General Manager’s 2014 Wrap Up Report
The GBFC Thunder completed their third season in the National Premier Soccer League in impressive fashion! The Greater Binghamton Futbol Club flagship team again rose to the elite 8 in the 80 team NPSL. Although the Greater Binghamton area is one of the smallest markets in the league across the country the soccer the Thunder displayed during the 2014 campaign was top notch.
Highlights of the Thunder season are many:
- NPSL Record 11 wins, 2 losses, 2 ties
- Repeated as Champions of the 8 team Keystone Conference
- Repeated in the Northeast Region Finals for the second straight year. The NE Region is comprised of 21 teams
- Appeared in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time
- Led in scoring by two 1st year Thunder players
- Led in Assists by Jonny Sinclair with 6 assists
- Set a team record 10 shutouts for the season
- Scored 26 goals and allowed 12 in 15 games
- Won the North East Region Quarter-Final against Virginia City Beach FC 1-0,
- Won the North East Region Semi-Final against D.C. United U23 1-0
- Lost in the North East Region Final against Red Bulls U23 4-0
- As the Region Finalist, the Thunder has qualified to compete in the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
The future for soccer is bright in the Greater Binghamton Futbol Club. With the Thunder’s continued success, our youth players now have a direct path to the highest levels of soccer as they progress through high school, college and the NPSL.
Thunder Defeated by NY Bulls U23 in NPSL Division Finals
The GBFC Thunder’s dreams of a 2014 National Premier Soccer League Championship came to an end this evening in Whippany, NJ as they were defeated 4-0 by the NY Red Bulls U23 in the Northeast Division Finals. Trailing only 1-0 at halftime, the Thunder defense were unable to stop the Red Bulls high powered offense in the second half. Coming into the match, the Red Bulls had scored 58 goals and only given up 6 goals.
Thunder Defeat DC United U23 1-0 in Northeast Semi-Final
The GBFC Thunder continued their quest for a National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Championship in Washington DC by defeating the previously undefeated NPSL Mid Atlantic Conference champion DC United U23 team by a score of 1-0. After a scoreless first half, the Thunder’s Lucas Heffron scored 6 minutes into the second half with an assist by Bo Jelovac. One goal was enough as the Thunder defense turned in another defensive gem and the 9th straight shutout for Jason Stenta and his defenders.
The win puts the Thunder into the NPSL Northeast Division championship game for the second straight year. Their opponent in the Division championship match will be another undefeated MLS-affiliated team, the New York Red Bulls U23. The Red Bulls U23 team advanced to the Northeast Division finals by defeating the Brooklyn Italians 4-2 tonight. On the season, the Red Bull’s squad has scored 58 goals and only given up 6 goals. Saturday’s match will surely be a strong test of the Thunder defense.
The Division championship game will be played at 7 PM at the Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany NJ. Click here for directions to the field:
Thunder Defeat Virginia Beach City FC, 1-0
The GBFC Thunder continued their quest for a National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Championship on Visions Field by defeating the Virginia Beach City FC, 1-0.
Alex Varkatzas struggles against VBC defenderPhotos courtesy of Rick Sotak
Thunder celebrate goal
Virginia Beach City Keeper unable to stop shot
The game was scoreless for 114 minutes. With 6 minutes remaining in the second OT and facing a shootout, the Thunder finally was able to penetrate the Virginia Beach City FC defense to score the game’s only goal. On the play, Jherett Maroney drove down the sideline beating 3 Virginia Beach defenders before centering the ball to Bo Jelovac. Bo back healed a pass to Alex Varkatzas who put the winning shot by Virginia Beach keeper, Sean Stowe.
The Thunder continue in the NPSL Northeast Division playoffs, traveling to Washington DC on Wednesday for a match against the Mid Atlantic Conference champions – DC United Under 23 team.
Fox 40 Sports: Video
Action 12 News: Video
Thunder Clinch Keystone Conference Championship
Tonight, the GBFC Thunder clinched the regular season NPSL Keystone Conference championship by defeating the FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic 2-0 for the second time in 8 days. Last Saturday, the Thunder defeated FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic in a match on the Sonic home field in Whitehall PA. These two defeats were the only losses for the Sonic this season. The Thunder’s championship is a repeat of last year’s regular season Keystone Conference result.
The first half of the match ended scoreless. Scoring began for the Thunder in the 74 minute when Ethan Kutler drove home a rebound on a shot by Keleena Onysaka. Eight minutes later, Jherett Maroney, who had subbed in just 2 minutes earlier, took a pass from Alex Varkatzas and drove a shot low into the goal corner past the diving Sonic keeper, Charlie Sales. This was Jherett’s first appearance since being injured in late May. Thunder goalkeeper, Jason Stenta, held his opponents scoreless for the 7th straight game. It was his 8th shutout for the season.
