Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category

With the game in first-place bragging rights up in the air, Regals FC pulled through in the second half to claim the prize.

By Kim DeRaedt

Regals FC slept through much of the first half of its game on Saturday but fortunately, the team woke up hungry just in time for the second half of play.  With a Snap, Crackle, and Pop—Regals FC put itself back on top of the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) standings with a 2-1 victory over Galveston Pirate SC. 

The match didn’t start out so satisfying for Regals FC, however, as the team stared at an empty offensive bowl early on.  Indeed, it was visiting Pirate SC that chowed down on the attacking end right after the opening whistle.  Justin Santibanez clinched the momentum for Galveston by firing two shots in the first 90 seconds.  Santibanez’s speed continued to plague the Regals FC defense as the striker amassed his team-high six shots but couldn’t funnel any on frame.

Nevertheless, it would be Santibanez’s speed and not his shooting ability that would set up Pirate SC’s golden chance of the afternoon.  Midway through the first half, Santibanez raced down the left flank and cut into the box where Regals FC defender Robert Hernandez was left with no option but to take him down as he sped by.  Jonathan Yanez stepped up to the spot and tucked a mid-height penalty shot into the right side of the net as goalkeeper Marcos Sanchez fell to his left. 

Short-handed Galveston found itself up 1-0 on the road against Regals FC in the 29th minute.  Clearly, the team had a rough road ahead to seal the three points.  Luckily, goalkeeper Eloy Aguirre was alert and agile to pounce on Cesar Silva’s point blank shot and preserve Galveston’s lead just minutes later.  Aguirre’s aggressive play prevented Regals FC from completing much of its offensive ploy, while Osama Buazza’s few efforts to connect off the cross with Enrique Gonzalez failed to produce a threat on target. Find out more!

Two is better than one or so was Corpus Christi's theory as the team slid by Club America 2-1 on a late penalty kick.

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s not a wise idea to leave the boss displeased, so when co-owner Michelle Esqueda requested a Fuel victory as her birthday wish, the players wisely delivered. Corpus Christi skirted past Club America Academy 2-1 for its second-straight win in Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) play.

Hardly a cakewalk, Club America crashed Corpus Christi’s party before the Fuel could even hang all the streamers and tie the balloons. In just the 15th minute of play, a defensive miscue by the home side threatened to washout the Fuel’s festivities as Club America pounced on a poor back pass to race to a 1-0 lead.

A mere 10 minutes later, the cheers of the crowd were once again suspended, although this time the silence was soon filled by the wail of an ambulance as it pulled onto Fairgrounds Field to transport the Fuel’s John Uros, who suffered a broken collarbone, to a nearby hospital.

The tight-knit Corpus Christi crew were understandably shaken and concerned about their fellow teammate’s well-being.

“The guys were demoralized,” Fuel coach Patrick Esqueda said. “It’s hard to witness something like that.” Find out more!

Galveston and Tulsa went head to head twice this weekend, but two games proved no better than one in determining the league leader.

By Kim DeRaedt

Tulsa Lobos FC cast its anchor in Galveston having arrived with the riches and loot envied by most of the Southern Premier Soccer League’s (SPSL) clubs.  Like typical bandits, Pirate SC seized the opportunity to snatch some plunder and showed piddling pity to its enemy as the team defeated the Lobos 3-2 and drew 3-3 in Saturday and Sunday’s action respectively.

Tulsa made the southern trek as the league’s royalty, sitting atop the standings with a coveted 6-0-1 record.  Only Regals FC and Galveston Pirate SC were within striking distance, and no team had been able to rock the boat on Tulsa’s nearly perfect cruise through the SPSL’s inaugural season.  In fact, Pirate SC had been the only team able to cause a minor disturbance having drawn 4-4 with the league leaders a month before.  The forecast looked good for the Oklahoma crew despite the sloppy weekend downpour that saturated Texas’s chilly coastal city. 

Galveston was akin to a deserted island; Pirate SC resembled an abandoned ship.  The holidays had hardly brought cheer to the club’s composition.  Pirate SC lost several key players at the turn of the year and was forced to start nearly from scratch, to rewrite the legacy the team had spent six months manufacturing. 

And the industrious players didn’t skip a beat.  After all, New Years are designed for new beginnings.  Maybe Tulsa should’ve realized that the gloomy skies foreshadowed a dim outcome as the side kicked-off against Galveston on Saturday afternoon.  Even so, it is safe to say that few SPSL followers could have predicted such a strong performance from a hodgepodge Pirate SC party. Find out more!

Texas Lonestrikers were once again shoved down and their egos wonded, this time in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Regals FC.

By Kim DeRaedt

After a month of inaction, Regals FC didn’t quite cook up a performance that left the team with a feeling as satisfying as its Saturday night dinner.  When a squad is as skilled as Regals FC, however, it can get by with half the ingredients and still pull off a winning result.

The New Year didn’t exactly leave team with the “fresh” feeling that we all too often associate with the holiday.  Instead, the Southern Premier Soccer League’s (SPSL) North Houston heroes felt more like flat Coke sitting in a warm garage.  Even so, the club had just enough fizz to flow past Texas Lonestrikers 4-0 in its first league match of 2011. 

