One Griffin scores, another set for debut
The former UCLA star, who prepped at Littlerock High School and scored in the 43rd and 7st minutes for the Floridians (1-1-0) in a 3-0 romp over visiting FC New York.
Griffin's brother, Leonard -- also a Littlerock and UCLA alum -- sees his first action in the new league when the L.A. Blues open their campaign Friday at Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, the first of four games in eight days in the Caribbean. Leonard Griffin likely will start at right back for the Blues.
The Griffin brothers were together last year with the Austin Axtex in the USSF D2 Pro League. Austin's owners moved the club to Orlando during the offseason.
There are a number of players with local connections in USL Pro, which is a third-division league:
- Charlotte Eagles goalkeeper Eric Reed (Laguna Hills/Laguna Hills HS and UCLA), a former U.S. youth national-teamer who spent four seasons with La Mirada-based USL Premier Development League club Southern California Seahorses.
- Harrisburg (Pa.) City Islanders midfielder Jeritt Thayer (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS), an Irvine Strikers alum.
- FC New York goalkeeper Derby Carrillo (La Mirada/St. John Bosco HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills) and defender/midfielder Troy Cole (Laguna Hills/Laguna Hills HS and Irvine Valley College).
- Rochester Rhinos midfielder/forward Anthony Hamilton (Colton/Colton HS and UC Irvine) and midfielder Darren Spicer (Diamond Bar/Diamond Bar HS), who played for Chivas USA, and midfielder Carlos Aguilar (Palmdale/Palmdale HS and Taft College/UC Irvine).
- Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads goalkeeper Kyle Polak (Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley HS and Cal State Fullerton/Cal State Dominguez Hills), who has Chivas USA reserve-team experience; and a half-dozen from last year's Ventura County Fusion team: defenders Ivan Becerra (Los Angeles/San Fernando HS and L.A. Mission College/UC Santa Barbara) and Jamie Scope; and midfielders Hagop “Jack” Avesyan (Hollywood), Diego Barrera (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS and Loyola Marymount), Manny Guzman (Lakewood/West Torrance HS and L.A. Harbor College) and Dylan Riley (Thousand Oaks HS/Cal State Northridge). Barrera also played for Hollywood United and the late San Fernando Valley Quakes.
Add to that out-of-area guys who played at UCLA (Charleston defender Mike Zaher) or UC Santa Barbara (Rochester midfielders Alfonso Motgalvan and Tyler Rosenlund), or Azusa Pacific (Wilmington forward Andriy Budnyi), Biola (Harrisburg midfielder Jason Hothckin) or Westmont in Santa Barbara (Charlotte forward Luke Williams); and ex-Galaxy players (Rochester defenders Quavas Kirk and Troy Roberts and Pittsburgh defender Kyle Veris). Several more played for local PDL clubs, especially the Seahorses, or had trials with the Galaxy or Chivas.LAST WEEK: Both games involving the Blues' International Division rivals from Puerto Rico have been draws, with Sevilla FC -- the Blues' first foe, Friday in Juncos -- going 2-2 with River Plate and 1-1 with Puerto Rico United. … USL Pro Player of the Week Matthew Delicate's 87th-minute strike, his second goal in as many games, gave preseason league favorite Richmond a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
NPSL: The Western Division's San Diego sides went to 2-0-0 heading into their showdown this weekend. The Flash rallied from a first-half deficit to beat Hollywood United, 3-1, as Larry Emeanua scored his second and third goals; Boca toppled Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental, 1-0, on Justin Picou's second of the season.
Lancaster-based Rattlers FC, who kick off their season on April 23, signed a three-year contract with Golden Goal Sports Network to broadcast, as it were, games on the Rattlers' and GGSN's Web sites. The pact takes effect next year.
- NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Hollywood United 1 (Miranda 32), San Diego Flash 3 (Ortiz 46+, Emeanua 58, 78)
San Diego Boca 1 (Picou 70), FC Hasental 0
Bay Area Ambassadors 1 (Leslie pen. 85), Sacramento Gold 4 (Fonseca 7, 21, Pina 28, 40)
Southwest: San Diego Flash 6 points, San Diego Boca FC 6, Hollywood United FC 3, Rattlers FC 0, Santa Ana Winds 0, FC Hasental 0
Northwest: Sacramento Gold 3, Sonoma County Sol 3, Real San Jose 0, Bay Area Ambassadors 0
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Hollywood United FC vs. Sonoma County Sol at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park), 5 p.m.
Santa Ana Winds vs. FC Hasental at Calabasas HS, 7 p.m.
Bay Area Ambassadors vs. Real San Jose at Yerba Buena HS (San Jose), 7:30 p.m.
San Diego Boca vs. San Diego Flash at Westview HS (San Diego), 3 p.m.
Real San Jose vs. Sonoma County Sol at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park), 5 p.m.
Hollywood United FC vs. Sacramento Gold at River City HS (West Sacramento), 6 p.m.
- USL PRO
First two weeks' results (home teams listed first)
Saturday, April 2
Richmond 2 (Nyazamba pen. 39, Delicate 86), Orlando City 0
River Plate Puerto Rico 2 (Villegas 55, Perez 80), Sevilla Puerto Rico 2 (Roushandel 33, Cardenas 71)
Saturday, April 9
Richmond 2 (dos Santos 69, Delicate 87), Pittsburgh 0 (Horner 71)
Charlotte 0, Charleston 1 (Bloom 58)
Orlando City 3 (M. Griffin 43, 71, Alvarez 54), FC New York 0
Sunday, April 10
Sevilla Puerto Rico 1 (Gustave 66), Puerto Rico United 1 (Ramos 90)
International: Sevilla PR 2 points, River Plate PR 1, Puerto Rico United 1, L.A. Blues 0, Antigua Barracuda FC 0
American: Richmond Kickers 6, Orlando City 3, Charleston Battery 3, Wilmington Hammerheads 0, Charlotte Eagles 0
National: Dayton Dutch Lions 0, Harrisburg City Islanders 0, Rochester Rhinos 0, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0, FC New York 0
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Rochester at Richmond, 4 p.m.
L.A. Blues at Sevilla PR, 5 p.m.
Orlando City at Charlotte, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Harrisburg, 4 p.m.
Charleston at Dayton, 4:30 p.m.
Rochester at Wilmington, 4:30 p.m.
River Plate PR at Puerto Rico United, noon
L.A. Blues at Antigua Barracuda, 4 p.m.