Alongside of the weekly ‘Weekend in Review’ column posted on Mondays, I am adding a weekly match prediction column to be posted each Friday ahead of the weekend games.
Sacramento Gold @ San Francisco Stompers (Northern Flight): After three consecutive road losses the Stompers will host the Gold in their home opener at Boxer Stadium. The Stompers have struggled at both ends of the pitch this season, scoring only three goals while allowing twelve. Last weeks two goal performance against Sonoma County Sol was a marked improvement, and if they can repeat it - without the giving up the soft goals - they stand a chance of at least drawing a strong Sacramento side that is coming off of back to back wins against table leader Real San Jose and league newcomer CD Aguiluchos USA. My prediction for this match is a 3-0 win for Sacramento.
FC Hasental @ FC Santa Clarita (Southern Flight): Santa Clarita enters the game with momentum from a quality road victory over the San Diego Flash last week that puts them within one point of table leaders Hasental and OC Pateadores. Hasental and Pateadores played to a grueling 2-2 draw last weekend that saw Pateadores score the go ahead goal late into the second half while playing down man only to have Hasental equalize in stoppage time. Neither has defense has been spectacular over the first three games, though both have been sufficient. I anticipate another high scoreline with FC Hasental winning 4-2.
San Diego Flash @ Las Vegas Stallions (Southern Flight): San Diego will be looking to climb the table with a victory over the winless Stallions, who will be looking to build on the point gleaned from a 0-0 draw against San Diego Boca last week. The Flash have so far under performed this season after losing several key players from last years squad, but I expect they will handle Las Vegas without too many problems. Final score 2-0.
CD Aguiluchos USA @ Sonoma County Sol (Northern Flight): The enigmatic and unpredictable Aguiluchos travel to Sonoma County to take on a strong Sol side. Aguiluchos have struggled to score with all four of their goals coming in the lone victory over San Francisco - a trend I expect to continue against the Sol. Always strong at home, I predict a 3-1 win for the Sol.
San Diego Boca FC @ OC Pateadores: OC Pateadores has made the most of a re-branding effort and undefeated after three regular season matches. Boca are at the other end of the spectrum, winless still after a 0-0 draw with Las Vegas. The Pateadores defense has been stifling, and they nearly emerged with a victory last week over the highly touted FC Hasental offense - playing a portion of the match with only 10 men. San Diego will struggle to penetrate Pateadores defense, I predict a 2-0 win for the Pats.
Miami United @ Cape Coral Hurricanes (Sunshine Flight): This will be the second leg of the Everglades Cup as well as the final match of the pre-season for these two clubs. The first leg saw Miami cruise to a 6-0 shutout over Cape Coral. Miami may very well be the most underestimated side in the NPSL this season as they have quietly assembled a professional squad. I anticipate this leg will yield a similar result, as Cape Coral have struggled to score all against NPSL competition having also been defeated by a 2-0 margin by the Tampa Marauders on two occasions this pre-season. Prediction: 5-0 in favor of Miami United.
Junior Lone Star FC @ Hosa FC (Non-league pre-season friendly): Junior Lone Star continue their full pre-season line up by travelling to North Carolina for a 2 game series against Hosa FC. Lone Star have posted some good results so far this pre-season and will hope to solidify a starting 11 this weekend.