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  • 05/16/13--12:05: Reading's Pinto Neto Honored
  • PDL News Release

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced today its Team of the Week for the second week of the season, with Reading United forward Mario Pinto Neto being honored as the Player of the Week. Pinto Neto recorded a hat trick in United’s season-opening 8-0 victory against the Westchester Flames to claim the weekly honor.

    In pursuit of its sixth consecutive playoff berth, Reading got its season off to a flying start on Saturday night. Pinto Neto scored the club’s first goal of the season, heading home from inside the penalty area, and he added a second in the 59th minute, finishing an opportunity created by Larry Ndjock. The young Brazilian completed his hat trick seven minutes later, firing home a first-time finish from a corner.

    Joining Pinto Neto in the Team of the Week attack were Austin’s Tucker Hume, who scored the game-winning goal while playing a key role in the Aztex’s 2-1 victory against Oklahoma City FC. Ventura County’s Chase Minter was also selected after he scored a pair of second-half goals, including the game-winner, in the Fusion’s 3-1 win against the BYU Cougars.

    F.A. Euro – New York Magic goalkeeper Alex Naples was named to the team after earning his side a point with a 13-save shutout in a 0-0 draw against the NJ LUSO Rangers on Sunday afternoon. He is joined in defense by CFC Azul’s Jonny Raj, who played a key role in his club’s 3-0 win against the Real Boston Rams, and Fresno’s Jorge Gutierrez, whose leadership was key as the Fuego earned a point against BYU.

    GPS Portland’s Gilbert Mainer earned his selection after scoring the game-winning goal for the Phoenix against Vermont, while Houston’s Walter Krombholtz had a standout performance as the Dutch Lions earned a draw with defending division champion Laredo.

    Carolina midfielder Brandt Bronico led the midfield selections, with the 17-year-old scoring the opening goal of the season for the Dynamo in their 3-0 win against Virginia Beach. He was joined by Vancouver’s Cam Hundal, who played a key role in the Whitecaps U-23’s win against Kitsap, and Laredo’s Alejandro de la Garza, whose stoppage-time goal earned his side a point against Houston.

    PDL Team of the Week

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    Alex Naples

    F.A. Euro

    Recorded 13-save shutout against NJ LUSO Rangers

    D

    Jonny Raj

    CFC Azul

    Played key role in 3-0 win against Real Boston

    D

    Jorge Gutierrez

    Fresno

    Led defense in shutout against BYU

    D

    Gilbert Manier

    GPS Portland

    Scored game-winning goal against Vermont

    D

    Walter Krombholtz

    Houston

    Held defense’s shape, and was dangerous from set pieces

    M

    Cam Hundal

    Vancouver

    Played a pivotal role in Whitecaps’ win against Kitsap

    M

    Brandt Bronico

    Carolina

    17-year-old had a goal in impressive debut for Dynamo

    M

    Alejandro de la Garza

    Laredo

    Scored stoppage-time equalizer against Houston

    F

    Mario Pinto Neto

    Reading

    Had a hat trick as United defeated Westchester

    F

    Tucker Hume

    Austin

    Scored game-winning goal as Aztex rallied to victory

    F

    Chase Minter

    Ventura County

    Pair of goals led Fusion to victory against BYU

    Honorable Mention – Austin: Tony Rocha; Carolina: Hakan Ilhan, Sebastian Ibeagha; CFC Azul: Mario DiMiceli; El Paso: George Lara, Franciso De Anda; F.A. Euro: Alex Billington, Adam Maabdi; Fresno: Abraham Campos; GPS Portland: Neil Harries, Richardo Isreal; Houston: Jaimy Sharp; Kitsap: Dustyn Brim; LA Misioneros: Leonid Sharf; Laredo: Emmanuel Frias; OC Blues: Christopher Santana; Oklahoma City: Adam Black; Reading: Manolo Sanchez, Ben Sweat; Southern California: Alex Anderson; SW Florida: Lewis Hilton, Damian Vincent; Tucson: Aaron Long, Greg Carter; Vancouver: Derrick Bassi; Ventura County: Patrick Otte, Francisco Lopez; West Texas: Andres Maldonado.


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are off to one of their hottest starts in team history (5-1) and are in a tie for second place in the league behind their opponent this Friday night, Orlando City, which arrives at Skyline Sports Complex on a three-game winning streak. Kickoff for Friday night's contest is set for 7 p.m. ET, and can be viewed on USLNation.com.

    The Islanders have not only been winning games, they have also been scoring prolifically, averaging just fewer than three goals per game. Not to be out done, Orlando leads the league in goals with 23 in eight games. The Islanders goalie Nick Noble has two straight shutouts, but this will be a huge test for him and the rest of the Isles defense.

    The Islanders will try to back up a solid rain delayed 4-0 win against Antigua Barracuda FC last Friday night. Sainey Touray had two goals and an assist in the game and was inches away from getting a hat trick. Noble had six saves on his way to his fifth win of the season. In their first six games, the Islanders have not surrendered more than one goal in a game.

    The Islanders have three players in the Top 10 in the league in scoring on the year. Touray leads the pack with 11 points in five games. Lucky Mkosana is tied for sixth in the league with seven points and Cristhian Hernandez is tied for 10th with six points. Touray is also tied for third-most goals in the league with four.

    This is the first meeting between the two teams this season, but they are very familiar with one another. The two teams met in the 2011 USL PRO Championship Game, where Orlando outlasted the Islanders in a gritty game that was ultimately settled in penalty kicks.

    Even though Orlando is in first place, they have also played two more games than the Isles and a win would move the Islanders within one point of the Lions. The Islanders have never beaten Orlando City with an all-time 0-4-0 record against them.

    “Orlando has been the class of the league the past two years, and they are off to a great start again this season," Harrisburg coach Bill Becher said. "We have started extremely well ourselves and look forward to the challenge on Friday night. Both teams are scoring tons of goals and defending well, should be a great game on the island.”

