Tonight's game between the Fresno Fuego and Nevada Wonders will pit the Premier Development League's highest scoring team against its' most giving team. Unfortunately, Nevada has been like Santa Claus so far this season.
Fresno (6-1) leads the league with 21 goals scored while the Wonders' 22 goals allowed is the most in the PDL. Not surprisingly, the Fuego have the two highest scorers in the PDL. Edgardo Contreras-Salazar leads the nation with 16 points on six goals and four assists. Teammate Orlando Ramirez is tied for the league in goals with six and has also tallied two assists to give him 14 points.
The Wonders (0-5-1) have only scored two goals this season, one of them on a penalty kick in a 4-1 season-opening loss to Fresno on April 20. Tonight's game will start at 7 at the Carson High soccer field.
"It should be interesting," said coach Paul Aigbogun. "They were quite a good team the first time we played them. We've added some more players and are a bit more organized now."
The Fuego are coming off a 3-0 road win last weekend against the San Diego Gauchos, a Pro Select League team. The Orange County Blue Star, who beat Nevada 4-0 last Saturday night in Carson, are the only team to beat Fresno this season (3-1). Orange County is in second place behind the first-place Fuego in the Southwest Division standings. Meanwhile, Nevada is trying to get out of the cellar. The BYU Cougars, who are two points ahead of the Wonders in the standings, have two difficult road games this weekend against the Southern California Seahorses and Orange County. However, the Wonders might have a difficult time getting their first win against a team like Fresno, which has a roster mostly made up of players in their mid-20s.
"They have older players and more experienced players," said Nevada General Manager Randy Roser. "They're not really into developing players like we are. They want to be known as the pro team from Fresno."
The Wonders' defense, though, has vastly improved the past two weeks. Nevada only allowed one goal to the Southern California Seahorses two week ago, but that was an own goal. It also held Orange County to only one goal in the first 60 minutes of the game before the Blue Star opened the game up.
Notes...The Fuego's 21 goals scored this season is six more than the second highest scoring team in the PDL. The Kansas City Brass have scored 15....Ernesto Oliden, a former Galena High star, is slowly recovering from a hamstring injury but could be available in tonight's game. Oliden, who scored Nevada's only goal in a 1-1 tie with Southern California two weeks ago, missed last week's game against Orange County because of the injury...Coach Paul Aigbogun is close to signing South Tahoe High School star Alex Torres. Torres was arguably the best forward in the Northern 4A last season...Aigbogun's also closing in on signing a backup goalie for starter Sebastian Rowe after Vince Licciardi, a Reed High star, quit the team...Licciardi's teammate at Reed, 16-year-old Anthony Grillo, should be back in action against Fresno. Grillo missed last week's game because of a church function.
PDL Western Conference
Southwest Division Standings
Team Record GF GA PTS
Fresno 6-1-0 21 8 18
Orange Cty. 2-2-0 10 7 6
So. California 1-1-2 7 9 5
BYU 1-3-0 6 13 3
Nevada 0-5-1 2 22 1
Southern California vs. BYU
Nevada vs. Fresno
Orange County vs. BYU
Fresno vs. Southern California