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Heat Focus on Finding the Net

Heat Focus on Finding the Net

Laredo takes aim at opposing goal in pursuit of Mid-South

LAREDO, Texas – The Laredo Heat have always prided themselves on their attacking and ever-threatening style of play. Despite scoring only once – off a penalty kick – in the Premier Development League opening draw against the Houston Dutch Lions on May 17, Laredo launched an offensive with 12 shots on the visitors.

“It’s the old cliché: you can’t score if you don’t shoot,” Heat forward Esteban Bayona said. “This team is made up of a lot of guys that have played here before, so we all know what the Heat style of play is. Our goal is to play beautifully and score goals, so we will take shots to score those goals.”

Bayona played for the Heat from 2009-11 with 28 goals in 37 games before playing professionally for the San Antonio Scorpions – of the second-division North American Soccer League. The University of the Incarnate Word alumnus returned to Laredo this year to maintain his form and fitness before trying to play in Europe next fall.

In 81 minutes through one game, Bayona scored the Heat’s only goal and levied two shots through the run of play.

The Heat (0-0-1, 1 point) will undoubtedly look to find the net with regularity on Wednesday as they host the Midland-Odessa Sockers, who opened their campaign with a 2-1 loss to the Mid-South Division-leading Austin Aztex. Sockers’ goalkeeper Clint Long played all 90 minutes in goal, effectively standing on his head as Austin tried him from all angles and forced him into nine saves.

Laredo expects Midland-Odessa to play a pressure-absorbing and counter attacking brand of ball on Wednesday, much like the Dutch Lions did. The Heat hope to combat that style with a perpetual peppering of Long and his defense.

“That’s how most teams in this division play,” Heat captain and midfielder Juan de Dios Ibarra said. “Teams are very good at absorbing our pressure and trying to take advantage of one mistake. That’s what (Houston) did.

“We have to limit their counter attacks by finishing our chances; which we hope to have a lot of chances because we attack a lot. If we can finish and score goals, it makes a counter attack less dangerous.”

The Heat stand third in the Mid-South table, below the Aztex (2-0-0, 6 points) and Mississippi Brilla (1-0-0, 3 points), but have a game in hand over the leaders. Goal difference is a slightly more staggering story as the Aztex have scored seven and allowed just one for a plus-6 while Laredo holds an even differential after its 1-1 draw versus Houston.

Goal differential serves as a tie breaker if the final records are knotted.

The Heat’s next chance for goals and a positive comes against the Sockers on May 21 with an 8 p.m. kickoff at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex.

The match will be streamed live and for free at www.YouTube.com/LaredoHeatSC.  

Each home game will see the Heat offer four fans a chance at winning $500. If the randomly selected fans can bury an undefended penalty kick at halftime, they will win $400 for themselves and $100 to the evening’s selected benefactor.

Mid-South Division Table

Pts

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

W

L

T

GF

GA

W

L

T

GF

GA

Austin Aztex  

6

2

2

0

0

7

1

1

0

0

5

0

1

0

0

2

1

Mississippi Brilla  

3

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

0

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

Laredo Heat  

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

Houston Dutch Lions  

1

2

0

1

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

6

Midland/Odessa Sockers FC  

0

1

0

1

0

1

2

0

1

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

About the PDL

The top developmental men’s league in North America, the 2014 PDL featured 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.

 

For additional information on the tryouts, sponsorship opportunities, tickets, the Heat Club Card and the Laredo Heat Soccer Club, please contact the Heat Front Office at (956) 723 – 4700; visit our website at www.laredoheatsc.com , LIKE us on Facebook www.facebook.com/laredoheatsoccer or Follow Us on Twitter @LaredoHeatSC.