    This game marks the second micro-brew night of the season with Traveler Brewing Company coming into Skyline Sports Complex. They will be set up behind the bleachers that are located behind the goal. Gold’s Gym will be on site as well with-shirts, free memberships and Gold’s sling sacks. For tickets you can call (717)-441-GOAL or visit www.cityisilanders.com.


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    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    PORTLAND, Ore. – A goal by midfielder Eric Miller and forward Zack Foxhoven in each half helped guide the Portland Timbers U-23s to a 2-0 win against Northwest Division-rival Sounders FC U-23 before 3,681 fans on a Providence Health & Fitness Day on Thursday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field.

    After trading a few early chances, the Timbers U-23s opened the scoring on Miller’s goal in the 25th minute. Portland added a second goal 15 minutes into the second half as Foxhoven took advantage of a free ball in the box. Backed by five saves from goalkeeper David Meves, the Timbers U-23s held firm against the Sounders FC U-23 attack to secure the shut-out victory in their 2013 Premier Development League season opener.

    Miller and Foxhoven scored their first goals of the season in league play, forward Mark Sherrod and midfielder Gabriel Conelian each registered assists as the Timbers U-23s (1-0-0, 3pts) earned their first win over the Sounders FC U-23 (0-1-0, 0pts).

    In the 25th minute, Miller received a pass from Conelian and then worked the ball into open space near the top left corner of the box. Miller drove a shot into the top far corner of the goal for his first tally of the season.

    Portland doubled its lead, 2-0, in the 65th minute on a play off a set piece. A free kick into the penalty area was headed on by Sherrod near the right post and the ball deflected down in front of goal. Foxhoven worked into position to knock the ball into the back of an open net as Seattle defenders attempted to track back towards goal.

    Meves made three saves in the first half to help keep Sounders FC U-23 at bay, including a diving save in the 28th minute on a shot from distance by forward David Geno, who scored four goals for Sounders FC U-23 in their U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday. Meves turned in another key save in the 54th minute, pushing high a shot by defender Michael Uyehara from roughly 20 yards out with a diving effort.

    Sounders FC U-23 had chances in the second half to cut into the deficit. Midfielder Adbul Aman lifted a shot from inside 10 yards over the crossbar in the 70th minute – one of his team-high three shots. Eight minutes later, midfielder Miles Byass drove a shot from just beyond the top right corner of the penalty area over the mark.

    Timbers U-23s defender Bryan Gallego denied a scoring chance for Seattle in the 88th minute, heading a shot by Sounders FC U-23 defender Josh Phillips off the goal line. Gallego also made a timely tackle inside the penalty area in the first half to prevent a quality look for Aman in the 17th minute.

    The Timbers U-23s close out their first week of the regular season on Saturday as they visit North Sound SeaWolves FC at Edmonds-Woodway High School at 1 p.m. (Pacific).


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    New Jersey Wildcats News Release - www.njwildcats.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    LONG BRANCH, N.J. -
    The New Jersey Wildcats continue to build a talented roster as the team prepares for its 2013 W-League season opener Wednesday night at The College of New Jersey, hosting the New Jersey Valkyries at 7:45 p.m. The Wildcats made official on Thursday the addition of playmaking striker Daija Griffin, a Piscataway native who is headed to play for the University of South Carolina this fall.

    "We look for Daija to add great pace and playmaking ability to our offense this season," Wildcats head coach Kevin McDermott said. "She is a great addition to our team, and we expect her to make a big impression for us. We are very happy to have Daija on board."

    Griffin is a 2013 graduate of Piscataway (NJ) High School, earning four consecutive varsity letters while playing for the Chiefs. During her time in high school, she compiled a long list of accolades, including National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All America honors as well as being named the No. 10 player in the state by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Additionally, she was acknowledged as the Greater Middlesex County (GMC) and All-Area Player of the Year while playing for Piscataway High School. She also led her team to four straight GMC Finals, including a championship in 2011.

    Griffin was similarly successful at the club level, winning two US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) National League crowns and three Premier League titles.

    No stranger to the organization, Griffin recently helped McDermott and the NJ Wildcats Lady Strikers-ASL side to the 2013 US Club State Championship this past weekend.

    Griffin will join the Wildcats Wednesday night for the opener at Lions Stadium at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Tickets for all Wildcats home matches are now available and can be attained by calling 732-298-7619. Individual game tickets as well as team and family packages are available.

    The New Jersey Wildcats played their debut season in the W-League in 1996 and have competed every year since. The team compiled a 41-1 regular season record from 2004-06, winning regular season titles in 2004 and 2006 while taking the W-League championship in 2005. Following the 2005 season, the Wildcats were named the USL Franchise of the Year. After the completion of the 2008 season, USP Soccer headlined a new ownership regime for the Wildcats, and the team received postseason bids after each of its first three seasons with the group at the helm. The Wildcats are one of the longest running franchises in women’s soccer history, with the team kicking off its 18th year of play this summer in the W-League.


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    Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 News Release -- www.whitecapsfc.com

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 return to United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) action on Friday when they host provincial rivals Victoria Highlanders FC at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. PT. The match is free to the public, while updates can also be followed on Twitter through @WhitecapsMatch.

    The ‘Caps opened their season with an exciting 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Kitsap Pumas last Friday at Thunderbird Stadium.

    After going down a goal after six minutes, the ‘Caps stormed back late in the second half on goals from Cam Hundal and substitute Spencer DeBoice.

    “This match will be another big challenge for our group,” noted head coach Stuart Neely. “We need to play better defensively and be quicker in our build-up play. Last match we adjusted our approach in the second half and the boys responded well. We cannot take Victoria lightly, so we need to be tactically and mentally prepared.”

    The Highlanders are led by former Whitecaps FC women’s team assistant coach Steve Simonson in his first year in charge.

    Victoria is looking to improve from its 2012 season when they finished in sixth place in the Northwest division, one spot behind Whitecaps FC U-23. Like the ‘Caps, the Highlanders defeated the Kitsap Pumas at home to begin their season, earning a 3-0 result at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on May 4.