Next up for the Thunder are the NPSL playoffs. Their first game will be next Saturday, 12 July on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex. The time of the playoff match is not yet set.
FOX 40 Sports: Video Link
Thunder Hand FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic First Loss
On Saturday, 28 June, the Thunder traveled to Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania for a match against the undefeated FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic. This is the first meeting of the season for the Thunder and the Sonic. The last time the teams played was the 2013 NPSL Northeast Region championship game, a game which the Sonic won 1-0. This time the Thunder knocked the Sonic from the ranks of the undefeated with a 2-0 victory and left the Thunder in sole position of first place in the NPSL Keystone Conference.
The Thunder scored one goal in each half. At the 35 minute mark of the game, Ethan Kutler scored on a direct kick from 20 yards out. In the second half, at the 64 minute mark, Ermin Corbic took a corner kick and Keleenna Onyeaka shot it home for the Thunder’s second goal. Thunder goalkeeper, Jason Stenta, held his opponents scoreless for the 6th straight game. It was his 7th shutout for the season.
The Thunder are home next Saturday, 5 July, for a return match against FC Lehigh Valley United FC. The results will determine the regular season NPSL Keystone Conference champions. Kickoff for the game is 6 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.
Thunder defeat Electric City Shock, 2-0
The Thunder hosted the Electric City Shock today at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex. Due to the inclement weather, the match was played inside the Dome.
Ethan Kutler and Bo Jelovac scored the 2 Thunder goals in the game.
Alex Varkatzas advances the ball as the bench watch
The Shock held the Thunder off the scoreboard for the first 28 minutes of the game. In the next two minutes, the Thunder scored twice on goals by Ethan Kutler and Bo Jelovac. That was the end of scoring for the match which ended in a 2-0 win for the Thunder. Thunder goalkeeper, Jason Stenta, held his opponents scoreless for the 4th straight game. It was his 6th shutout for the season.
In a previous 2014 meeting in Scranton, the Thunder and the Shock tied 2-2.
This Saturday, 28 June, the Thunder return to the road for a critical match against the FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic at Whitehall High School Stadium in in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania.
Thunder Win Two Games over Weekend by 1-0 Scores
It was a great weekend for the Thunder with back to back 1-0 shutout wins.
Ethan Kutler looks down field for an outlet pass. Ethan scored the winning goal in Saturday’s game against Pocono Snow.
Ben Ramin wards off a defender and drives toward goal. Ben scored the winning goal in Sunday’s game against Junior Lone Star.
On Saturday evening, the Thunder completed their 3 game road trip with a 1-0 victory over the Pocono Snow at East Stroudsburg University. During this critical three game span, the Thunder won 2 and tied 1. Today, the Thunder were back home and avenged their only 2014 NPSL Keystone Conference loss, defeating Junior Lone Star, 1-0. Both Thunder game winning goals came in the second half of the game.
In Saturday’s game, the Thunder’s goal was scored by Ethan Kutler on a cross from Mike Koegel.
Sunday’s goal came when Bo Jelovac took the ball on the right sideline, beat a Lone Star defender and centered a pass onto the foot of Ben Ramin who drove the ball past Prince Monyan, the Lone Star keeper.
The Thunder are now 6-1-2 in NPSL play. The two weekend shut outs were Jason Stenta’s 4th and 5th of the seaon and brought his opponent’s Goals-Against average down to 1.0 for the season.
Fox 40 Sports: Video Link
The Thunder’s next game is at home this Wednesday,, 25 June, when they play against the Electric City Shock at 6 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex. In a previous match this year, the Thunder and the Shock tied 2-2 in Scranton.
Thunder defeat Hershey FC, 6-0
The Thunder traveled to Hershey, PA to play against Hershey FC yesterday. The weather was hot with a kickoff time temperature of 87 degrees and the Thunder offensive was hotter. The Thunder lead 4-0 at halftime and the game ended with a score of 6-0. The Thunder goal scorers: two goals each from rookies Alex Varkatzas and Ethan Kutler and single goals by Jonnie Sinclair and Ermin Corbic.
The Thunder complete their critical road trip with their 21 June match against the Pocono Snow at East Stroudsburg University and then return home the next day, Sunday, 22 to play against Junior Lone Star at 3 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.
Thunder and Buxmont Torch Play to Scoreless Tie
The Thunder traveled to Perkasie, PA to play against the Buxmont Torch today. The match ended in a scoreless tie. Coming into the game, the Touch were undefeated (2-0-1) on the season. The Thunder were in second place in the NPSL’s Keystone Conference with a record of 3-1-1.
