February 8, 2013 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - San Diego Sockers
Arizona Storm (5-9) vs. San Diego Sockers (13-1)
DATE: Sunday, February 10th, 2013
PLACE: Valley View Casino Center
TIME: 5:05pm (PDT)
BROADCAST: SDSockers.com (audio)
AmericaOne (PPV video)
Please visit paslsoccer.com for the latest league standings and results
SOCKERS AND STORM MEET IN SAN DIEGO
The San Diego Sockers look to complete a fourth straight undefeated regular season at home when they take on the Arizona Storm on Fan Appreciation Night at the Valley View Casino Center. The Sockers and Storm are meeting for the second time this season, with San Diego having secured an 18-3 victory on November 17th in Arizona. The Sockers set their PASL bests for goals in a game and margin of victory in the first meeting.
CHILES SETS GOALS MARK, AIMS FOR POINTS TITLE
Sockers forward Kraig Chiles has already surpassed his own PASL record for goals in a season and is now taking dead aim at the league record for points. With a five goal, one assist game in San Diego's 10-6 win over Anaheim last Saturday, Chiles passed his previous mark of 46 goals in 15 games. With 14 games completed, Chiles has 49 goals and 12 assists (61 points). The league record for points in a season is 68, set by Stockton's Bernie Lilavois in 2008-09.
DOC'S HELPING HAND: SUSI NEARS CAREER HIGHS
Both of San Diego's starting forwards are performing at an MVP level this season. Team captain Aaron Susi is having his best season in the PASL at the age of 38, with 16 goals and 24 assists (40 points) in 13 games played. Susi's career best totals came in 2008-09 in Stockton with 41 points (25 goals, 16 assists) in 14 games, a figure Susi can surpass with two points on Sunday. After a four assist performance in Stockton, Susi ranks second in the PASL with 24 assists (Enrique Tovar, LV, 25) and is four assists away from matching the league record for assists in a season, set by Bernie Lilavois in 2008-09 (28).
LAST GAME: SOCKERS 10, AT ANAHEIM 6
The Sockers eliminated Anaheim from playoff contention with a five goal run in the third quarter on route to a 10-6 victory at the Anaheim Convention Center. Kraig Chiles led the way with five goals and an assist while Aaron Susi had four assists. Chris Toth improved to 6-0 in goal with the victory for San Diego (13-1).
42-0: SOCKERS UNDEFEATED AT HOME
Since returning to the professional ranks in the PASL, the San Diego Sockers have yet to lose at home. The Sockers carried over from the Del Mar Arena a 24-0 home mark in PASL play, 4-0 in PASL playoff action, 5-0 in U.S. Open Cup contests and 2-0 in exhibition friendlies for a 35-0 total home record from 2009-12. Since returning to the Valley View Casino Center, the Sockers have continued with seven wins for a 42-0 total home record. In PASL action all-time the Sockers are 31-0 at home.
THE STREAK IS OVER, LONG LIVE THE STREAK
It took 48 games, 25 months and extra time to finally end the longest winning streak in the history of U.S. professional team sports. The Sockers' 48-game winning streak stretched from December 29th, 2010 to January 27th, 2013 and was bracketed by overtime road losses, 9-8 to the California Cougars on December 27th 2010 and 6-5 to the Dallas Sidekicks on January 27th, 2013. Along the way, the Sockers broke the previous team mark of 40 straight wins, set by the Sioux Falls Storm of United Indoor Football. The record streak included all "trophy games", defined as PASL regular and postseason, U.S. Open Cup elimination contests and the 2012 FIFRA Club Championships in Monterrey.
LONGEST U.S. PRO SPORTS TEAM WIN STREAKS
San Diego Sockers (PASL, 2010-2013): 48
Sioux Falls Storm (UIF, 2005-2008): 40
L.A. Lakers (NBA, 1971-72): 33
Washington Kastles (WTT, 2011-present): 32*
Norfolk Admirals (AHL, 2012): 29
Salt Lake City Trappers (MILB, 1987): 29
SOCKERS POWER PLAY LEADS PASL
San Diego's power play leads the PASL in efficiency, with 24 goals in 43 chances (55.8%). Detroit ranks second at 52% (26-for-50). The Sockers have not allowed a short-handed goal. SD is 24-for-32 killing power plays (75%) with four short-handers.
DOMINANT DEFENSE A SOCKERS STANDARD
The Sockers lead the league in scoring with 157 goals in fourteen games, but the team's defense is an often-overlooked element of their dominant success. San Diego has gone 36 straight games without allowing ten goals in a game. In fact, the Sockers have only allowed ten goals in a game three times in 3 1/2 seasons of PASL action, and San Diego has never allowed eleven or more goals in a game. Interestingly enough, the Sockers are 3-0 when allowing ten goals in a game all-time. On the season San Diego averages 4.29 goals allowed per game, and their 60 goals allowed is second only to Dallas (52) in the league.
