Pro Soccer returns to Hofstra with New Amsterdam FC – The Hofstra Chronicle
New Amsterdam FC, a third-tier professional football club playing in the National Independent Soccer Association, played their first home game at Hofstra football stadium after the start of the fall semester on Wednesday 15 September. The team lost a score of 2-1. The ANCA has announced that the Hofstra University football facilities will be their home for the 2021 season earlier this year.
This season marks the first time since 2016 that Hofstra has hosted professional football. The New York Cosmos, formerly a member of the North American Football League, played their home games at the James M. Shuart Stadium from 2013 to 2016, a nod to the original New York Cosmos franchise which played two seasons at the Hofstra campus stadium in the 1970s.
“I am very happy that we have professional sports after the Cosmos; I loved those games, ”said Hofstra men’s soccer head coach Richard Nuttall. “I just hope he grows and grows and grows, like you do with any other professional franchise.”
Nuttall also hopes the New Amsterdam team will inspire some of the athletes under his leadership.
“We have a few guys on the team who are doing well and have some interest,” said Nuttall, “so hopefully they can be role models for our team.”
New Amsterdam’s presence on campus adds another chapter to an already rich football history at Hofstra University. In addition to the historic success of college programs and the hosting of the New York Cosmos, other teams have made Hofstra their home, most notably the Long Island Rough Riders from 1994 to 2008, the longest tenure of a professional team on the Hofstra campus. Football legend Pelé also has a connection to the University as a former member of the original New York Cosmos from 1975 to 1977 and honorary chairman of the relaunched franchise that made Hofstra home for three years.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing a high level of play,” said Tanner Bucher, a pre-medical major freshman. “I feel like [the level of play] will be much higher than what you conventionally see.
New Amsterdam faced North Carolina-based Stumptown AC on Wednesday who entered the game with six points in their opening seven games, good for eighth place in the league. New Amsterdam entered the game in sixth place in the standings, scoring seven points in their first six games.
Stumptown AC hit the first in the seventh minute of the game, converting a long-range free kick. Alex McGrath delivered a magnificent set piece in front of the goal, straight to the head of Robert Hines. Hines directed the ball forcefully towards the goal, and despite a strong deflection from the New Amsterdam keeper, the ball still found a way into the goal to give Stumptown an early 1-0 lead.
New Amsterdam equalized the score in the 21st minute from the penalty spot. Entering the 18-yard penalty area, New Amsterdam’s Shavon John-Brown was dragged across the turf by the last defenseman, taking the foul and the penalty. Chris Bermúdez converted from the penalty spot, sending Stumptown goalkeeper Kevin Gonzalez plunging in the wrong direction. This score tied the game to one goal apiece.
In the 85th minute, Yuki Shibata of Stumptown passed down the left wing, dribbling alone into New Amsterdam’s 18-yard penalty area. He fired a shot towards the far post, out of reach of the goalkeeper, to give the visitors a lead they would never lose.
Although the home side did not achieve the victory, it did not seem to tarnish the atmosphere in the stands.
“It enriches the Hofstra experience,” said second-year engineering student Robert Abarmov, “and obviously it’s nice to see other people getting involved.”
“If you like football, you can get something out of it. It’s a good atmosphere, ”said Al Smith, a sophomore engineering student. “It’s great for the campus. Most colleges don’t have this and it’s a great crowd and student experience.
“It’s great to have the students outside,” Bermúdez, New Amsterdam’s lone scorer, said in Wednesday’s game. “We want more and more fans with every game, and we think we are part of Hofstra since it is our home ground for the season.”
New Amsterdam will return home on Wednesday, September 29, when they host current league leaders Detroit City at Hofstra football stadium.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics