Albion SC PROS Prep For Thrilling 2017 NPSL Season
Written with Chris Rael
In preparation for the 2017 season as another year of NPSL competition makes its way to San Diego, Albion SC PROS hit the pitch in preseason NPSL soccer action and came out strong. Next Preseason Match: Albion PROS vs Phoenix Rising FC (USL) on February 25 at 7:30 pm — 9:00 pm Mission Bay High School.
Albion Pros win over East Bay Stompers highlights great soccer action to come this NPSL Season. There is a strong buzz around the PROS as they take to the field for their second season — as new faces join returning players in striving to achieve the same goal — bring home a title to America’s Finest City.
Soccer News: The 2017 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) season is right around the corner with kickoff set for the beginning of March.
It was the last goal of the game that had fans and coaches on their feet as the Albion Pros showed their conviction in a hard-fought match that resulted with a resounding win.
The fast action took off quickly — with the opening goal of the match came from East Bay when Zanin Mahic headed home a throw-in from near the corner flag in just the 5th minute. Fans did not expect the scoring to start so soon and Albion tied up the score less than 15 minutes later.
Fans in cheered when Albion cheered brought the match level off a set piece as San Diego State University alumni Travis Nicklaw pounced on a ball knocked down by Luke Staats in the 19th minute.
In the 34th minute, Kuba Waligorski broke the draw with a header from another Albion corner, giving the PROS a 2-1 advantage heading into the break.
Stompers striker Khalid Arramdani brought the game level in a one-on-one matchup with PROS goalkeeper Jean Antoine that saw him squeeze an effort through the Haitian’s legs.
After drawing a foul in the 90th minute, David Luquen placed his free kick inside the near post of the Stompers goal to record a win for the PROS.
“It was a good first match for everyone,” said Korytoski. “Getting the players out on the field and in front of our fans for the first game was great. We fight to the end and came through in a dramatic fashion. The competition from East Bay was strong.”
“The game was as expected, hard-fought vs. a dynamic, disciplined side,” said Head Coach Martin Sierra, EBFC Stompers Head Coach. “Set pieces were our biggest enemy, but all in all, I’m happy where we are at this point in the season. This group has what it takes to be at the top of the West.”
Although it was an intense battle that could have gone either side’s way, Albion opens the year with a victory. The focus will now be on preparing for a busy schedule and collectively coming together as a team for 2017.
“With the new players merging in with the core of the returning players, this team has enormous potential,” said head coach Ziggy Korytoski. “There is a good level of professionalism, and our new strength makes the team deeper and we will be more dynamic on the field.”
“This preseason game was a good test. With new players merging in with the core of returning players — this team has enormous potential,” said Korytoski. “There is a good level of professionalism, and our new strength makes the team deeper as we become more dynamic on the field.”
Albion is gearing up for its second season in the NPSL and is not taking the competition lightly heading into the year.
“The NPSL teams are extremely competitive. We ran into a difficult matchup with Sonoma County last year and tied four games at home last season,” said Korytoski. “It goes to show you that anybody on any given day can succeed.”
Korytoski believes that, in comparison to other leagues across the United States, the NPSL provides a great avenue for players to reach their goals of playing at the top level.
“I look at the different leagues — the easiest is to compare the NPSL to the PDL,” said Korytoski. “It’s a similar model, but the NPSL is a different brand in the sense that it is not an extended college season. It is stronger.”
“Former PROS player Matt Veltri recently signed for a club in LaLiga after a successful year in San Diego,” said Korytoski.
“I like that these are guys in the NPSL who have been professionals and want to continue to play at a high level,” said Korytoski. “They’re committed to the 4/5 day a week training schedule.” Korytoski maintains a high level of professionalism with players often arriving to train just as the sun rises.
What is the goal going forward? “As a team, we have to become even more disciplined as an overall group,” said Korytoski. With Korytoski, one of the most successful coaches in the NPSL coaching the team and demanding the best from each player, fans can be assured this will happen — and happen quickly.
As soccer’s popularity grows and the MLS expands with 12 new teams this season, soccer fans in “America’s Finest City” can cheer for their dynamite home team in the NPSL.
NPSL vs USL at the Next Preseason Match: Albion PROS vs Phoenix Rising FC (USL) — February 25 — Kick off at 7:30 pm Mission Bay High School in San Diego, CA.
Editor’s Note: Originally Head Coach Martin Sierra’s quote was credit to Terry Forte. We apologize for the error.