EXTRA ROUND OF PASL PLAYOFFS IN 2012-13
Thanks to expansion and the continued growth of the PASL, there will be an additional round of playoffs this season. Each division will pair off its top two teams in a two-leg playoff in late February and early March. The Sockers will face either the Turlock Express or Tacoma Stars in this quarterfinal round. Both teams are 8-7 but Turlock owns the tiebreaker and can clinch a playoff berth with a win on 2/9 over Sacramento. The opening leg of the quarterfinal will be played on February 23rd at the Valley View Casino Center as part of a doubleheader with the Southwest Division playoff between Mexico and Las Vegas. All four teams will relocate to the Orleans Arena in Vegas on February 24th for their second game. If teams split the two playoff games, a 15-minute mini-game will immediately follow Game Two to determine the series winner.
WHO SAYS GOALIES CAN'T SCORE?
It's one of the rarest feats you'll see in soccer, but a goalkeeper can score a goal. The Sockers' Riley Swift proved the point on February 1st against the Dallas Sidekicks, putting a kick directly on goal against his opposing keeper Sagu in the fourth quarter. When Sagu bobbled the high shot and saw it drop over the line, Swift had his first goal in any soccer game, pro or amateur, outdoor or indoor. Swift also stopped a penalty kick shootout by Dallas forward Jamie Lovegrove in the dramatic 5-4 victory. On the season Swift (6-1, 4.57 GAA) has three points, with a goal and two assists. On Saturday against Anaheim, reserve keeper Chris Toth (6-0, 4.00 GAA) matched Swift in points by recording his third assist of the season on a third quarter goal by Kraig Chiles.
CHIKY'S CAREER BESTS FUEL POWER PLAY
Sockers starting midfielder Miguel "Chiky" Luna is enjoying the best season of his PASL career, with 12 goals and 14 assists (26 points) in 13 games. The 26 points tops Luna's previous best total of 21, set last season. His 14 assists are a career-best and 12 goals are three shy of his high mark. In addition, Luna is second to Kraig Chiles (7) on the team with five power play goals.
SOCKERS MAGIC? LATE GOALS A TRENDING TOPIC
The Sockers are making a recent habit of finishing quarters, halves and games in dramatic fashion. Eduardo Velez stunned Dallas on 2/1 with his game-winning goal in the final second of regulation for a 5-4 win, moments after Ze Roberto had tied the game with 41 seconds remaining. In Dallas on 1/27, Kraig Chiles tied the score at 5-5 with 6.7 seconds remaining on the regulation clock. In Las Vegas, Brian Farber's header goal with 2.2 seconds left gave the Sockers a 6-5 win. On the season the Sockers have scored 27 goals in the final two minutes of a quarter, half or game, and 16 goals in the final minute of a quarter, half or game.
SOCKERS GAMES BROADCAST ON AMERICAONE, ESPN RADIO 1700 AND SDSOCKERS.COM IN 2012-13
Fans will be able to follow the San Diego Sockers through every game of the 2012-13 season on multiple media platforms. The Sockers agreed to carry a select schedule of 8-11 games on ESPN Radio 1700-AM in San Diego for the second consecutive season. In addition, an audio broadcast of every game will be streamed online at sdsockers.com. Finally, the PASL contracted with AmericaOne Sports as the official provider of online video streaming in 2012-13. Fans will be able to purchase broadcasts by pay-per-view at $8 per game or $90 for a season pass that covers all PASL broadcasts league-wide. Craig Elsten will call the Sockers action across all platforms for the fourth consecutive season, joined by Tim Strombel as a sideline reporter for home games.
Sockers midfielder Paul Wright (hip) is game-to-game and not expected to dress against the Storm...defenders Brian O'Connor (quad) and Mike Mercurali (groin) are also expected to miss Sunday's game...midfielder Chad Hagerty and defender Matt Couch are expected to be selected for the starting lineup as injury replacements...midfielder Eric Wunderle has recovered from a season-long foot injury and returned to training, he is also available for selection on Sunday.
OPPONENT'S PROFILE: ARIZONA STORM (5-9)
Playing in their second season in the PASL but their first under new ownership, the Storm started the season 4-4 before dropping five straight decisions. Arizona rallied back for a 7-6 overtime victory in Sacramento on February 2nd, with Hart Cunningham scoring the golden goal. Andrew Szerlag led the Storm with four goals on that day and has eleven goals in twelve games. Arizona is led in goals by British forward David Hague (14 goals, 0 assists, 10 games) and in points by forward Mitch Garcia (12 goals, 3 assists, 15 points in nine games). The Sockers are 4-0 against the Storm in PASL action with an aggregate score of 50-10, including an 18-3 result earlier this season.