Sockers Weekly Report
Prior to their 9-5 loss at Baltimore on Saturday, January 25, the Sockers had won 19 consecutive regular-season MASL road matches. Their last road loss had come almost two years prior, a 6-3 loss at Arena Monterrey on January 28, 2018. The Sockers dealt Monterrey their lone home loss last season.
In Farber We Trust
Veteran midfielder Brian Farber continued his resurgent season with five more goals in San Diego's weekend split on the East Coast. Against Harrisburg, Farber scored a hat trick, sealing the match with one second remaining for a 7-5 win. In Baltimore, Farber added a brace, giving him a team-leading twelve goals in ten matches played.
King of the Restart
Sockers captain Kraig Chiles scored three times over the weekend against Harrisburg and Baltimore, with all three goals coming on set pieces from the top of the arc. Chiles added a pair of assists on the weekend, one on a set-piece, for a five-point trip. After an injury-riddled and career-long four-match scoreless streak, Chiles now has (4-3=7) points in his last three matches.
Sockers defenders Cesar Cerda and Luis "Peewee" Ortega are quietly posting all-MASL campaigns from the backline. Cerda is tied for third on the Sockers in scoring with (5-7=12) points, has played all eleven matches, and leads the club with 18 fouls, often marking the opponent's top scorer. Ortega has added (4-4=8) points in nine matches, while leading the Sockers with 14 blocked shots.
A Homecoming of Sorts
A trio of Sockers will be heading through their hometowns on the current road trip. Forward Erick Tovar is a Monterrey, Nuevo Leon native, and a former player for the Flash. Defender Ray Contreras and midfielder Hiram "Pollo" Ruiz each are Hermosillo natives, and former players for Soles de Sonora.
MASL Playoff Chase
In the Western Conference, the Flash (14-1) and Sockers (9-2) have a cushion in first and second place, followed by Sonora (5-7) and Tacoma (5-7), who are both in playoff position. Ontario (4-7), Turlock (4-8) and Mesquite (4-8) are all within a game of the top four. In the Eastern Conference, Florida (10-1), Milwaukee (8-3), Utica (7-3) and Harrisburg (8-4) are in playoff position, while Baltimore and Kansas City (each 6-6) are lurking two games off the pace.
Velez Suspended For One Game
Eddie Velez was suspended for one game by the League for violent conduct in Saturday's game against Baltimore. He will miss Monday's key match in Monterrey.
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