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SockersFC dominate Katy 1895 FC

Clifford gets 1st win as head coach

MRT Reporter Christopher Hadorn- The extra practice time on the pitch seemed to pay dividends for Midland-Odessa Sockers FC Saturday night. Eduardo Bonatto had two goals and an assist to propel the Sockers’ to a 4-0 victory over Katy 1895 FC in their National Premier Soccer League opener at Grande Communications Stadium. The Sockers (1-0-0, 3 points) overwhelmed Katy (0-1-0) with a relentless attack, which helped them to a 32-3 advantage in total shots, a 13-2 edge in corner kicks and a 19-0 advantage on shots on goal. The dominant showing gave Johnny Clifford his first win as Sockers’ head coach. The victory came 10 days after the Sockers fell 2-1 to FC Denver in the opening round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a match in which Midland-Odessa only had a few practices to prepare for with its roster predominantly of collegiate players. “It was a really, really intense week and a half of preseason (practices),” Clifford said. “We’ve been able to get stripped down to the basics all the way to our individual defending, to how we play as a unit. I think it really showed (Saturday). I thought we looked comfortable and composed and we did a very professional job.” In the 18th minute, Bonatto scored Midland-Odessa’s first goal on a header, with an assist from midfielder Erwin Regules. “He scored his first goal from a header, which he will probably tell you himself that he’s not known for,” Clifford said of Bonatto. “He found himself in the pockets the whole game. He looked very dangerous. Two goals and an assist, you can’t really ask for much more.” In the 44th minute, forward Andres Ruiz booted a ball into the upper-right corner of the goal on an assist from Bonatto, pushing the Sockers to a 2-0 halftime lead. Bonatto later rocketed a free kick from the 20-yard line into the upper-left corner of the goal, pushing the Sockers to a 3-0 advantage in the 61st minute. “We had a pretty long week,” said Bonatto, a Brazilian forward who plays at William Penn University. “We had basically seven days, eight days of work. Last Wednesday, that (U.S. Open Cup loss) wasn’t the game that we wanted. “After all the work we put in the entire week, we are basically tired of each other. We were playing every day – morning and afternoon. We played against each other, fighting for a spot. I believe everybody was ready to play. It was a really nice game (Saturday) for us. I think everybody was looking good on the field, so I’m hoping the season just goes better from now.” The Sockers capped their scoring in the 90th minute in stoppage time when Evan McLauchlan scored on a breakaway on a pass from Trevor Amann. Katy goalkeeper Sebastian Bueno shined in a losing effort with 16 saves. The Sockers return to NPSL play when they visit Dallas City FC at 7:30 p.m. Friday. [email protected] | Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports



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