Chicago Soul FC Claims Victory in MISL Debut
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Chicago Soul burst into the MISL with a dazzling debut, defeating the Syracuse Silver Knights 13-8 on the road. Forward Carlos Muñoz scored twice for the expansion franchise as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim victory in their inaugural contest.
"The guys did a great job," said Soul Head Coach Manny Rojas of his team's first outing. "We played with confidence. We believed in our young guys, especially, which is important. They gained confidence and showed that they are up for the challenge."
Soul's Marco Sullo battles for the ball during Friday's inaugural game.
The confidence was evident as the Soul set the tone early with league newcomer Christian Meza quickly putting Chicago on the board after finishing on a pass from former Silver Knight Alexander Megson at the 2:30 mark in the first quarter, and giving the Soul their first goal in franchise history.
Syracuse responded with a blazing top corner goal from Nelson Santana with five minutes left, tying the game at 2-2 heading into the second quarter.
Chicago quickly came up with an answer in the second quarter when midfielder Matthew Stewart converted a pass from forward Bato Radoncic into a 2-point goal. Minutes later, Radoncic came up with a goal of his own when he took a pass from Muñoz and blasted his finish past Syracuse goalkeeper Bryan O'Quinn. The Silver Knights quickly responded with a goal from Andre Berenzon, cutting Chicago's lead to 6-4.
It appeared as if the Soul would head into the locker room with a two-point lead, but Silver Knights' Darren Toby was able to steal the ball from Chicago and set up Daniel Stevens for a rocketing blast into the back of the net with just one second remaining before the halftime break, sending the teams to the locker rooms tied 6-6.
After a scoreless third quarter, Muñoz gave the Soul a boost again with a pair of 2-point goals in the fourth to allow a four-point cushion. The first goal came at the 2:04 mark with an assist from midfielder Marco Sullo. The second goal came at 10:02 as Chicago capitalized on a power play that allowed Muñoz to take a pass from forward Chile Farias and finish into the net.
The Silver Knights attempted to pull the momentum back in their favor, but Soul goalkeeper Jeff Richey, who finished with eight saves on the night, came through with four critical saves in the fourth quarter to keep the game out of reach for Syracuse.
Megson then helped put away the game with the Soul's first ever 3-point goal from midfield into an empty net as the Silver Knights pushed to get back into the game with under three minutes to play. Berenzon was able to pull a goal back for Syracuse with just over a minute left, but the five-point deficit proved too much to overcome and Chicago was able to come away with its first franchise win.
"I trusted my teammates," said Muñoz of his successful MISL debut. "If we continue to play like we did today, as a team, we're not going to have any problems. I know it's still going to be hard as a first year team, but we just have to keep working together and working hard."
The Soul resume play on Saturday night at the 1st Mariner Arena at 6:35 p.m. (CST) against the Baltimore Blast.
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Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from November 3, 2012
- Soul Pick up First Loss in Baltimore - Chicago Soul FC
- Rochester Lancers Fall to Syracuse in Season Opener 16-10 - Rochester Lancers
- Chicago Soul FC Claims Victory in MISL Debut - Chicago Soul FC
- Lancers Begin 2012-13 Season Tonight in Syracuse - Rochester Lancers
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