Category Archives: Inland FC

NAASA95’s Epic First Cup Final

The first season of North American Adult Soccer Association-Riverside came to a close Sunday night with the NAASA95 Cup final at Ab Brown Soccer Complex.

And if you play for Inland FC, as I do, today is not the best ever.

We lost, 1-0, to Riverside Madrid on goal I allowed midway through the second half.

From a goalkeeper’s perspective, it sucks. I know I played out-of-my-mind and it still wasn’t enough to get the job done. I finished with six or seven saves — some of them critical — but all I can think about is how I reacted slowly in my dive attempt; That the ball was out of my reach before I was even at full stretch, and how I watched it rattle the netting in the back of the goal.

The harder part to assess are the other aspects of the game (like all of the play which happened on the other end of the field) but we were stout in defense and I’m proud that we allowed just one goal in each of our two postseason games.

We had our chances to score vs. Madrid — mostly in the first half — but we lost the middle of the field in the second half and were forced to repel attack after attack.

While the loss is sure to linger through the winter, there are several data worth noting for me.

I finished the season as the only Inland FC player to be on the field for every minute of every game. That’s more than 1,110 minutes, and it means I’ve now started and finished 27 consecutive games for my club dating back three seasons.

Overall, I allowed 22 goals in nine regular-season NAASA95 games*, finished with a 2.44 goals-against average, and even had one assist.

It was a memorable campaign and would not have been so without the efforts of my teammates (in alphabetical order): Daniel Arreaga, Ranjit Chahal, Alvaro Contreras, Leon Enderica, Sherif Fathy, Adrian Garcia, Hector Garcia, Aaron Lambert, Eric Lambert, Ryan Leonard, Hugo Oliveros, Juan Otero, Rene Perez, Cesar Reynoso, Kwaku Sarpong-Agyeman and Fabian Sythoff.

Each played integral roles, and contributed to the betterment of the league. Our quality forced the other teams to sign better players, which in turn gave the league the epic final it needed.

Now to use it as a springboard into next season…

* — Inland FC’s had one game cancelled after thieves stole essential components (copper wiring) to the lights at Ab Brown Soccer Complex.


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Filed under Inland FC, NAASA95, Soccer

NAASA95 Off To Competitive Start

NAASA95 got its unofficial start on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, with an exhibition match pitting Inland FC vs. Riverside’s Best at A.B. Brown Soccer Complex in Riverside (Calif.).

NAASA, the North American Adult Soccer Association, is a nationwide set of leagues sanctioned by USSF and plays under FIFA Laws. Riverside’s new startup, the Pete King Memorial Soccer League, features four divisions of men’s and women’s soccer.

I’m in my fifth season with Inland FC, which previously played in the Riverside Adult Soccer League before switching to start the Fall 2013 season.

On Sunday, I started my 16th game at goalkeeper for IFC and provided the league with many of its firsts.

I allowed the first goal.

I made the first save.

I allowed the second goal, and the third, but then something happened.

We got one back. Daniel Arreaga scored on a pass from Ranjit “Bolo” Chahal and we all picked our heads up for a minute.

But it was only a minute as our tired defense was broken down again, and Juan Otero was called for a foul in the penalty area to set up the league’s first ever penalty kick.

Moment of truth for both the kicker and the goalkeeper.

My initial thought was to dive right. He was a confident player who had already scored and I was not going to let him beat me to my strong side. Before he struck the ball, however, I noticed his body tilt as he approached and quickly dove to my left where I stopped his shot before punching it away.

I had already made five saves in the game to that point but it was by far the most important. We took possession of the ball and went down the other end and scored.

It was the pivotal moment in the game, and for me the first time I’ve stopped a penalty kick in my career. (I cannot remember every time, but I’ve probably whiffed three or four previous attempts.) I was breathing heavily after the fact, and probably needed the adrenaline because I had to react again less than two minutes later when I came off my line to defend a 1-on-1. I stopped the shot and smothered the rebound before releasing a timely outlet pass that led to the game-tying goal.

With all players feeling the heat — relative and actual (100-degree temps by the final whistle) — there was a decision to finish the game in with “golden-goal” or last-goal-wins scenario.

Fortunately, we have “Bolo” playing for our side. Chahal calmly tapped in the game-winner to give Inland FC a 4-3 victory in the league’s first-ever game.

It was a game of many firsts — not lost among them “Bolo’s” first two-goal effort — and one that will go down as NAASA95’s Inaugural Friendly.

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September 9, 2013 · 10:28 AM