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Heat Sink Sockers With 2-0 Win

PHOTO BY KIARA RIOJAS | LAREDO HEAT SC
PHOTO BY KIARA RIOJAS | LAREDO HEAT SC

Bayona, Fernandez send Laredo soaring

LAREDO, Texas – It took a pair of strikes spread 30 minutes apart for the Laredo Heat to cement their first Premier Development League victory of the year. The Heat downed the visiting Midland-Odessa Sockers FC, 2-0, with a twin striking from forwards Miguel Fernandez and Esteban Bayona.

The Mid-South Division rivals kicked off in an abnormally open game at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex. A total 16 shots were levied between the teams – 10 by Laredo to force Sockers goalkeeper Clint Long into three saves.

“We tried a lot of different things,” Bayona said. “We came in with a new-look formation, new players in new positions, but we had the same goal we always do. We wanted to score goals and play successfully.”

Heat keeper Jorge Ortega, a 20-year-old Monterrey, Mexico, native recorded his first PDL clean sheet making just two saves – including a game-changing 1-on-1 at the top of the 18-yard box. Just minutes later, Fernandez found the net via Felix Garcia’s assist and one pure touch.

Fernandez slotted a right-footed rocket skipping across the mouth of the goal for the Heat’s first run-of-play finish of the year.

Bayona doubled the score with an opportunistic 22-yard blast just left of center. A Sockers’ miscue sent a sliding back pass to Long, who rushed his clearance when Daniel Garza blitzed him off his line. The poorly directly pass found an all alone Bayona who settled the ball at his feet before firing a sitter into the open net.

“I came into the game with just one thing on my mind,” Bayona said. “I knew we needed to score. We needed to cushion our lead and I wanted to be the one to do it. It was a little bit of luck, for the clearance to come right to me, and (Garza) did an amazing job pressuring the keeper.”

It was Bayona’s second goal in two appearances.

The Heat will now travel to Houston for a rematch of May 17’s 1-1 draw against the Dutch Lions. The match will kick off on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Following that match, the Heat will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take on the Strikers of the North American Soccer League in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Open Cup will be on May 28 with a 6:45 p.m. kick off.

The match will be streamed live and for free atwww.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 NASL – will travel to Houston on June 11 at 9 p.m. The U.S. Soccer Federation made the announcement Tuesday morning.

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.

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.