Albion SC Pros Outlast East Bay FC 3-2 in NPSL Friendly
Albion SC Pros (Southwest) took on East Bay FC Stompers (Golden Gate) in a thrilling early season friendly that ended in favor of the PROS. Folks, soccer is officially back in Americas Finest City. Albion SC Pros starting 2017 play down two men in Raymundo Reza and Matt Clare (1st team All-NPSL). Reza and Clare are currently under contact with the San Diego Sockers who are down to the final two months of the MASL season.
The staters for Albion SC Pros (feature photo) in the photo above are Antoine – Staats, McKenzie, Waligorski, Sanfilippo, Liborio, Cardona, Rodriguez, Ortega, Rogget, and Nicklaw. Some new names in the starting line up for PROS fans.
The game started off a bit slow for the PROS as East Bay scored the games first goal just five minutes into thanks to #25 Zanin Mahic. The goal coming off an East Bay throw in that was perfectly located into the center of the box. Mahic then headed the ball over the leaping arms of Albion Pros Goal Keeper Jean Antoine. You can see a video of the goal below.
Albion SC Pros started moving the ball on East Bay creating a ton of pressure and shots. The PROS just missed out on a chance to tie the game when Rogget nailed a header just missing the goal. The PROS continued to pressure the Stompers which resulted in another shot on goal just three minutes later. This time the PROS capitalized on the shot tying the game at 1.
The PROS Oscar Ortega took the corner kick. He placed the ball perfectly at the top of the box for his teammate to get off a laser at the right corner of the goal. Travis Nicklaw (#12) was in the right spot at the right time to trap the pass and header it into the goal past the diving arms of the Stompers keeper Jose Majano.
With a tie game both teams picked up the tempo and the game began to become more physical. The PROS getting back into the game after scoring the tying goal began to really push behind one of the best goal keepers in the NPSL in Jean Antoine. A battle began between the two keepers with Majano and Antoine trading saves.
Albion Sc Pros would capitalize in the 34th minute on another corner kick to take the 2-1 lead over the Stompers. Ortega would nail the corner kick into the box directly in-front of Majano giving second year PROS Kuba Waligorski an easy shot for the goal.
The PROS would head into the lockers after a highly contested first half leading the Stompers by a score of 2 to 1.
The East Bay Stompers would get the 1st goal of the 2nd half thanks to Khalid Arramdani in the 49th minute. But Albion SC Pros GK Antoine was injured during the save attempt. The play took all of the air out of Mission Bay Stadium as it looked like the injury was very bad. Looked to the crowd as a possible torn ACL or MCL. We walked over to the training table after the injury to check out how “Super Jean” was doing. He was being stretched out on the training table which was a good sign. I don’t expect to see him play in two weeks as the PROS will look to have him healthy for the start of conference play.
PROS back up GK Mario Miranda came on to finish the game. Miranda had a few nice saves and managed to pitch a shutout during his 41 minutes of work. The game began to grow more and more chippy as the officials let the teams play. Throughout the game 3 yellow cards were awarded including 2 yellows to the Stompers and 1 yellow to the PROS.
The PROS scored the winning goal shortly after the 90th minute of the game in stoppage time on a free kick thanks to crowd favorite David Luquen. Luquen firing the ball into the far right back pocket of the goal past the diving reach of Majano.
A few minute later the hard-fought battle was over as whistles sounded at Mission Bay High School. The score board reading Albion SC Pros 3 and the East Bay FC Stompers 2. An amazing match by any soccer lovers standards. This was a play off caliber match to kick of the 2017 Albion SC Pros season.
The PROS will return to Mission Bay High School on February 25th to face Phoenix Rising of the USL. This will be the PROS second match against a team from the USL. Last season the PROS defeated the La Galaxy 2 (2-0). So this should be another great contest. Information on tickets can be found here: Tickets.
Here is our full highlight video from the match including post game comments from Albion SC Pros head coach Ziggy Korytoski. PS: We will add a YouTube link to the video later today to make it easier to watch. For now just click on the link below. For best quality please watch it on Facebook until we can get the video on YouTube.
Feature Photo Credit: San Diego Sports Domination CEO & Founder David Frerker
Twitter Video Credit: San Diego Sports Domination Senior Writer John Kegley.
Photo Credit: Information: February 11th, 2017. Albion SC Pros vs. Easy Bay FC Stompers at Mission Bay High School. Mandatory Photo Credit: Amanda SanMartin of San Diego Sports Domination.
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