By Kim DeRaedt
Galveston Pirate SC began the 2010 Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) winter season with a bang, and General Manager Brendan Keyes isn’t about to let his team lose its momentum.
That means keeping busy!
With nearly a month between its second and third SPSL matches, Keyes scheduled plenty of friendly games to ensure that his team maintained its top form. So far, so good. After knocking off Corpus Christi Fuel 2-1 and shutting out the Texas Lonestrikers 3-0 in its opening performances, Galveston was back to its winning ways on Tuesday when the team registered another shutout in 2-0 victory over Fusion SC in Alvin.
As much as the friendly was about keeping the team active, Keyes used this competition to give his reserves and new players a chance to gain game experience and show their skill. Keyes proved that the talented Pirate side can do just that and still win; however, the team would have to call upon captain Roy Hernandez for late-game heroics.
Hernandez has already established himself as the league’s leading goalscorer with three goals in two games. Hernandez’s goal against the Texas Lonestrikers was the 20th of his short career with Galveston. He would emerge from Tuesday’s match with 22 goals to his credit.
Keyes witnessed 80 minutes of toe-to-toe soccer as Fusion SC of the Galveston County league proved to be a tenacious foe. When Keyes had seen enough, he called upon Hernandez to put Fusion out of its misery and lift his Pirates to victory. Hernandez came on as a substitute in the 80th minute and used his time wisely.
“Roy is in a different class,” Keyes said. “He’s head and shoulders above everyone else. I gave him 10 minutes and told him to go out there and get us some goals. He did, and they were two brilliant goals at that.”
Hernandez’s first goal came from a cross when he powered a header past the Fusion goalkeeper from 10 yards out. His second goal followed a world-class volley from the same distance that left the Fusion goalkeeper once again helpless and stunned.
The question appears to be, “Who can stop Hernandez and his Pirate peers?” A handful of quality teams from the Galveston area will have the chance to give it their best shot before Club America USA attempts to snap the Pirates’ SPSL unbeaten run when they play host to Keyes’s crew on Nov. 13. That match will kick-off at 3 p.m. at USA Soccer Park in Houston.