    HEAD-TO-HEAD

    The ‘Caps have an all-time record of 5W-2L-3D against Victoria Highlanders FC since they joined the PDL in 2009, including a 3W-1L-1D record at home.

    JUAN DE FUCA PLATE

    Friday’s match will be the first of the season in the battle for the Juan de Fuca Plate, a supporter-sponsored competition crowning the best PDL team from British Columbia. In its inaugural year in 2012, the Juan de Fuca Plate was contested between Fraser Valley Mariners, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Victoria Highlanders FC. Vancouver won the inaugural title in 2012.

    With the Mariners dropping out of the PDL this year, the competition will be contested between Whitecaps FC and Victoria and will be based on their three-game head-to-head series. For more information on the Juan de Fuca Plate, visit http://www.juandefucaplate.ca.


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    Sacramento Pro Soccer News Release -- www.sacprosoccer.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Professional Soccer, LLC, (Sac Pro Soccer) today announced Mexico’s Dorados de Sinaloa will be playing during Sacramento Soccer Day against the English Premier League’s (EPL) Norwich City Football Club (Norwich City).

    Sacramento Soccer Day will take place on July 18, 2013 at Raley Field and pre-sale tickets will be available May 20 through 27, 2013. Sales to the general public will begin on May 28, 2013. Prices begin at $18 per person and increase up to $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or directly purchased from the Raley Field box office.

    Dorados de Sinaloa’s star player, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, will be part of the team roster during the event. Blanco is known for his captivating personality on the field and his strong level of talent. He is the only Mexican soccer player to earn the Silver Ball and Silver Show awards in the 1999 Fédération Internationale de Football Association Confederations Cup. He has also been awarded the MVP of the Mexican First League Division five times.

    “The game will give Sacramento soccer fans the opportunity to see two distinct styles of football – the short passing, inventive Latino style against the more direct physical approach from the English Premier League,” said Graham Smith, technical director of Sac Pro Soccer.

    Additionally during Sacramento Soccer Day, the team’s President, Warren Smith, will announce the official team name, color palette, shield and scarf of the Sac Pro Soccer team, which are currently being selected during a three-month, three-part naming contest that is involving the Sacramento community and soccer fans.

    Sacramento’s USL PRO franchise plans to host a series of exhibition matches during 2013 involving domestic and international professional soccer teams. In addition, supporter events, soccer clinics and player appearances will be scheduled leading up to the 2014 inaugural season.

    For more information about Sacramento Soccer Day or to purchase tickets to Sacramento Soccer Day, visit SacProSoccer.com. Supporters can also “Like” the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/SacProSoccer or follow them on Twitter @SacProSoccer. 


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  • 05/17/13--11:28: Impact Hit The Road


  • Fredericksburg Impact News Release - fasaimpact.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - The Fredericksburg Impact will complete a three-game road trip to start their W-League season this weekend when they travel to New York to take on the Long Island Rough Riders Saturday and the New York Magic Sunday.

    Fredericksburg opened the season last Saturday in Virginia Beach, Va., falling 2-1 to the Piranhas. Kara Blosser got on the end of a corner kick by Kimmy Cummings early in the contest before the hosts rallied for the win. Blosser, a central midfielder, was named to the W-League Team of the Week for her efforts.

    The Impact started a young team in the match, with high school junior Halle Parker playing the entire game at sweeper against Virginia Beach’s high-octane offense. Fellow high school teammate Sydney Wallace, a sophomore, also saw action late in the match as Fredericksburg searched for a game-tying score.

    Fredericksburg created many chances throughout the game, but were unable to put them away, which is something Coach Rich Stoneman said the team will need to improve on going forward.

    “I think our conference in the W-League is probably the hardest, and our girls got a taste what they did, can and will be able to do moving forward,” he said. “I think they are hungry to be able to travel this weekend and put together a full 90 minutes [in both games].”

    Saturday’s game will be the season opener for Long Island, which finished the 2012 season with a 9-4-0 record. The Rough Riders reached the Eastern Conference semifinals last year as the Northeast Division champion, but fell 4-0 to the Charlotte Eagles.

    Long Island will be led by Grace Hawkins and Sue Weber. Hawkins was named W-League MVP in 2012 and has a knack for finding the goal after leading the league in both points with 38 and goals scored with 17. Weber is a two-time W-League Defender of the Year winner, who returns to the team after taking off the 2012 season for maternity leave.

    Coming off a tough 2012 campaign where they finished with a 3-7-2 record, the Magic (1-0-0) opened their season last Saturday with a 2-1 upset victory against the Washington Spirit Reserves at the Maryland SportsPlex.

    In the contest, Brittany Pfaff set up Lorena Maggio for the game-tying goal, before scoring the game-winner in the 86th minute as New York tallied twice in the final 15 minutes for the victory. Pfaff was named the W-League Player of the Week for her performance, while teammates Maggio and defender Kelsey Hegg earned Team of the Week honors.

    “We expect both teams to be solid,” Stoneman said. “The New York Magic upset the Washington Spirit, which won last year’s Atlantic Division. It’s going to be like a fight in these two matches, and after 90 minutes, we’ll see who’s left standing.”

    After the opening loss, and heading into their first home game at Fredericksburg Field House on May 27, Fredericksburg’s players obviously would like to bring home a couple of wins, and hope another week of practice under their belt will be the difference.

    “These practices we had this week have set us up going forward,” said midfielder Kimmy Cummings, who returned to the Impact this year after playing with the team in their inaugural season in 2011. “Last weekend we played, we were a little rusty but it wasn’t that bad at all. We’ve got some experience on our team, and we are looking for those girls to step up and make this weekend successful.”


