Monday, April 16, 2012
Riverside sextet headed to England
By Scott French
CARSON -- A Riverside team featuring a Major League Soccer veteran on Sunday claimed the U.S. title in the MLS Copa Bud Light 6v6 tournament -- and a trip to play in the world finals next month in London.
Empire, coached by Adnan Felix, routed Arizona's Barcelona Tucson, 6-1, in the six-on-six title game at halftime of the U.S.-Mexico Clasico de Leyendas clash at Home Depot Center. Armando Ochoa and Jesus Ochoa scored two goals apiece as the team built a four-goal lead in the first 10-minute half.
Jesus Ochoa is a former midfielder for the Galaxy and Chivas USA, and he and Armando Ochoa are brothers of Seattle Sounders forward Sammy Ochoa.
The team also featured former Chivas USA and Portland Timbers midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, a Santa Barbara product who played for Chivas in a reserve friendly last month. He played for Chivas in 2005-07 and was with the Timbers last year, their first MLS season, after two seasons with the club when it was in the second division.
Felix, the Ochoas and Victor Paredes are from Riverside, and Empire's other players are Jaime Chavez (La Puente), Jerry Martinez (Pomona), Francisco Mejia (Los Angeles) and Junior Ponce (Chino).
Qualifying tournaments in Bell Gardens and in Nevada and Arizona sent teams to Sunday's finals, which included six hours of preliminary games on the fields outside HDC's main stadium.
The world finals will be held in the lead-up to the May 5 F.A. Cup final pitting Liverpool against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.