The Ontario Fury (2-2-0, 6 pts) once again visit Pechanga Arena on Sunday to take on the San Diego Sockers (3-0-0, 9 pts) for the second of three in a row against each other.
Last Sunday’s I-15 Derby saw the Sockers overcome a 3-0 deficit to beat the Fury 6-3 and snap a three-game regular-season losing streak to Ontario. Tavoy Morgan scored twice, and Charlie Gonzalez added a goal and an assist in the win, and both will be hoping to add more this Sunday.
Ontario will be looking to avoid losing for the third straight game and hope to have some much improved offensive efforts.
Franck Tayou was held goalless for the first time this season. It will be an even more daunting task to recreate that feat in consecutive games. That hasn’t occurred without a big break in between games since December 28, 2019, and January 5, 2002, when the Fury took on Soles de Sonora, now defunct, and the Sockers. Ontario will also be looking to shore up their late-game defense as all of the Sockers’ goals occurred past the midway point of the third quarter.
The Sockers received some excellent news this week as Boris Pardo, Luis “Peewee” Ortega, and Juan Gonzalez will all be back after missing the last game due to being in COVID protocols. Brian Farber, out with plantar fasciitis for the first three games, returned to practice this week and will be a game-time decision to play.
On the unfortunate side for the Sockers, Gerardo Jurado will be out due to the same COVID protocols.
Brandon Escoto, who was fouled hard throughout the game last Sunday, will be a game-time decision as he is dealing with an ankle injury. Also injured during the last match was Felipe Gonzalez, who came up with a hamstring injury with less than 5 minutes to go in the game. He is currently questionable to play.
Sunday should be yet another hotly contested I-15 Derby between these two teams. The return of Pardo is beyond measure. Since he became the club’s #1 keeper in 2018, he’s grown into not just a leader on and off the field but a player whose passion and determination have helped the team rise when it’s been down and been a steady hand for the club. The Sockers will need that from their last line of defense as Ontario will not go away quietly into the night and be looking to even up the season series against the Sockers.
Tickets for the game are still available for purchase. They can be bought the day of the match at the arena or in advance on the Sockers’ website. If you prefer to watch the game from home, the MASL broadcasts all games on YouTube.