Fusion Go 2-0 on Northern California Road trip
Wins over Davis Legacy SC and San Francisco City FC Put Fusion into Play off Place
The Ventura County Fusion took all six points on its recent Northern California Roadtrip. In the first game, Fusion topped Davis Legacy SC 2-1 on a late goal by striker Logan Farrington. In the team’s second game, vs. San Francisco City FC, the offense exploded for five goals, the most the team has scored in a game this season, giving the Fusion a 5-0 win.
“It’s always different to travel away from home and bring back maximum points,” said Fusion head coach Mike Elias. “However, that's exactly what we have done. I was very pleased with the overall performance of the team. They showed real character and an edge to their game that we were looking for but never quite saw in previous games. We always thought we would score a winner during the Davis game. It was just a matter of time. The boys displayed a true gritty performance.”
The sweep puts the Fusion (6-2-2) in a second-place tie with the SoCal Seahorses (5-1-5) and the San Francisco Glens (6-2-2) in the USL League Two Western Conference Southwest division. All three teams have 20 points, putting them five points behind division-leading Project 51O. While Project 51O, SoCal Seahorses and San Francisco Glens each have one more game to play to complete their 12-game regular season, the Fusion has two, both to be played this week. The Fusion host last-place FC Golden State Force (0-4-5) twice this week to finish out the season. The first game, which is a rescheduling of a game that was postponed earlier in the season, takes place on Tuesday July 12 at 7 at Covina District field. The two teams meet again on Friday July 15, at Ventura College stadium at 7 pm in the Fusion’s final game of the regular season.
At the conclusion of the season, the top four teams from each division represent the division in the conference playoffs. Teams are seeded according to where they finish in their division and by their point totals.
Sweeping the NoCal trip was a great way for Fusion to gain some momentum heading into the final week of the season. Against Davis Legends SC, Fusion came back from a 1-0 second-half deficit to get the win. After a scoreless first half that featured a goal by Abubakar Fofanah called back for offsides, Davis Legends got on the board first at the 65th-minute mark. Dominic Vegaalban, coming off a solid freshman season at Santa Clara University, got behind the Fusion defense on a counter, chested down a cross deep in the box, and slipped it past Fusion goalie Tyler Kirberg. The Fusion, however, equalized less than 10 minutes later when Farrington bounced a shot off the leg of a Davis defender that rolled directly to Sergio Villalpando for an easy tap-in directly in front of goal.
The two teams battled toward full time and it looked like they would share the points. At the 89th minute mark, however, the Fusion earned a corner to the left of the Davis goal. Villapondo took the kick and sent it into the box. The ball skittered around in front of goal, until Farrington won the scrum and slammed in a shot from the right side for the game-winner.
Two days later against San Francisco SC, the Fusion’s offense came out firing. Fofana scored early again, off a deflection at the 8-minute mark and this time the goal stood. The Fusion had other chances, including a shot off the crossbar by Villalpando, but the teams went into the locker room at half time at 1-0 in favor of the Fusion. The floodgates opened at the 63 minute mark in the second half with a goal from Nathaniel Opoku, his third of the season. Thirteen minutes later, Farrington put the Fusion up 3-0 with a curler into the top corner. Farrington and Villalpando added goals four and five giving the Fusion its sixth win of the season.
“I have always said that we create multiple opportunities to score however fall short when it comes to putting the ball in the net,” said Elias. “The game against SF City was always coming. We played well, controlled large parts of the game and our finishing was worthy of the opportunities we created. The boys were very pleased and so was the coaching staff. I hope the momentum carries forward.”