Sockers and El Paso Play to a Tie

 MIDLAND, TX—Sockers FC, formerly the West Texas Sockers, opened the 2013 Premier Development League Season on Saturday night at Grande Communications Stadium with a 2-2 tie against the El Paso Patriots.

With a new nickname, new kits, and a new core of impact players, the Sockers (0-0-1, 1 point) began a new chapter in the franchise’s history with an exciting first half of play.  After a 2012 season in which goal scoring was a constant struggle, the team needed just 12 minutes to find the net for the first time in 2013.  Second-year veteran, and team captain, Andres Maldenado scored on a low line drive from six yards out after a crossing pass from midfielder Vitales Atemafac. 

After controlling the pace of play for much of the first half, the Sockers expanded their lead to 2-0 in the 39th minute when Jose Anchondo set up Len Smith III from 11 yards. 

As impressive as the Sockers looked for the first 45 minutes, the Patriots (0-0-1, 1 point) made significant adjustments in the second half.  Just ten minutes following the resumption of play, forward Naoyas Aizawa’s unassisted goal cut the Sockers’ lead to 2-1. 

After Sockers goalkeeper Robin Allard denied several other Patriot scoring opportunities, forward George Lara—a former Socker—tied the match on a breakaway in the 73rd minute. 

The Sockers are now 4-2-3 all-time at home versus the Patriots and have never lost to them at home to open the season.  Dating to last season, this match marked just the second time in the past five home games that the Sockers have scored multiple goals.

Continuing the strong rivalry between the two clubs, the match was very physical on both sides, yet fouls were 15-3 against the Sockers.  Zero fouls were called against El Paso in the second half.  In the first half, Sockers midfielder Andrew Power and Patriots midfielder Francisco De Anda were issued yellow cards within one minute of each other for “careless fouls.” 

Making his PDL debut for the Sockers, goalkeeper Robin Allard made seven saves.

The Sockers make their first road trip of the season on May 17, as they travel to the four-time defending Mid-South division champion Laredo Heat.  The team then returns home for a May 23 Thirsty Thursday against the Houston Dutch Lions and youth jersey giveaway night against Oklahoma City FC on May 25.

May 11 Mid-South Scores

Austin Aztex 2 at Oklahoma City FC 1

Laredo Heat 1 at Houston Dutch Lions 1


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