Sockers to Host Houston on Saturday
MIDLAND—Sockers FC (1-3-1, 4 points) returns home to Grande Communications Stadium on Saturday for a showdown against the Houston Dutch Lions (1-2-2, 5 points)
After one month of the 2014 Premier Development League campaign, the Sockers have shown considerable growth on the field and in the lockerroom, if not the standings just yet.
The Sockers (1-3-1, 4 points) enter June in fifth place in the Mid-South division following a gut-wrenching, 2-1 loss in Austin last Saturday. Leading the defending national champions, 1-0, at halftime, the Club was resolute in the second half, but could not add to their lead. The Aztex clinched the win with a goal in second half stoppage time.
With nine matches remaining, though, the team has an opportunity to claim second place in the division and the franchise’s second playoff berth.
Beginning this Saturday, the team plays four consecutive games—and five of its next seven—at home, and the Sockers know that picking up several much-needed points during this homestand will determine their postseason fate.
“This is an extremely important period for us, but it’s also a very fortunate period for us,” said Sockers assistant general manager and director of operations Jeff VonHolle. “Most teams don’t get the opportunity to spend three weeks at home, so we need to take advantage and put some wins on the board.”
On Saturday, the Sockers host the Houston Dutch Lions (1-2-2, 5 points), the first team they must pass in the standings. Then, they “double up” against the Mississippi Brilla on June 12 and 14. The Brilla are new to the PDL Mid-South this year, and they are currently in second place with seven points (2-1-1). Finally, on June 21, the Sockers conclude the homestand with a matchup against the archrival Laredo Heat. Laredo (1-1-2, 5 points) is tied with the Dutch Lions for third in the division.
The Dutch Lions come to West Texas as the last leg of their tour around the division; in seven days (May 31-June 7), they will play three matches and travel from Mississippi to Laredo to Midland. That schedule could help take some of the “roar” out of a Houston offense that already has been shut out twice this season. Defender Lukas Simon and forward Javier Vasquez, each with two goals, are the only players who have found the net for the Dutch Lions this season.
However, the Sockers also need to find more production from their offense in order to take advantage of the results of the defense and goalkeeper Clint Long (the team is allowing just 1.4 goals per game but scoring only 0.8 goals per game).
Ultimately, the team realizes that earning points on this stretch will be crucial to earning a return to the playoffs.
Saturday, June 7: vs. Houston Dutch Lions; first 500 fans receive a free pair of team socks
Thursday, June 12: vs. Mississippi Brilla; Thirsty Thursday—half-price beverages
Saturday, June 14: vs. Mississippi Brilla; first 500 fans receive a free mini-soccer ball
Saturday, June 21: vs. Laredo Heat; first 500 kids (14-Younger) receive a free Sockers jerseyTICKETS:
Tickets for this Saturday match—featuring team Socker socks to the first 500 fans—are available online (www.sockersfc.org), over the phone (432.520.2255), or at the Security Bank Ballpark ticket office. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Click here for tickets
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