Vermont Green FC secures crucial win over Albany Rush


Photo by J. Alexander Dolan

In their longest trip of the regular season, Vermont Green FC showed no rust as they defeated Albany Rush on Saturday afternoon

Adam Pfeifer’s starting XI included some new names and some familiar faces. Francesco Montali earned his first USL League 2 start after a friendly against Juba Star FC.

The backline featured Gerardo Castillo and Bernardo Prego on the flanks, along with Sjur and May’s USL League 2 Player of the Month Moussa Ndiaye. Sam Layton and Rodrigo Vaza served as defensive midfielders in the 4-2-3-1, with Carlos Zambrano playing the number 10 role.

Jackson Castro and the recently acquired Yann Toualy served as attacking wingers, while Yaniv Bazini was up top. Zachary Zengue and Reid Fisher were benched but were rested after a series of starts to open the 2024 season.

It was a difficult start to the match for The Green as they struggled to get anything going in attack. Albany was a nuisance in the game and Vermont struggled to create chances.

But in the 24th minute, Yaniv Bazini smashed home a pass from Toualy, adding to the striker’s goal tally. Unfortunately for Toualy, he was injured during the game and had to be replaced by Xavi O’Neil.

The Green would double their lead in the 30th minute, with Bazini doubling his goal tally on the day. His finishing and poise have been crucial for Vermont this season.

Zengue replaced Zambrano to start the second half.

Albany came out of the locker room motivated. The Rush found success on the counter and looked more dangerous with the ball. They would be rewarded for their hard work in the 55th minute when they scored from an indirect free kick.

Bazini almost secured his second hat-trick in a row in the 58th minute. The Albany goalkeeper thought a long ball over the top would fall calmly into his hands, but the Vermont forward was able to nudge the ball with his head before it reached the goalkeeper, but couldn’t score from the tricky angle.

After the goal, Albany bunkered down even though they still needed to score another goal to even get a point out of the game. Green controlled possession and kept the ball in the attacking half of the field for most of the second half.

In the 73rd minute, Nathan replaced Siméon Castro. In the 79th minute, Jacob Labovitz appeared to revive the Vermont offense when he replaced Bazini.

The Green were able to get the win, even though they probably would have wanted more from the match. But three points are three points and the win moves Vermont to the top of the table.

On Tuesday, the Green head to New Hampshire to take on Seacoast United, whoever wins will hold on to the crown as Northeastern kings for now.