Archive for the ‘Club America Academy’ Category

By Kim DeRaedt

Seeing double, double duty…double trouble?!  Both of this weekend’s SPSL matchups will feature a Saturday and Sunday showdown between familiar foes on untried territory.  If the results stay the same as the teams’ previous outcomes, Jack (Corpus Christi) will fall down the hill and Jill (Club America) will come tumbling after. 

To Corpus Christi, it might not seem like a fall but rather a “small hop”.  That’s because at 2-11-0, the Fuel are already about as low as a team can go.  The squad’s -35 goal differential barely scrapes by the Lonestrikers -34 mark as the league’s worst.  Speaking of scraping by, the Lonestrikers can hardly hold their head any higher above the water than the Fuel and would be at rock bottom if it wasn’t for their pair of narrow 2-1 escapes against Corpus Christi.  But those victories were during the fall and winter months, and with spring upon us, the Fuel hope to uphold an “our nest, our points” policy.  This time the Lonestrikers will have to put on their road warrior armor as they trek down to the southern coastal hotspot to battle the Fuel at 3 p.m. on Fairgrounds Field on both Saturday and Sunday.

Road warriors with an Energizer Bunny battery would better describe Club America and its 1/2 day bus ride as the wheels spin ’round and ’round before stopping in Tulsa, OK–Home of the Lobos.  Club America didn’t much appreciate the tire tracks that Tulsa left on its turf on that November weekend in Houston when the Lobos rolled over the hometown team 4-0 and 2-0 respectively.  Since then, Tulsa has been gunning it full-throttle, while Club America’s engine has been creeping in reverse.  Club America’s already humongous hill will reach mountainous proportions as the squad must now face Tulsa in Tulsa.  Stealing any points from the Lobos sends the SPSL into pandemonium, lets the lions loose, and release the bats harbored in Hades.  What will happen when the match is lit to SPSL play this weekend?

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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!

Corpus Christi will look to push past Club America and up the SPSL standings.

By Kim DeRaedt

Last time Corpus Christi squared off against Club America Academy, the team ran out of gas after a long trek to Houston and succumbed to a 4-1 defeat.  This go around, the Fuel hosts Club America and will have a full tank to expend over 90 minutes of play on Saturday. 

To its credit, Corpus Christi trailed Club America only 1-0 in the teams’ meeting on Dec. 11 before its engine began to sputter, and the side surrendered three second-half goals.  The Fuel sought a maintenance tune up, added some parts, and emerged from the shop as a like-new team.  Galveston Pirate SC soon experienced firsthand what happens when the Fuel ignites.  In the SPSL-style “Miracle on Grass”, Corpus Christi shocked the league when it defeated Pirate SC 2-1 in Galveston just one week later.

That match was over a month ago, and since then, the Fuel has been eager to put the pedal to the metal and pick up where it left off on Victory Road.  Corpus Christi coach Patrick Esqueda assures that his squad won’t be rusty when it rolls out of the garage and onto the field, revved up for its 2011 campaign.

“We have the same core players that we took into the Galveston game, so I have no reason to not have complete confidence in us,” Esqueda said.  “If anything, we should be stronger and improve every game as our chemistry improves.” Find out more!

Reflecting on the old and thirsting for the new, the SPSL sails into 2011 looking for new land; land and feats in the soccer sphere that Columbus himself would envy.

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s 2011!  A new year (insert clichés here).  Many set out on ambitious personal make overs or pledge to partake in global initiatives of which Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repeat is a familiar, attainable campaign to all.  The Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL), however, hardly has the history, surplus, or extravagance to discard of the old in place of the new.  Instead, the league will look to keep what it has and build off of its foundation to achieve even greater heights in 2011.  Let’s glance at the 4 R’s, SPSL-style!

Renew:  Too often we try to forget the past year and cast it off as inferior in place of the New Year and the potential and hopes that it holds.  Nevertheless, the SPSL has several moments and memories worth reintroducing despite the league’s recent birth in October 2010.  Who can forget, and who cannot wish for more of excitement like this?

