|Stumptown Athletic opens spring campaign with a draw|
|2-2 tie against San Diego 1904|
|Published Monday, March 2, 2020 8:30 pm|
|COURTESY STUMPTOWN ATHLETIC|
|Stumptown Athletic opened the spring portion of their NISA season with a 2-2 draw against San Diego 1904.|
Stumptown Athletic’s spring National Independent Soccer Association season is underway.
They drew San Diego 1904 FC 2-all on Feb. 29 at the OrthoCarolina Sportsplex. Midfielder Tate Robertson and forward Jalen Brown scored in the third and 42nd minute respectively for Stumptown. 1904 FC equalized in the 36th minute with a goal from defender Joseph Perez, and again in the 86th minute when defender Ozzie Ramos found the back of the net.
“I’m pleased with the performance,” Stumptown coach Mark Steffens said. “It’s the first time we put our team against real good competition, and we had five new starters. I was pleased with the way we attacked, a little disappointed with the way we defended. We just had a coaches meeting just now where we looked at the video of the game. Our overall defending as a unit wasn’t quite as strong as I would’ve liked to have seen, and we’ve really, really worked on that, so that was a little disappointing to me.”
Following a four-game fall showcase in which Stumptown went 2-2, it’s time to fully test third division soccer in Charlotte. Next up is a trip to LA Force at Cal State Los Angeles on March 6. Their 14-game season runs through June 13.
Steffens noted that California teams tend to emphasize possession, and he expects the same this weekend.
“We allowed San Diego a little bit too much possession,” Steffens said. “That came back to bite us a little bit. We need to sharpen up on the defensive side of the ball. If we do that, we’ll be quite competitive.”
Stumptown has 12 returners from their fall showcase: midfielders Drew Yates, Jared Odenbeck, Josue Espana and Robertson; defenders Sergio Campbell, Richardo Israel, Giovanni Bejarano and Gabriel Silva; forwards Donald Benamna, Brown and Lamin Suma; goalkeeper Vincent Tasca. The seven newcomers include: goalkeeper Micah Bledsoe; defenders Randy Mendoza and Bay Kurtz; midfielders David Koloko and Ismael Longo; forwards Ryan Peterson and Tom Suchecki.
“Our goal is to put a great professional product on the field while keeping it affordable and fun for kids and their families,” Stumptown general manager Casey Carr said. “Soccer thrives worldwide because it’s a game for all people, something that any two kids can play with nothing more than a ball dropped between them. That’s the soccer culture we want to bring to our region.”
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