Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Los Angeles Soccer [Print without images]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
LOCALS: V.C. Fusion, O.C. Waves playoff-bound

By Scott French

The W-League and Women's Premier Soccer League wrap up their regular seasons this weekend, and one has more to sort out than the other.


Both of the WPSL's Pacific-South playoff spots are taken, one of them by first-year pro side Orange County Waves (10-1-2), who will clinch the divisional title with a victory Saturday against Ajax America in Rolling Hills Estates.

Three teams are separated by a point in the fight for the W-League's two Western Conference postseason berths, and it all could come down to Sunday night's clash between the first-place Santa Clarita Blue Heat (8-1-3) and third-place Pali Blues (7-1-5) at Canyon High School in Canyon Country.

The Ventura County Fusion (10-0-4), which won the Premier Development League championship in 2009 and Southwest Division title last year, are the first Southwest side to claim a playoff berth, doing so with a 1-0 win over the BYU Cougars on a late goal by Cal State Bakersfield's Gyasi Zardes (Hawthorne/Leuzinger HS).

The Fresno Fuego (9-0-3), which has four games remaining in the season's final two weeks, is likely to grab the division's other spot -- and perhaps pip the Fusion for the Southwest title. Orange County Blue Star (8-5-1) and the Southern California Seahorses (7-3-3) are still alive, technically.

More on local clubs and players:
PDL: If Fresno pulls out the Southwest title, credit its victory last weekend at Orange County Blue Star. The Fuego pulled out a wild 4-3 triumph on Andrew Campbell's late goal after surrendering 2-0 and 3-2 leads. The game was a showcase for Fresno's Milton Blanco (10 goals, 8 assists), who scored and set up two goals, including the winner, and Blue Star's UCLA standouts Chandler Hoffman (13 goals, 9 assists) and Fernando Monge (9 goals). ... Ogden enjoyed a fine So Cal trip, winning its first game of the year (2-1 over L.A. Blues 23 as Chance Bukoski set up the tying goal and scored the winner) and then tying the Seahorses (1-1).

NPSL: Saturday's West Division final, pitting Hollywood United (12-2-1) against reigning National Premier Soccer League champion Sacramento Gold (8-3-4) at Crenshaw High School in L.A., will begin at 5 p.m. ... No word yet if former Chivas USA winger Brent Whitfield (Long Beach/Poly HS and Cal State Fullerton) will be available for HUFC. He suffered a foot injury in the Hitmen's West semifinal victory over the Santa Ana Winds. ... The Milwaukee Bavarians clinched the Midwest Division title to become the first team to clinch a berth in the July 28-30 league final four in Madison, Ala.

W-LEAGUE: Portuguese star Edite Fernandes is the league's Player of the Week after a difficult Northwest swing for the Blue Heat, who needed a last-minute rally to tie winless Victoria, overcame Vancouver in a showdown of the Western Conference's top two sides, then suffered their first loss of the season at Seattle. Fernandes scored her eighth and ninth goals of the season and set up Holly Hein's winner against the Whitecaps (8-2-3). ... A last-minute strike by Cal State L.A.'s Liz Franco ended Victoria's upset bid. ...

Santa Clarita can clinch its playoff berth with a win Wednesday night over the L.A. Strikers. Vancouver will advance with a victory Friday over the Colorado Force. Pali, which has two W-League titles and a 36-6-1 record in four seasons, will need a result Sunday against Santa Clarita if either slips up.

WPSL: The Orange County Waves swept its matches again last week to move to 8-1-0 in Pacific-South play, same as the San Diego Seahorses (11-2-0 overall), who also are headed to the playoffs. The Waves' goal difference is markedly superior (plus-32 to plus-21). ... The Pacific-North berths are likely going to North Bay FC Wave (9-1-3) and the Bay Area Breeze (7-2-3), who are the O.C. Waves' partner. One of them would host the divisional final four, with the winner going to the league final four at the end of the month. ...

UC Irvine midfielder Judy Christopher, who plays for the SeaLions. was the WPSL's Co-Player of the Week. ... Sacramento's California Storm, the WPSL's signature franchise (operated by league founder and Commissioner Jerry Zanelli, featuring, when she can make it, Brandi Chastain), has been eliminated from the playoffs for the first time ... maybe ever? The Storm have won three league titles but none since 2004.

