Okay let me start by saying the Fresno Fuego’s first preseason match wasn’t all it turned out to be. And I’ve followed them for years. I know many of their current and past players and coaches. So knowing how critical they are of themselves, I’m not way out there.
For their preseason exhibition against visiting San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS last Friday, the Fuego had asked their former forward and 2007 Premier Development League’s Player of the Year Pablo Campos to help out. But since Pablo had signed a four-year contract (the money is undisclosed, sorry) with the league a week before the ‘Quakes came to town, the response must have been, ‘I’ll be playing for the Earthquakes guys.’
Campos led the Fuego through many successful campaigns. He was definitely the ‘go-to’ guy of the squad and even led the league in scoring last year before he turned pro and signed with GAIS in Sweden. But he got home sick, missed the family, not la Familia Fuego, but his real ‘Brazilian Connection’ family in the states. So he got his agent to enter him into the MLS, another goal!
And after sitting out the entire first half, Pablo entered with about 34 minutes remaining in the second to score the sixth goal against Fresno. Faby Codeceira say something to the affect of , ‘There isn’t much to say about today.’
And there wasn’t … unfortunately.
And now head coach Scott Alcorn will face the huge task of putting together a roster that can take the squad back to the PDL National Semifinals. He’ll need to decide real soon, because the summer is fast-approaching on the Fuego; and their first four matches are all U.S. Open Cup qualifiers!
It’s difficult. With the expertise of midfielders Milton Blanco, Eddie Gutierrez, Adrian Alvarado and Jesus Santiago? And he must follow those blasted PDL age regulations. And then there’s Midfielder Fabricio (Faby), whose coolness on the field is equaled only by his vast amount of experience; same goes for defender Gaston Cignetti; midfielder Orlando Ramirez; goalie Brandon Cave. All these guys and so many unamed in this blog can bring success to the squad.
And five NCAA Div-1 collegiate players are expected. But if they are to do any good, they will have to arrive in time to workout. Unfortunately, says Faby, there won’t be in town until the fourth match.
Either way it plays out. The Fuego’s got a tough road ahead. And it could be that former Jaime Ramirez would not the uphill battle Alcorn will face.