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Heat Pair Picks Up PDL Honors

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

Fernandez, Ortega land on Week 4's Honorable Mention Team

LAREDO, Texas – The Laredo Heat crested to historic heights on Wednesday night in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a first ever win over a professional American team and by becoming just the 11th Premier Development League team to advance to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The way in which the Heat buried the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers after falling into a 2-0 hole after just 13 minutes infinitely electrified the intensity of the Heat’s historic authoring. After dominating a 10-man Strikers for more than an hour, the Heat suffered an ejection of their own before an 85th minute substitute equalizer by 19-year-old Orlando Alvarado. But it was Esteban Bayona’s stoppage time drawing of a foul inside the Strikers’ penalty box and subsequent conversion on the penalty kick that vaulted Laredo into American soccer folklore.

“It was magical, there’s no other way to say it,” Bayona said. “It was such a high intensity moment for this amazing organization, its players and coaches and all the fans – I mean the match was won on the last kick. We wrote an underdog story and it was incredible.”

Standing as both the exclamation point to Wednesday’s rally and a stark reminder that the 1-1-1 (4 points) Heat must return to the gauntlet of the Mid-South Division in league play, the PDL announced its Team of the Week on Thursday. Two Laredo standouts earned Honorable Mention honors for their performances against the Midland-Odessa Sockers on May 21 and the Houston Dutch Lions on May 24.

Twenty-year-old Monterrey, Mexico, native and Heat goalkeeper Jorge Ortega joined Spanish striker Miguel Fernandez on the honorary list for the league’s fourth week of competition. The Heat went 1-1-0 in the two games, defeating the visiting Sockers, 2-0, but falling to the Dutch Lions, 1-0, in Houston.

Ortega posted a .500 goals-allowed average for the week while mitting three total saves. Fernandez played 138 minutes in the two matches with a goal scored in just one shot taken.

The reminder of ongoing league play prefaces the Heat’s first ever faceoff against expansion-side Albuquerque Sol FC on May 31 at 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex. The matchup is a cross-divisional competition, as the Heat and Sockers are the only Mid-South teams to face the Sol.

Albuquerque (1-2-1, 4 points) currently sits fourth in the Mountain Division with a minus-1 goal differential through four games. Laredo is in third place, behind the Austin Aztex (3-0-0, 9 points) and Mississippi Brilla (2-1-0, 6 points), through three games with a plus-1 goal differential.

The Heat will then face the Dutch Lions on June 3 at TAMIU at 8 p.m. before traveling to challenge Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo on June 11 at 9 p.m. in the fourth round of the Open Cup.

The Heat face the Dynamo on June 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The Heat’s PDL matches will be streamed live and for free at www.YouTube.com/LaredoHeatSC at 8:10 p.m.

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

Pts

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

Austin Aztex  

9

3

3

0

0

12

2

Mississippi Brilla  

6

3

2

1

0

4

6

Laredo Heat  

4

3

1

1

1

3

2

Houston Dutch Lions  

4

4

1

2

1

2

7

Midland/Odessa Sockers FC  

3

3

1

2

0

3

5

 

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.