San Diego Sockers vs. Harrisburg Heat
San Diego’s favorite and only professional soccer team are champions having earned the title of 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 PASL Champions, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 U.S. Open Cup Champions and 14-time Indoor Soccer Champions. Here are the Game Notes for the upcoming match Harrisburg Heat (0-9) vs. San Diego Sockers (7-3) on Saturday, January 10th, 2015 when the Sockers host the Heat at home – Valley View Casino Center.
The San Diego Sockers (7-3) wrap up a two-game home stand when they take on the Harrisburg Heat (0-9) at the VVCC. The Sockers need a victory to keep their one-game lead on the Ontario Fury, who defeated Harrisburg last night 10-9 in Ontario. This is the second meeting between the current iteration of the Sockers (the third, or Sockers-3) and the Heat, although previous iterations of the franchises have battled dating back to the 1980s. The Sockers beat Harrisburg 10-3 on January 25th, 2013 in Pennsylvania, the final game of San Diego’s 48-game winning streak.
LAST GAME: SOCKERS 18, SURGE 5
The Sockers used a 5-0 first quarter to establish a dominant lead they would never surrender in defeating the Sacramento Surge 18-5 on Saturday, January 3rd in front of 3,254 fans at the Valley View Casino Center. Kraig Chiles scored five goals but was one of many offensive contributors on a night the Sockers matched their franchise best (as Sockers-3) for goals in a game. Brazilian rookie Guto scored his first two goals, Evan McNeley recorded two goals and two assists and Chiky Luna had a goal with three assists as San Diego scored six goals in the third and fourth quarters to break the game wide open.
CONSISTENCY: KRAIG CHILES
Sockers captain Chiles has recorded at least one goal in every game this season but has really turned it on over the past four, netting fifteen times. A six-goal game against the Seattle Impact was followed by a hat trick in Missouri, a power play goal in St. Louis, then five more against Sacramento. His season total of 24 goals is tied for third in the MASL and his 30 points are tied for seventh. In addition, according to MASL/PASL Stats, Chiles has recorded at least one point in 55 consecutive matches dating back to November 19th, 2011 when he was held pointless in a 7-6 OT win against the Anaheim Bolts.
PERERA SETS CAREER HIGH FOR POINTS
Sockers forward Nick Perera continues a breakout campaign in his first year back wearing the Sockers shield. After three seasons with Milwaukee Wave in the MISL, Perera has returned to the team he played for at the start of his indoor career in 2010-11, and he leads San Diego in points (32) and assists (18). His 32 points rank sixth in the MASL in scoring, and his 18 assists are third best in the league.
With a goal and three assists against the Surge, Nick set a new career-high for points in a season at the halfway point of the MASL campaign. (31-Wave ’13-’14 *converted from MPS to SPS). Perera is the captain of the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team and has been selected to play in four consecutive years.
SALVAGIO THREE WINS AWAY FROM 100
Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio enters tonight’s contest with an all-time record of 97-14 on the San Diego bench. His mark includes the U.S. professional record for a team sports winning streak (48 consecutive wins, 2010-13), and is an “all contests” record including U.S. Open Cup, FIFRA Championship and PASL playoff victories. Salvagio was a two-time Coach of the Year in the PASL (2011-13).
NEY SHOULD BE BACK TODAY
After missing two consecutive games following an ankle injury suffered in the fourth quarter at Missouri, Brazilian rookie midfielder Mardney Almeida “Ney” Felix has been a full participant in training all week and is available for selection tonight against Harrisburg.
Ney burst upon the MASL with three goals and two assists in his first-ever game of indoor soccer, when San Diego beat the Seattle Impact 17-10. He followed up that performance with two goals and an assist in three quarters against the undefeated Comets before suffering his injury. The former first-division professional futsal player in Brazil is learning the game of arena soccer on the fly and dominating.
LUNA MATCHES CAREER HIGH FOR ASSISTS
Sockers veteran midfielder Luna has been a fixture on power play and free kicks for years in San Diego, and of late Chiky has been hot with the helping touch. Luna has garnered ten assists over the Sockers’ past four games, including a season-high four-assist effort against Seattle and two more in St. Louis. With fourteen assists on the season (and two goals for sixteen points), Chiky ranks tied for fifth in the MASL in helpers and is on pace to destroy his career-best numbers in the category. Luna’s career high for assists was also 14, set in the 2012-13 season, when Chiky finished with a career-best 26 points.
