Archive for the ‘Corpus Christi Fuel’ 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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This may look like a friendly meeting, but once the whistle sounds, there will be no mercy in the fight for first place.

By Kim DeRaedt

Nothing stings like a defeat.  Nothing reeks like being beaten by a rival.  With that said, nothing stirs a team’s drive and wets its appetite like the chance for good old-fashioned revenge. 

“Next time” is the traditional upbeat battle cry of so many troops wounded in action.  Next time is what Corpus Christi Fuel vowed when it fell to Texas Lonestrikers 4-1 on Oct. 16, and the mantra Regals FC recited after Galveston Pirate SC knocked the squad off its feet in a 2-0 defeat on Dec. 4.  Regals FC has waited patiently, and for the Fuel, it has indeed been forever, but next time will finally befall for both clubs this Saturday in Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) play. 

Even though the phase is often used and abused, one almost has to believe that these two squads mean business, and in reality, next time will look nothing like the last time each of these matchups transpired. 

Corpus Christi was edged by the Lonestrikers in Nacogdoches in what would be game two of an eight-game losing skid for the fledgling Fuel.  That game was before the team’s parts came together, before its motor was up and running, and before it started winning.  Like an unoccupied car rolling down a rural hill, the Fuel is rolling to victory and gaining speed, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone who will stop them.  With the team’s college “boys of summer” back in the lineup, the Fuel flattened Galveston Pirate SC 2-1 in Galveston on Dec. 18 and bulldozed Club America by the same score in its next and previous match.  Like the teased little sibling who has now grown bigger and stronger than his brothers, Fuel coach Patrick Esqueda and his men hope to get the last laugh at their former bullies this time around. 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!

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!

You may not recognize many of the Pirate SC players as the team will battle through a transformed roster in hopes of sitting on top the SPSL standings come Monday.

By Kim DeRaedt

Never mind the Arctic blast bearing down on South Texas.  This weekend’s Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) clashes will thaw the frozen tundra and indeed more closely resemble the fiery lava that scalds one’s feet as he tiptoes across the scorching asphalt on a mid-summer afternoon.  Who will find the hot boot and which team will erupt to victory, however, will only be revealed as the mercury rises in a pair of SPSL marquee matchups.   

It’s a task too tall for the National Weather Center itself.  Trying to judge which team will be hot and which will be cold is something beyond scientific capabilities.  Just take the two previous battles between Regals FC and Corpus Christi Fuel as a prime example.  On Oct. 24, Regals FC celebrated its home opener with an 11-1 thrashing of Corpus Christi Fuel.  A mere month later, though, Regals FC sprinted away from Corpus Christi’s turf thankful to have escaped with a 3-2 nail-biting victory that was never secure until the final whistle sounded. 

When lightning strikes and thunder rolls for the third time, these two teams will likely stir up a storm for the ages as they collide at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, TX on Saturday.  Regals FC coach Miguel Landaverde doesn’t plan on letting anything disrupt his club’s homeostasis; that is, the tendency of his team to remain fixed on victory. 

“I have no reason to believe that we can’t win,” Landaverde said.  “We’ve beaten them twice before.  Sure they gave us a run for our money the second time, more so than I would’ve wanted, but we’re undoubtedly the stronger team.  We have new players stepping in and old players stepping up.” 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.

 

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!