LOCALS: Ties take Tucson to the top

June, 19, 2012
6/19/12
4:03
PM PT
The Ventura County Fusion learned Saturday night how real is the threat posed newcomers FC Tucson.

The Premier Development League expansion side rallied for a 1-1 draw although down a man in a showdown of the Southwest Division's Nos. 1 and 2 clubs at Ventura College, an intense clash that ended with a little postgame dustup in the parking lot, the Arizona club reported on its website.

Francisco Lopez gave Ventura the lead five minutes into the second half, but Danny Toia -- Real Salt Lake's first Home Grown Player, released by the Major League Soccer club in February -- netted the 61st-minute equalizer. Tucson was down to 10 players after Eli Galbrath-Knapp's dismissal in the 30th minute.

The Arizonans (6-1-3) surged into first place, one point ahead of the Fusion (6-1-2), with Monday's 1-1 draw against L.A. Misioneros.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

USL PRO: Bright Dike is the third-division league's Player of the Week after scoring the goals in the L.A. Blues' 1-0 wins Friday and Sunday over Dayton, which sent them from seventh to fifth in the table. Goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh made the PDL Team of the Week. Only first-place Orlando City (9-1-2, 2.4167) and second-place Charleston (8-3-0, 2.1818) have more points per game than do the Blues (5-3-2, 1.7000).

Rochester (6-3-4) is winless in seven games after losing at Harrisburg and tying Pittsburgh, and Richmond (4-4-5) saw its eight-game unbeaten streak close with a loss at Wilmington before getting blown out, 4-1, at Charlotte, which next week faces Chivas USA in a U.S. Open Cup clash at Cal State Fullerton.

Antigua, which returned to league action after a month away and was shut out by the top two teams, on Tuesday played a Caribbean Football Union Club Championship semifinal in Trinidad against Caledonia AIA. The NASL's Puerto Rico Islanders and Trinidadian club W Connection meet in the other semi; the final and third-place game are Thursday, and the top three advance to the CONCACAF Champions League. The third-place winner will be in a three-team group with the Galaxy and El Salvador's Isidro Metapan.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: It appears the fight in the Southwest is down to Ventura County and Tucson after Orange County Blue Star's disastrous weekend in Utah. The Long Beach-based power, unbeaten until a June 8 loss to the Fusion, have lost four in a row to fall to 3-4-5 and fall out of the playoff push.

Blue Star gave up three goals in the first 35 minutes to lose, 4-2, at BYU (3-3-2) -- the Cougars' had never before beaten O.C. -- then dropped a 2-0 decision at Ogden (5-3-2), which is aiming for its first winning season in seven years as a PDL club. The Outlaws had never won more than four games since switching to the Southwest in 2009.

The Utah clubs also swept the Southern California Seahorses. Ventura County and the Pali Blues visit this weekend.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: There's clear separation in the Western Division's South Conference after the weekend results, with eight points separating the third-place Fullerton Rangers from fourth-place San Diego Boca and just four games to go.

The most important match until the playoffs arrive is Sunday's Rangers-FC Santa Clarita showdown at Santa Ana Stadium, with the winner probably joining runaway leader San Diego Flash (9-0-2) in the postseason. Santa Clarita (6-2-3) has a one-point edge on Fullerton (6-3-2) and won an April 21 meeting, 2-0.

Santa Clarita on Saturday bombed point-less Phoenix, 7-1, as Cal State L.A.'s Tyler Coombes (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) scored four goals -- same as he netted in the Storm's 9-1 win over the Monsoon two months earlier. He leads the conference with a dozen goals.

Fullerton used first-half goals by Julio Madrigal (Inglewood/Inglewood HS and L.A. Harbor College/Cal State Dominguez Hills), David Arvizu (Santa Ana/Foothill HS) and Mike Piechota (Cal State Dominguez Hills) in a 3-1 win at Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental (3-6-2).

USL W-LEAGUE: It's big-game week in the Western Conference, with Pali Blues (7-0-0) and Seattle Sounders (5-0-1) tangling Wednesday night in Tukwila, Wash., with a sellout crowd of 4,500 expected.

Santa Clarita's hope to challenge Pali and Seattle took a tumble with two ties in Colorado. The Blue Heat (2-2-2) are eight points out of a playoff spot after going scoreless against the Rapids (2-2-2) and rallying through Portuguese national-teamer Laura Luis for a 1-1 result against the Rush (3-2-1). They trek to Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria this week.

