Sockers Host Patriots in Scharbauer Sports Complex Doubleheader
Sockers FC looks to snap a three-game losing streak at home versus the archrival El Paso Patriots on Saturday night at Grande Communications Stadium. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m., with kickoff at 7:30. Following the conclusion of the Sockers match and the RockHounds’ baseball game next door, fans at both stadiums will be treated to a spectacular fireworks show.
This will be the second match between the two teams, as they opened the Premier Development League season on May 11 with a 2-2 tie in Midland. Following the June 1 game, the Sockers (0-3-1, 1 point) play three consecutive road matches, not returning home until June 27.
With a schedule that featured three of their first four matches at home this season, the Sockers had hoped to secure some points in the standings for the inevitable long road trips throughout the summer. Unfortunately, the team has been unable to find consistency in the backfield; as a result, the team currently sits in sixth in the PDL Mid-South division. A win over the Patriots, however, would move the Sockers into a three-way tie for fourth.
Similarly, the Patriots (1-2-1, 4 points) are also seeking consistency. Since the season-opening tie in Midland, the Patriots dropped consecutive matches to Oklahoma City FC (3-1 in Oklahoma City, 3-0 in El Paso) before handily defeating the Houston Dutch Lions in El Paso on May 25.
The Patriots feature two former Sockers—defender Sabas Ruiz and forward George Lara. Lara scored the game-tying goal on May 11. Recently, the Patriots have made several roster moves, signing multiple new players from Mexico.
The Sockers have also intimated at some key lineup changes, especially with the departure of midfielder Andrew Power, who will be returning to Midwestern State to complete summer courses in advance of his senior year at the university. Power is the only Socker to have played all 360 minutes this season and is tied for second on the team with four fouls.
· -The Sockers are 4-2-3 all-time at home against the Patriots.
· -El Paso forward Naoyas Aizawa is tied for 12th in the nation with six points (3 goals).
· - Sockers goalkeeper Robin Allard is tied for 4th in the nation with 19 saves.
Previous Match Between the Clubs (May 11, 2013): Sockers Start Hot, Withstand Late El Paso Rally for 2-2 Tie
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.
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