FC Monmouth Suffers "Wake-Up Call" at Copa
HOLMDEL, NJ - FC Monmouth was defeated, 5-1, by New Jersey Copa FC at Saint John Vianney High School on Wednesday night in what was the second match-up between the two clubs this week.
“I think it was a wake-up call,” said defender Dylan McDonald. “We had a good opening first game, but you’re not gonna play a perfect game every time you go out. Losses happen and I think we have a perfect opportunity next game to go out and show that we’re still one of the best teams.”
After trading chances in the early stages, the hosts opened the scoring in the 20th minute through midfielder Gerald Cubero before doubling their advantage in the 37th minute on a goal assisted by Cubero.
FC Monmouth was able to grab a goal back right before halftime through forward Regsan Watkins, who received the ball inside of the box, rounded the goalkeeper, and squeezed the ball into the net from a tight angle to put his side back in the game.
Within the first 60 seconds of the second half, Cubero took the goal right back, restoring Copa’s lead back to two. Cubero would later kill the game off in the 77th minute with his third of the match before adding a stoppage time goal from the penalty spot that the referee allowed to be the last kick of the game.
Head Coach Brian Woods said, “I don’t think the team was prepared as well as we were for the first match, and we certainly were not as prepared as we needed to be with number 16 [Cubero]. Probably the best player we’re gonna face, and he was a handful for us.”
NJ Copa FC doubled FC Monmouth in shots at 18-9 and tripled the Blue and Gold in shots on target with nine to their three.
“We just need to be better all the way around,” said Woods. “We allowed their defense to kind of dictate what we tried to do. In the first game, we went past their defense with a little bit of pace and a little bit of guile. Today, we played in front of their defense where we really needed to be behind them.”
Wednesday night’s result came as a surprise given the quality displayed in FC Monmouth’s season-opening win versus Copa just four days earlier.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” said Watkins, who provided one of the few bright moments for FC Monmouth in Wednesday’s loss. “I think we set a standard on Saturday and anything short of that wasn’t going to be good enough today, and I think that was the case. You start the season off so well and you’re feeling like you’re as high as the sky and then football puts you back into place if you’re not prepared for it. I’m not gonna say we went into the game overconfident, but I think we failed to realize that when you’re up, there’s more room to go down than there is to go up.”
FC Monmouth now has a full week to prepare for their next match, which will be away to Atlantic City FC on Wednesday, May 29th.
“A lot of room for improvement, but I’m sure we’ll be back,” said Watkins. “The best thing about football is you always have another opportunity to get a win, so we’ll go into next week ready to represent the badge better than we did today and come out with a positive result.”