Los Angeles Soccer: FC Santa Clarita Storm

Santa Clarita on top after shutout

April, 24, 2012
4/24/12
9:40
PM PT
The Fullerton Rangers slapped around FC Santa Clarita en route to a U.S. Open Cup berth, debuting with a 5-0 romp a month ago. They discovered a very different foe in the rematch.

Tyler Coombes (Palmdale/Palmdale HS and Cal State L.A.) and Alex Harlley (Rosamond/Rosamond HS) scored early goals, and the Storm (2-0-1) -- revitalized by a new coach (Jose Meza) and lots of new talent -- pulled out a 2-0 victory over the weekend to vault over the Rangers (2-1-0) and to the top the Southern Conference standings in the National Premier Soccer League's Western Division.

Coombes, coming off a five-goal, NPSL player-of-the-week performance in a 9-1 rout of Phoenix a week earlier, tallied in the third minute, heading home Stephen Martines' corner kick. Harlley, a Togo-born forward who scored 45 goals as a senior this season at Rosamond High School, first-timed from 22 yards a Matt Shaxton cross in the 27th.

Santa Clarita leads the San Diego Flash (2-0-1) on goal difference.

Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental claimed its first victory, winning, 2-1, at San Diego Boca on goals by Robert Pate (Chatsworth/Chatsworth HS and Cal State Northridge) and Omar de la Piedra (L.A. Mission College). The Conejos' home opener, at Cal Lutheran's Rolland Stadium, is Saturday night against Santa Clarita.

The Bay Area Ambassadors play Sunday for a U.S. Open Cup berth against Stanislaus United Turlock Express, which beat Paso Robles' Naples FC, 5-2, in the U.S. Club Soccer qualifying final.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Paul Islas scored twice late in the first half as defending Southwest Division champ Fresno Fuego opened the PDL season with a 4-1 win over L.A. Misioneros.

Cesar Rivera, the L.A. Blues' top scorer last year, netted the lone goal for the L.A. side, which, a club official said, includes former Chivas USA midfielder Gerson Mayen and former Galaxy defender Mike Randolph, although neither featured in the Central Valley. The return game is Sunday at Carver Middle School in Los Angeles.

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LOCALS: Coombes' quintet leads FCSC

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
8:55
PM PT
FC Santa Clarita's inaugural National Premier Soccer League home game couldn't have started much worse. Three minutes in and the Phoenix Monsoon were celebrating.

The next hour was an onslaught, with the Storm -- formerly Rattlers FC in the Antelope Valley -- scoring nine goals, five of them before halftime, en route to a simple triumph Saturday in the West Division's Southern Conference.

Tyler Coombes (Palmdale/Palmdale HS and Cal State L.A.) was chosen the NPSL's national player of the week after scoring five goals. He had a hat trick by the 43rd minute.

He netted one goal more than Jason Jones in Northern Conference leader Sacramento Gold's 9-0 destruction of the San Francisco Stompers the following day.

FCSC (1-0-1) is second in the NPSL West-Southern, two points behind the Fullerton Rangers (2-0-0), who notched their second shutout victory as Eder Roldan and David Arvizu scored second-half goals to beat visiting FC Hasental, 2-0, on Sunday. Hasental, from the Conejo Valley, has been shut out in each of its first two games.

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LOCALS: Rangers' start is strong

April, 11, 2012
4/11/12
12:46
AM PT
The Fullerton Rangers' team in the National Premier Soccer League isn't exactly new, but the name and organization are, so last weekend's West Division opener in Phoenix was a debut of sorts.

A winning debut.

The Rangers, who last year made the NPSL playoffs as the Santa Ana Winds and already posted three wins in qualifying en route to a berth in the U.S. Open Cup, received late goals from Julio Madrigal (Inglewood/Inglewood HS and L.A. Harbor College/Cal State Dominguez Hills) and Carlos Godinez to pull away to a 3-0 victory at debutant Phoenix Monsoon.

Madrigal also assisted Cuban forward Eder Roldan's 15th-minute opener for Fullerton, which is second in the Southern Conference, behind San Diego Flash, which routed Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental, 4-0, as Brandon Zuniga scored a hat trick.

So Cal's other new NPSL team, FC Santa Clarita Storm -- formerly Antelope Valley-based Rattlers FC -- settled for a 2-2 draw at San Diego Boca in its first game. Steven Martines set up Alex Harlley (Rosamond/Rosamond HS) and then added one of his own to give FCSC a two-goal lead by the 32nd minute, but NPSL Player of the Week Juan Bernal conveted a 65th-minute penalty and netted an equalizer 15 minutes later.

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