Hampton United's Men’s Soccer Team First Again

The locals atop the league’s 10-team first division once again
Luis Barrera, at right, scored what proved to be Hampton United’s clinching goal early in the second half of Sunday’s showdown with Charruas 1950 at Hampton Bays High School. Craig Macnaughton

A 35-yard rocketed knee-high shot by Luis Barrera early in the second half of Sunday’s Suffolk Men’s Soccer League showdown between Barrera’s team, Hampton United, and Charruas 1950, a perennial rival from Central Islip, put the locals atop the league’s 10-team first division once again with two more games left in the fall half of the season.

It was the Uruguay-based team’s first loss of the fall.

As of Monday, the league’s top four comprised Hampton United (5-1-1, with 19 points), Charruas (5-2-1, with 17 points), Massapequa F.C. (5-1-1, with 16 points), and Sporting America (5-1-1, with 16 points).

Hampton United, whose home field is at Hampton Bays High School, is to play Inter United (2-5-1) in Sayville this Sunday at 2:15. A President’s Cup game with S.F.C. Newcastle (1-3-4) of Brentwood is to finish the first half at Hampton Bays on Dec. 10.

Charruas got on the scoreboard first, about midway through the first half, thanks to a beautiful header combination off a corner kick that caught Yimmi Bedoya, who was subbing in the goal for Quique Araya that day, unawares.

The ball was lofted into the goal mouth from the left corner by Raphael Carpes onto the head of Javier Rodriguez, who was standing near the far post. Rodriguez headed it back whence it came to Guillermo Gomez, a tall forward, whose header beat Bedoya to the upper left corner of the net.

That goal energized Charruas’s team even further, though just before the half ended, Derrick Jumper pulled Hampton United even as he gathered in a through pass from Romulo Tubatan on the left side and easily beat Charruas’s goalie to the far right post. 

Charruas threatened to score again when the second half began, off a corner kick, but as time went on Hampton United mounted increasingly threatening attacks that Charruas’s defenders were hard pressed to parry.

Barrera’s blast — what proved to be the clincher — about five minutes into the second period was picture-perfect. So often these attempts from the outside sail over the crossbar because the shooters fail to stay sufficiently over the ball. Barrera kept his head down and buried it, shocking the flat-footed goalkeeper and, undoubtedly, his teammates as well.

Hampton United had numerous other chances after that. Luis Munoz, a deft right wing, failed to cash in on several one-on-one breakaways, and a seeming goal by Jumper, who had played the ball up with Dante Hernandez and Tonio Gonzalez, was annulled by a questionable offside call. In another instance, a corner kick, rather than a penalty kick, was awarded by the referee after Barrera was taken down in the box.

Charruas kept pressing too, desperate to tie the score, but Hampton United’s defenders, Julian Barahona, Gerard Lynch, and Tubatan among them, held firm. The visitors’ most credible chance came just before the game ended as a back-header by Gomez, in trying to redirect a free kick from the 20-yard line, sailed just over the crossbar.

In other local soccer news, Hampton F.C.-Bill Miller led the Wednesday evening 7-on-7 league, whose games are played at East Hampton’s Herrick Park, with a 4-1-3 record as of earlier this week. Bill Miller defeated Tuxpan 3-1 on Nov. 15 as Gehider Garcia (two) and Eddy Juarez scored for the winners.

The top four going into Monday’s games were Bill Miller, Maidstone Market (4-2-2, with 14 points), F.C. Tuxpan (3-2-3, with 12 points), and Tortorella (3-3-2, with 11 points). 

In other games on the 15th, the Market shut out Sag Harbor United 3-0 as Jefferson Ramirez scored twice and Andy Gonzalez once, and Tortorella Pools defeated Bateman Painting 2-1 on goals by the league’s leading scorer, David Rodriguez Jr.

The league’s semifinals are to be played Monday, with the championship game scheduled for Wednesday.