By Taylor Fletcher/Katy 1895 FC
Katy 1895 FC defeated FC Brownsville by a score of 5-1 on Saturday evening to close out the season and earn the first playoff berth in the club’s history.
The team knew that with the Coyotes FC (4-6-0, 12 points) loss to Laredo Heat SC (7-1-2, 23 points), Katy’s fate was in their hands.
“We knew we had a job to do, and the boys came out and took care of business,” forward Christian Coburn said.
Fellow forward Emmanuel Usen agrees.
“Great performance on a big occasion from the team,” Usen said. “We knew we had a job to do, and we executed some changes well.”
With the definitive victory, Katy FC (4-4-2, 14 points) secured the conference’s final playoff spot.
Usen and Coburn were two of five players who scored on the night in a very balanced attack. Saturday’s five goals improved on the season’s high best of three goals. Katy’s scorers were Coburn, Usen, Michael Guzman, Jorginho James, and Christian Hamilton.
Head coach Carlos Flores was incredibly proud of how his team played.
“I didn’t want to put too much pressure [on] the guys,” Flores said. “I wanted them to play and have fun. Everybody went out there and played their heart out.”
Even with inclement weather making practice difficult during the week leading up to the match, the team rallied and played well.
“They played extremely well,” Flores said. “We didn’t have the best practice field this week with all the rain, but it didn’t matter. The boys came out good and had fun.”
Usen almost had the first goal of the game with a beautiful chip that just went wide.
“I missed a good opportunity to put us up 1-0, and I fluffed it, so I was pretty upset,” Usen noted.
He would not miss the second opportunity.
“I was slipped in by Kel [Onyewuenyi] and just wanted to put something solid on goal,” Usen continued.
Usen opened up the scoring with a solid strike to the bottom right-hand corner in the 22nd minute.
Coburn soon netted another goal with a curling shot right over the keeper’s outstretched hand.
“I actually lost [the ball] in the attacking third but then went and won it right back, was able to play a one-two through the midfield,” Coburn said. “I saw that I had space and was at the top of eighteen, so I took it.”
The team went into halftime with a comfortable lead, but FC Brownsville would not go away.
Brownsville was able to put in a goal early in the second half, but that’s when Flores went to his bench.
“I knew every single player on the bench could play, so once our guys get tired, I knew to bring on the fresh legs to make a difference,” Flores said.
Michael Guzman was one of those subs. After a string of passes, defender Pat Sarr played a tremendous first-time ball, and Guzman got in behind the defense and placed a goal into the bottom corner.
“Funny story, I had a dream that I would come in and score two goals,” remarked Guzman.
While he was not able to net a brace, he did score one goal and provided two assists as well.
“More importantly, everyone, especially the backline, played really well,” Guzman said.
After the third goal, the game became wide open, and the scoring would not stop for the home side.
Another super sub Jorginho James notched the next goal with a beautiful interchange of combination play through the midfield.
“I knew I wanted to make an impact on the game after being out with injury,” Jones said.
He also credits the strong bonds the team has built up playing together throughout the season.
“Getting to know the different players on the team, I knew Emmanuel and Michael were both players who would give me the return ball back, so I made sure to move,” Jones added. “I actually wanted to shoot [after the first one-two] pass, but then I gave the ball to Michael out wide, and he gave a beautiful return ball back to me, and I was able to put it away.”
Christian Hamilton was able to round out the scoring, slide the ball past the goalkeeper, and put the finishing touches on the victory.
“I just thought if Guzman shoots this, I’ll be there for the rebound or if he passes it, I will put it away,” Hamilton said. “Either way, I’m good.”
Overall, the Katy squad finishes their best season in club history but is hungry for more.
“Katy 1895 is here to stay,” James concluded. “We don’t just want to participate but compete. Obviously, we are only taking it one game at a time, but we believe that we have the ability to go all the way.”
The Katy side will be on the road on Wednesday to open the postseason, with their opponent being top-ranked Denton Diablos FC.
Photo Credit: Thaisy Backes