Proving there is no love lost between these teams, less than three minutes into the contest the Flash’s Larry Emeanua was involved in an on-field altercation with a Hollywood player. At first it appeared that it might be a double-yellow card situation, but instead the referee showed the red card to the visiting player for hitting Emeanua in the face. Hollywood protested the call, but the officials were firm and the visitors were forced to play a man down for the balance of the game. Discussing the call afterwards, SD Flash head coach Warren Barton commented, “You can’t go around punching people in the head, that’s the rules. They tried to do it twice. They’re going to deny it. I wasn’t worried whether there were ten men or eleven men. We beat them last time, we beat them this time. We do our talking on the field.”
In spite of losing a man, Hollywood United played hard and kept the game close for the first half. For twenty minutes it was attack and counter-attack until SD Flash forward Larry Emeanua collected a long outlet on a counter-attack, beat one defender, and fired a shot past the diving goalie into the net. Hollywood immediately drove for the equalizer, but strong defense denied them the score and the Flash took the ball back into the visitor’s territory. Then at the 28-minute mark Ralph Pace took a Miguel Gomez corner kick and shot a header at the goal. The shot bounced off the turf and hit the crossbar, ricocheted back down with a wicked topspin, and squirted past the surprised goalie into the net for a 2-0 Flash lead. The final minutes of the half saw several clashes between players, including a yellow card offense against Hollywood for charging Flash goalie Justin Meyers in the box.
Between halves SD Flash awarded tickets to the upcoming Real Madrid v Chivas de Guadalajara game that will be played at Qualcomm Stadium. SD Flash and the San Diego Sports Commission have partnered with the World Football Challenge to help promote the game. Two winners were chosen for a pair of tickets, and two young fans won the chance to be on the field during the game as ball boys and four tickets for their families to come watch. The Flash also gave away pairs of tickets in an online contest through their Facebook page.
In the second half, Hollywood United came out looking to score early and often. They managed the “early,” netting a shot in the second minute of the period. However the “often” would be left for SD Flash. Taking advantage of his strong bench, head coach Barton began substituting new legs for tired, with good results. In the 52nd minute of the game, newly subbed-in Nick Perera struck for SD Flash, taking a feed from Nelson Pizarro and beating the Hollywood goalie. The visitors worked hard to keep the home team out, denying several more Flash attacks, but could not stop every attempt. In the 76th minute Sergio Valle-Ortiz ran in on the ball as the Hollywood goalie was coming out to clear it and fired a shot into the net to bring the score to 4-1. The Flash struck one last time, in the first minute of stoppage time, when Nick Perera took a feed in front of the net and easily beat the keeper once again for the final 5-1 score.
The game had more than its share of hard shots, with several yellow cards on both sides. “It was a physical game, there’s no doubt,” said coach Barton. “Their intention was to try and be physical with us and we kept our discipline (and) our professionalism.”
Afterwards, several members of the team and staff talked about the game. “It was just fun, you know,” said Nick Perera. “It was an open game because they got a red card so early on. There were a lot of gaps for us to exploit and we were moving the ball around pretty well, I thought.” SD Flash goalie Justin Meyers credited the team with playing well the day after a tough road win. “The defense played very well, midfield played well with playmaking and our forwards finished the ball, which was the key to the game.” CEO Clent Alexander attempted to put his feelings into words. “This year has been magical. All these players just came out of the woodwork from the San Diego soccer community,” Alexander said. “We all worked very hard, and for us to do this in our very first year (first place in the division), we’re all extremely proud of the guys and their performance on the field.”
Next up, the SD Flash host their very 1st playoff match against the 2010 defending Champion Sacramento Gold at 7pm, July 9th at Westview HS in San Diego, Ca.
Visit the SD Flash website for more details: http://www.SanDiegoFlashSoccer.com
The SD Flash Soccer Club is a Professional Men's Outdoor Soccer Club based in San Diego, California; that plays in the National Premier Soccer League. The team is formed from talented, local players and provides quality entertainment at games in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
The National Premier Soccer League is a United States soccer league recognized by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and FIFA. The league is officially affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and teams can qualify for the U.S. Open Cup. As of 2011, the NPSL consists of 38 teams nationwide.
The SD Flash Soccer Club is owned and operated by San Diego Soccer Partners, Inc. and is in the process of becoming the 1st Publicly Traded Soccer Club in the U.S.
Clenton A. Alexander
CEO / General Partner
The SD Flash Soccer Club
# # #
San Diego Soccer Partners, Inc. is a Sports and Marketing firm. It owns and operates the SD Flash Soccer Club and several Internet Properties.