It’s been a while, but the Streets are ready to, once again, click their heels and say “there’s no place like home” on Monday when they return to the Westchester County Center to face the Massachusetts Pirates for the first time. The 3-1 Streets have not been on their home field since a 70-31 win over the Orlando Predators back on April 20th
This will be the second team this season that the Streets are playing on a holiday after escaping Orlando with a 54-53 win in their last game on Mother’s Day. Sports can be tough on families sometimes because games take place on holidays, but the Streets and other football players still find a way to make the best of everything.
“It’s a holiday that brings families together,” said Streets Head Coach Rick Marsilio when asked about playing on Memorial Day. “So instead of a family being at a picnic and our players, coaches and front office staff being home with their families… Massachusetts and their team is the same way, we’re creating that environment.”
Nothing like a little bit of football and some food at the game to make this Memorial Day special for the fans, players, and the rest of the Streets organization.
It’s been a great start to the Streets’ inaugural season with plenty of terrific individual efforts. Quarterback E.J. Nemeth has thrown for 917 yards and 19 touchdowns while Rob Jones has hauled in 28 catches for 423 yards and eight touchdowns. On defense, Juwan Haynes leads the Streets with 21 tackles while Herbert Moore has recorded 2.5 sacks and an interception.
Monday’s opponent presents an interesting challenge for the Streets. The Massachusetts Pirates are off to a 1-4 start, but they continue to overhaul their roster including the signing of former NFL Pro-Bowl running back and kick returner Dexter McCluster as well as former NFL offensive lineman Tre Jackson. McCluster will play wide receiver for the Pirates and is expected to make his NAL debut on Monday against the Streets.
It’s a huge signing, not only for the Pirates, but for the entire National Arena League.
“It’s the best thing to happen to our league to draw that kind of talent,” said Marsilio. “At the same time, he has to learn the indoor game. A couple of practices…is it going to be enough? He’s going to make plays. He’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s going to challenge us. Our guys need to step up to play. We have talented kids. We have a couple of kids that are a step or two away from being at that level too.”
Kids like the the Streets SEC defensive trip of Moore, Brandon Ivory, and Isaac Gross that will look to give McCluster a rude introduction to Arena Football. The Streets will also get their first look of the season at Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett who has thrown for 807 yards and 15 touchdown passes. Wide receiver Marty Gilyard has caught 22 passes for 298 yards and nine touchdowns. Massachusetts’ leading tackler is Lawrence Austin with 24.
It should be a fun afternoon in White Plains as the Streets host the Pirates on Memorial Day. We hope to see you at the County Center, but if you can’t make it to the game, you can join me, former New York Dragons wide receiver Will Holder and Alex Giaimo for all the action on MSG live at 3pm. Tickets for Monday’s game are available at ticketmaster.com. For season and group ticket information, call 1-833-697-8733 and choose extension one.