Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski Makes The Difference
San Diego soccer fans turned out last night for a great soccer match between local NPSL Albion Pros and USL Phoenix Rising — and, as the crowd cheered, the Albion Pros delivered big time and won 3-1.
Albion PROS, America’s Finest City’s NPSL team invited the USL team to come to San Diego and play the preseason match in preparation for the 2017 NPSL Season starting in the second week of March.
“Albion Pros defeating an organized and very established USL side is another big accomplishment for the franchise,” said Noah Gins, CEO of Albion Pros.
“This was our final preseason match at home and for the second year in a row we have defeated USL teams in preseason,” said Gins.
As the night air turned cold, the action on the pitch heated up and the rivalry rose immediately after the first whistle blew. In fact, the fiery, physical match started quickly and the referee called a foul on Albion Pros’ Luke Staats in the 9th minute — a red card — which resulted in Albion Pros playing a man down for 90% of the match.
In the end, the fact that Albion Pros played with only 10 men on the field only added more glory to the sweet victory.
David Luquen scored two goals for the Albion Pros’ goals in the first half and Kuba Waligórski scored the final goal to bring the count to a glorious 3. The only goal scored by Phoenix Rising was on a PK that was converted.
ALBION PROS VS PHOENIX RISING SCORING RECAP
ALBION PROS: Luquen set the pace of the match by scoring twice before the half with his first goal off a penalty kick at just barely the 4th minute and his second in stoppage time before the half — a well targeted free kick stunner. The Pros’ final goal was thanks to Waligorski’s successful 59th-minute penalty kick.
PHOENIX RISING: A shove in the box from behind by Albion Pros’ Sergio Enriquez provoked a penalty call against the team and, the resulting PK was actually taken twice.
Albion Pros’ goalkeeper Jean Antoine saved the first attempt on goal but after the ref called the PK to be taken a second time — claiming that a player entered the area before the kick was taken — the ball found the back of the net and Phoenix Rising was able to get on the scoreboard.
“Jean has shown tremendous abilities at this level and I believe he has the capability of playing at the highest level in this country,” said Gins.
ASC: 4’, 11-David Luquen (PK)
ASC: 45+’, 11-David Luquen
ASC: 56’, 4-Kuba Waligorski
PHX: 59’, G. Pikitis
“It was a great evening all around. We had the privilege of the United States Men’s Paralympic Team joining us, the energy and support was electric and we earned a tremendous result while showing a lot of character playing down with 10 men for over 80 minutes,” said Ziggy Korytoski, Albion Pros Head Coach.
U.S. Paralympic National Team is in Chula Vista, California for its first camp of 2017 and have been training at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center next to the Albion Pros.
“I thought our signed guys played well, our trialists showed well, and the scary part is that we were missing four key guys to our lineup,’ said Korytoski. “We’ve got quite a foundation and we’re all looking forward to the season ahead.”
“The team continues to improve with added talent and depth and the efforts of the coaching staff are really showing,” said Gins.
“This was a great night for Albion Pros and for San Diego soccer fans,” said Gins. “I think we played well, and we were matched up — and, in many positions, we dominated. It was definitely a physical match and pace of the game was quick. The intensity of the game increased going into the second half and we stood strong with a quality USL Side.”
Phoenix Rising’s Head Coach is Frank Yallop who said, “It was a good match I am still assessing a lot go the players who were on the field tonight. Most of the players who played for us tonight were not signed and it was a good opportunity for me to look at younger players in a game situation. We only had three guys who are signed that started the game.”
“A lot of teams try to win when they play us, Albion did fine,” said Yallop who has 20 players signed for the upcoming season and says he may add one or two more from the match. “If you look at the game as a while, we had 20 chances to score. Albion had 4 or 5. That is the way it goes in soccer. We had a lot chances to score in the second half and didn’t.”
“The red card so early on in the match really ruined the match. It is crazy. It made it difficult for us to break them down,” added Yallop.
It is clear that Albion Pros’ head coach Korytoski watches every move made on the field and gives guidance, leading his hard working players to victory.
Related Article: Albion SC Pros Host Phoenix Rising FC
Great preparation for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Albion Pros will continue their practice of being a highly professionally run soccer team that is dedicated to earning results through hard work and passion.
The NPSL vs USL match was a test of strength and performance on the field — a quality check that resulted in an big thumbs up from San Diego soccer fans.
PHX: P. Hapley; C. Dexhart (36’, A. Gray), B. Granger (62’, G. Gergich), M. Gunderson, D. Murbles; M. Langman (62’, D. Meagle), G. Pikitis, R. Nygard, R. Dunn, V. Vasquez; M. Hurlow (62’, A. Dwyer)
ASC: 1-Jean Antoine; 2-Frankie Sanfilippo, 3-Luke Staats, 4-Kuba Waligorski, 21-Sergio Enriquez; 6-Luis Cardona, 23-Felipe Luborio, 5-Sergio Ortiz; 11-David Luquen, 14-Cameron Roget (80’, 17-Austin Rovazzini), 9-Amani Walker (65’, 20-Tre Hayes)
Next game: NPSL Season opener March 11th, 5p.m. vs Oxnard Guerreros FC! Get your tickets here: albionscpros.com/tickets