Winds FC top Strikers FC South Coast in Cal South State Cup

Santa Ana Winds FC topped fellow UPSL club Strikers South Coast in non-league play at Lake Forest Sports Park on Tuesday night, April 25. The match closed the third round of group play in the Cal South Adult State Cup, a qualifying tournament to the USASA National Cup.

Santa Ana fell behind early in the match on a breakaway, which Strikers took effective advantage of in the 7th minute. “We tend to give up an early goal, but then we settle in and take control gradually,” said Winds FC owner Leonel López. And take control they did, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the first half, to gradually grind and chip away, ending the first half 2-1 on a header by Andy Guerra.


Winds FC were noticeably the better side in terms of ball control and dictating the pace of the match, but as is common, with more possession come more passes and a higher probability of imprecisions. Strikers took advantage of the openings they were given, making quick work of them. Winds FC continued to generate, in spite of their imprecisions leading to Strikers’ goals, by playing to their individual strengths. The Santa Ana midfield and backline consist of players able to create their own space to retain possession, and this is a common trait of nearly all their individual players.

Striker Anthony Saldana dropped back into midfield to aide on Strikers attacks, displaying a versatility beyond his attacking role, while too generating space for himself going forward and achieving a high passing rate.

Winds FC’s José Gómez tied things up in the 64th minute. The club showed an uptick in form after subbing in winger Omar Pérez, who created extra danger on the flanks. Santa Ana finally went ahead in the 72nd minute on a goal by Anthony Saldana.

Santa Ana Winds FC have struggled to defeat Strikers South Coast in games past, but the club has managed to rebuild and gel with players from the reputable Santa Ana College Dons program. The win leaves observers identifying Winds FC as a candidate to finish atop their conference, in which they currently sit 2nd behind Strikers in goal differential, ironically.

The win over Strikers FC South Coast is the latest feather in the Winds FC cap with recent wins over top UPSL sides La Máquina (January 24), LA Wolves (February 18), and Ozzy’s Laguna (April 16). Their last win over LA Highlanders at Valley Falcons Stadium at the SAUSD Sports Complex on April 22, was neither an easy task.

Winds FC finished the Cal South Adult State Cup Group A with two wins, over Real Sociedad Royals and Strikers SC, and a loss at San Nicolás SC of Santa Barbara.

Next match: Santa Ana Winds FC at San Fernando Valley Scorpions FC, April 29 at 6:00 pm. Venue TBA.

Advertisements

Santa Ana Winds FC top Real Sociedad Royals

Winds FC topped Real Sociedad Royals of the So Cal Premier League on Saturday, April 8 at the Lake Forest Sports Park in US Adult Soccer National Amateur Cup qualifying.

The game was tight from beginning to end, with the only goal coming on a penalty kick in the first half, called for a handball in the box.

Real Sociedad Royals were maimed early in the second half, with a defender getting red carded for a tackle from behind on a goal-scoring opportunity for Winds FC. The play was setup by a through ball, in which the Winds FC striker broke through and was 1v1 with the keeper. He was stopped just outside of the 18 yard box, from behind, prompting the referee to eject the Real Sociedad defender.

Winds FC hit the bar in the second half, and created opportunities but was unable to convert on a number of chances, thus relying on its defense to contain Real Sociedad. The Winds FC rival went down to 9 men in the second half after a player disputed with the referee, needing to be held physically back by fellow players, and by coaching staff once sent to the sideline. 

The disputed call came on a side tackle on what was interpreted by Real Sociedad as a goal-scoring opportunity, thus requiring a red card be applied similarly to the Winds FC defender. The tackle occurred near the right flank, corner edge of the 18 yard box.

Real Sociedad disputed that call along with a handball in the box that was deemed unintentional by the referee. The play involved a shot on goal and a diving, outstretched Winds FC defender with arms behind him.

Overall, it was a very tight match for both clubs, with Winds FC managing to inch out a win though not displaying the best football, by failing to convert chances, but creating just enough situations including a red card and penalty kick, to impact and turn the game in their favor.