Tulsa Lobos FC races to a 4-0 start and notches 4-straight shutouts to boot before engaging in a thrilling 4-4 shootout with Galveston Pirate SC.
Regals FC sprints to a 3-0 start and annihilates its opponents by logging a 24-1 goal differential in those contests.
Galveston Pirate SC rains on Regals FC’s parade and upsets the early frontrunners by recording a 2-0 victory on its home turf. 
Club America Academy took an early nap, but once the sleeping giants were awakened, they cruised to two-straight victories and tallied seven goals during those outings. 
Texas Lonestrikers:  Edged by both Club America Academy and Tulsa Lobos FC in narrow one-goal losses, the Lonestrikers are proving that they are no longer the doormats that teams once walked over by 7-0 score lines.  New signings plus a new year yield new dominance for the Nacogdoches nation.
Corpus Christi Fuel:  Ahh, the underdogs, the heroes, the “Miracle on Grass” good guys—Call them what you want, but the Fuel players opened everyone’s eyes when they travelled to Galveston and handed the league leaders a 2-1 defeat, designating Pirate SC’s first loss and Corpus Christi’s first victory of the season.

Resolve:  Nobody can predict or promise what the game or any team will deliver, but SPSL FLASH isn’t subject to such the uncertainty of sports.  (Pending the rigors of grad school and hopeful employment) SPSL FLASH hopes to provide “more”.  More photos, more videos, more player features, in-depth team articles, soccer news and analysis from around the country and world, varied opinions and insights, and most importantly, MORE of what YOU want!

Rally:  Of course, resolutions are great—great but tough.  Often resolutions fall by the wayside, but if soccer has taught us one thing, it’s that the power of teamwork cannot be underestimated.  In order to make SPSL FLASH more appealing to potential and current fans, players and coaches alike, participation and feedback are crucial.  Please send game photos and video clips, suggest story ideas, complete a player profile (if applicable), or volunteer to be briefly interviewed for an article to be featured on the blog (always applicable, yes even to YOU!)  Any blog can write about the MLS or post links to the latest controversies with FIFA or rumors swirling in the EPL.  What makes SPSL FLASH different is that it’s about YOU and YOUR interests.  The only way this will work, however, is with YOUR help and knowing YOUR interests.  Make sense?!

Result:  The SPSL endeavors to reach uncharted territory in 2011 and take the Southern soccer community by storm.  The league kicks back into action this next weekend with repeats of last year’s greatest matchups slated for the coming months.  Things will get interesting as the season draws to a close in March and the play-off fight commences in April.  A short, sizzling summer season will follow and Rio Grande Valley Ocelots will jump into the mix.  September is when the real show begins as the SPSL’s first full season is launched.  Eighteen teams from California to Florida are expected to fuel the fire.  Memphis Rogues have confirmed its appearance and Santos FC (San Antonio), Sarasota United (FL), and Onelove FC (Los Angeles) have also been invited to join the party.

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!

With a strong offense showing like today, Regals FC and leading scorer Erick Cruz (second left) will see plenty more trophies where that come from.

By Kim DeRaedt

With three teams tied for first place in the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) standings and a tight race for the top goal scorer nod, Regals FC and forward Erick Cruz used Saturday’s 5-1 victory against Club America Academy to set themselves apart as sole leaders. 

The lone post-Thanksgiving matchup pitted undefeated Regals FC against winless Club America Academy in the first inner-city rivalry.  The Houston showdown lasted 90 minutes, but it was a crucial nine-minute stint in the game’s early going that determined each team’s fate. 

Having tallied 27 goals through its first four SPSL matches, Regals FC has no trouble scoring.  That means when Club America Academy gifted the home side a goal in the sixth minute, it only set the stage for a disastrous fallout for the visiting South siders. 

Erick Cruz put Regals FC on the board after pouncing on a distribution error by goalkeeper Giovanni Naiemaraz.  Not one to settle for an easy day’s work, Cruz darted down the right sideline and delivered a pinpoint cross to Enrique Gonzalez in the 10th minute.  Gonzalez executed a perfect header and directed the ball to the lower left corner of the net for the 2-0 advantage.  Excited by the feeling, Gonzalez shouldered the responsibility to pay it forward, this time by assisting Osama Buazza only a minute later.  Buazza’s low driven shot to the right corner escaped Naiemaraz’s outstretched arm and extended the lead to 3-0.  There’s nothing like kicking a team while it’s down.  Regals FC notched its fourth goal in the 15th minute when Luis Licerio’s well-weighted pass left Cruz with an easy finish to the left side.  The goal was Cruz’s eighth so far this season, which puts him one above Galveston Pirate SC standout Roy Hernandez in the goal scoring title chase for the time being. Find out more!