July 11, 2012
News and notes from around the league
The Georgia Revolution will host Chattanooga FC in a Southeast Conference playoff game on Saturday July 14.
The Revolution defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves 3-1 on Tuesday, July 3, to clinch first place in the Southeast Conference East division. Chattanooga won the Southeast Conference West division with a 4-1 victory over Jacksonville FC.
The game started slow for the Revs, as the Silverbacks had two chances in the first 15 seconds, but keeper Zack Schultze made two great saves. The deadlock was broken in the eighth minute, when Kwado Poku found Riley Sumpter with a cross giving the Revs a 1-0 lead. Poku added a goal for himself in the 38th minute and the Revs went into halftime with a 2-0 advantage.
After an extra long halftime, due to lightning, the Revs came out fired up and Clarke Bentley extended the Revolution lead to three.
South Central Cup winners
The Galveston Pirates have earned the NPSL's South Central Cup. The South Central Division teams played as provisional members o f the NPSL this season. Galveston finished the schedule with four points from the four games they played against the other members of the division, but also played a grueling slate of exhibition games against teams from Texas, and against Mexican side CF Monterrey’s reserve team.
"I'm very proud of the guys," said Pirates coach Brendan Keyes. "It was an up and down season, but it is nice to win some hardware."
Unbeaten no more
The SD Flash overcame a three-goal second half deficit with FC Santa Clarita Storm but fell agonizingly short of an undefeated regular season record. The Storm (7 - 4 - 3), who themselves were fighting for their playoff lives, were able to rebound from an 88th minute equalizer from the Flash to fire home one more goal in the 90th minute. That last minute goal handed the Flash (11 - 2 - 1) their only loss of the 2012 season by a score of 4-3 and saw the Storm join the Flash in the Conference finals next weekend.
The Western Conference Playoff semifinals will pit the #1 placed Flash (South) vs the #2 placed Sonoma Sol (North). In the other match, #1 North, Bay Area Ambassadors (9 - 4 - 1) will face off against #2 South, FC Santa Clarita Storm.
The Flash locked up the West-South Conference Championship a number of weeks ago and will have home field advantage over the Sol (7 - 4 - 3) in the postseason. The match is scheduled for Saturday July 14 at Del Norte High School near Poway (7pm kick-off).
Player of the week
FC Sonic forward Leslie Fraser has been selected as the National Premier Soccer League Player of the Week for the week ending July 8.
Fraser came off the bench in the 31st minute of Saturday’s match against the AC Crusaders. Less than a minute later, he won a 50-50 ball and found Joe Sales wide open in front of the goal and ready to give FC Sonic a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Fraser was on the receiving end of a pass from Sales, then beat two AC defenders and the ‘keeper to make the score 2-0.
FC Sonic went on to a 3-0 win that clinched the top seed in the NPSL Northeast Conference playoffs.
The National Premier Soccer League Championships will be hosted by the San Diego Flash from July 27 - 29. The winner from each of the four Conferences (of the 49 teams nationwide) will then compete in the event to determine the 2012 NPSL Champion.