The Shamrocks first team will travel to New Jersey to take on CSL Division 1 newcomers Hoboken at Stephen R Gregg Park in Bayonne (kick-off 12pm).
After two defeats in a row, coach Kevin Grogan has laid down a challenge to his players to get the season back on an even keel.
“We all know how big Sunday is for us,” said Grogan. “The players are aware of expectations.”
The reserves will play the curtain raiser at 10am and Dan Meola will be boosted by the fact that he has a full squad to choose from.
“Hoboken aren’t in the top flight just to make up the numbers,” remarked Meola. “They will be tough to break down defensively and will have quality going forward. I’ve said before there will be no easy games in this league. This is our second early trip to New Jersey in the last three weeks but there is no room for excuses. We have a full squad this week and all the quality you could ask for at this level. It’s time to get back to winning ways.”
It will be a busy Sunday at Randalls Island for the other men’s teams. First up at 10am will be the Shamrocks Legends Family Day which will bring players and their families together for the game against Banatul.
Coming off a morale-boosting win against Gjoa, the Legends are further helped by the return of Ger Shivnan and Ryan Thomson while new signing Paul Bradshaw has been added as an exception.
“First and foremost we need a win on Sunday,” said Riordan.
“The league has improved and there is stiffer competition so we need to be focused on every challenge that arises.
“We are also looking to make it a fun family occasion that reflects the overall community spirit of the club. Players make sacrifices to play every Sunday so we wanted to invite their families out to watch before it starts to get cold. Should be a good time!”
Robbie O’Neill’s league leading Shamrocks 1960 will follow up the Legends at the same venue for their Metro 2 clash with FC Ulqini (kick-off 12pm).
Shamrocks 1960 players Amar Daved and James Horan sporting the Alba sponsored tracksuits during the week at training in Harlem. Photo by John Riordan
“We are looking to continue our great run,” said O’Neill. “We are missing a lot of guys this week. So we’ll have to be on top of our game Sunday.”
Shamrocks Over 30s take on Manhattan Celtic Legends at 4pm and will be aiming to bounce back from their first loss of the season which arrived last Sunday against top side Between Rivers.
The two late games involve the Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League team with Shamrocks Green facing a tough trip to Leif Erickson to take on Celtic Aces (kick-off 6pm).
“We have our toughest game of the season this Sunday,” said Paddy Geraghty.
“Celtic are unbeaten and we are missing several players through injury and travel. But this is why we have a quality squad and we go into the game expecting to get a result.”
An hour later at 6pm, NYC United will be the challenge for Shamrocks White (Randalls Island 70, 7pm).
“We have a real opportunity to pick up points,” said coach Keith Perez. “We have played hard thus far and I am hoping that this hard work pays off with a victory this weekend. I expect a strong performance from the ladies as we look to use this game as a turning point for our season.”