Jeremy Klinger Shines as New Jersey United AC Secures Second Straight 1-0 Home Win

By Miguel Freire/New Jersey United AC 

New Jersey United fans and supporters might have felt déjà vu cheering on their side as they held on to a 1-0 win against Valeo FC. 

Just three weeks ago, United held on to a 1-0 victory against Kingston Stockade FC, seeing them earn their first three points in club history.  This time around, it was Valeo FC traveling back home without anything to show for it as both games saw events unfold in similar fashion. 

The first 25 minutes showed promise for both sides in the final third of the pitch.  Both teams were able to create scoring opportunities but could not execute or cause trouble to either goalkeeper. 

It wasn’t until just before the half hour mark that New Jersey United finally capitalized on a golden opportunity.  Merdi Nkiliko found Jeremy Klinger in space on the right wing, which saw the 20-year-old cut it back on his weaker left foot and slot the ball through the legs of the Valeo goalkeeper.  This marked Klinger’s first goal for New Jersey United and the third different goal scorer for the Garden State side this season.

United continued knocking on the door as they searched for another goal within the first half. They came very close on multiple occasions as the hosts continued to apply pressure to the Valeo back line. 

It was a long trip for the visitors as it was approximately a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Newton, Massachusetts to Metuchen, New Jersey.  However, whatever the team message was at halftime from their head coach certainly inspired them coming out of the break.  Erick Estrada, who had his moments in the first half, so nearly started the second half with a goal within a minute of the restart.  Estrada used the outside of his boot to force Max Pfaffman into his first real save of the evening. 

Valeo came out energized and had multiple opportunities to find the back of the net, but fortunately for United, they witnessed a plethora of missed chances from Valeo. 

The Massachusetts side continued to ask questions of the New Jersey defense but excellent defending by Sean Cadigan and Jayden Jackson played a large role for United in ultimately claiming the three points for themselves. 

New Jersey United saw two players make their debut in this game with right back Jayden Jackson and central midfielder Sokol Ymeraj finding themselves in the starting lineup and playing a large role in the win. 

This marks an excellent response from New Jersey United after a disappointing 4-1 loss away at the conference leaders New York Shockers. It also keeps United undefeated at home after two matches. 

New Jersey United now find themselves tied for second in the North Atlantic Conference with Syracuse FC, only behind on goal difference.

Still in their first season in club history, United certainly aren’t content with what they have already accomplished but continue to prepare day in and day out for their next challenge. 

Up next, New Jersey will look for some revenge as they prepare to host Hartford City FC, a side they lost to 3-0 in the opening game of the season.  Kickoff will be on Sunday, June 9 with coverage starting at 5:00 pm on the New Jersey United Athletic Club YouTube channel. 

Photo Credit: Anesa Feratovic/ New Jersey United AC


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