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Heat opens PDL season with a tie

Heat opens PDL season with a tie

New comer Alex de la Garza shows up big for Heat

By ADAM GEIGERMAN
LAREDO MORNING TIMES


It looked like the Laredo Heat’s regular-season debut was going to end identically to last year’s, with a road loss and dropping of three points at the Houston Dutch Lions.

But a stoppage-time equalizer by 76th-minute substitute Alejandro De La Garza was enough to grant the Heat a 1-point escape via a 1-1 draw Saturday.

De La Garza plays his NCAA soccer at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

The Dutch Lions charged into the lead with a first-half strike in the 31st minute. Ten minutes before that goal, a Heat goal was waved off after an official raised the offsides flag.

The Dutch Lions were the only team booked, with a first-half yellow card in the majorly mild match. With the victory, the Heat’s defense of the Premier Development League’s Mid-South Division has already improved from a season ago.

Laredo (0-0-1, 1 point) began what may evolve into a exhausting two weeks, with a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first-round match coming at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex on Tuesday before the Heat open their PDL home slate on Friday.

If the Heat defeat PSA Elite, of Irving, Calif., on Tuesday, they will qualify for the Open Cup’s second round against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League a national second-tier fully professional league. That match will be in Fort Lauderdale.

Friday’s match will see the Heat host the Midland-Odessa Sockers, who drew with the El Paso Patriots on Saturday.

The Austin Aztex (1-0-0, 3 points) jumped into first place in the Mid- South with a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma FC, creating a four-way tie for second place.

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