LOCALS: Blue Star overtakes Fresno

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
2:34
PM PT

Orange County Blue Star sits atop the Southwest Division standings in the Premier Development League following last week's 3-2 win at archrival Southern California Seahorses, and another victory in Tuesday night's rematch would put a little space between them and Fresno Fuego.


The sides are even on points and have virtually identical goal totals -- Blue Star's 12 for-7 against just above Fresno's 12-8 -- but Blue Star (3-0-3) have a game in hand and are on a three-game winning streak, scoring three times in each victory. Kyle O'Brien (Garden Grove/Marina HS and Vanguard University), Floridian Nico Olsak and U.S. youth national-teamer Miles Byass (Highland/Redlands HS), a junior at San Diego State, scored the goals against the Seahorses.

Fresno (3-1-3) has won just one of its last six games, and that against the U.S. Club Soccer's rep in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Fuego were on the road last week, getting bombed in the Open Cup's second round by second-division Fort Lauderdale Strikers, then managing only draws against the PDL's Utah clubs, who have never been in contention for playoff berths.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:
USL PRO: The Rochester Rhinos are unbeaten no more. Harrisburg toppled them, 1-0, on Morgan Langley's goal Friday, then winless Dayton nearly took them down the following night. Former Colorado Rapids forward Tam McManus' stoppage-time goal rescued the Rhinos (6-1-2) in the 2-2 tie. Harrisburg (3-1-3) jumped past the L.A. Blues (3-3-2), who tied first-place Orlando City and lost to third-place Charleston on an East Coast trip.

Former Philadelphia Union/Real Salt Lake forward Christopher Agorsor came up big twice last week for Richmond (2-2-4), with a pair of two-goal games. He led a 4-0 rout of amateurs Aegean Hawks in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup, then struck again -- both in stoppage -- to deliver a 3-1 league win over the Wilmington Hammerheads. The Kickers had been on a five-game winless run; Wilmington's stretch, starting with their trip to Fullerton at the start of May, is now five.

The USL Pro went 7-3 in Open Cup openers. Only the Blues, Pittsburgh and Wilmington failed to advance. Our best bet for a third-round upset Tuesday night: Charleston Battery over the New York Red Bulls, who have never prioritized the competition.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Ventura County Fusion (3-1-1) and newcomers FC Tucson (3-1-0) are right behind Blue Star and Fresno in the Southwest Division. The Fusion, who got a hat trick from Travis Bowen (Van Nuys/Chatsworth HS) in Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Seahorses, have reeled off five straight wins, including two in the Open Cup, while scoring 18 goals.

Bowen also tallied in last week's win over the L.A. Blues, which set up Tuesday night's third-round clash with Chivas USA at Ventura College.

Tucson has won three in a row, beating Pali Blues, 1-0, twice in the last three weekends.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: One more week of crossover games in the Western Division. Only one Southern Conference winner last week: San Diego Flash (7-0-1), of course -- they cruised to a 3-1 win at Northern leader Sacramento Gold, with Justin Picou scoring twice, to extend their lead to eight points over FC Santa Clarita and the Fullerton Rangers.

Santa Clarita (4-2-2) gave up two goals at the start of the second half and lost to visiting Bay Area Ambassadors, 3-1. Fullerton (4-2-2) let a two-goal lead after 30 minutes get away in a 2-2 draw at Real San Jose.

USL W-LEAGUE: The Santa Clarita Blue Storm romped to a 4-1 win in its first meeting with the L.A. Strikers. Long Beach State's Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) scored the club's first goal of the year, and Portuguese national-teamers Ana Borges, Edite Fernandes and Laura Luis all contributed goals and assists. Both clubs visit Western Conference favorite Pali Blues (2-0-0) this week.

Seattle opened with a 2-0 win at Vancouver, which is 0-3 after reeaching the W-League semifinals last year and title game the year before. Colorado Rush (3-0-0) are atop the standings after a 4-0 rout of visiting Victoria, with former L.A. Sol midfielder/defender Brittany Bock tallying twice.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: South Bay club Ajax America begins its campaign Sunday afternoon in San Diego, taking on the SeaLions at Cathedral Catholic High School. Kickoff is at 4. The SeaLions face the L.A. Vikings at noon Saturday on Home Depot Center's Field 7, in the southwest corner of the complex, near the Velodrome.