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  • 05/17/13--21:56: Kickers, Blues Finish Tied
  • Friday, May 17, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers extended their unbeaten streak, battling the Los Angeles Blues to a 1-1 draw on Friday night at City Stadium. In a tale of two halves, the Kickers held a first-half advantage on an early Joseph Ngwenya tally until Blues midfielder Juan Perez buried an 88th-minute equalizer to steal a point for the Blues.

    Following several ill-fated attempts on both sides of the field, the Kickers (4-0-3, 15 points) nearly broke through in the 34th minute when midfielder Luke Vercollone stole the ball in the midfield and fed it to Ngwenya. The Zimbabwean international swiftly maneuvered past his mark and played a square ball across the top of the box to an awaiting Michael Seaton. The 17-year old forward’s low shot was blocked by a staunch Blues defense but Nate Robinson attempted to scoop up the rebound near the endline, only to see his shot from a difficult angle cleared off the line.

    The Kickers’ attack would not be stifled three minutes later when Robinson struck a low, driven ball through traffic from the top of the penalty area. The Blues defense once again redirected the ball from harm’s way, but this time the ricochet found a well-positioned Ngwenya. Taking two steps around his defender, he lofted the ball over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Steve Gonzalez and into the back of the net.

    The Blues (4-4-2, 14 points) saw their best chance of the half thwarted a minute later when midfielder Rodrigo Lopez received the ball on at the left post but Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra threw his body in the line of fire to make the save.

    After the restart, the Kickers saw their hopes of doubling the score denied in the 68th minute. Robinson’s well-timed cross drifted over the commotion in the box, finding second half substitute Joseph Haboush six yards out but the former VCU midfielder’s volley from point-blank range clipped just over the crossbar.

    With less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, the Blues pressed forward and nearly capitalized on several chances in rapid fire succession. First, in the 81st minute, a dangerous corner kick was played into the box, forcing Dykstra to punch it through the swarming box. Shay Spitz kept the ball in play, connecting with Duach Jock at the left edge of the six-yard box, but the Kickers goalkeeper leapt to his feet to grab his diving header as it was headed towards goal.

    Dykstra’s acrobatics were tested again three minutes later when a streaking Perez carried the ball down the left flank and slotted it on target, but Dykstra dove to his right to wrap it around the post.

    The Blues offensive efforts paid off in the 88th minute after a threatening ball pinged around the box before Chris Cortez sprung Perez free at the left post, who fired a rocket into the far right corner to level the score with minutes to spare, earning the Blues a valuable road point.

    The Richmond Kickers will enter the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the Second Round on Tuesday night when they host Icon FC of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association (USASA) at City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com. Should the Kickers advance past Icon, they will host their official Major League Soccer affiliate, D.C. United, on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m.


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    Super-20 League News Release

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues announced today the divisional allotments for the 2013 Super-20 League Finals. A total of 16 of the 55 participating U20 men’s teams will receive bids to fight for championship honors this year. The finals will take place July 18-21 and once again will be hosted at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

    The Mid Atlantic Division will feature nine teams in 2012 stretching from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and will receive two spots at the finals. The Mid South Division (Texas) features 10 teams split into North and South subdivisions with five teams in each. Mid South will receive three total bids, with each subdivision champion and the top second-place team moving on to the finals.

    The Southeast Division will be made up of five Florida clubs fighting for a lone spot at the finals, while the Midwest East (Michigan, Ohio, Ontario), Midwest West (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri), and North Atlantic West (New Jersey, Pennsylvania) will each feature six teams and receive two bids per division. The North Atlantic East (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York) is comprised of five clubs and will receive two spots, while the New England Division (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ontario) will have eight teams and two spots at the finals.

    Last year’s champions, the Chicago Fire, will look to retain the trophy while competing in the Midwest West Division. The Columbus, Ohio-based Crew Juniors, from the Midwest East, will try to make it to their fourth consecutive final.

    IMG Academy, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. IMG Academy hosted a myriad of soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, and the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games.

    For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport, by providing world-class coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities within an energetic environment across a 450-acre campus.

     

    Division Finals Bids
    Mid Atlantic 2
    Mid South 3
    Midwest East 2
    Midwest West 2
    New England 2
    North Atlantic East 2
    North Atlantic West 2
    Southeast 1
    Total 16

     
     

     

     

     


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    Friday, May 17, 2013

    HARRISBURG Pa. -- Honors ended even as two of the top teams in USL PRO met in a highly contested match on Friday night at Skyline Sports Complex as the Harrisburg City Islanders and Orlando City played to a 2-2 draw. Sainey Touray opened the scoring for the City Islanders, but the hosts needed a second-half equalizer from Yann Ekra after Orlando’s Dom Dwyer had given the Lions the lead with a goal in either half.

    Both teams had chances early, Orlando coming close to opening the lead in the opening five minutes only for the assistant referee’s flag to be raised for offside. The City Islanders opened the scoring in the 16th minute when a pass slipped behind the Orlando defense to the feet of Don Anding on the left. Anding charged the net with Touray, and when Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo came out to challenge Anding, he chipped a cross to Touray who finished into the empty net. The goal was Touray’s fifth of the season and his third in two games.

    It didn’t take long for the Lions to answer with a goal of their own. Orlando was awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal for a handball, and Dwyer, who entered the game with a league-leading 10 goals, stepped up and put a shot past Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble into the right corner of the net. The goal ended Noble’s two-game shutout streak.

    The next goal would also come from the foot of Dwyer, who tapped his 12th goal of the season after the ball deflected off Noble’s leg after an attempted shot by Orlando defender Bryan Burke as he broke into the right side of the penalty area. The goal set a new club record for Orlando, with Dwyer setting a new mark for goals in a season for the Lions, and put the Lions up 2-1 in the 55th minute.

    The City Islanders were able to hit back on a fine solo effort by Yann Ekra with 18 minutes to go. After stealing possession 40 yards from goal, Ekra was able to withstand challenges from three Lions defenders before shooting from a few yards outside of the penalty area, his shot finding its way past his markers and into the right corner of the net to even the score.

