Albion Pros host FC Hasental in Albion’s last home match of the National Premier Soccer League season. Last time these two teams met, Albion Pros secured a hard-fought 3 – 1 win on the road in Thousand Oaks. Matt Clare scored two for Albion and Felipe Liborio clinched the game in the dying moments with a well-taken solo effort, despite the team being reduced to 10 men. FC Hasental will be looking to rebound from a heartbreaking loss last week to the other San Diego based team, NC Battalion.
Hasental, affectionately known as “Los Conejos,” had earned a 2-1 lead at halftime, but ended up surrendering the scoreline and losing 4-3 despite playing with a man advantage for the majority of the second half. Albion Pros continued their undefeated season with a gritty win at surging SoCal SC, where the “Pros” converted three penalties in a hostile environment.
Now Albion turns their attention to the playoff chase in the final weeks of the season. Albion Pros have clinched a playoff berth, but will be looking to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs with two more wins this season. Meanwhile, FC Hasental is jostling for position in the top four of the Southwest Conference and will certainly need to take at least a point home from this difficult road trip.
Here are 3 things to look out for as Albion Pros host FC Hasental.
- Matt Clare Absence
Albion Pros will be without key player and leading goal scorer Matt Clare after last week’s red card. Clare leads the team with 7 goals this year and had scored the first two penalties against SoCal SC. However, in a brief moment he lost his usually cool demeanor and deservedly was given his marching orders. How does Albion make up for Clare’s goal scoring production? It seems to be a perfect opportunity for winger David Luquen and forward Tre Hayes to get back on the scoresheet to earn three points for the hosts.
- Jean Antoine Returns
Standout Goalkeeper Jean Antoine rejoins the squad after sitting out last week’s road trip with an injury. Stand-in keeper Robbie Gogatz made some fine saves to preserve the win last week, but Antoine provides a different confidence to his backline. Antoine has only allowed 2 goals all year and can be regarded as the standout goalkeeper in the National Premier Soccer League at the moment. Will he be given the gloves to start or will the coaching staff be cautious with his health since Albion have already clinched a playoff berth?
- San Diego Soccer Saturday
Albion Pros have dubbed this weekend’s matchup as Fan Appreciation Day, complete with a Tailgate Party from 4:30pm-6:30pm, which will include free food, live music from San Diego Reggae band Raggabond, fans meeting Pros players, face painters and more. There is a soccer fever in this country at the moment with the USMNT earning a 2-1 win over Ecuador to qualify for the semifinals of Copa America. Mexico will also be playing their quarterfinal match on Saturday, but if you want to watch LIVE soccer. Albion Pros will be the best event in town!