Pali, which also plays all three Pacific Northwest teams next week, was idle -- Pepperdine's Lynn Williams won the W-League's weekly top-player honor for the previous week's output -- but Seattle bounced back from its scoreless draw against Vancouver by routing the L.A. Strikers, 4-0, on Veronica Perez's hat trick.

The Strikers (2-5-0) won one of their three Northwest games, with UCLA's Chelsea Cline netting the winner in a 2-1 victory over hapless Victoria (1-9-0), which ended an 802-minute drought -- nearly nine full games -- with Liz Hansen's 56th-minute strike. L.A. visits the Colorado clubs this weekend.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: Former WPS attacker Kristina Larsen (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS and UCLA) posted her second two-goal game to start Beach FC (2-1-0) on a 5-0 romp at Ajax America (1-2-0), a game that was tight until halftime. Loyola Marymount's Tawni Martino (Irvine/Beckman HS), Long Beach State's Shawna Gordon (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS) and Jessika Oseguera (Bellflower/Mayfair HS) also tallied.

San Diego SeaLions (4-0-0) destroyed the goal-less L.A. Vikings (0-4-0), with former USC star Rosie Tantillo netting her conference-best ninth goal, and her older sister, Maddie, also scored.

Sacramento's California Storm is on top in the Pacific-North after beating North Bay FC, 1-0, on Brazilian legend Sissi's goal. Pros Bay Area Breeze dropped to second after a 2-1 loss in Fresno to the Central California Heat.

NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE: Expansion San Antonio (6-1-4) surged to the front with Pablo Campos scoring his sixth goal in a 2-0 win at Puerto Rico Islanders (6-3-2), who dropped two points behind. The Scorpions' unbeaten streak since a 4-0 loss to Puerto Rico in their home debut two months ago is nine games.

Third-place Minnesota (4-2-5), which has several local players, dropped their third in a row (U.S. Open Cup included), surrendering an early lead in a 2-1 loss to visiting Tampa Bay. Cal State Fullerton product Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) assisted the Thunder goal.

THE NUMBERS
  • DIVISION 3/MEN
USL PRO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday

L.A. Blues 1 (Dike 56), Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Harrisburg City Islanders 2 (Ekra 86, Mkosana 90), Rochester Rhinos 1 (Tanke 80)
Charleston Battery 3 (Paterson 33, pen. 64, Kelly 44), Antigua Barracuda 0
Wilmington Hammerheads 2 (Budnyy 16, Hertzog 29), Richmond Kickers 1 (Agorsor 6)
Saturday
Charlotte Eagles 4 (Thornton 24, Kabwe 65, Ferrer 86, Meza 92+), Richmond Kickers 1 (Agorsor 19)
Sunday
L.A. Blues 1 (Dike 62), Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 (Nuņez 16), Rochester Rhinos 1 (Kirk 61)
Orlando City SC 2 (Bernard 14, Luzunaris 92+), Antigua Barracuda 0

Standings
1. Orlando City SC (9-1-2) 29 points; 2. Charleston Battery (8-3-0) 24; 3. Rochester Rhinos (6-3-4) 22; 4. Wilmington Hammerheads (5-3-4) 19; 5. L.A. Blues (5-3-2) 17; 6. Richmond Kickers (4-4-5) 17; 7. Harrisburg City Islanders (4-2-4) 16; 8. Charlotte Eagles (3-8-2) 11; 9. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-6-4) 10; 10. Antigua Barracuda (2-8-0) 6; 11. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-7-5) 5.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Tuesday (CFU Club Championship)
Antigua Barracuda vs. Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago) at San Fernando, Trinidad, 3 p.m.
Thursday
Antigua Barracuda vs. Puerto Rico Islanders or W Connection (Trinidad & Tobago) at San Fernando, Trinidad, 3 or 5 p.m.
Friday
Wilmington Hammerheads at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Orlando City SC, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday
Rochester Rhinos at Richmond Kickers, 4 p.m., 3 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.
Wilmington Hammerheads at Dayton Dutch Lions, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26 (U.S. Open Cup)
Harrisburg City Islanders at Philadelphia Union (MLS), 4:30 p.m.
Dayton Dutch Lions at Sporting Kansas City (MLS), 5:30 p.m.
Charlotte Eagles vs. Chivas USA (MLS) at Cal State Fullerton, 7:30 p.m.