USL PRO: Rochester (9-5-3) extended their lead in the National Division to five points with a 3-1 win over New York, with Kendall Jadeosingh scoring and assisting goals. The Rhinos are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. ... American Division leader Orlando City (11-3-6) has scored just once in its last four games and was shut out last week by lowly Dayton (1-10-4) and decent Charleston (8-6-4). ... The divisional leaders face off Saturday in Florida. ...

Dayton, which this week visits the L.A. Blues (5-4-4), ended a six-game losing streak (seven, including U.S. Open Cup) with the 0-0 draw at Orlando. The Dutch Lions followed with a 2-2 tie at Harrisburg (7-4-4), which needed a stoppage-time goal by Andrew Welker to split the points. ... Former UCLA defender Mike Zaher assisted Alex Caskey's winner in Charleston's 1-0 win over Orlando. ... Archrivals Richmond (9-5-3) and Charlotte (7-6-4) traded 2-1 away wins. ... Antigua Barracuda (7-11-1) fell to the National basement with their fifth and sixth straight losses. With 24 points, the islanders would be third in the National Division, ahead of the Blues.

USL PRO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday
Orlando City 0, Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Richmond Kickers 1 (William 38), Charlotte Eagles 2 (Bundu 69, Bryant 90)
Antigua Barracuda 0, Wilmington Hammerheads 1 (Mulholland 69)
Rochester Rhinos 3 (Ferdinand 4, Jadeosingh 13, Rosenlund 40), FC New York 1 (Hoffer 44)
Saturday
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2 (Flunder 59, Lundberg 83), FC New York 1 (Arteaga 85)
Charleston Battery 1 (Caskey 62), Orlando City 0
Charlotte Eagles 1 (Toby 88), Richmond Kickers 2 (Vercollone 46, Elcock 72)
Sunday
Harrisburg City Islanders 2 (Becerra 27, Welker 92+), Dayton Dutch Lions 2 (Kissinger 17, Copier 79)
Antigua Barracuda 2 (Robinson 48, Harvey 55), Wilmington Hammerheads 3 (Paratt 28, Guzman 42, Cuero 75)

Standings
National:
1. Rochester Rhinos 30 points; 2. Harrisburg City Islanders 25; 3. L.A. Blues 19; 4. Pittsburgh Riverhounds 18; 5. FC New York 17; 6. Dayton Dutch Lions 7
American: 1. Orlando City 39; 2. Richmond Kickers 30; 3. Charleston Battery 28; 4. Wilmington Hammerheads 27; 5. Charlotte Eagles 24; 5. Antigua Barracuda 22

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Thursday
Wilmington Hammerheads at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.
Friday
Harrisburg City Islanders at Charlotte Eagles, 5 p.m.
Dayton Dutch Lions vs. L.A. Blues at Cal State Fullerton, 8 p.m.
Saturday
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at FC New York, noon
Rochester Rhinos at Orlando City, 3:30 p.m.
Antigua Barracuda at Richmond Kickers, 4 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Wilmington Hammerheads, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday
Dayton Dutch Lions vs. L.A. Blues at Norco College, 5 p.m.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
WESTERN DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Division semifinals
Saturday

San Diego Flash 1 (Pizarro 42), Sacramento Gold 2 (Sandoval 35, Cabadas 76)
Hollywood United 3 (Bentil 17, Whitfield 31, Blanco 50), Santa Ana Winds 1 (G. Piechota 35)

This week's games
Division final
Saturday
Hollywood United vs. Sacramento Gold at Crenshaw HS (Los Angeles), 5 p.m.

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Friday
L.A. Blues 23 1 (Martinez 36), Ogden Outlaws 2 (Cornia 64, Bukoski 76)
Ventura County Fusion 1 (Zardes 87), BYU Cougars 0
Saturday
L.A. Legends 0, BYU Cougars 1 (Pugmire pen. 70)
Southern California Seahorses 1 (Chongo 84), Ogden Outlaws 1 (Cornia 67)
Sunday
Orange County Blue Star 3 (Monge 73, 84, Ramirez 78), Fresno Fuego 4 (Reinhart 23, Gravis 54, M. Blanco 81, Campbell 92+)

Standings: 1. Ventura County Fusion 34 points; 2. Fresno Fuego 30; 3. Orange County Blue Star 25; 4. Southern California Seahorses 24; 5. BYU Cougars 13; 6. L.A. Blues 23 11; 7. Ogden Outlaws 7; 8. L.A. Legends 4

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Wednesday
L.A. Legends vs. Southern California Seahorses at Inglewood HS, 6 p.m.
Thursday
Fresno Fuego vs. L.A. Blues 23 at Chukchansi Park (Fresno), 7 p.m.
Friday
Orange County Blue Star vs. Ventura County Fusion at Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.
Saturday
Ogden Outlaws vs. BYU Cougars at Bonneville HS (Washington Terrace, Utah), 5 p.m
Fresno Fuego vs. Southern California Seahorses at Chukchansi Park (Fresno), 7 p.m.
Sunday
Orange County Blue Star vs. L.A. Legends at Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.

