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Storm season opener comes up even in goalless draw.

| Sports | May 9, 2015

Santa Clarita Storm (1 pt, 0-1-0) were held to a goalless draw against Valley United (1 pt, 0-1-0) in their United Premier Soccer League season opener for the regular season on Saturday.

NORTHRIDGE, California – Santa Clarita Storm were held to a goalless draw against Valley United in El Clasico and their (UPSL) United Premier Soccer League season opener for the regular season today.

Coach Oscar Moreno and his men continued their lackadaisical approach to the start of games giving up six corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of play before waking up and seizing control of the match. Valley United keeper (0-0-1, 1 point) and x-Storm Keeper Casey Phillips kept his composure to make a few brilliant saves that keep the Storm from what seem like odds-on chances to score.

The Storm (0-0-1, 1 point) had a goal called back for offside when it appeared good adding to the list of many questionable calls by the referees against the Storm. Brett Croft Storm striker was close to earning the victory for the Storm after having a few good chances at scoring but was unable to convert. In the 40th minute Croft was called for a yellow card after a play at the end line was called against him and he yelled “Are you kidding me, how did you make that call?” at the sidelined judge who responded by halting the action to have the referee enforce what he deemed dissent.

Brett Croft, Storm striker seem to feed emotion into the team getting fired up leading to the Storm having many chances but just barely missing.

Brett Croft, Storm striker seem to feed emotion into the team getting fired up leading to the Storm having many chances but just barely missing.

The refs quickly followed Croft’s card up with another foul called against the Storm in the 42nd minute as a yellow card was issued to Anthony Armbuster after a collision in the middle of the field. The cards did not come back to haunt the Storm however seemed to wake them up as it appeared only Croft had come to play up until that point.

Croft seem to feed emotion into the Storm getting fired up leading to the Storm having many chances but just barley missing getting the one goal it could have took to open the season with three points instead of one for the draw.

As the second half began to wind down Valley United had one chance of only two that just went over the top of the net that would have scored if only a half ball lower. Surprisingly Storm keeper Kyle Cunningham had the complete opposite game as Phillips not having his best performance to open the season, with miscommunication with his defenders almost leading to an own goal and a few sloppy kicks that landed out of bounds.

Storm keeper Kyle Cunningham with miscommunication with his defenders almost leading to an own goal and a few sloppy kicks that landed out of bounds.

Storm keeper Kyle Cunningham with miscommunication with his defenders almost leading to an own goal and a few sloppy kicks that landed out of bounds.

The Storm defenders were able to keep Valley United’s striker Tristan Korras probably the fastest player on the field in check as Scott Landon and Juan Camacho played him close making sure one or both had him covered. As the clock winded down the Storm made a tactical change letting them release adding more attack opportunities that did not materialize.

The teams will face off again AUG 9 at Golden Valley High School with kickoff set for 5:15 p.m. PST.

Storm kicked off their United Premier Soccer League season opener for the regular season today.

Storm kicked off their United Premier Soccer League season opener for the regular season today.

Ready for a El Clasico in your backyard? Storm in action!

| Sports | May 5, 2015

Storm v. Valley United, May 9, 2015

By Malik Basurto

SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA – Santa Clarita Storm opens their inaugural season in the United Premier Soccer League with a very important match for Oscar Moreno and his men, this Saturday May 9, as the Storm visit Valley United in the first UPSL regular season game for both sides. With ties that bind this will be the first El Clasico of the season with both teams separated only by a short trip on the 5 freeway as Valley United represent the Northwest San Fernando Valley and many of the Storms players growing up in the Valley United youth system.

Even Storm head coach Moreno last coached for Valley United before signing on to lead the Storm and taking many of his Valley United players with him that now make up the Storm starting eleven. Valley United keeper Casey Phillips spent sometime as the starting Storm keeper before heading back to the team of his youth down the road. Scott Landon as well as Andrew Tusaazemajja had played in the Valley United youth system before signing with the Storm. Landon had played for Valley United since the age of 16, only signing with the Storm after being referred by Valley United to sign after the Storm had joined the UPSL last season and Valley United was not yet thinking making the leap.

Santa Clarita Storm

At stake more than just UPSL points to move up the table but more importantly to players bragging rights.

Both teams temperament will be tested by the brotherly atmosphere at Heritage Christian High School with many of the teams’ players having been teammates as youth now on opposite sidelines looking to achieve the same goal of winning the UPSL championship. Valley United head coach Laura Garcia is hoping both teams will shine with a tie not being the worst result to open the season. Coach Garcia after having worked with most of the Storm’s players and coaching staff only wants to see both sides walk off the field uninjured and everyone conduct themselves as professionals playing hard and no red-cards.

The Storm deploy a 4-4-2 formation with Zach Klindworth and Alex Barahona leading the way as the team’s strikers however the catalyst of the team will continue to fall on the tandem midfield play of Tusaazemajja and Landon. The Storm have found past success when able to cut off the passing lanes and stopping the opposing offensive before they can get into their plays.

The mechanism to success for the Storm will continue to fall on the midfield play of Andrew Tusaazemajja.

The mechanism to success for the Storm will continue to fall on the midfield play of Andrew Tusaazemajja.

Valley United’s head coach Garcia will stick with a 4-5-1 formation as the formula calls for striker Tristan Korras to continue the scoring prowess he displayed in earning seven goals as they continue their UPSL Admiral Cup dreams into the third round. With the midfield being the Storms true strength Valley United will rely on Saragon Barkawi and Nick Saldivia in the midfield to counter attack scoring on Korras rebounds or finding open shots.

Valley United had many players before they signed on to lead the Storm.

Valley United had many players before they signed on to lead the Storm.

At stake more than just UPSL points to move up the table but more importantly to players bragging rights as both teams’ continue to remain friendly helping each other out any chance they get. El Classico will be played out at Heritage Christian High School (South Campus) 9825 Woodley Ave in Northridge and admission is free to all.

Santa Clarita Storm

Santa Clarita Storm

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