     

     

     

    Both team had great chances to snatch a win in the final 10 minutes, Orlando’s Long Tan having a late chance well saved by Noble, but both teams walked away with a point after an end-to-end contest.

    The City Islanders next game arrives on Tuesday night as they travel to Exeter High School’s Don Thomas Stadium  for a contest with Reading United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Islanders next return home on Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. as they host the Wilmington Hammerheads.


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  • 05/18/13--11:22: Pali Ready To Kick Off 2013
  •  
    Pali Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com
     
    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    LOS ANGELES - The Pali Blues are set to begin the 2013 W-League season taking on rival LA Strikers at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 18, at Palisades High School. After reaching the 2012 championship game the Blues have their eyes set on winning the title this season.
     
    Head coach Charlie Naimo and goalkeeper Anna Picarelli discussed the team heading into the season-opener.
     
    “I am extremely concerned about the first game, as I am every year,” said Naimo. “There is an enormous amount of talent on the team, but we have not had the chance to prepare very well. This week we were without five of our players at [U-23 US Women’s] national team camp, and a few others still at school. We’ve also been nursing a few minor injuries.”
     
    Naimo’s concern comes from going up against a confident and improved LA Strikers team.
     
    “Games are always difficult against confident teams,” he said. “I think in their minds, they have formed a rivalry with us. The importance of the game is high for us, but it’s probably higher for them because they want to beat us. But we are going into the season not thinking about the rivalry. We are thinking about winning the championship.”
     
    Picarelli is excited for the chance for redemption after losing the league title in a penalty kick shootout last year.
     
    “I can’t wait for out game tomorrow,” she said. “I’ve been looking forward to this since the whistle blew in the last game in 2012. After getting together with this team on the field, I know this year’s team is a championship team. The talent this group has along with the hard work everyone puts in, this team is going to turn heads and that all starts tomorrow.”
     
    Naimo concluded his thoughts on what it’s going to take for his squad to defeat the Strikers.
     
    “This team is focused, so if we can hold up physically, we’ll have a good match,” he said. “They can’t look at our past record against the Strikers and get too confident, so I’m cautiously optimistic about the match.”
     

    The battle between the Blues and the Strikers will begin at 10 p.m. ET at Palisades High School. Fans can purchase tickets by visitingbluessoccerclub.com/tickets or calling 310-777-7897. 


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    Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release -- www.riverhounds.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    PITTSBURGH – This Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds return to Highmark Stadium for their final USL PRO regular season meeting against the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7 p.m. Heading into the match against the Dutch Lions, the Riverhounds are undefeated in the month of May and are focused on maintaining their recent form.

    The two clubs met on April 20 at Beavercreek Stadium in Dayton, resulting in a dramatic 2-1 win for the Dutch Lions. The Dutch Lions were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half when Eli Garner was sent off. A strong individual effort by Gibson Bardsley streaking down the right flank put the home side up in the 38th minute. The Riverhounds found the equalizer in the final seconds of the first half when Matt Dallman found the head of Kevin Kerr all alone at the back post. The Dutch Lions grabbed victory in the final minute, however, after Remco Klaasse put away a finish from a corner to give his side victory.

    The final game of the regular season for these two clubs at Highmark Stadium will be filled with attacking prowess, intense individual battles, and physical challenges throughout the full 90 minutes. Pittsburgh sits three points behind the Dutch Lions in the USL PRO standings entering Saturday's contest, and will be hoping to take victory to pull even with nine points on the season.

    Promoting the game as ‘Armed Forces Night’, the Riverhounds will have representation from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy to present the nation’s colors during opening ceremonies. The Riverhounds will be selling patriotic ribbons during the game to raise funds to benefit the troops.

    For Riverhounds tickets, visit riverhounds.com or call the Highmark Stadium Box Office at (412) 224-4900.


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    Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester Rhinos host two-time, defending USL PRO Regular Season Champion Orlando City on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium. The Rhinos won their first match of the 2013 season last Friday with a 1-0 result in Legion Stadium against the Wilmington Hammerheads. New England Revolution striker Matt Horth scored the only goal of the match in the 79th minute. 2012 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year Kristian Nicht returned to form with three saves to keep his second clean sheet of the season, while 2012 USL PRO Defender of the Year Troy Roberts made a timely tackle on Wilmington substitute Steven Perry in the 76th minute to keep the Eagles off the score board. 

    Nicht became the first Rhinos player to be named to the USL PRO Team of the Week this season, while Horth received Honorable Mention for his efforts. The result allowed Rochester to climb over Wilmington into 11th place in the table.

    “We went into one of the more difficult places to play in USL PRO and were able to get a result,” Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers said. “We hung in there defensively in the first half, and then we were able to begin to control the match a little bit more in the second half with our possession.”

    While the Rhinos suffered long term injuries to star striker Matt Luzunaris and defensive midfielder Michael Tanke in their home opener on May 4th, Rochester has also had some key pieces of the 2013 roster return over the past two weeks. Midfielder Ross LaBauex has started each of the past two matches for the Rhinos. LaBauex made an emergency start at right back in the home opener against the Harrisburg City Islanders, and then he played a full 90 minutes in midfield in the Rhinos victory in Wilmington. Rochester opponents have scored one goal in LaBauex's first two starts of the season. 2012 Rochester Rhinos MVP J.C. Banks made his first appearance of the season when he entered the Rhinos win in Wilmington in the 79th minute. Banks had been out since last August rehabilitating his surgically repaired ACL.

    “Lose two and get two back seems to be the way things are going for us right now.” Myers said. “Ross is fully recovered from a torn calf muscle that he suffered in preseason, and JC is beginning to work his way back to match fitness after recovering from his ACL injury. Ross won a National Championship with Virginia, and then played three years in MLS with Colorado. J.C. was our MVP last season. For the most part when we're fresh and playing with 11 guys we've been competitive so far this season. The return of JC and Ross is going to continue to help us out in that regard.”

