Bozidar Jelovac, known simply as "Bo" to the Greater Binghamton FC faithful, is a special player. The Serbian striker was one of the league’s most dangerous attacking players in 2013, finishing with 15 goals and 3 assists in just 9 regular season games.
His talent on the pitch has always been unmistakable, from his time on the Serbia & Montenegro U-17 and U-19 national teams to his collegiate career in the U.S.
Jelovac was a standout at the University at Albany, leading the Great Danes in scoring for two seasons. He earned two letters and was named to the America East All-Conference Team.
"Going to University at Albany helped me a lot to to adjust to American soccer," Jelovac commented. "The soccer was more physical and that was something new for me. Everybody was working out, running, and trying to come to preseason 100% ready. All of that helped me to become a better soccer player. I got faster and much stronger."
Albany was just the beginning of Jelovac’s journey. He was a star for the Vermont Voltage before moving on to the Syracuse Silver Knights and Greater Binghamton FC.
His time playing as a professional in the MISL was a challenge.
"The difference from outdoor to indoor soccer is huge. I would say that indoor is a totally different game. I needed to learn a lot of things: how is ball bouncing off the wall, new rules in the game, in what moment to substitute, how to play defense, how to play offense. It was really hard in the beginning but with the help from the older guys on the team, I learned the game fast."
His success in the NPSL was almost immediate and he was a major contributor on GBFC’s run to a conference championship. He found no difference between the PDL and NPSL when it came to quality of play and was impressed with the competitiveness in their conference.
Jelovac felt that beating defending national champion FC LVU Sonic was a major step forward in their season.
"I think wining two times against Sonic gave us huge confidence this year. I would say that game away against Pocono Snow was really important. We were a man down and were losing 2-0 at the beginning of the second half and then came back and won the game 4-2."
Now Bo is hoping his team’s regular season success translates to the postseason.
"We’re preparing for the postseason like for any other game. We are going to play our game and if we do that results are going to come. It is really important that we get to play at home for the first game. That is a huge advantage. We expect a great crowd; all of Binghamton is talking about the upcoming game."
Greater Binghamton faces the New York Red Bulls on Thursday with the winner advancing to the regional final to face FC LVU Sonic, who defeated the Brooklyn Italians 2-1, to move forward in the playoffs.
Photo Credit: Michal Zick