Kingston Stockade FC head coach Jamal Lis-Simmons announced three captains for the upcoming fifth season, two of whom have been with the club since the beginning.
Matt Koziol, who took on the captaincy in 2019 after Lis-Simmons left the armband behind to coach after three seasons on the pitch, leads Kingston in career minutes played with 4,133. Koziol has scored 13 goals and dished nine assists during his time with Stockade.
The second captain is also a Stockade lifer, Scott Zobre, who over four previous seasons has worn numerous hats, including striker, winger and outside back. Zobre has five goals and seven assists with Kingston.
Joao Avila is entering just his second season with Stockade FC, but his defensive prowess and determination has made him a crucial piece of the puzzle. Avila played a key role in one of the defining moments in Stockade history on June 26, 2019, when the club hosted their bitterest rival, the Brooklyn Italians.
Prior to the 2019 campaign, Kingston had never earned a point against Brooklyn, but that all changed in a May 29 visit to the furthest reaches of New York City’s most populous borough with a stoppage time equalizer by Danilo Markovic. In the June rematch at Dietz Stadium before an announced crowd of 1,057, the home side trailed 2-1 late. The odds of pulling even seemed insurmountable when Kingston went down two men after a Bernardo Mattos red card and a second yellow for Pedro Espindola. But in the 93rd minute, with stoppage time all but gone, Avila intercepted a Brooklyn clearance, followed the ricochet deep into the box, then headed it over to Brady Van Epps, who punched it home. The draw with a two-man disadvantage felt like a massive victory to the huge crowd, especially those who stuck around after a deluge that delayed the game.
Stockade FC looks to make more of those memories in 2021, a season that begins on Saturday, May 8 with a home match against new National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) opponent the New York Shockers, a new club based in Albany.