    Orlando City enters Saturday night's match at Sahlen's Stadium at the top of the USL PRO table. Orlando City is the only USL PRO club to win the regular season title after they captured the honor in 2011 and 2012. The City Lions have 19 points from a 6-1-1 record through their first eight matches this season, and they have scored a league-high 23 goals. Sporting KC loanee Dom Dwyer has already scored 10 goals for City this season. On April 14th the Lions defeated the Rochester Rhinos 3-1 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Orlando City is the only existing club that the Rochester Rhinos have never defeated (0-5-1).

    “Over the past three seasons Orlando has been the most consistent team in the league.” Myers said. “They have a handful of guys who can score goals, which gives them a lot of different ways that they can hurt you. You need to be at your best and put out maximum effort when you play them. We've continued to improve from week to week, and we need to focus on getting a result this weekend.”


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    North Sound SeaWolves News Release -- www.seawolvesfc.com

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    EDMONDS, Wash. — The North Sound SeaWolves will jump head-first into the Premier Development League season as they open Northwest Division play at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday afternoon at Edmonds Stadium against the Portland Timbers U-23s.

    “It’s always exciting to start the season and see what you have,” new SeaWolves head coach Ed Moore said. “And against a talented team like Portland, we’re going to find out pretty quick where we stand. But our guys are ready.”

    Portland is coming off a 2-0 season-opening win over the Seattle Sounders U-23 team on Thursday.

    The SeaWolves are loaded with new faces but return past members Brady Ballew, Renato Bandeira and Devin Thomas. The club also features keeper Ryan Herman and midfielders Victor Vasquez and Andres Suazo-Ramirez, who have experience with the United States Youth National Team. Keegan Rogers and Nick Hamer played for the Portland Timbers U-23 team last season and Taylor Peay and Josh Heard played on a solid University of Washington team in 2012.

    “We’ve got a lot of talent,” Moore said. “Guys are still learning how to play together but what I like about this group is that guys are used to winning. They come from successful programs and that confidence is going to carry over onto the field.”

    The SeaWolves will have a busy Saturday morning. They’ll put on a skills clinic as part of the Health & Fitness Expo set to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium. SeaWolves posters will be available at the My Neighborhood News Network booth. Those attending the expo can get their hand stamped for free admission to the SeaWolves game.

    Tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the Edmonds Stadium ticket booth. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth ages 8-18 and kids under 7 are free.

    Those unable to attend the match can follow a live broadcast of the game by logging in at www.seawolvesfc.com, www.uslNation.com/pdl or www.myedmondsnews.com.

    The SeaWolves are a member of the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League, the highest level of amateur soccer in the United States. The team plays its home games at Edmonds Stadium between May and July.


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    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    EDMONDS, Wash. — Two first-half goals were too much to overcome as the North Sound SeaWolves fell to the Portland Timbers U-23 team 2-1 in a Premier Development League match in front of 1,296 fans on Saturday afternoon at Edmonds Stadium. Clark Phillips scored in the 11th and 16th minutes for Portland (2-0). David Durant scored in the 69th minute for the SeaWolves.

    Photo courtesy Joleen Sims“It’s a good starting point for us,” said SeaWolves coach Ed Moore, who was leading the club for the first time. “I thought both of their goals came from bad turnovers but those are things we can fix.”

    Phillips got the Timbers on the board early, firing a header off a cross from Jaime Velasco into the net for a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, SeaWolves defender Nick Hamer fell down handling the ball and Phillips – Hamer’s teammate at Gonzaga – took control and easily beat North Sound keeper Ryan Herman 1-on-1 for a 2-0 Portland lead.

    “You could tell in the first 20 minutes our guys were nervous,” Moore said. “But we regrouped and came together and it was nice to see us respond well to getting down early.”

    The SeaWolves had a couple chances to get on the scoreboard in the first half. In the 19th minute Victor Vasquez collected a loose ball in front of the Portland goal but Vasquez’s shot was just knocked away by Portland keeper David Meves. Meves also made a diving save on a low shot by Brad Jacobson.

    Durant, a native of Nottingham, England, came on in the 63rd minute and six minutes later he found the back of the net, firing a long shot past Meves for North Sound’s first goal of the season.

    “It was a good, spirited effort,” Durant said. “We were unlucky to not get a point but we just have to cut out some mistakes.”

    The SeaWolves continued to push forward. Zach Hamer missed high off a volley three minutes after Durant’s goal. In stoppage time, Josh Heard crossed a ball into the goal box to Durant but his shot was knocked away. Durant returned the favor, crossing to a charging Heard but Meves made a save.

    The SeaWolves next play on Saturday, May 25 against the Victoria Highlanders at Royal Athletic Park. The next home match is June 7 against the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 team.


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    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Orlando City defeated the Rochester Rhinos 1-0 at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night, with Lions midfielder Eric Ustruck scoring the game-winning goal in the 85th minute from an assist by Kevin Molino. City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo made two saves to keep his second clean sheet of the season. Orlando won the match despite playing the final 52 minutes a man down after midfielder Jean Alexandre was sent off in the 38th minute when he received his second yellow card of the match.

    In the 20th minute Orlando City created the first chance of the match when right back Bryan Burke played an early ball into the Rhinos box, the assistant referee's flag staying down as Dennis Chin burst in on goal, but Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht made a breakaway save at Chin's feet to deflect the ball away for a corner.

    Orlando's defensive midfielder Jean Alexandre was sent off by head referee Chris Penso for his second bookable offense in the 38th minute. Alexandre was booked in the 25th minute for a tackle from behind on Rhinos forward Tam McManus. He received his second yellow card for pulling back Rhinos left midfielder Ross LaBauex by the arm in the 38th minute. The ejection left Orlando to play a man down for the final 52 minutes of the match.