Ironically, it would be 11 minutes into the team’s 2011 campaign when Enrique Gonzalez would find the back of the net for Regals FC.  Gonzalez kicked-off the New Year in style with a brilliant far-post strike that curved into the upper 90 from 15 yards out. 

The early lead gave Regals FC the confidence to push forward.  Rolando Matute fired one of his team-high four shots in the 13th minute that rocketed just high.  Gonzalez set up Osama Buazza with a splendid opportunity that Buazza wished he had back after missing near post.  In all, Regals FC attempted 18 shots for the game, but it would be late in the first half before one of them became an asset to the score line. Find out more!

 

The boys of summer are back for Corpus Christi and if today's game was any indication, there will be plenty of celebrating for Fuel fans in the near future.

By Kim DeRaedt

Saturday’s Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) action pitted two undefeated teams each against an otherwise dismal opponent.  Saturday’s play also displayed the beauty of soccer, the unpredictability of sports and the exhilaration of an upset.

It was almost a month ago to the day that Corpus Christi Fuel nearly pulled off the “Miracle on Grass” of the SPSL before falling 3-2 to Regals FC.  Thanks to second chances, the Fuel wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip through its grasp when the team clicked into upset mode once again.  It is safe to say that Corpus Christi likely surprised itself when the crew defeated Galveston Pirate SC 2-1.

The Fuel entered the day’s match with a league-worst 0-8-0 record, having conceded 36 goals while salvaging only six of its own.  The club had to endure the road trip to Galveston and the tough atmosphere of a supporter-laden Pirate SC Courville Stadium.  Pirate SC was undefeated and captained by the league’s leading goal scorer in Roy Hernandez, whom just so happened to be searching for his most supreme performance with New York Red Bulls scouts on hand.  In other words, the odds were stacked against Corpus Christi in more ways than one, but like true underdogs, the team stared its shortcomings in the eye and triumphed over each and every obstacle to make its victory all the more sweet. 

The visitors set sail for Galveston with the welcomed return of several familiar faces from its summer squad that tied Pirate SC in both teams’ infancy, and the Fuel wasted no time in reminding the home side just how dangerous a united, complete Corpus Christi bunch can be.  Sean Mohler put the team in front in the 10th minute, before most fans and foes realized what hit them.  Both clubs found themselves in an unfamiliar experience, the Fuel with a strange sensation of confidence.  As goalkeeper Patrick Kasperitis would explain, his team was “buzzing”. Find out more!

Pirate SC and Roy Hernandez are at the top of the league and scorers' tables respectively, but the margin for error is little as Tulsa and Abed Elkour creep in on the honors.

By Kim DeRaedt

This weekend was supposed to decide which team would rise to the top of the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) standings and establish itself as the club to beat, but Galveston and Tulsa decided to draw one and save the other game for added suspense and debate in the new year.  In the meantime, Club America waited only one half before pouncing on Corpus Christi and claiming a decisive victory. 

Let’s start with what we know.  Club America Academy has taken flight.  The young birds have found their wings and soared through their last two matches.  In particular, the team’s offense has been predator-like and snatched seven goals in its last two outings after amassing only one goal in the club’s first four franchise appearances. 

Hardly a stranger to the scoreboard nowadays, Club America didn’t take long to find the back of the net in its 4-1 victory over a struggling Corpus Christi Fuel crew.  Club America drew first blood, but head coach Thiago Costa Reis wasn’t about to get comfortable, especially after his side saw a 1-0 lead morph into a 2-1 deficit against Texas Lonestrikers the previous week.

“The first goal is obviously huge, but it’s not everything,” Reis said.  “It gave our guys confidence, but at the same time, Corpus Christi wasn’t about to back down.  They came here convinced that today was the day they were going to pick up their first points.” Find out more!

So much for unlucky 13. Both Galveston Pirate SC and Club America Academy walked away three points heavier after Saturday's matches.

By Kim DeRaedt

Both Galveston Pirate SC and Club America Academy needed a victory in their matches on Saturday.  A little extra determination, five goals, five red cards and 180 minutes of soccer later and each team walked away with its desired result, albeit neither was a pretty affair. 

Galveston Pirate SC opened the gates of Courville Stadium to welcome its archenemy Regals FC in the most anticipated match of the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) winter season thus far.  Although Galveston beckoned its opponents to enter, this was hardly a warm, cozy “mi casa es su casa” matter. 

Indeed, tensions were on the rise before the game, kick-off only fueled the fire and the flame burned hotter and hotter as the match progressed.  Some would say the fire is still burning or at least flickering between these two bitter rivals; however, when the smoke subsides, a 2-0 Pirate SC victory will be left in the ashes. 

Pirate SC started out on the attack, but it was Regals FC’s Luis Licerio who struck the crossbar in the seventh minute to nearly put his team on top.  That was about as close as Regals FC and its normally prolific attack would get, though.  After all, the visitors were up against one of the league’s stingiest defenses.  Galveston’s backline has allowed only one goal in its first five matches.  With the defense solidified, it was time for Pirate SC’s offense to pull its weight. Find out more!