By Kim DeRaedt
It’s like sitting on your front porch and watching the cows graze, the winds pick up and the clouds roll in. Then boom! The lightning strikes and the thunder rolls, and before you know it, Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) action is pouring down on your doorstep.
That’s what it will feel like this weekend to Houston-area soccer fans as a slow, inactive start to the 2010-2011 SPSL winter season gives way to two days chock-full of exciting matchups and historical happenings.
Saturday will bring the exhilaration to Houston as Regals FC hosts Texas Lonestrikers on the city’s north side, while Club America Academy welcomes in Galveston Pirate SC on the southern fringes. Sunday will transfer the party to Galveston where Corpus Christi Fuel will arrive to take on Pirate SC.
Each game carries an interesting storyline not to be missed.
Texas Lonestrikers at Regals FC—Saturday, 3 p.m. at Maya Park
Regals FC hosts a second home opener of sorts in the team’s first game at its new home. The $2.5 million complex has five fields, natural grass and a northern Houston soccer community eager to embrace its new team. If Saturday’s matchup is anything like Regals FC’s meeting with the Lonestrikers on Oct. 2, fans are in for quite the scoring spectacle from the home side. Regals FC dominated the Nacogdoches clan 7-0 on the road. The team will look to add to its 2-0 league record and 18-goal tally that it has amassed through 180 minutes of play.
Galveston Pirate SC at Club America Academy—Saturday, 3 p.m. at USA Soccer Park
This matchup features a unique blend of old and new. A long-time friendship will morph into a fresh rivalry as Pirate SC coach Brendan Keyes takes on his former player and Club America coach Thiago Costa Reis. The pressure is on for Reis and his team in their franchise’s inaugural match. Expect a young and technically sound Club America side to put up a resilient effort against a Pirate SC team riding a five-game winning streak. Galveston’s standout captain and leading goal scorer Roy Hernandez is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game due to a hamstring injury.
Corpus Christi Fuel at Galveston Pirate SC—Sunday, 3 p.m. at Courville Stadium
The buzz is mounting in the clash of the coastal cities as Courville Stadium hosts its first-ever semi-professional sports event. Keyes expects a big crowd to cheer on his team in the second round of its weekend contests. The match is also a repeat of an Oct. 2 battle that saw Pirate SC come from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory at Corpus Christi. Keyes anticipates the return of Hernandez, while coach Patrick Esqueda and his Corpus Christi bus will depart without captain Logan Garza and defensive superstar Josh Vela. The clock is ticking for the Fuel to salvage anything from its 0-5 season. Meanwhile, Galveston will look for a pair of weekend victories to catapult the team to a 4-0 record and the top slot in the SPSL standings.
Tickets to each game are $10 and available for purchase at the gates.