Despite being together as a team for less than a week, Midland-Odessa FC started its inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League off on the right foot with a 2-0 victory over the Houston Regals at Grande Communications Stadium on Thursday night.
“You couldn’t ask for more than that with three sessions under your belt,” Midland-Odessa FC head coach Matt Barnes told reporters following the game. “I was really proud of the guys and I thought it was a fantastic effort. With 10 games, every point is huge for us so that three points tonight was massive.”
Midland-Odessa FC had a couple of chances early in the first half as a shot in the 14th minute off the foot of Darius Strambler was saved by Houston’s Gonzalo Santa and just a minute later, a header by Ricardo Palomino sailed wide left of the goal.
The first goal finally came at the 23rd minute mark, when Houston was trying to get the ball out of their half of the field and midfielder Alex VonHolle came up and knocked the ball away. Memo Diaz would then take it and find Palomino streaking down the left side of the field and he would knock it in for an easy goal from about 12 yards out into the right corner of the net.
In the 35th minute, Midland-Odessa FC would strike again as Palomino would be credited with the assist after getting the ball to Strambler who would strike the back of the net from about 23 yards out.
Midland-Odessa FC dominated possession throughout the contest as they recorded 17 shots to six for Houston and attempted six corner kicks, while the Regals did not record any. In goal for Midland-Odessa FC, Braulio Linares-Ortiz kept a clean sheet with five saves.
It will be a quick turnaround for Midland-Odessa FC as they will host Shreveport Rafters FC on Sunday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Grande Communications Stadium. Shreveport lost its season opener 3-2 to Houston on May 13.