Austin Aztex News Release -- www.austinaztex.com
Friday, June 15, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Aztex, leaders of the PDL's Mid-South Division (4-2-2), clash with the El Paso Patriots (3-3-2) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday night at House Park. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses last weekend. El Paso had the chance to tie the Aztex in the standings, but squandered it, losing 2-0 to the West Texas Sockers.
“It is going to be a game that both teams want to win,” Aztex coach Paul Dalglish said. “Two good teams are going at it head-to-head. It is a game that we really feel if we play to our potential we can win.”
The Aztex will want to win their first match in three games after tying the New Orleans Jesters in consecutive matches and losing to the Laredo Heat last weekend. The Aztex need only to look to their previous performance against the Patriots, a 6-1 victory, to return to form. However, the Patriots had two players sent off in the match.
The Aztex, who have the league’s second highest-scoring offense, have scored only three goals in the past three games. In their first two home matches against the Texas Dutch Lions and the Patriots, Austin combined for 49 shots and 13 goals. The finishing must improve if Austin wants to maintain their first place position, with Laredo only a point behind, and El Paso three points below the Aztex.
“I think we just need to finish our opportunities that we have,” said Chuy Cortes on what the Aztex's need to do in the attacking third. “Everyone needs to feel that confidence in front of the goal again, and try not to think about it.”
Scoring a goal early would help the confidence of the Aztex players. In their four wins, Austin found the net in the first 20 minutes of the game. An early goal also forces opposing teams to attack instead of sitting back and trying to stifle the Aztex's possession-style attack. Austin has won every game in which it has scored first, while going winless, 0-2-2, in games where the opposing team scores first.
“We need to make sure the first 15 minutes we are working hard,” said Cortes on starting fast. “Because once we get that first goal in the first 15 minutes, I feel like we are going to win this game. You start getting that feeling that you need to score more goals to put this game away.”
A few key players, Dillon Powers and Blake Smith (groin), Tony Rocha (hamstring), Michael Lisch (ankle) and Kyle Emerson (ankle), are ruled out for this weekend game due to injury. This means the depth of the Aztex will once again be tested. The Patriots’ depth will also be a factor with El Paso, playing the Laredo Heat a day before their match against the Aztex.
The result of Friday’s match between the Patriots and Laredo guarantees that the Aztex will not be in sole possession of first place going into Saturday’s tilt against El Paso. If El Paso win in Laredo, they will be tied with the Aztex at 14 points. If there is a tie, Laredo will be tied with the Aztex. If Laredo wins, then they will jump ahead of the Aztex in the standings with 16 points and an extra game still left to play.
Patriots players to watch are top goal-scorers Ernesto Bolivar and Sergio Villasenor, who each have three goals. Enrique Cervantes is also a key player in the midfield, and he scored El Paso's goal in the first matchup between the Patriots and Aztex. The Patriots have struggled on the road this season, going winless in three matches.