Boston City FC resumes a four-match road trip on Wednesday night, traveling to face New York Athletic Club and then visits the Brooklyn Italians on Saturday.

The club’s National Premier Soccer League form requires an immediate upturn in results if the Lions are to press for a Northeast Region playoff place from the North Atlantic Conference. A hard-earned point away to Hartford City in a 3-3 draw was followed by an unexpected 6-0 home thrashing in the return match and a 5-0 defeat to the potentially unstoppable New York Cosmos last Saturday. Boston City held the star-studded Cosmos goalless at halftime but eventually succumbed to some deadly finishing.

“I think we came out with a different mindset and the result felt a little unfair,” said Boston City coach Michael Bustamante of the loss to the Cosmos. “We’re obviously a young team going up against a very experienced opponent. I think we were pleased with the amount of the work the guys put in. We made it very difficult for them in the first half and then we ran out of gas, but mostly that was down to the inexperience.”

Wednesday night’s opponent New York Athletic Club went down 2-0 to the Cosmos in their opening match and bounced back a week later with a convincing 4-1 win over the Rhode Island Reds. Bustamante hopes to have a full squad at his disposal, despite the challenging midweek kickoff time of 5pm, and his options include again inserting himself into the midfield, as he did away to the Cosmos.

“It’s tough to play and coach at the same time, but I think it worked well, with me being vocal, but it’s a little harder to get guys to follow your lead when you’re not on the sideline,” he said. “We’ve still got some work to do and I don’t anticipate being in there every game, but this was definitely one of those opportunities where my experience could help.”

In three previous visits to New York Athletic Club, the Lions have won (2-0 in 2017), lost (0-1 in 2018) and drawn (0-0 in 2016).

The Brooklyn Italians have played just once this season, positing a convincing 5-2 victory over Hartford City. Boston City have ventured to Brooklyn only once before when Bustamante was on target during a 5-2 midweek defeat in 2016. He scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 Lions home win in the return match.

Wednesday’s match facts:
New York Athletic Club (1-1-0) vs. Boston City FC (0-2-1)
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Kickoff 5pm
Travers Island, NY
Boston City FC head coach Michael Bustamante
New York Athletic Club head coach Ridi Dauti

Saturday’s match facts:
Brooklyn Italians (1-0-0) vs. Boston City FC (0-2-1)
Saturday, May 19, 2019
Kickoff 7pm
Aviator Sports & Events Club, Brooklyn, NY
Boston City FC head coach Michael Bustamante
Hartford City FC head coach Dominic Casciato

Match notes: Lions striker Jhonata Batista is second on the all-time club goal scorers list with 11, one ahead of Homero Morais (10) and trailing Isaac Addai (17) by six goals, but has never scored against either NY Athletic Club or the Brooklyn Italians… Twelve players have made their debuts for a new-look Boston City FC this season: GK Jason Katz, D Keith Dixon, D Peter Borboh Kargbo, D Jeremy Pachter, D Willian Bonora Santana, M Charlton Muhlauri, M Tommaso D’Agostino, M Samuel Deossa, M Mateus Araujo, F Zion Balogun, F Riad El Moukhtari… Michael Bustamante returned to the starting line up on May 11 away to the Cosmos for the first time since July 17, 2016, when he played in a NPSL playoff defeat away to Legacy 76… Avner Alves, who featured in every match in midfield in 2018, made his first appearance of the season away to NY Cosmos in the heart of defense… Bustamante was the team’s third captain in as many matches last weekend, following GK Jake Wagmeister (at Hartford) and midfielder Tommaso D’Agostino (vs. Hartford)… Boston City’s overall record playing competitive matches in the state of New York is W3, L5, D1… Boston City’s overall record against NYAC is W1, L3, D1… Last season the Italians won 6-0 in Boston, but there was no return fixture… Boston City’s overall record against the Italians is W1, L2… The sides did not meet in 2017 having split the series in 2016… Player-coach Michael Bustamante has scored on both occasions he has lined up for the Lions against the Brooklyn Italians (both in 2016)… Boston City will complete a 1,400-mile road trip in New York state once returned from Brooklyn and then head on the road to Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on Friday, May 25… The next Lions home match is against Greater Lowell on Sunday, May 26 at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere, kickoff 6pm.