In terms of time of possession, the Thunder held the overall advantage, but were unable to translate possession time into goals. The Thunder controlled the midfield but could not breakdown or penetrate the Touch defense. Thunder Head Coach Al Mydlinski stated: “Buxmont is a good team. This was the best game the Thunder have played to date.”
The Thunder continue their critical road trip with their next match on 18 June in Hershey, PA against the Hershey FC. Following the Hershey match, the Thunder play the Pocono Snow at East Stroudsburg University on 21 June and then return home the next day, Sunday, 22 June, when they play against Junior Lone Star at 3 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.
Thunder back at home, defeat Pocono Snow – 3-1
The GBFC Thunder were back home at Visions Field today for a match against the Pocono Snow, an NPSL team from East Stroudsburg, PA and won 3-1.
Jason Stenta restarts play with a goal kick
Cody Healy shields ball from Pocono Snow defender
Photos courtesy of Rick Sotak
The Thunder opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Alex Varkatzas fed a through ball to fellow striker Ethan Kutler who took the goalkeeper on one on one and drove the ball into the low far corner. Four minutes later a Jonny Sinclair cross found the foot of Varkatzas who slotted the ball into the far post past the diving Snow keeper, Jacob Gottwald. When the Thunder earned a corner kick in the 20th minute, it was Sinclair again with a perfect ball that found the leaping head of Pat Thompson. Thompsons strike was an unstoppable upper 90 finish that left the Snow reeling. Pocono’s answer came but 3 minutes later when midfielder Shastri Spencer dribbled through the Thunder defense to blast a low driven ball past Thunder net minder Jason Stenta. That would complete the scoring for the entire match with both sides having multiple opportunities keeping the match exciting for the fans as well as the teams as they worked hard to score again.
Fox 40 Sports: Video
In a preliminary match, the Pocono Snow Reserves beat the Thunder Reserves, 3-2 on a goal lated in the game.
Thunder Lose 3-0 in Philadelphia to Junior Lone Star
The Thunder traveled to Philadelphia, PA to play the Junior Lone Star today. Coming into the game, Junior Lone Star were 2-1-0 on the season with their lone lose to Thunder’s next week opponent the Pocono Snow .The Thunder were leading the NPSL’s Keystone Conference with a record of 2-0-1. It was a long day for the Thunder. With several starters unavailable for the game, the Thunder offense never got on track. The Thunder defense held Junior Lone Star’ off the score board for most of the first half. The game’s first goal came with just 2 minutes left before half time on a shot by the Star’s Seydou Ba. The second half was played much the same way with no scoring until the last 5 minutes of the game. Aboubakar Coulibaly scored twice in the waning moments of the game to make the final score 3-0.
After two road games, the Thunder now return home and look to return to their winning ways next Saturday, 7 June, when they play against the Pocono Snow at 6 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.
Thunder come from behind, tie Electric City Shock, 2-2
The Thunder traveled to Scranton, PA to play the Electric City Shock today. Coming into the game, the first year-NPSL Shock were 0-2 on the season but both losses had been by a single goal margin, losing 2-1 to the Junior Lone Star and 1-0 to the Pocono Snow .The Thunder had won their first two NPSL games. The Electric City Shock jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 12 minute mark on a goal by Andy Bush and increased that lead at the 16 minute mark with a goal by Giorgi Mandzulashvili. For the second game in a row, the Thunder were forced to fight their way back into a game from a 2 goal deficit. Again the Thunder response was the same – they tied the score by half time with a goal at the 23 minute mark by the team’s leading scorer, Bo Jelovac who buried the rebound of a Jonny Sinclair shot initially stopped by Shock goalie Charles Bayly. Fifteen minutes later, at the 38 minute mark, Mike Koegel scored on a dish from Jonny Sinclair to tie the game.
Although the Shock were held without a shot in the second half, in a period totally dominated by the Thunder, the Thunder was unable to penetrate Keeper Bayly’s cage, despite several opportunities, and the score ended 2-2.
The Thunder are on the road again next Saturday when they travel to Philadelphia for a match against the currently undefeated Junior Lone Star. The next Thunder home match is on 7 June at 6 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex against Pocono Snow.
Thunder comes from behind to defeat Hershey FC, 3-2
The GBFC Thunder needed to come from behind today to continue their NPSL winning ways. Down 2-0 early first half, the Thunder rallied to tie the score by halftime at 2-2. Scoring a single goal in the second half, they defeated Hershey FC 3-2 in today’s home game on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex.