Katie Oakes (West Hills/El Camino Real HS) scored the Sacramento-based California Storm's goal in a 1-1 draw with pros Bay Area Breeze in a Pacific North opener. The Storm's roster includes former U.S. stars Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner, plus Brazilian great Sissi.

NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE: UC Irvine alum Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS), a Portland Timbers draft pick in January, scored one goal and assisted the other to send the Minnesota Thunder past the PDL's Des Moines Menace, 2-0, in the Open Cup. All six American NASL clubs won their openers in the tournament. Our best for a third-round upset Tuesday night: Carolina RailHawks over the Galaxy.

NASL leader Puerto Rico Islanders, seeking their third straight Caribbean club title (and fourth straight trip to the CONCACAF Champions League), last week advanced to the final four-team group in the Caribbean Football Union Club Champions' Cup. USL Pro side Antigua Barracuda and two Trinidadian clubs, Caledonia AIA and W Connection, also will battle for three CONCACAF berths. No schedule has yet been released.

THE NUMBERS
  • DIVISION 3/MEN

USL PRO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Tuesday (U.S. Open Cup)

L.A. Blues 1 (og Pontius 13), Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 3 (F. Lopez pen. 34, 107, Bowen 116)
Wilmington Hammerheads 0, Cal FC (Thousand Oaks, USASA) 4 (Danny Barrera 25, 57, Aghasyan 35, Ferreira-Mendes 79)
Harrisburg City Islanders 2 (Ekra 48, Ombiji 77), Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0, Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1 (Givens pen. 90)
Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) 1 (King 90), Dayton Dutch Lions 2 (Gardner 38, Holowaty 92+)
Orlando City SC 7 (og Andrews 4, Griffin 26, 42, Rooney 28, 71, Watson 60, Luzunaris 86), K.C. Athletics (USASA) 0
Charleston Battery 2 (Kelly 69, Paterson 79), Reading United AC (PDL) 1 (Ibikunle 64)
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks (USASA) 0, Richmond Kickers 4 (Agorsor 20, 82, Dos Santos 30, Hiroyama 84)
Rochester Rhinos 3 (McManus 25, Chinn 43, Banks 76), Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 0
El Paso Patriots (PDL) 0, Charlotte Eagles 1 (og Campos 72)
Thursday
Orlando City SC 1 (Allen 22), L.A. Blues 1 (Dike 25)
Friday
Harrisburg City Islanders 1 (Langley 48), Rochester Rhinos 0
Saturday
Charleston Battery 1 (Falvey 14), L.A. Blues 0
Richmond Kickers 3 (Bulow pen. 69, Agorsor 91+, 93+), Wilmington Hammerheads 1 (Budnyy 18)
Dayton Dutch Lions 2 (Gardner 34, Copier 64), Rochester Rhinos 2 (Brito 52, McManus 91+)
Orlando City SC 2 (Watson 14, Luzunaris 53), Charlotte Eagles 1 (Meza 79)

Standings
1. Orlando City SC (7-0-2) 23 points; 2. Rochester Rhinos (6-1-2) 20; 3. Charleston Battery (5-2-0) 15; 4. Harrisburg City Islanders (3-1-3) 12; 5. L.A. Blues (3-3-2) 11; 6. Richmond Kickers (2-2-4) 10; 7. Wilmington Hammerheads (2-3-3) 9; 8. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-5-2) 8; 9. Charlotte Eagles (2-7-2) 8; 10. Antigua Barracuda (2-6-0) 6; 11. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-4-4) 4.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Tuesday (U.S. Open Cup)
New England Revolution (MLS) at Harrisburg City Islanders, 4 p.m.
D.C. United (MLS) at Richmond Kickers, 4 p.m.
New York Red Bulls (MLS) at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.
Rochester Rhinos at Philadelphia Union (MLS), 4:30 p.m.
Dayton Dutch Lions at Columbus Crew (MLS), 4:30 p.m.
Orlando City SC at Sporting Kansas City (MLS), 5:30 p.m.
Charlotte Eagles at FC Dallas (MLS), 5:30 p.m.
Thursday
Charleston Battery at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4 p.m.
Friday
Richmond Kickers at Harrisburg City Islanders, 3 p.m.
Saturday
Richmond Kickers at Rochester Rhinos, 4:05 p.m.
Orlando City SC at Wilmington Hammerheads, 4:30 p.m.
Charleston Battery at Dayton Dutch Lions, 5 p.m.
  • DIVISION 4/MEN

