Koester with Greuter. With Fire attempting a comeback, the game got intense and both teams committed several fouls; three yellow cards were issued, one for Kings and two for Fire. Fire converted one of the two penalties and one free kick bumping their score to six goals. Kings player Djokic scored yet again a beautiful goal, his 5th of the day, from the free kick spot.
Kings Keepers had countless saves the whole game yet had to rely on players Baumgartner, Russell, and Djokic to step into the box and make dramatic clearances from goal line in certain plays.
Kings slowed the game down by keeping the ball in their half towards the end of the game. Yet, goals flowed for Kings until the very last 20 seconds of the game.
The Annapolis Area Christian Academy boasts of a fan-friendly atmosphere with an opportunity for young fans to play 6 v 6 Futsal during the half-time. Kings spirit wear can be purchased at the team tent for reasonable prices. Kings will return to action on July 12 for an away game versus Sporting Maryland. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m.
Lineup (Kings): Cody Koester (GK), Brian Greuter GK), Javier Avetrani, Filip Djokic, Carlos Casteneda, Ryan Russell, Daniel Baumgartner, Joey Howard, Michael Lake. Injured (Josh Danza, Mike Kozlowski, Vinay Chandra)
Lineup (Fire): Marquis Flowers, Jose Pacheco, Juan Velasquez, Roberto Yepez, Abdel Fonkako, Steve Malm
Weather: Sunny and 80