    The Rhinos nearly capitalized on the man advantage at the end of the first half. After Coach Jesse Myers instructed LaBauex and Mike Reidy to switch flanks, LaBauex served a ball into the Orlando penalty area from the right flank that found Reidy on the far post. Reidy sent the ball across the Lions goalmouth, but Bilal Duckett had his header batted away by Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. Gallardo's clearance only went as far as Tyler Rosenlund at the penalty spot, but his effort was cleared off the Lions goal line by Yann Songo'o.

    The Rhinos had the first chance of the second half in the 60th minute. Rochester's Danny Earls made an overlapping run and received a through-ball on the left flank. Earls took the ball to the end line before he played it back to McManus on the penalty spot. McManus put his shot on goal, but it was straight at Gallardo.

    In the 75th minute Orlando City began to generate pressure on the Rhinos with their first of three scoring chances in the last 15 minutes. The build-up started when substitute Dom Dwyer received the ball in the Rhinos box with his back to goal. Dwyer took a touch and quickly played the ball out wide to Luke Boden in the advanced flank. Boden served the ball into the near post, but Nicht was able to punch the ball away, only for his clearance to come to Christian Duke at the top of the Rhinos penalty area. However, the midfielder's effort went wide of the Rhinos goal and the match remained scoreless.

    Three minutes later Orlando nearly finished a corner kick. Nicht tried to catch the Lions inswinging service at the near post, but he dropped the ball when he collided with some traffic in his goal mouth. Songo'o was the first player to get to the loose ball. He put a shot on the Rhinos empty goal, but Rochester defender Georgios Kyriazis cleared the ball off the goal line. Duckett momentarily shielded Kyriazis' clearance until Nicht could dive on the loose ball.

    In the 82nd minute the Rhinos generated their last chance of the match when Reidy cut inside from the left flank on his favored right foot, and he found 2012 Rhinos MVP JC Banks at the top of the Orlando City box. Banks took a touch and drifted right just before he took a shot that missed the left post of Orlando City's goal.

    Three minutes later, Orlando would find the game-winning goal. Molino served the ball in from the left flank with his right foot, and his cross floated over the heads of Rhinos center backs Troy Roberts and Kyriazis, but it found the head of a leaping Ustruck, who had surged into the Rhinos box from his position in midfield. Ustruck's header left Nicht with no chance as it ended up in the upper right corner of the Rhinos goal.

    Orlando City's 1-0 victory in Rochester leaves them at the top of the table with 23 points – seven points clear of the second place Harrisburg City Islanders. The defeat leaves Rochester in 12th place with four points.

    The Rochester Rhinos next home match is Tuesday night at 7:35 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium against the GPS Portland Phoenix in the second round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Individual tickets are currently available, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Individual tickets, group tickets and flex packages for the 2013 USL PRO season are also on sale now.


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  • 05/19/13--08:13: Tucson Sweeps Past Seahorses
  • Saturday, May 18, 2013

    TUCSON, Ariz. — It took FC Tucson six PDL matches to score more than one goal in 2012. The club did that in just its second match in 2013. FC Tucson downed Southern California 3-1 on Saturday in front of a crowd of 747 at the Kino Sports Complex. The win gives FC Tucson (1-0-1) four points out of a possible six to begin the season.

    Photo courtesy Josh Pearson“It was unbelievable,” said FC Tucson forward David Clemens “I’m grateful I got the chance to be in the lineup and the fans were unbelievable. It’s an awesome experience to be in front of all the fans. I mean the atmosphere is unbelievable there’s nothing else I could ask for.”

    FC Tucson pressed the Seahorses (0-2-0) defense early and often, testing goalkeeper Cody Suppe for the first 20 minutes of the match. The club finally broke through following a penalty called in the box after Eli Galbraith-Knapp drew a foul. Ricardo Velazco calmly stepped up to the spot of the ball and hit the back of the net with his penalty kick to give Tucson a 1-0 lead at the 21st minute.

    Twenty minutes later, Clemens had arguably the highlight of the night despite not even scoring a goal. Clemens picked up the ball in the attacking right corner of the field. With two defenders between him and the 18-yard box, Clemens darted past the first defender’s left side with a sliver of space left between him and the endline. Then he rushed past the second defender’s right side on his way into the 18-yard box. And finally he took a quick shot that passed the goalkeeper, only to slam against the crossbar.

    Clemens had another chance moments later when Connor Brandt toe poked a slow-rolling pass to him into the box. The Virginia Tech product had to wait a little bit for the ball to reach him but he calmly shot the ball into the back of the net to give Tucson a 2-0 lead at the 44th minute.

    “I felt that I could get another one,” Clemens said. “I kept plugging it in, and Connor played a great ball in and I just slipped it past the goalie.”

    Southern California opened the second half on the attack, notching a shot on goal less than five minutes into the second frame. Then in the 49th minute, the Seahorses’ Zach Bautista cut the lead to one.

    The game slowed down a bit after the goal and neither team could create any dangerous chances. Then Southern California’s Geoff Bowman earned a red card in the 83rd minute, which all but killed any chance for the Seahorses to tie the match. Velazco iced the match with his 86th-minute goal, his second of the match.

    “It feels fantastic to finally score,” Velazco said. “It’s my first goal and I made one the second half (and) it feels great. The fans are great, I love them, everyone here is fantastic. I love everybody. I couldn’t be more happy.”

    FC Tucson’s next match will be on Tuesday night in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup against the San Antonio Scorpions.


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  • 05/18/13--23:12: Hammerheads Hold Off Blues
  • Saturday, May 18, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Wilmington Hammerheads tallied their second win of the season on Saturday night as they took a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Blues in front of 3,821 fans at Legion Stadium. This was the second time the Hammerheads and Blues encountered this season, the last being on the West Coast when the Hammerheads traveled for their first road game of the season, returning home with a 4-0 loss.

    With a total of five goals scored over their last six matches, the Hammerheads looked to compile opportunities to put shots on goal from the beginning of the game. The Hammerheads opened the scoring in the 16th minute through defender Jamel Wallace, off an assist by fellow defender Uriah Bentick, Wallace scoring his second goal of the season.

