[FCSC] – It was a late goal that made the difference in the first match of Futbol Club Santa Clarita’s men’s team – the Storm – in its new home Santa Clarita.
The Storm saw one goal pulled back in the 27th minute as the linesmen called a hand ball, claiming FCSC’s Martin Galvan touched the ball with his hand has he turned to score.
“It was good for us,” Storm Head Coach Jarred Cline said of the exhibition match against Chivas Guadalajara, “considering the fact we only practice once a week and the team was put together in the last few weeks and this was the first competition the team as been in.
“We’re seeing good things here tonight, but we are still looking at players weekly and we plan to keep bringing in more players to challenge the guys that are here,” he said. “That’s what makes starters want to start and keep pushing themselves.”
The Santa Clarita Storm came from Lancaster where the team spent five years. It made the move to Santa Clarita this year due to lack of support in the Antelope Valley where it played in the National Premier Soccer League.
“We made the move in August directly following the end of last year’s regular season,” CEO Gerald Brunner said. “We held tryouts in Santa Clarita in September and selected about 12 players for the group and now we are up to about 34 in camp.”
“Our regular season begins in April and we should end up with two squads – an A and B team. This way we can continue to develop players and maintain a talent pool,” he said.
It was just the 20th minute of play when Chivas’ Armando Escobar sent a header past the Storm keeper David Garcia (from COC). The Storm moved in after that and it released the combination of passing and technical tactics that got the ball delivered to Martin Galvan who chest-trapped it on a pass and shot it to the near post, up and over the fingertips of the Chivas keeper and what thought was the tied score was not as the linesmen claim it hit Galvan on the hand as he turned on it.
“It’s like having a heart attack,” said Martin Galvan. “You work to try and score and you do, then they tell you it doesn’t count.”
But the Storm wasn’t over as Galvan came back before the halftime break and beat his defender down on the left side of the field. This time it was going nowhere but the scoreboard, and the Storm went in to the locker room at halftime with the score knotted 1-1.
The second half was even in play and possession until the 60th minute when Chivas’ Raul Lopez fired a shot that put the visitors up 2-1.
Four minutes later, the Storm moved in and brought thunder in the form of striker Martin Galvan as forward Jorge Serrano led a break through the middle of the field and slid a pass to Galvan, who laid a shot past the keeper and evened the score again at 2-2.
Both the Storm and Chivas had equal chances to score in the remaining minutes as Serrano almost put on in the caught the wood work and bounce back in play. Then in the 85th minute, Chivas striker Aldo Monzonis scored on another header to push the Guadalajara team in the lead.
With only five minutes left to play, the Storm was unable to even it up despite multiple opportunities.
“I’m happy with our response to going down twice,” Cline said. “I thought we had a lot of chances to win the game. They got the one right at the end because we pushed players up to increase our scoring opportunities and they took advantage of us, exposing ourselves in the back line.”
The Storm now will continue to look at talent from all over and will continue training and preparing for February, when Futbol Club Santa Clarita will hold its inaugural 5-star tournament at Santa Clarita Central Park.
Teams from California, Arizona and Nevada will attend. Admission to the tournament is free and will boast music, food and all-around fun for all.