HOME HAS BEEN HEARTY FOR SOCKERS
It’s not unusual to expect the Sockers to win at home. The team went their first 46 games at home without a loss after returning to action in 2009, and the Sockers hold an all-time home record of 58-3 at the Del Mar Arena and Valley View Casino Center in this current franchise iteration. This season San Diego is 6-0 at home and 1-3 on the road and the differences defensively have been startling.
In home games this year the Sockers have allowed an average of 4.5 goals per game (27 allowed in 6 contests) while on the road the team concedes 7.75 goals per game (31 allowed in 4 contests). Offensively the team has scored 35 goals in its past two home games, and is averaging 9.83 goals per home game.
CALL HIM ISMAEL: NEW DEFENDER ADDED
The Sockers welcomed another foreign import to training this week, as Spanish defender Ismael Hernandez made his debut. Hernandez is available for selection tonight but has had only one training session with the team. This, however, will not be Hernandez’s debut in the game of pro indoor soccer, as he played three games during the 2012-13 season with the MISL Milwaukee Wave, as a teammate of Perera. Hernandez was part of the Atletico Madrid training program since he was eleven years old and was living in Spain prior to signing with the Sockers.
SOCKERS ON THE RADIO AND WEB
Saturday’s game and all 20 regular season MASL Sockers games will be carried live on ESPN Radio 1700-AM in San Diego. Audio streaming is available at www.espnradio1700.com. In addition, every MASL game has video streaming live on GoLiveSportsCast.com, including all Sockers games. Aaron Susi joins Craig Elsten for all home broadcast and select road games. Tonight’s broadcast will also be simulcast in Harrisburg, PA.
FARBER HOPEFUL FOR QUICK RETURN
All-league midfielder Brian Farber will be sorely missed on the pitch again tonight, as San Diego will be without their speediest midfielder and one of the game’s fiercest competitors. Farber was placed on the Sockers’ injury list retroactive to December 6th with a knee injury. Brian aggravated his knee against the Las Vegas Legends on November 23rd and has been unable to play since. However, Farber is targeting a return to action on January 23rd in Turlock as part of a three-game road trip.
- Last night’s 10-9 Ontario victory over Harrisburg continued the logjam in the Pacific Division standings, where the top four teams are separated by a total of 1 ½ games. The Fury are ½ game behind at 8-5, while the Las Vegas Legends are in third position at 7-5, and Turlock is lurking a half-game behind at 7-6. Only the top three teams in each division make the MASL playoff field. Vegas will play at Turlock on Sunday.
- Seattle forward Gordy Gurson continues his one-man rampage on the MASL, leading the league in scoring while his team allows the most goals by far in the league. Gurson leads the league in goals (35) and points (47) in twelve games played.
- The Missouri Comets (11-0) and Baltimore Blast (9-0) remain the only two undefeated teams in the MASL. Those two sides, should they emerge from their respective divisions, would face one another in the MASL semi-finals.
OPPONENT PROFILE: HARRISBURG HEAT (0-9)
Still in search of their first win in the MASL, the Harrisburg Heat fell behind Ontario Fury last night 5-2 and 8-4 before rallying late, eventually succumbing 10-9 at Citizens’ Business Bank Arena in Ontario. In the game, head coach Tarik Walker was red carded for dissent on the field and will have to serve a one-game suspension tonight.
Because assistant coach Gino DiFlorio did not make the trip to California, team broadcaster and part owner John Wilsbach will descend from the broadcast booth tonight and serve on the bench as the Heat’s head coach. Forward Kenneth Fultz leads the Heat in scoring with eight goals, while team captain Val Teixeira is a capable assist man at target forward (one goal, five assists, six points). Forward Tom Mellor is a left-footed specialist tied with Fultz for the team points lead (5g/3a/8p).
The Heat are the lowest scoring team in the MASL and they are 22nd in the league in power play efficiency (2-for-16).