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Southwest Division
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Tuesday (U.S. Open Cup)

L.A. Blues (USL Pro) 1 (og Pontius 13), Ventura County Fusion 3 (F. Lopez pen. 34, 107, Bowen 116)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) 7 (Hassan 42, 57, 69, Anderson 61, Restrepo 78, Morales 89, 90), Fresno Fuego 2 (Finch 54, Reinhart 86)
Wednesday
Southern California Seahorses 2 (Chew 25, og unavailable 90), Orange County Blue Star 3 (O'Brien 13, Olsak 34, Byass 61)
Thursday
Ogden Outlaws 0, Fresno Fuego 0
BYU Cougars 0, L.A. Misioneros 0
Saturday
Ogden Outlaws 2 (Christensen 44, Roylance 48), L.A. Misioneros 1 (Anguiano 78)
BYU Cougars 1 (Gates 70), Fresno Fuego 1 (Campbell 48)
FC Tucson 1 (King 80), Pali Blues 0
Ventura County Fusion 4 (Daly 49, Bowen 53, 63, 68), Southern California Seahorses 1 (Shaw 76)

Standings
1. Orange County Blue Star (3-0-3) 12 points; 2. Fresno Fuego (3-1-3) 12; 3. Ventura County Fusion (3-1-1) 10; 4. FC Tucson (3-1-0) 9; 5. L.A. Misioneros (1-3-3), 6; 6. Ogden Outlaws (1-2-1) 4; 7. BYU Cougars (0-0-2) 2; 8. Pali Blues (0-3-2) 2; 9. Southern California Seahorses (0-3-1) 1.

This week's games
Tuesday
U.S. Open Cup:
Ventura County Fusion vs. Chivas USA (MLS) at Ventura College, 7 p.m.
Southern California Seahorses vs. Orange County Blue Star at Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.
Thursday
Ventura County Fusion at Fresno Fuego, 7 p.m.
Friday
Ogden Outlaws vs. Southern California Seahorses at Biola University (La Mirada), 7 p.m.
BYU Cougars vs. Pali Blues at Palisades HS (Pacific Palisades), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday
Ogden Outlaws vs. Pali Blues at Palisades HS (Pacific Palisades), 7 p.m.
BYU Cougars vs. Southern California Seahorses at Biola University (La Mirada), 7 p.m.
Fresno Fuego at FC Tucson, 7 p.m.
Sunday
L.A. Misioneros at Orange County Blue Star at Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5
FC Tucson at BYU Cougars, 7 p.m.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
WEST DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Saturday
FC Santa Clarita Storm 1 (Quintero 45), Bay Area Ambassadors 3 (Walle 46, 47, Keyes 65)
Sonoma County Sol 2 (Middlemiss 56, 71), FC Hasental 1 (Anguiano 37)
Real San Jose 2 (Gonzalez 46+, Koochie 75), Fullerton Rangers 2 (Alvarado 25, Madrigal 30)
San Francisco Stompers 2 (Cabrera 47, Camacho 86), San Diego Boca 1 (Haase 42)
North Coast Tsunami at Phoenix Monsoon, ppd. to July 14
Sunday
Sacramento Gold 1 (Fonseca 92+), San Diego Flash 3 (Valle Ortiz 45, Picou 71, 88)

Standings
Southern Conference:
1. San Diego Flash (7-0-1) 22 points; 2. FC Santa Clarita Storm (4-2-2) 14; 3. Fullerton Rangers (4-2-2) 14; 4. FC Hasental (3-4-1) 10; 5. San Diego Boca (2-4-2) 8; 6. Phoenix Monsoon (0-6-0) 0.
Northern Conference: 1. Sacramento Storm (5-3-0) 15; 2. Sonoma County Sol (3-2-3) 12; 3. Bay Area Ambassadors (3-3-1) 10; 4. Real San Jose (2-2-3) 9; 5. San Francisco Stompers (2-3-2) 8; 6. North Coast Tsunami (1-5-1) 4.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Saturday
FC Santa Clarita at North Coast Tsunami, 1 p.m.
Real San Jose vs. FC Hasental at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park (Simi Valley), 5 p.m.
San Francisco Stompers at San Diego Flash, 5 p.m.
Phoenix Monsoon at Bay Area Ambassadors, 5 p.m.
Sacramento Gold vs. Fullerton Rangers at Santa Ana Stadium, 5:30 p.m.
Sonoma County Sol at San Diego Boca, 6 p.m.
  • DIVISION 2/WOMEN

