Title Sponsor: Falcon Bank
Season Tickets On Sale Now!

956.723.4700

PREVIEW: Laredo Hosts Houston, Eyes Revenge

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

Heat take aim at 3 points at home

LAREDO, Texas – A rollercoaster week saw the Laredo Heat chisel a last-gasp triumph against professional competition in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round before crashing to a scoreless draw in a Premier Development League return. The Heat shattered all expectations on May 28 in Fort Lauderdale, eliminating the North American Soccer League’s Strikers with an extra-time penalty kick conversion and advancing to the fourth round for the first time.


With the Heat’s history-writing win, they now will face Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on June 11 at 9 p.m. The Heat became just the 11th PDL team to advance beyond the third round.

Three days later, Laredo hosted the Albuquerque Sol in a PDL cross-divisional match, projecting a 20-5 shots-on-goal ratio in the scoreless draw. With the one point awarded for the tie, Laredo (1-1-2, 5 points) trails the Mississippi Brilla (2-1-1, 7 points ) for second place in the Mid-South Division. A Laredo win and anything less than a Brilla win will send the Heat into at least a tie for second place – depending on the tie-breaking goal differential.

The defending national and divisional champion Austin Aztex (4-0-0, 12 points) lead the division, which will see the top two teams in the table qualify for the postseason. Austin and Mississippi kick off at 7 p.m. on June 5.

The Heat have never missed a postseason they were eligible for in their 10 years.

Laredo’s next competition comes in the familiar form of the Houston Dutch Lions (1-2-2, 5 points). Laredo and Houston have exchanged blows twice already: a 1-1 draw in Laredo on May 17 and a 1-0 Dutch Lions victory in Houston on May 24. In the two matches, Laredo’s levied 33 shots on Houston’s first-choice goalkeeper, Emmanuel “Bebo” Frias – who made 14 total saves.

Frias played for Laredo from 2011-13, joining his hometown Dutch Lions this season.

The third meeting between Laredo and Houston will not feature Frias, though. He saw a pair of yellow card cautions for dissent in the 90th minute of the Dutch Lions’ 2-2 draw with the Brilla on May 31. He must now serve a 1-game suspension for the red card, forcing second-choice keeper Addison Watson into the likely starting position.

The Heat will also look for a return to fitness for the backline, as center back Matthieu Braem and Kaique Fernandes are expected to come back from respective muscle strains.

Laredo scoring leader Esteban Bayona (2 goals), a former San Antonio Scorpion, will likely stand as the tip of the Heat’s strike force.

Twenty-year-old Monterrey, Mexico, native Jorge Ortega will eye some vengeance against the Dutch Lions – the only team to score against him in league play this year. He holds a .500 goals-allowed average through four games with six saves and two clean sheets.

The Heat face the Dutch Lions on June 3 at TAMIU at 8 p.m. before traveling to challenge MLS’s Houston Dynamo on June 11 at 9 p.m. in the fourth round of the Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Those matches will be streamed live and for free at www.YouTube.com/LaredoHeatSC at 8:10 p.m (PDL) and8:55 p.m. (Open Cup).

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  

12

4

4

0

0

14

3

Mississippi Brilla  

7

4

2

1

1

6

8

Laredo Heat  

5

4

1

1

2

3

2

Houston Dutch Lions  

5

5

1

2

2

4

9

Midland/Odessa Sockers FC  

4

5

1

3

1

4

7

 

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 atwww.laredoheatsc.com , LIKE us on Facebook www.facebook.com/laredoheatsoccer or Follow Us on Twitter @LaredoHeatSC.