Keeper shuffle, new faces mark FC Buffalo double-header weekend
blog by BuffaloDotCom • June 10, 2011 @ 11:56am
Keeper Concerns: Losing your starting goalkeeper is never easy, as capable backups are an endangered species. Patrick Regna, in his second game after having a Brooklyn Italians’ teeth removed from his knee, suffered a leg injury late in the home game against Erie that could shelf him for the season. The knock caught head coach Dan Krzyzanowicz by surprise, as Regna played the entire match against the Admirals.
The Blitzers will roll forward with backup goalie Craig Yanni, a trusty Medaille product who’s already spelled Regna in two matches this season (a loss to Reading and win vs. Buxmont).
“Craig has played well,” Krzyzanowicz said. “Although Regna had a slight advantage [during preseason], they’re very close in ability, and I have plenty of faith in Yanni.”
Yanni, however, will not be available for tonight’s match in New Jersey, so the FC Buffalo net will be protected by soon-to-be Orchard Park High School senior Jordan Dilapo. While his credentials are solid—he’s an Olympic Development Program product and one of the top HS goalies in WNY—he may be daunted in his first semi-pro match against the New Jersey Blaze. (He did feature in FC Buffalo’s friendly at the Rochester Rhinos where the Blitzers lost 5-0). Follow FC Buffalo’s Facebook page for frequent updates, including starting lineups, goals, cards and even amusing commentary.
New faces: Two additions to the lineup this weekend will add depth and firepower to the FC Buffalo attack. Cincinnati Bearcats captain Mark Konitsch, a former Clarence HS All-WNY player, may debut on Sunday, as Cincinnati’s odd course schedule delayed his arrival. Konitsch excels with both foot and strikes deadly free kicks; Krzyzanowicz plans to employ him on the left side of midfield or at left back.
Perhaps even more exciting is the addition of Krystian Witkowski, the first team All-MAAC midfielder from Marist. A former u-18 Polish international, Witkowski will immediately add another dimension as an attacking midfielder, possibly splitting time with Matt Schuber in both matches this weekend.
Practice focus: At practice this week, Krzyzanowicz stressed to his club the need to play at a higher tempo; Blitzer fans witnessed the effectiveness of Patrick Zelko’s speed in the midfield against Erie, and the manager demands a more speedy transition from defense to attack. By giving the opposing defense less time to react and organize, FC Buffalo will find it easier to create chances and exploit mistakes.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 3 p.m. at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium. Tickets are $5, and there’s a strong chance that Lloyd’s Taco Truck will be in attendance.