Alex Varkatzas avoids Hershey slide tackle
Bo Jelovac wonders what he’s done
Photos courtesy of Rick Sotak
Hershey FC started the scoring 23 minutes into the game on a 20 yard blast by Tyler Witmer. Three minutes later, Hershey was awarded a penalty kick on a Thunder foul in the box. Kenneth Fultz drove the ball by Thunder keeper Jason Stenta to give Hershey a 2 goal lead. The Thunder did not give up. First Alex Varkatzas scored on a through ball from Bo Jelovac at the 31 minute mark. Six minutes later, Varkatzas returned the favor, passing the ball to Jelovac who put a shot between the keeper’s legs to tie the score at 2. The score remained tied until 61 minutes when a penalty kick was awarded to the Thunder for a Hershey foul in the box. Bo Jelovac scored his second goal of the game driving the penalty kick over the diving Hershey keeper, Keenan Schaeffer. This ended the scoring for the game. The Thunder had several additional opportunities, but they were turned aside by keeper Schaeffer.
The Thunder are on the road for the next two Saturdays. On 24 May, the Thunder travel to Scranton to play against the Electric City Shock and on 31 May, the Thunder will be in Philadelphia for a match against Junior Lone Star. The next Thunder home match is on 7 June at 6 PM on Visions Field at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex against Pocono Snow.
Action 12 News: Video Link
Thunder defeated 5-2 in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Match
Today GBFC Thunder traveled to Reading PA to play Reading United AC in a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match. The Cup is the oldest cup competition in the country and is a single elimination tournament open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States. The final score for the match was Reading United 5, GBFC Thunder 2. The score was tied at 2-2 until the 61st minute of match when Reading took charge and scored three unanswered goals to knock the Thunder out of The Cup tournament. On a positive note, Alex Varkatzas scored on a header on a ball crossed by Jonny Sinclair. This was Thunder newcomer Varkatzas second goal of the season in as many games. Bo Jelovac, last year’s leading Thunder scorer, converted a penalty kick for his first goal of the season.
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Articles
Reading United AC website link: United advance in U.S. Open Cup with 5-2 win
NPSL website link: NPSL Results
Thunder Win Home Opener, 2-0
The Greater Binghamton Futbol Club Thunder (GBFC Thunder) kicked off their 2014 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) campaign with 2-0 win over Clarkstown Eagles. The Thunder are seeking to defend their 2013 NPSL Keystone Conference championship.
Pat Thompson wards off Eagles defender
Bodgan Yatsishin shuts down Eagles’ attack
Photos courtesy of Rick Sotak
The Thunder scored once in each half while holding the Eagles scoreless. In the 40th minute of the game new Thunder player Keleenna Onyeaka used his 6’ 5” height to direct a head ball to Pat Thompson who buried the ball at the far post. At the 75th minute of the game, Alex Varkatzas received a through ball and then used some slick ball control to maneuver around two Clarkstown Eagle defenders and bury the ball in the net behind Clarkstown keeper, Andrew Tartara.
Fox Sports: Video
Prior to the start of the game, there was field dedication ceremony. The field will now be known as Visions Field in honor of the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex’s new sponsorship agreement with Visions Credit Union.
Visions Field Dedication
In a ceremony prior to the GBFC Thunder’s home opener on Saturday, May 10, the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex outdoor turf field was dedicated as Visions Field in honor of a new 3 year sponsorship deal the Visions Federal Credit Union (VFCU). Present at the ceremony was VFCU Business Development Manager, Tim Strong.
VFCU Business Development Manager, Tim Strong (left)
shakes hands with GBFC Thunder GM Bill Arno at the
dedication of Visions Field
Photo courtesy of Rick Sotak
In his dedication remarks, Thunder General Manager, Bill Arno, stated:
The home of YOUR Greater Binghamton FC Thunder is now named VISIONS FIELD! Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Visions Federal Credit Union our home field will be known throughout the 82 team National Premier Soccer League and our Keystone Conference as Visions Field.
Visions Federal Credit Union has been the premier credit Union in our community for many years. Visions involvement in our community has spanned many sports activities, community charities, and countless other support to many organizations. Visions commitment to making a better community is greatly appreciated not only by it’s members but by the entire population of the Greater Binghamton area.
Visions sponsorship gives the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex a soccer stadium to showcase the field to not only the local soccer community, but to the entire northeast as
teams from outside of the Binghamton area travel here to compete. On behalf of the
Greater Binghamton FC Thunder, the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex, the Greater Binghamton Futbol Club and the entire local soccer community I would like to thank Visions Federal Credit Union for their support and the opportunity to promote Visions Field to all that play here.