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Heat continues to struggle

Heat continues to struggle

5-0 loss in Midland

By Zach Smith
Laredo Morning Times

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Heat.

Midland handed the Heat their worst loss in franchise history after a 5-0 thrashing Saturday night, just three days after an unimpressive 2-0 loss to the Albuquerque Sol. Laredo falls out of the top spot in the Mid-South Division, two points behind Midland, who have three games in hand.

Midland (4-1-1, 13 points) scored four goals in the first half and added an insurance goal from an impressive free kick early in the second. The second half was even more destitute for Laredo (3-4-2, 11 points) despite a late red card against Midland.

The lineup shuffling continued for the Heat as Chuy Cortes and Leon Taylor didn’t start a game for the first time since May 30 when Midland beat Laredo 4-0. That was one of two different occasions the Heat lost by the 4-0 score, each tying the franchise’s worst loss of the time. Defender and captain Yair Hernandez also returned to the back line after sitting out the Albuquerque game Thursday night.

Other than a 10-minute span midway through the first half, the first 45 minutes were dominated by the Sockers. Midland scored the game’s opening goal with a glancing header off a set piece 12 minutes in.

Jorge Ortega played a soft pass that was intercepted, crossed and headed into a wide open net less than five minutes later. Midland went up 3-0 after Ortega couldn’t grab a hold of the ball after two shots before the third found the back of the net.

After giving up that goal, the Heat were the better team for a bit. Some nice combination passes in the midfield led to alow cross from Kean Lewis to Dan Johns as he seemingly scored the first goal but the side judge called the play offsides.

Again, Johns ran straight at net on the next attack but sent a shot wide and out for a corner.

Midland took back the momentum to close out the half. A close range shot took an odd bounce though Ortega’s hands and right to the foot of the Sockers’ attacker. He slotted it home without contest.

Beto Garcia scored a goal from a free kick for the 5-0 advantage 10 minutes after the second half kicked off. Laredo had a good chance after a Midland player was shown a red card but the free kick from 25 yards out went well over the crossbar.

Probably the best chance for the Heat came in the dying moments of the game when Jonathan Canales hit a screamer from 35 yards out that bounced off the side of the post. The only other positive to come from the game was the return of attacker Salvador Luna, who missed the last five games with an injury.

The Heat will be able to sleep in their own beds for the rest of the regular season as they finish with five straight games at home beginning with a re-match against Albuquerque on June 25 at 8:15 p.m.

They are coming off a seven-game road trip with their last outing at home on May 25.