Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Fusion captures first championship
by Paul Kennedy, August 10th, 2009 6:45AM



[PDL] Alfonso Motagalvan scored on a goalmouth scramble in stoppage time to give the Ventura County Fusion a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, making the California team the lowest seed ever to win the Premier Development League championship.

In its third year, the Fusion won its first championship, played before a sellout crowd of 3,500 fans at Buena High School, despite playing for nearly an hour with just 10 men after

Ventura took the lead in the ninth minute on Ivan Becerra's goal off former Chivas USA player Rodrigo Lopez's corner but then lost midfielder Manny Guzman with a red card after he clashed with Chicago midfielder Mark Blades.

The Ventura did a good job to holding off the Fire attack until the last quarter of an hour when Harvard star Andre Akpan evened up the game when he deflected Blades' cross into the goal.

"It's a wonderful night for us, and a good advertisement for the game," said Fusion coach Graham Smith. "We battled well. We were pushed onto the back foot after the red card, but that galvanized us to stay strong. It's a great night for Ventura, but really this belongs to the players. They performed in brutal weather down in Texas last week, and really played well tonight. This is their night."

Smith had been sent out for entering the field in the Fusion's celebrations after the winning goal.

Referee Alejandro Mariscal had earlier sent off Ventura assistant coach Ole Mikkelsen and Chicago head coach Larry Sunderland.

Ventura finished third in the Southwest Division and beat the Los Angeles Legends, Hollywood United Hitmen, Kitsap Pumas and Bradenton Academics to reach the final.

Chicago was playing in its championship game. It was beaten by the Cape Cod Crusaders in 2002.

Aug. 8 in Ventura, Calif.
Ventura County 2 Chicago 1. Goals: Becerra (Lopez) 8, Motagalvan 90; Akpan 74.
Ventura County -- Hill, Barna, Becerra, Riley, Smarte (Guerrero, 90), Byrne (Guei, 76), Guzman, Lopez, Motagalvan, Barrera (Avesyan, 82), Hamilton.
Chicago -- Maurer, Campbell, Rice, Schuler, Sinovic (Morrow, 46), Blades, Braun, Edgar, Knotek (Cutshaw, 46), Adlard, Akpan.
Red card: Ventura County -- Guzman 33
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
USA names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives