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Match Preview(s): Heat Facing Critical Matches This Weekend

June 25, 2009

Before heading into the last month of the Premier Development League (PDL) regular season, the Laredo Heat (4 – 1 – 5 / 17 points) have to take care of business to finish out the month of June strong with two very critical divisional matches with the first place Austin Aztex U-23’s and the Rio Grande Valley Bravos who currently sit in fourth place, just one point from the Gateway City club.

On Friday, June 26th, the Heat will be hosting the division front runner Austin Aztex (6 – 1 – 3 / 21 points) at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex. Kick-off is set for 8:00 PM.

Both the Heat and Aztex have played 10 games this season and this is the first match of two within seven days between the clubs. On Friday, July 3rd, the Heat will be traveling to San Marcos, Texas to play the Aztex at Texas State University. Earlier this season (May), the two teams squared off in Laredo and the Heat handed the Aztex their only loss of the season.

The Heat will be short two starters for their game versus the Aztex as Defender Pedro Ramos and Mid-Fielder Luis Reyes will have to sit out on Friday and serve their red card suspensions from last week’s game.

On Sunday June 28th, the Heat will be packing their overnight bags for the short trip to Hidalgo to take on the Rio Grande Valley Bravos. Kick-off for that game is set for 7:30 PM at the Valley View High School Multi-Purpose Field.

This meeting between the Heat and Bravos will be the third of four regular season match-ups between the South Texas teams. The previous games have both ended up tied with the Heat having to come from behind in both matches. In Hidalgo in May, the Heat had to overcome a 2 – 0 deficit at halftime to take a 3 – 2 lead late into the second half only to see the Bravos tie the game up at three late in the game. The Heat also played the entire second half a man down because Defender Raul Quiñones was slapped with a red card late in the first half.

Just last week in Laredo, the Bravos jumped on the Heat early to take a 1 – 0 lead only to see that disappear a few minutes later with a Greg Mulamba equalizer. The game ended 1 – 1; however, it was the extracurricular activity once the game ended that highlighted the match and underscored the effort of both sides on the pitch.

Due to the post-game incident, the Laredo Heat will have three players suspended for the match. Defenders Erick Acevedo and Alejandro de la Fuente along with Mid-Fielder Greg Mulamba will not be available to play in Hidalgo on Sunday.

“Though we have three players suspended, two of which are starters, and they only have a back-up goalkeeper and coach suspended, we strongly feel that the instigator of the post game incident was the Rio Grande Valley Head Coach and that incident could have been easily avoided”, said Heat Owner Shashi Vaswani.

Vaswani concluded, “At this point, it’s important for both sides that cooler heads prevail and both sides just dedicate themselves to playing soccer. Both sides need to put the incident behind them and accept the United Soccer Leagues decision and move forward to complete the season in a professional manner, both on and off the field”.

For additional information on the Laredo Heat Soccer Club, please visit our website at www.laredoheatsc.com or call the Heat office at 723 – 4700