July 5 2012
News and notes from around the league
A child shall lead them
The Galveston Pirates made National Premier Soccer League history with the signing of 16-year-old Blane Nauck from Alvin, Texas. Nauck is believed to be the youngest player ever to suit up for an NPSL squad.
A product of the Pirates Academy, Nauck tried out for the senior squad last week, and was added to the roster.
"I am so excited to join Galveston Pirates and play at this high level in a national league," said Nauck. "It's a great opportunity for me to show Coach (Brendan) Keyes I can play at this level. It's one thing to do it in training and another in a real game."
"I have coached Blane for many years, so it's great to have a kid come through from the academy," said Keyes. "Blane was one of my youth players at Alvin Soccer Club and he won MVP at the Brendan Keyes Soccer Academy at 12 and 13 years old, so I knew he had potential to go all the way in the game."
The 16-year old can play either on the wing or as a striker.
Tsunami grab another home victory
In what head coach Alan Exley called one of their "best offensive games," the North Coast Tsunami F.C. battled in the rain to a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Stompers Saturday afternoon. The result marks the team's third win in its inaugural season, all of which have occurred at home.
"I thought it was one of our best offensive games," said Exley. "I didn't think the score really reflected the game. It was a fairly even game, but we had most of the dangerous chances."
In the 52nd minute, Roland Demombynes broke free on the right side and found Trice Smith eight yards off the endline. Smith volleyed the cross past goalkeeper Steven Christensen to put the Tsunami up 1-0.
San Francisco had a chance to equalize just minutes later, when Jason Crist attempted a bicycle kick. Smith, who was defending Crist, went down after contact to the head, but goalkeeper Tito Guerrero tipped the shot just enough to hit the post and ricochet out. The Tsunami cleared it out of the 18-yard box, and although Smith remained on the ground, play didn't stop. Taking advantage of the Tsunami focused on Smith's well-being, Crist found the ball, dribbled in and found the back of the net.
"When we were up one-nil, we worked hard, looked comfortable and deserved to be ahead," said Exley. "To give away just a poor goal—to assume the referee is just going to blow the whistle and have everybody stop, allowing a guy to just dribble up the middle and get a shot while the ball is still in play is a terrible error. It put us under a bit of pressure when we were playing them out of the game. It really brought them back to life."
Guerrero made eight saves to keep his team in the game, including a crucial save off a 20-yard free kick.
In the 84th minute, the Tsunami found the go-ahead when Pete Fuller sent a long cross to the back post, tempting Christensen off his line. Demombynes beat Christensen to the ball, heading it into the back of the net—with Junior Reynoza there to ensure it crossed the line.
In a must-win game for playoff contention against FC Buffalo, Sergey Molchanovich¬¬ scored the winning goal and assisted on the other three goals that Greater Binghamton scored to defeat Buffalo FC 4-1at home. The win puts GBFC on the fourth and final playoff spot with one game remaining for both teams.
Morris County Colonials goalkeeper Chris Duggan made it two shut outs in a row in posting a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over FC Sonic last Thursday. That followed a shut out on Sunday vs Jr Lone Star.
Juan “Kichi” Perez-Bernal recorded his first hat trick for the SD Flash in Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Fullerton Rangers. Playing the first hour at outside midfield before shifting to forward, Perez-Bernal scored on a curling sharp-angled shot, a diving header and a chip shot over the ‘keeper on a breakaway.
Player of the week
Brooklyn Italians midfielder Cristian Uy has been selected as the National Premier Soccer League Player of the week for the week ending July 1.
Uy followed up a two-assist performance against Seacoast United Mariners on Saturday with a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Seacoast United Phantoms on Sunday. Altogether, he played a role in five of Brooklyn’s eight goals over a weekend that lifted the Italians to the top of the Northeast-Atlantic Conference.
The San Diego Flash (11 – 2 – 0) continued their march toward an undefeated season with a 5-1 win in the top of the table clash versus the second-place Fullerton Rangers (7 – 3 – 3). The match was littered with highlights both on and off-the field but it was the spectacular hat trick from Flash player Juan ‘Kichi’ Perez-Bernal that had the biggest home crowd of the season cheering the loudest.
The Flash finish the regular season on the road against Fútbol Club Santa Clarita this Saturday, July 7. The following weekend San Diego will host a first round matchup of the National Premier Soccer League playoffs.