Leading scorers
Nicki Paterson (Charleston) 8, Andriy Budnyy (Wilmington) 7, Yann Ekra (Harrisburg) 5, Bright Dike (L.A. Blues) 4, Jose Cuevas (Charleston) 4, Christopher Agorsor (Richmond) 4, Steven Smith (Antigua) 4, Dennis Chin (Orlando City) 4, Corey Hertzog (Wilmington) 4.
  • DIVISION 4/MEN
USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Southwest Division
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Thursday

FC Tucson 1 (Spence 64), L.A. Misioneros 1 (Mendoza 3)
Friday
Ogden Outlaws 1 (Burnham 80), Southern California Seahorses 0
BYU Cougars 4 (Bauer 12, Gates 13, Green 34, Cutler 67), Orange County Blue Star 2 (Estes 82, Gonzalez 88)
Fresno Fuego 4 (Garcia 12, 40, Cignetti 34, Caceres 71), Pali Blues 1 (Nicholson 37)
Saturday
Ogden Outlaws 2 (Kupfer 23, Burnham 28), Orange County Blue Star 0
BYU Cougars 5 (Burton 56, Clark 58, Niccoli 59, Losse 62, Romney 92+), Southern California Seahorses 1 (Shaw 90)
Ventura County Fusion 1 (Lopez 50), FC Tucson 1 (Toia 61)
Monday
L.A. Misioneros 1 (Samaniego pen. 61), FC Tucson 1 (Long pen. 8)

Standings
1. FC Tucson (6-1-3) 21 points; 2. Ventura County Fusion (6-1-2) 20; 3. Ogden Outlaws (5-3-2) 17; 4. Fresno Fuego (4-4-3) 15; 5. Orange County Blue Star (3-4-5) 14; 6. L.A. Misioneros (2-3-6), 12; 7. BYU Cougars (3-3-2) 11; 8. Southern California Seahorses (2-7-2) 8; 9. Pali Blues (1-6-3) 6.

This week's games
Wednesday
L.A. Misioneros vs. Southern California Seahorses at Maranatha HS (Pasadena), 7 p.m.
Friday
Pali Blues at Ogden Outlaws, 5 p.m.
Ventura County Fusion at BYU Cougars, 7 p.m.
Saturday
Ventura County Fusion at Ogden Outlaws, 5 p.m.
Pali Blues at BYU Cougars, 7 p.m.
Orange County Blue Star at FC Tucson, 7 p.m.
Sunday
Southern California Seahorses vs. L.A. Misioneros at Carver Middle School (Los Angeles), 6 p.m.

Leading scorers
Travis Bowen (Ventura County) 5, Alex Caceres (Fresno) 5, Daniel Burnham (Ogden) 5, Francisco Lopez (Ventura County) 4, Victor Sanchez (Misioneros) 4, Daniel Chew (Southern California) 4, Paul Islas (Fresno) 4.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
WEST DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday
Sonoma County Sol 3 (Arroyo 5, 89, Sandwina 80), Bay Area Ambassadors 0
Saturday
FC Hasental 1 (Palmer 78), Fullerton Rangers 3 (Madrigal 33, Arvizu 39, M. Piechota 67)
Phoenix Monsoon 1 (Id pen. 7), FC Santa Clarita 7 (Coombes 8, 19, 59, 69, Galvan 17, Lampart 77, 85)
San Diego Boca 1 (Sanchez 58), San Diego Flash 3 (Valle Ortiz 75, Picou 76, Bakal 77)
San Francisco Stompers 1 (Whelan 58), Sacramento Gold 0
North Coast Tsunami 1, Real San Jose 0

Standings
Southern Conference:
1. San Diego Flash (9-0-2) 29 points; 2. FC Santa Clarita Storm (6-2-3) 21; 3. Fullerton Rangers (6-3-2) 20; 4. San Diego Boca (3-5-3) 12; 5. FC Hasental (3-6-2) 11; 6. Phoenix Monsoon (0-9-0) 0.
Northern Conference: 1. Sacramento Storm (7-4-0) 21; 2. Sonoma County Sol (5-3-3) 18; 3. Bay Area Ambassadors (5-4-1) 16; 4. Real San Jose (3-4-3) 12; 5. San Francisco Stompers (3-5-2) 11; 6. North Coast Tsunami (2-7-1) 7.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Tuesday
Bay Area Ambassadors at Real San Jose, 7 p.m.
Friday
North Coast Tsunami at Sonoma County Sol, 7 p.m.
Saturday
San Diego Boca vs. FC Hasental at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park (Simi Valley), 5 p.m.
Phoenix Monsoon at San Diego Flash, 5 p.m.
Sacramento Gold at Bay Area Ambassadors, 5 p.m.
San Francisco Stompers at Real San Jose, 7 p.m.
Sunday
FC Santa Clarita vs. Fullerton Rangers at Santa Ana Stadium, 5:30 p.m.

