By Robert Held
Connecticut FC was able to pull off a stunning victory over Stal Mielec, at their show game against the polish pro team. The match took place on Saturday at Veterans Stadium. The final score was 1-0, and lone goal came in at the 75th minute when Tiago Martins was finally able to slip one past the Stal Mielec goalie.
“I was playing through the mid-field and my teammate found me out wide and I was able to kick it in, “said Martins.
Perhaps the strongest performance of the game came from Connecticut FC goalie Sheldon Parkinson. He was able to stop several close goals Stal Mielec sent his way throughout the game, with spectacular saves. Parkinson only recently joined the team a few weeks ago.
“They just asked me to sign with the team and I figured it was great opportunity. I started my career here on a team in Greenwich, so I would love to finish it here as well,” said Parkinson.
The game against Stal Mielec was able to take place due to residential connections in the New Britain area. According to Mayor Stewart, one of the police officers on the New Britain police force used to play for Stal Mielec. The Connecticut United FC owners also have connections to the Polish team.
“I want to make New Britain the sports capital of Connecticut, where else can someone go in this state and see baseball, soccer and football played all right near each other, “ said New Britain mayor Erin Stewart
There were plenty of fans in attendance rooting for both teams, and the public address announcers spoke in English and Polish. Despite the loss, Stal Mielec fans made their presence known, blowing air horns, speaking into bullhorns and playing drums throughout the game.
While the game was supposed to be a friendly match between the two teams, things got a little heated early into the second half of the game. After Connecticut FC committed two fouls a few seconds apart, Stal Mielec players became upset. Connecticut FC players were also upset because they felt Stal Mielec players were flopping.
Coaches and officials were able separate the players on each team before things got out of hand. The public address announcer also politely reminded everyone that it was only a friendly match.
In its inaugural season, Connecticut United FC is performing well going 6-2-1, and currently sits in third place overall in the American Soccer League. Performing well against a strong professional team from another country has made Connecticut FC players excited for the future.
“I’m hoping the team will be able to move up to higher leagues and better competition in the future, but for now I am happy to be playing here,” said Parkinson.