    As the half progressed, the Hammerheads maintained the majority of possession. They had a chance to add to their lead on the half-hour mark as Blues midfielder Allan Russell collided with Hammerheads forward Kyle Greig at the top of the penalty area, giving Wilmington a dangerous free kick. Tom Parratt send a low, curling free kick toward goal, but it went just wide of the post.

    The Hammerheads were able to add to their lead five minutes before the halftime break as Parratt's cross from a free kick found defender Daniel Steres. The Blues came close to pulling a goal back in the final minute of the half, but Gabriel Gonzalez's effort was saved by Phil Tuttle. 

    After a quiet second half, Blues goalkeeper Steve Gonzalez kept the Hammerheads from adding to their lead with seven minutes to go as he turned away Daniel Roberts' effort away for a corner. The Blues were able to pull a goal back in the 86th minute after a handball in the Wilmington penalty area saw the referee point to the penalty spot. Russell was able to convert, firing into the right corner of the net, to give the Blues a chance at earning a second consecutive draw.

    The Blues quickly attempted to keep possession as the final whistle approached, but the Hammerheads were able to keep the ball in the Blues' end after a breakaway run by Kyle Greig in the 88th minute caused for a one-on-one challenge with defender Matt Hall. The Hammerheads were able to see out the remainder of the contest, taking their first victory since the opening game of the season against Antigua. 

    The Hammerheads travel to Austin, Texas on Tuesday night for the second round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to face the Austin Aztex (PDL). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at House Park. Following the Hammerheads' match in Texas this week, they will travel to Florida for a doubleheader weekend against Orlando City on Saturday and VSI Tampa Bay FC on Sunday.

    For further information, please contact the Wilmington Hammerheads at (910) 777-2111 or visit www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.


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    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    BOYDS, Md. – Undaunted by their inability to find the net in the first half, the Washington Spirit Reserves resilience paid off with two second-half goals to top the Virginia Beach Piranhas Saturday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The final 45 minutes became the ‘tale of two Ashleys’ as goals by both Ashley Herndon and Ashley Spivey proved enough to best the pesky Piranhas.

    With the looming threat of heavy rains throughout the Washington DC metro area for much of the day, the Spirit Reserves expected sloppy conditions for Saturday night’s match. However the weather seemed to spare the Maryland SoccerPlex, as field conditions remained ideally cool and dry throughout the evening.

    As they did the previous Saturday, the Spirit Reserves surged forward offensively for much of the first half, launching numerous attacks at the Piranhas back line. Despite surrendering 12 Washington shots, the Virginia Beach defense held firm with the addition of several quality saves from Piranhas keeper Lauren Vetock.

    With the match still scoreless, the second half began with some early pressure from the visiting Piranhas and Washington goalkeeper Didi Haracic was called upon twice to keep Virginia Beach off the scoreboard. The Spirit Reserves then regrouped and found their legs to resume pressure on the Piranhas net.

    Washington forward Herndon broke the deadlock in the 48th minute after collecting an errant pass near midfield. Herndon drove forward down the left side and tucked her shot low and true, scoring her second goal in as many weeks on the season.

    University of Maryland product Spivey entered the match midway through the second half and wasted little time on making her presence known. After beating her defender on the far side, Spirit forward Amber Stobbs slotted a nifty pass across the Virginia Beach box to the crashing Spivey. The Washington forward drilled her shot untouched into the Piranhas net in the 73rd minute for the 2-0 victory.

    “We showed great character and energy in keeping a very hard working Piranhas team quiet last night,” said head coach Mark Parsons. “It was very pleasing to see we are improving on the ball and creating chances.

    “A full team performance from all the players was key in our first important win of the season.”

    The Spirit Reserves make the short trip south next week to face the Fredericksburg Impact on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th.  Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Field House stadium. Washington returns home the following weekend to host the North Jersey Valkyries on Saturday, June 1st at 4 p.m. That match will be held as a special event at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. 


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    Sunday, May 18, 2013

    SANFORD, Fla. — The Orlando City U23s defeated IMG Academy Bradenton 3-1 in their home opener on Sunday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. The Lions were led by forward Tyler Blackwood, who scored twice to help lead the squad to their first victory of the 2013 campaign.

    “I’m pleased to win the game but we can do a lot better,” said Head Coach Paul Shaw after the match. “Overall I’m satisfied with the three points but there’s a lot of our game that needs to improve if we want to be successful on a weekly basis.”

    The Lions got on the board in the 23rd minute when Blackwood skipped past the IMG defense and fired a shot on target, forcing IMG goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton to parry the ball out for a corner. Nicolas Russo then whipped the ball into the six-yard box, finding Kyle Fisher who nodded the ball into the far corner, putting the Lions up 1-0.

    After going up 1-0 early in the match, Orlando gained confidence and spent more time on the ball. However despite controlling much of the play, IMG would break through the Lions' defense in the 42nd minute. Defender Joseph Toby got in behind the defense and was awarded a penalty after Daniel Barboto dragged him down in the box. IMG's Luis Calzadilla took the penalty and had his initial attempt saved by Gomez, but was able to head the rebound into the back of the net.

    The Lions would respond quickly and converted from another corner just before the end of the first half. In the 43rd minute, Tom Skelly played a ball into the penalty area, which found Blackwood after a series of deflections. Blackwood took advantage of the opportunity and calmly tucked the ball away, giving the Lions a 2-1 edge at the break.

    The second half began with a similar flow to the first 45 minutes. Orlando dominated possession on the ball and would eventually break through the IMG defense, scoring their third goal of the match. In the 82nd minute, Itode Fubara found Paul Clowes free on the left hand side of the pitch, who swung a ball into the six-yard box. Blackwood aggressively attacked the area and nodded the ball in to the back of the net, scoring his second goal of the match.

    Orlando now turns its attention to VSI Tampa Bay FC, which is scheduled to square up against the U23s on Wednesday night at Seminole Soccer Complex. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the gate for $8.

    For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com.


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