Leading scorers
Tyler Coombes (Santa Clarita) 12, Eder Roldan (Fullerton) 8, Manolo Piņa (Sacramento) 8, Justin Picou (San Diego Flash) 7, Ladule LoSarah (San Diego Flash) 6, Ross Middlemiss (Sonoma County) 6, Brandon Zuniga (San Diego Flash) 6.
  • DIVISION 2/WOMEN
USL W-LEAGUE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Wednesday

Vancouver Whitecaps 3 (French 19, 42, Mykines 20), L.A. Strikers 1 (Ronau 15)
Thursday
Colorado Rapids 0, Santa Clarita Blue Heat 0
Friday
Victoria Highlanders 1 (Hanson 56), L.A. Strikers 2 (Beard 12, Cline 71)
Saturday
Colorado Rush 1 (Harder 26), Santa Clarita Blue Heat 1 (Luis 64)
Sunday
Seattle Sounders 4 (Perez 21, 47, 66, Deines 40), L.A. Strikers 0

Standings
1. Pali Blues (7-0-0) 21 points; 2. Seattle Sounders (5-0-1) 16; 3. Colorado Rush (3-2-1) 10; 4. Santa Clarita Blue Heat (2-2-2) 8; 5. Colorado Rapids (2-2-2) 8; 6. L.A. Strikers (2-5-0), 6; 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-3-2) 5; 8. Victoria Highlanders (1-9-0) 3.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Wednesday
Colorado Rush at Colorado Rapids, 3:30 p.m.
Pali Blues at Seattle Sounders, 7 p.m.
Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Victoria Highlanders, 7 p.m.
Friday
L.A. Strikers at Colorado Rush, 6:30 p.m.
Pali Blues at Victoria Highlanders, 7 p.m.
Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday
L.A. Strikers at Colorado Rapids, noon
Pali Blues at Vancouver Whitecaps, noon
Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Seattle Sounders, 1 p.m.

Leading scorers
Veronica Perez (Seattle) 5, Lynn Williams (Pali) 4, Nikki Washington (Pali) 3, Samantha Johnson (Strikers) 3, Laura Luis (Santa Clarita) 3, Mele French (Vancouver) 3, Erin Gunther (Rapids) 3.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
PACIFIC CONFERENCE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday
Central California Heat 2 (Torres 34, Sherr pen. 47), Bay Area Breeze 1 (Ruiz-Williams 84)
Saturday
Ajax America 0, Beach FC 5 (Larsen 19, 43, Martino 50, Gordon 65, Oseguera 77)
West Coast Wildkatz 1 (De Jesus 90), San Francisco Nighthawks 1 (Jones pen. 55)
North Bay FC Wave 0, California Storm 1 (Sissi 33)
Sunday
San Diego SeaLions 5 (Murphy 3, 34, R. Tantillo 11, Cervantes 53, M. Tantillo 89), L.A. Vikings 0
Bay Area Breeze 1 (Brand 38), San Francisco Nighthawks 0

Standings
South Division:
1. San Diego SeaLions (4-0-0) 12 points; 2. Beach FC (2-1-0) 6; 3. Ajax America (1-2-0) 3; 4. L.A. Vikings (0-4-0) 0.
North Division: 1. California Storm (3-0-1) 10; 2. Bay Area Breeze (3-1-1) 10; 3. Central California Heat (2-2-0) 6; 4. North Bay FC Wave (1-1-1) 4; 5. West Coast Wildkatz (0-1-2) 2; 6. San Francisco Nighthawks (0-4-1) 1.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Thursday
Bay Area Breeze at West Coast Wildkatz, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday
San Diego SeaLions vs. Ajax America at Nansen Field (Rolling Hills Estates), 3:30 p.m.
North Bay FC Wave at San Francisco Nighthawks, 1 p.m.
California Storm at Central California Heat, 1 p.m.
Sunday
Beach FC vs. L.A. Vikings at Home Depot Center Field 5 (Carson), 4 p.m.
North Bay FC Wave at West Coast Wildkatz, 6 p.m.

Leading scorers
Rosie Tantillo (San Diego) 9, Kristina Larsen (Beach FC) 4, Nikki Petracca (San Diego) 4, Shelby Murphy (San Diego) 4, Katie McCoy (California) 3, Ashley Sherr (Central California) 3.
  • OTHER
U.S. OPEN CUP
Quarterfinals (all times Pacific)
Tuesday, June 26

Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) vs. Chivas USA (MLS) at Cal State Fullerton, 7:30 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) at Philadelphia Union (MLS), 4:30 p.m.
Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS), 5:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders (MLS) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), 8 p.m.

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