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

Colorado Rush 2 (Kennedy 50, Horan 57), Colorado Force 1 (Gunther 39)
Wednesday
Victoria Highlanders 2 (Smith 27, Solsberg 89), Santa Clarita Blue Heat (Fernandes 34, Franco 90)
Friday
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 (Leroux 13), Santa Clarita Blue Heat 2 (Fernandes 36, Hein 54)
Saturday
Colorado Force 1 (Forbes 47), Colorado Rush 0
L.A. Strikers 0, Pali Blues 3 (Hubka 17, McCarty 32, Eddy 72)
Sunday
Seattle Sounders 1 (Reiser pen. 9), Santa Clarita Blue Heat 0

Standings: 1. Santa Clarita Blue Heat 27 points; 2. Vancouver Whitecaps 27; 3. Pali Blues 26; 4. Colorado Rush 21; 5. Seattle Sounders 15; 6. L.A. Strikers 12; 7. Colorado Force 10; 8. Victoria Highlanders 2

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Wednesday
Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. L.A. Strikers at Canyon HS (Canyon Country), 7 p.m.
Victoria Highlanders vs. Colorado Force at Bear Mountain Stadium (Langford, British Columbia), 7 p.m.
Friday
Seattle Sounders vs. Victoria Highlanders at Whatcom Community College (Bellingham, Wash.), 7:30 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Force at McLeod Athletic Park (Langley, British Columbia), 7:30 p.m.
Sunday
Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Force at Stadium HS (Tacoma, Wash.), 1 p.m.
Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. Pali Blues at Canyon HS (Canyon Country), 7 p.m.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
PACIFIC CONFERENCE
Last week's result (home team listed first)
Saturday
San Francisco Nighthawks 0, Bay Area Breeze 3
Ajax America 3, L.A. Premier FC 1
Claremont Stars 0, San Diego SeaLions 6
Orange County Waves 3, Los Al Vikings 1
California Storm 3, West Coast Wildkatz 2
Sunday
San Francisco Nighthawks 0, West Coast Wildkatz 2
San Diego SeaLions 4, Ajax America 1
L.A. Premier 0, Orange County Waves 3
Bay Area Breeze 2, Clovis Sidekicks 0
California Storm 0, North Bay FC Wave 1

Standings
Pacific-South:
1. Orange County Waves 24 points (32 overall); 2. San Diego SeaLions 24 (33); 3. Ajax America 18 (20); 4. Los Angeles Premier FC 6 (11); 5. Los Al Vikings 3 (6); 6. Claremont Stars 3 (5)
Pacific-North: 1. North Bay FC Wave 20 (30); 2. Bay Area Breeze 19 (24); 3. West Coast Wildkatz 13 (17); 4. California Storm 13 (15); 5. Clovis Sidekicks 3 (10); 6. San Francisco Nighthawks 1 (5)

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Saturday
Ajax America vs. Orange County Waves at Nansen Field (Rolling Hills Estates), 3:30 p.m.
North Bay FC Wave vs. West Coast Wildkatz at Novato HS, 5 p.m.
Clovis Sidekicks vs. Bay Area Breeze at Clovis HS, 5:30 p.m.
California Storm vs. San Francisco Nighthawks at Folsom HS, 7 p.m.
L.A. Premier vs. Claremont Stars at La Caņada HS (La Caņada Flintridge), 6 p.m.
San Diego SeaLions vs. Los Al Vikings at Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego), 7:30 p.m.
Sunday
Claremont Stars vs. Los Al Vikings at Claremont HS, 11 a.m.
San Francisco Nighthawks vs. Clovis Sidekicks at San Mateo HS, 4 p.m.
Bay Area Breeze vs. West Coast Wildkatz at Dublin HS, 7 p.m.