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PREVIEW: Heat Look for Win at Home

Photo by Kiara Riojas | Laredo Heat SC
Photo by Kiara Riojas | Laredo Heat SC

Sockers FC visits Laredo for PDL match

LAREDO, Texas – Laredo welcomes the Midland-Odessa Sockers FC to town on Wednesday (May 21, 2014) for a Mid-South Division showdown of two teams desperate for a positive result. The Heat (0-0-1, 1 point) will kick off against the Sockers at 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex in search of their first win of the Premier Development League after an opening 1-1 draw with the Houston Dutch Lions.

Through a league game and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second round match – a 2-1 victory over Red Force FC on May 14 – the Heat have scored three goals and allowed two. The Heat have dominated possession in both matches, illustrating their play-from-the-back strategy, but the search for a midseason form continues.

Opening their second game at home, the Heat again get a team recently defeated by the top-of-the-table Austin Aztex (2-0-0, 6 points). Before drawing Laredo, Houston was blitzed by Austin, 5-0, and now the Sockers (0-1-0, 0 points) enter searching for a rebound from a 2-1 loss to Austin.

“This division is always tough; anyone can beat anyone in any game,” Heat midfielder Greg Mulamba said. “The Aztex, the (Mississippi Brilla), Odessa or whoever – everyone is dangerous. We know what we have to do – as individuals and as the Laredo Heat. We know our style and our goals, so it’s time to perform now.

“I know we can’t wait to get back out on the pitch to play.”

Midland-Odessa goalkeeper Clint Long took the loss against Austin, allowing two goals but the California State-Stanislaus keeper produced an 8-9-1 NCAA season with 1.44 goals-allowed average last fall. In front of him, the Sockers did what the Dutch Lions couldn’t – by scoring on Austin – via a 54th minute equalizer off the boots of Mexican striker Isaac Sanchez. That goal was one of just five shots mustered by the Sockers.

Against Austin, Long sprawled to nine saves off 11 shots.

The Heat will look to improve toward perfecting their possession game by shoring up their finishing. Of three goals scored in all competitions, two have come from the penalty spot. Only Daniel Garza’s 90th minute heroics in the Open Cup came via the run of play.

“We have to finish,” Heat forward Esteban Bayona said. “We have chances, a lot of them. We just have to find the confidence and collect ourselves when the shots present themselves. It doesn’t help that (Houston goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias) played an outstanding game against us.

“But that’s his job as a keeper; our job is to score.”

The Heat flooded Houston with 12 shots on goal in the opener, but none struck nylon.

The Heat’s next chance for goals and a first victory 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.

The Heat also discovered the time and date of the Open Cup’s fourth round match against Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. The winner of the Heat’s third-round match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers – of the second-division North American Soccer League – will travel to Houston on June 11 at 9 p.m. The U.S. Soccer Federation made the announcement Tuesday morning.

The Heat play the Strikers on May 28 at 6:45 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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.