LOCALS: Whitfield is king of ties

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
5:35
PM PT
The Premier Development League season kicked off around these parts with a bunch of ties -- and one very intriguing storyline.

It involves star attacker Brent Whitfield, a former Chivas USA outside back from Long Beach (Poly HS/Cal State Fullerton) who has played for several top local clubs and was set to serve as a player-coach for L.A. Misioneros, a PDL team that's brought in some big talent in a bid to compete for a trophy.

Misioneros cut ties with Whitfield just before the season began -- it also cost them former Galaxy defender Mike Randolph, whom Whitfield had brought to the club -- and he has turned up with the Ventura County Fusion, a club he bolted two years ago to play for pay with Hollywood United.

The Fusion opened their season Saturday night at Ventura College against, wouldn't you know, the Misioneros, who took a lead midway through the first half through Edwin Miranda (Reseda/Reseda HS and Cal State Northridge), who played last year for the L.A. Blues.

Whitfield gave Ventura a share of the points, scoring just before halftime.

The other two games involving local teams also finished 1-1. Cal State Northridge's Christian Gonzalez Diaz (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) scored in stoppage Friday to lift Orange County Blue Star against visiting Pali Blues, which got a goal from UCLA's Evan Raynr (Calabasas/Viewpoint HS). Blue Star rallied against Misioneros in L.A. two nights later, with Loyola Marymount's David Ponce (Foothill Ranch/Trabuco Hills HS and UC Santa Barbara) scoring the equalizer.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

USL PRO: The L.A. Blues got a home win last week, and, true to form, it came away from Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. The 2-1 triumph over Wilmington at Fullerton College was their first victory of the season and just their fourth in what now is 16 league home games.

The record at CSUF is far worse: no wins in nine games (0-6-3), including a “road” loss to the Galaxy in last year's U.S. Open Cup. That includes Sunday's 2-2 draw with Wilmington in the second meeting of the weekend.

The Blues (1-2-1) climbed out of the third-division league's cellar, from 11th to 10th, two points ahead of the Dayton Dutch Lions (0-2-2), the only USL Pro team without a victory, and that after winning just two of 24 league games last year. Midfielder Allan Russell, who converted a penalty kick and assisted Matt Fondy's opener in Friday's win, was selected to the USL Pro Team of the Week.

L.A. kept scoreless USL Pro goals co-leader Andriy Budnyy, a former Azusa Pacific star who has hit the net four times for Wilmington (2-2-2). Antigua's Stefan Smith also has four, but none lately: The Barracuda have been shut out in three straight league losses.

Antigua is in Trinidad & Tobago for the semifinal round of the Caribbean Football Union championships, which will determine three entrants for the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League. It followed a 3-0 win over Suriname's Inter Moengotopoe with a 0-0 draw against Haiti's Victory and finishes group play Thursday against Trinidad's W Connection, which has already clinched a berth in the four-team. Barracuda will advance with a win or tie and possibly with a loss.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: There have been three games (of six) in the Southwest Division that haven't been ties, and the Fresno Fuego have won all three. They edged newcomers Tucson FC, 2-1, after romps the previous two weekends over Misioneros.

The Fuego play Blue Star on Friday evening at Concordia University in Irvine, and they have a date with U.S. Club Soccer tournament winner Stanislaus United Turlock Express in a U.S. Open Cup first-round match Tuesday. Another first-rounder pits Ventura County against the NPSL's Fullerton Rangers at Santa Ana Stadium.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: The San Diego Flash extended its lead to four points atop the Western Division's Southern Conference standings following a 3-0 romp over previously unbeaten FC Santa Clarita. David Bakal and Brennan Tennelle scored goals three minutes apart at the end of the first half for the Flash (4-0-1).

The Fullerton Rangers (3-2-0), healthy again, vaulted past Santa Clarita (2-1-2) with a 4-2 win at San Diego Boca. Andre Turlodo (Torrance/North Torrance HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills) and Eder Roldan scored two goals each.

Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental (2-2-1) won by forfeit over the Phoenix Monsoon (0-5-0), who were no-shows for Saturday's game. The Monsoon's roster on the league website dwindled from 27 to six players, and club soccer operations chief Adrian Quintero told ESPN Los Angeles in an email that player availability is an issue.

“We are a new team and the only in the Valley of the Sun playing at this level,” Quintero wrote. “We have some players graduate from college last week and the rest of the players don't understand this level. ... Player at this level are not in contract with the team, they sign a agreement to play with the teams. Can't do anything about it.”

A Hasental official said the Monsoon would be fined $2,500 by the league. Quintero said he had not been informed of a fine and that he would use his reserve team for this weekend's trip to the Bay Area.

USL W-LEAGUE: The season begins this weekend, including two Western Conference matchups, one involving local teams. The L.A. Strikers are home Sunday evening at Occidental College against the Pali Blues. Santa Clarita Blue Heat open next week.

NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE: UC Irvine product Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) scored his first professional goal in the Minnesota Stars' 2-0 victory over Atlanta. The Stars (2-0-3) are the second-tier league's lone unbeaten and sit second, one point behind the Puerto Rico Islanders.

