Match Preview: Maryland Bobcats FC vs. California Strikers United FC - 9.26.2021

Maryland Bobcats travel west to face California United Strikers FC in Matchday 9 of NISA Fall 2021 season
Published Sep 24, 2021

Written by: Edwin Pintor

September 24, 2021 (Boyds, MD) – The Bobcats visit California United Strikers FC in their last game of September, looking to put one last win in the books. Currently, the Bobcats have 4 out of 12 points to date in September, a 33.3% efficiency that is not ideal with three home games and an away game.

Cal United look to regroup and reconsolidate with a win after losing their second game of the season against Michigan Stars FC last Saturday 0-2 at home. An unusual loss for Cal United, as they have only last three times at home since 2019, with their last loss is against current NISA title holders Detroit City FC with a score of 0-3 back in May 2021. The team currently stands in the fourth position with 12 points tied with Michigan Stars FC, 7 points behind league leaders Detroit City FC.

In the MBFC game against New Amsterdam, New Amsterdam took advantage of their opportunities, and the Bobcats did not. Another home defeat (the second of last week) was the result that before the first lost were undefeated at home since May 2021. The Bobcats are coming from playing three games in seven days. With three out of nine points earned, the Bobcats are looking to leave the results behind and win in California.

The Bobcats had time to regroup, recover, and plan the next fixture with a week of no
matches. Harsh results at home have the team ready to flip the switch and get back to their winning ways. 2nd Captain Alex Kao on the two previous matches and the upcoming match, “Football is a game of both hands, you have to produce on both sides of the field meaning in the final third and defensive third and every opponent faced have been tough opponents, and when we get our opportunities, we have to make sure we put them away, because if we don’t the other team will. When you look at the Detroit game, we had the chances in the first 30 minutes of the game; we were the better team. We just did not put them away; we didn’t score, and then the game changed. They are the number one team in the league for a reason. Against New Amsterdam again, we had many chances to score, and we only got one. The away team got fewer shots on target but made the goals that gave them the win. We have no one to blame but ourselves. The team is very motivated to go back to the west coast and get a result in and get back to winning ways. We have a good mindset right now. We have prepared well. We know that we are going to face a tough opponent. We are excited to get out there and go again.”

The team knows what they need to, and they are confident a positive result will come with hard work. Coach Paul Ngend knows what needs to be fixed and is working overtime with the team to correct the mistakes that cost them points the previous games, “the team starts the games off well, but we fall off when we feel the pressure. The guys’ morale is high every game, but we make some mistakes that cost us both. Stability in the backline is not an issue. The main issue is the injuries; this caused the team to move around players who normally are not a part of the starting eleven. Even when the injured players come back, they must find their rhythm again, which sometimes takes time. Once again, last game, we suffered two injuries in the defensive line, and they will not be able to travel this week.”

However, Coach Paul is confident with the team he has. He knows the team wants to right the ship and get a much needed win. Coach Paul also mentioned how away games are as comfortable as home games, and the team loves a good challenge. "We have played both teams before. Against Cal United, we received them at home and defeated them. It was not an easy game, but we have that statistic favored to us. On our first trip to Detroit, they only beat us by one goal in the 94th minute. In our game this season against Detroit, we completely dominated the game for the first 30 minutes. It is possible to win both games if we get the right mindset. We are not scared to be playing away, we want to get back to our winning ways, and this match matches is a great opportunities for the team to prove themselves.”

The Bobcats will visit Championship stadium for the first time to face Cal United, the two previous encounters that saw each team win once. Cal United beat the Bobcats 3-2 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga at the Legends Cup, with the other encounter coming in Matchday six of the NISA Spring 2021 season, where the Bobcats came out with the win 2-1 at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

The first encounter for both teams at Championship Stadium, where both teams are looking to end the first half of the season strong. The Bobcats are looking to bounce back after two defeats at home, with their last win coming at the Stumplex when they visited Stumptown AC. On the road, the Bobcats want to play well and get back to its winning ways and climb up the standings as their next fixture will be a visit to Keyworth Stadium to face league leaders Detroit City FC.

As Coach Paul mentioned earlier, two players could not make the trip to California as they were injured in the previous game. The estimated time for return is next week, making them eligible for the next away game at Keyworth stadium.

Kao’s message to the fans is “Thank you to the fans for the support in the good and the bad days. We are looking forward to a positive result in LA and then come back to the east coast with the three points.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PT/ 7:00 PM EST. The match can be streamed via Eleven Sports or follow the minute-by-minute action live on Twitter via @MDBobcatsFC.

About Maryland Bobcats FC
The Maryland Bobcats Football Club was founded in 2009. Based in Montgomery County in Maryland, it is a fully minority-owned club and Maryland’s only outdoor professional soccer team. MBFC has a “one family” mentality. From the youngest player to the most experienced youth teams to First Team, players support, push and encourage each other to play the right way. Beyond soccer, Bobcats FC helps, inspires, gives back, and supports the local community, comes to games, and cheers them on. For more information about Maryland Bobcats FC, visit or contact at Follow MBFC on Twitter @MDBobcatsFC and Instagram @mdbobcatsfc.
About NISA
The National Independent Soccer Association was founded in 2017 to bring professional soccer
to every city in the United States. A pro league member of U.S. Soccer, NISA focuses on a model
based on meritocracy, independent clubs controlling their league, clubs owning their
intellectual property, all without the barrier of territorial rights. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer
Federation, NISA also runs the mid-summer Independent Cup, open to independent professional and amateur clubs. For more information about NISA, visit or
contact Follow NISA on Twitter @NISALeague and Instagram