U.S.-mexico Rock Cbba Record Crowd in Masl Showcase
A Citizens Business Bank Arena record arena soccer crowd of 7,198 saw the United States get four goals from the San Diego Sockers’ Kraig Chiles as the Americans outlasted Mexico in the first-ever Major Arena Soccer League International Showdown game Monday night.
Chiles, the American captain, scored three straight U.S. goals, the second of which broke up three unanswered goals from the Mexican side in the third quarter, drawing Mexico to within one goal at 7-6. Chiles’ third goal of the game, coming with 53 seconds remaining in the third period gave the U.S. a two-goal cushion going into the final 15-minute quarter.
Both teams scored twice in the final period in front of the passionate crowd.
After the game, that was one of the leading topics of discussion by players from both teams – having the chance to play in front of the large crowd at the first-of-its-kind showcase event for the league.
“It was fantastic,” Chiles said. “What the Ontario Fury, and what Bernie did, selling that crowd was fantastic. I think it’s good for the league. I think all the players want to play in front of crowds like that. And I think all in all, I think it was a fantastic night for the MASL, for the Ontario Fury and the U.S. National Team.”
For the Fury’s Robert Tornel, a U.S.-born Riverside resident with dual citizenship, getting the chance to play for Mexico in front a crowd like that in his home building was a great honor.
“It was amazing, for both sides of the teams,” he said. “Just goals, the rebounds, the defensive side, all the yelling they would do, it would just pump you even harder.”
Ontario’s Juan Carlos Gonzalez opened the scoring, volleying a one-timer past U.S. goalkeeper Edgar Martinez of the Turlock Express 9:08 into the game. Eric Guzman (Las Vegas Legends) tied the game with 36 seconds in the first quarter, converting a pass from Matt Clare. Guzman ended the night with two goals and an assist, while Clare had a goal and three assists for the U.S.
Ontario’s Tino Nunez sent the crowd into halftime with his only goal of the night, a bicycle kick he converted off a Mexico turnover. Uziel Roman led the Mexican team with two goals and two assists in the losing cause.