USL W-LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Thursday

Colorado Rush 4 (Bock 8, 54, Horan 11, Johnson 78), Victoria Highlanders 0
Saturday
Colorado Rapids 3 (Fulutudilu 30, McMillan 65, Gunther pen. 89), Victoria Highlanders 0
Sunday
L.A. Strikers 1 (Johnson 45), Santa Clarita Blue Heat 4 (Link 4, Luis 40, Borges 50, Fernandes 53)
Vancouver Whitecaps 0, Seattle Sounders 2 (Manthey 47, Perez 81)

Standings
1. Colorado Rush (3-0-0) 9 points; 2. Pali Blues (2-0-0) 6; 3. Colorado Rapids (1-0-0) 3; 4. Seattle Sounders (1-0-0) 3; 5. Santa Clarita Blue Heat (1-1-0) 3; 6. Victoria Highlanders (1-3-0) 3; 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-3-0) 0; 8. L.A. Strikers (0-2-0), 0.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Wednesday
L.A. Strikers vs. Pali Blues at Palisades HS (Pacific Palisades), 7 p.m.
Thursday
Colorado Rush at Seattle Sounders, 7 p.m.
Friday
Colorado Rapids at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m.
Seattle Sounders at Victoria Highlanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday
Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. Pali Blues at Palisades HS (Pacific Palisades), 4 p.m.
Sunday
Colorado Rapids at Victoria Highlanders, 2 p.m.
Monday
Colorado Rapids at Seattle Sounders, 7:30 p.m.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
PACIFIC CONFERENCE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Saturday
California Storm 1 (Oakes 27), Bay Area Breeze 1 (Homidi 74)
Sunday
California Storm 3 (Curtin 9, Larot 61, Hamm 72), San Francisco Nighthawks 1 (Jones 19)

Standings
South Division:
1. Beach FC (1-0-0) 3 points; 2. Ajax America and San Diego SeaLions (0-0-0) 0; 4. L.A. Vikings (0-1-0) 0.
North Division: 1. California Storm (1-0-1) 4; 2. Bay Area Breeze (0-0-1) 1, 3. Central California Heat, North Bay FC Wave and West Coast Wildkatz (0-0-0) 0; 6. San Francisco Nighthawks (0-1-0) 0.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Saturday
San Diego SeaLions vs. L.A. Vikings at Home Depot Center Field 7 (Carson), noon
West Coast WildKatz at North Bay FC Wave, 5 p.m.
Bay Area Breeze at San Francisco Nighthawks, 7 p.m.
Sunday
Central California Heat at Bay Area Breeze, 1:30 p.m.
Ajax America at San Diego SeaLions, 4 p.m.
California Storm at West Coast WildKatz, 6 p.m.
  • OTHER

U.S. OPEN CUP
(Games involving teams from local leagues)
Second Round
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Tuesday

Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) 0, Cal FC (Thousand Oaks, USASA) 4 (Danny Barrera 25, 57, Aghasyan 35, Ferreira-Mendes 79)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 6 (Shriver 7, 23, 40, 90, Lowery 9, Schilawski 41), PSA Elite (Irvine, USASA) 0
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) 7 (Hassan 42, 57, 69, Anderson 61, Restrepo 78, Morales 89, 90), Fresno Fuego (PDL) 2 (Finch 54, Reinhart 86)
L.A. Blues (USL Pro) 1 (og Pontius 13), Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 3 (F. Lopez pen. 34, 107, Bowen 116)

Third Round
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Tuesday

Galaxy (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL), 4:07 p.m.
Chivas USA (MLS) vs. Ventura County Fusion (PDL) at Ventura College, 7 p.m.
Wednesday
Cal FC (Thousand Oaks, USASA) at Portland Timbers (MLS), 7 p.m.

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