North Texas SC Battle to Away Point in San Jose
On a gorgeous evening in San Jose, North Texas Soccer Club fought Quakes 2 for a vital point on the road.
San Jose Quakes 2 and North Texas SC played to a feisty 0-0 draw, with the home side most likely disappointed despite looking dangerous and controlling stretches of the match.
The two sides differed in age, with the younger North Texas SC side struggling in the first fifteen minutes but holding their own despite home field advantage. In the penalty kick shootout after the match, a single save from San Jose’s GK was enough to thwart North Texas.
Still, that vital away point has value.
“A point away is always good. Facing San Jose, they are a very good team. They had this advantage of playing at home… with this amazing stadium and grass,” North Texas Head Coach Javier Cano said after the match. “We weren’t at the best in style of play, but we needed to be compact and defensive. We saw the improvement of the team when we didn’t have the ball. Other than the first 15 minutes, we did well.”
While the team wasn’t able to score, Cano argued that there were many positives in the offensive side of the gameplan.
“When we had the ball, we put them in a position that they needed to defend. This team was very offensive. We were just thinking - get together, create the space, and one counter-attack will be enough,” Cano said.
Commentator James Hadnot mentioned a few times the age difference between the two sides, but Cano didn’t put much credence in that, noting that while North Texas is one of the youngest teams in the league, San Jose also fielded several young players.
North Texas midfielder Diego Garcia agreed. “Age difference, I think it’s like normal. If you can play on the level, it doesn’t matter the age. One person told me, if you are good enough, you are old enough.”
While the penalty kick didn’t go their way, Cano acknowledged that Julian Eyestone, North Texas’ phenom goalkeeper got his hand to one of San Jose’s penalty kicks. That extra point seemed to dangle out there for a moment. Eyestone was strong again throughout.
“If you don’t know him, you would think he is ten years older. He gives us a lot. Calm in the goal. Calm with the ball. He is also a good listener. He sometimes tried to play so fast, but when he listened to us, he was able to play with our tempo and give us a lot of security to our players. We were in very good hands at the back,” Cano said. “He gave us a chance with the penalties. He had his hand on one of the penalties.”
Preserving a clean sheet took the effort of the entire team, and outside of the opening fifteen minutes when North Texas turned the ball over too easily, the effort was there. It’s something to build upon.
“It is hard to keep a clean sheet. The whole team was putting 100% - putting the work so that the other team could not score. That’s football,” Diego said about the hard work of the lineup and their goals moving forward. “We keep working on little things - the first fifteen minutes. Touch more of the ball. Communicate. Don’t get nervous. Put more pressure on the other team.”
North Texas returns home to face Houston Dynamo 2 on Sunday, May 21.
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