The new blood takes on the old guard in this San Diego’s NPSL “Game of the Week” .
Albion Pros, the newest team in the National Premier Soccer League’s Southwest Conference takes on Temecula FC, a mainstay of the division entering its third season. Albion Pros look to climb to the top of the NPSL table in what is going to be an electric contest. Temecula FC will be playing in their first official match of the 2016 season and are looking to derail Albion Pros’ aspirations for a National NPSL title.
Albion Pros got a taste for the level of competition in the league after traveling to Riverside to battle against last year’s Runner Up, Deportivo Coras. In a hotly contested match, full of tense moments, Albion Pros prevailed 1-0 to open the season. A massive standout performance from Goalkeeper Jean Antoine saw him make four outstanding saves and earned him a nomination for Mitre National NPSL Player and Team of the Week Honors. Albion Pros are hoping that he won’t be tested as much as he was against Coras, while Temecula FC is looking to breach the goal for the first time in the 2016 NPSL season.
- Weather will it be a factor?
San Diego rarely rains but the weather forecast is looking like it will be wet throughout the weekend. Luckily, Albion plays on artificial turf at Mission Bay HS Stadium, so the pitch will not be waterlogged and will play as expected. The wet weather will make the ball zip around faster and could cause problems for defenders and GK Antoine. The wet weather might suit Albion Pros with their quick pass-and-move style. Can the Albion Pros adjust to the inclement weather to produce another result against an experienced Temecula FC? Will the atmosphere in the stands match preseason games that averaged over 1,500 fans with the wet weather?
- Players to Watch: GK Jean Antoine, Center Defensive Midfielder Luis Cardona, and Forwards Matt Clare, David Luquen, Tre Hayes
GK Jean Antoine earned all the plaudits last week with Man of the Match honors after making superb saves against an attack-minded Coras team. However, Cardona and Luquen also stood out with their constant involvement and contributions. Cardona provided the assist for the goal and was an all-around menace in the midfield winning countless balls to feed to the forwards. Luquen constantly had the outside back on his heels with his inspired dribbling and penetrating runs. Clare and Hayes provided a constant danger in front of goal and solid link up play with midfielders. They will be looking to open their scoring account for the 2016 season.
- The Event, the Passion, the Fans.
Albion Pros and Temecula FC have advertised this game for weeks now and looking to fill the stadium. The wet weather might dampen (pun intended) attendance, but the place will still be noisy. Special Guests American Outlaws, the San Diego chapter of the United States Soccer Supporters Group, will combine with Albion Pros Supporter’s group The Deep End to bring the constant cheering, songs and drum beat! In addition, Albion Pros host a pregame autograph session to all youth players’ 5-12 years old in the Free Skills Clinic (3:00pm-4:00pm) at Mission Bay Stadium prior to the game. They also have a juggling kids zone, face paint, balloon animals, Primos Mexican food and chair massages for all fans to enjoy. Post game, Albion Pros players love to sign autographs and take pictures with all the fans after the game or share a post game bite to eat at TapRoom San Diego.