THE NUMBERS
  • DIVISION 3/MEN
USL PRO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Wednesday
Wilmington Hammerheads 3 (Budnyy 9, 76, Taylor 13), Antigua Barracuda 0
Friday
L.A. Blues 2 (Fondy 49, Russell pen. 57), Wilmington Hammerheads 1 (Taylor 39)
Harrisburg City Islanders 1 (Hoppenot 47), Charlotte Eagles 2 (Roberts 66, Herrera 73)
Charleston Battery 4 (Cuevas 46, Paterson 74, Bundu 80, Kelly 91+), Antigua Barracuda 0
Saturday
Rochester Rhinos 1 (own goal Bloom 9), Charlotte Eagles 0
Dayton Dutch Lions 1 (Bardsley 2), Richmond Kickers 1 (Bulow pen. 91+)
Orlando City 3 (Chin 68, Campbell 80, Fuller 88), Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2 (own goal Allen 79, Kassal 85)
Sunday
L.A. Blues 2 (I. Garcia 68, Park 84), Wilmington Hammerheads 2 (Avesyan 66, 75)

Standings
1. Orlando City SC (4-0-1) 13 points; 2. Charleston Battery (4-1-0) 12; 3. Rochester Rhinos (4-0-0) 12; 4. Wilmington Hammerheads (2-2-2) 8; 5. Charlotte Eagles (2-5-1) 7; 6. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-4-0) 6; 7. Antigua Barracuda (2-4-0) 6; 8. Richmond Kickers (1-2-2) 5; 9. Harrisburg City Islanders (1-1-1) 4; 10. L.A. Blues (1-2-1) 4; 11. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-2-2) 2.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Friday
Orlando City at Antigua Barracuda, 4 p.m.
L.A. Blues at Dayton Dutch Lions, 4:30 p.m.
Richmond Kickers at Charlotte Eagles, 5 p.m.
Saturday
L.A. Blues at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Richmond Kickers, 4 p.m.
Rochester Rhinos at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday
Orlando City at Antigua Barracuda, 1:30 p.m.
  • DIVISION 4/MEN
USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Southwest Division
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday

Orange County Blue Star 1 (Gonzalez 91+), Pali Blues 1 (Raynr 40)
Saturday
Ventura County Fusion 1 (Whitfield 45), L.A. Misioneros 1 (Miranda 23)
Fresno Fuego 2 (Gonzalez 57, Blanco 84), FC Tucson 1 (Toia 61)
Sunday
L.A. Misioneros 1 (Sanchez 51), Orange County Blue Star 1 (Ponce 69)

Standings
1. Fresno Fuego (3-0-0) 9 points; 2. Orange County Blue Star (0-0-2) 2; 3. L.A. Misioneros (0-2-2), 2; 4. Pali Blues and Ventura County Fusion (0-0-1) 1; 6. Southern California Seahorses, BYU Cougars and Ogden Outlaws (0-0-0) 0; 9. FC Tucson (0-1-0) 0.

This week's games
Friday
Fresno Fuego vs. Orange County Blue Star at Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.
Saturday
FC Tucson vs. Pali Blues at Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades), 7 p.m.
Sunday
Ventura County Fusion vs. L.A. Misioneros at Culver Middle School (Los Angeles), 6 p.m.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
WEST DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Saturday
San Diego Flash 3 (Bakal 42, Tennelle 45, Pizzaro 60), FC Santa Clarita 0
San Diego Boca 2 (Canazales 38, Kikura 85), Fullerton Rangers 4 (A. Turoldo 3, 70, Roldan 5, 40)
Bay Area Ambassadors 3 (Hill 28, Klimenta 34, Clemens 54), North Coast Tsunami 0
FC Hasental 3, Phoenix Monsoon 0, forfeit
Sunday
Sonoma County Sol 4 (Lombardi 50, Ferreira 57, Jones 75, Zeimer 88), San Francisco Stompers 0
Sacramento Gold 3 (Owen 27, Fonseca 29, Duvall 92+), Real San Jose 2 (Pacheco 14, Mujica 56)

Standings
Southern Conference:
1. San Diego Flash (4-0-1) 13 points; 2. Fullerton Rangers (3-2-0) 9; 3. FC Santa Clarita Storm (2-1-2) 8; 4. FC Hasental (2-2-1) 7; 5. San Diego Boca (1-2-2) 5; 6. Phoenix Monsoon (0-5-0) 0.
Northern Conference: 1. Sacramento Storm (4-1-0) 12; 2. Sonoma County Sol (2-1-2) 8; 3. Real San Jose (1-1-2) 5; 4. San Francisco Stompers (1-2-2) 5; 5. Bay Area Ambassadors (1-2-1) 4; 6. North Coast Tsunami (1-3-1) 4.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Saturday
Sacramento Gold vs. FC Hasental at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park (Simi Valley), 5 p.m.
Bay Area Ambassadors at San Diego Flash, 5 p.m.
Fullerton Rangers at San Francisco Stompers, 7 p.m.
North Coast Tsunami at San Diego Boca, 7 p.m.
Phoenix Monsoon at Real San Jose, 7 p.m.
Sunday
FC Santa Clarita Storm at Sonoma County Sol, 3 p.m.
  • DIVISION 2/WOMEN
USL W-LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Sunday

Vancouver Whitecaps at Victoria Highlanders, 2 p.m.
Pali Blues vs. L.A. Strikers at Occidental College (Eagle Rock), 6 p.m.

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