Nelson Pizarro scored one of three San Diego Flash goals in their first match against Santa Clarita Storm. Photo Credit: San Diego Flash Soccer Club
Soccer News: SD Flash Look for Undefeated Season with Match against Santa Clarita
With one game left in the regular National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) season, the San Diego Flash are on the verge of going undefeated in just their second year of league competition. Since joining the NPSL in 2011, the Flash have only lost one regular season match, against San Diego Boca FC in their first season. The team has only lost two other games, a first-round playoff in 2011 and a preseason Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier this year, also against Boca.
The Flash hope to continue their momentum through the final regular season game this weekend against Santa Clarita Storm and through the playoffs to the NPSL Championship Series, to be held in San Diego July 27-29. San Diego will host the playoff series at their home field of Del Norte High School.
The final regular season match will be a challenge for both teams. The Storm will be guaranteed a spot in the post-season series if they defeat San Diego, while the Flash are determined to deny their rivals that chance and earn the undefeated season. The game will kick off at 5:00 p.m. at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 7.
Flash Head Coach Warren Barton believes that all of the pressure will be on Santa Clarita as they struggle for a playoff berth. While going undefeated for the season would be a great bonus, Barton feels that the most important fact is continuing the high level at which the Flash are playing.
“It doesn’t matter if we don’t go through the season undefeated,” said Barton. “The reality is that we are playing some great soccer at the moment and we will be a strong finals contender regardless of Saturdays result. The Storm, on the other hand, know they must win and win in front of their home fans to see playoff action. We know this and I’m afraid to say it’s not in our nature to take a game lightly. As you can see when we played Fullerton (who were in the same situation) last week, we played a strong match against them for the win.”
The NPSL Western Conference Finals start next week when the Flash host the second place team (still to be determined) in the West-Northern Division on Saturday, July 14, at Del Norte High (7:00 p.m. Kick-Off).
The NPSL Championship weekend will be a 'Final Four' style, three-day event. Winners of four Conferences of the 49 teams nationwide will earn their way to San Diego through playoffs which begin in mid-July.
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