Crossfire Select '92 Mercado: News

Sunday, February 28
Will the Last Person Leaving Milton Please Turn Out the Lights

Tacoma United Ends Crossfire's Season

The season started very shiny, but ended virtually in the dark as the boys concluded their season with a 1-0 setback against Tacoma United Sunday at Surprise Lake Middle School in Milton.  The quarterfinal defeat knocked Mercado out of the Challenge Cup Silver Division.

Hard to imagine, but this contest was decided in just the 4th minute.  Will was unfortunately flagged for taking down an opponent in the penalty area.  Tacoma capitalized with a low shot left from the mark and somehow it held up for the rest of the match.

This is not to say Crossfire did not have plenty of scoring opportunities.  The boys had nine shots in the 2nd half alone, of which seven were stymied by the brilliant Tacoma keeper and his defensive mates.  In particular, Jordan had a hard flick in the 73th minute, while Austin's attempt in the 76th was denied right at the goal line by a defender.

And the match wasn't without its strange effects.  The stadium lights mysteriously dimmed with 10 minutes remaining, putting the already chippy match at greater risk.  Backup game balls seemed to disappear into the night.  Still it wasn't until the 90th minute when Brandon's blast was just high that this game would somehow elude the boys.

So the boys' season comes to an end (a protest will be filed over the lack of lights).  There was a terrific summer tournament season (Crossfire Select Cup and Sky River champions, Spokane Northwest Cup finalists) and a fabulous fall league championship run.  There was just not going to be enough light at the end of the year-end tournament tunnel.

Final score: Tacoma United 1 Crossfire 0

Sunday, February 21
Superior Firepower Leads Crossfire to Quarters

5-2 Bombardment of Snohomish United

There's nothing like the sight of the Blue Angels against a snow-capped mountain background to show off military might.  On Sunday in gorgeous but chilly Snohomish, Crossfire brought both its aerial attack and ground assault as James and Austin combined for all five strikes in a convincing 5-2 win over Snohomish United. The conquest, the boys' 3rd trouncing against their league rival this season, lifts Mercado into next week's Challenge Cup Silver Division quarterfinal against Tacoma United.

Crossfire began the blitz early in this battle.  In the 5th minute, Andre' made a serious defensive run to snuff out a Snohomish surge and whipped the ball back upfield to Trevor, who relayed another long pass to space that a flying Austin gathered to finish for a quick 1-0 Crossfire lead.  Just three minutes later Tim slipped the goods to James for another score and a 2-0 Mercado lead.  In the 11th it looked like the rout was on when Trevor headed in an apparent 3rd goal that was disallowed when the offside flag was raised.

Somehow the feisty opponents started taking over the play over the middle third of the half.  Craig came out dancing to thwart one scrambling bid from the left side and a few minutes later made a spectacular save on a rocket that he deflected off the crossbar.

James resumed the Crossfire march in the 35th when he took a fine Jordan corner kick and head-bounced it into the net for a 3-0 Crossfire advantage.  The battle was looking one-sided until the final minute of the half when Snohomish caught a huge break from a Crossfire giveaway in the penalty area and fired one past a surprised Craig to send the teams to intermission at 3-1.

Mercado came out in the 2nd half with its usual frenzied energy.  In the 56th Austin cashed in with a strong finish after James chased down a deep Andre' corner for a 4-1 lead.

The game was gradually getting more chippy and even had a WWE moment as an attempted opponent takedown of Ryan W backfired when Ryan fell on the player and virtually knocked him out.

In addition to his dive-bombing prowess, Ryan provided the game's final Crossfire goal when his free kick found a face-planting James header to appropriately complete his hat trick in the 72nd.  Snohomish got one score back in the 89th, but the boys' second half dominance (13-3 shot advantage) was too much and are now off to the quarterfinals.

Final score: Crossfire 5 Snohomish United 2

Sunday, February 7
Not So Super

Crossfire Stymied by Renton, Relegated to Silver Level in Challenge Cup

Well if there's any consolation, imagine how the Colts must feel now.

Crossfire, needing only a tie to advance in the Challenge Cup against already eliminated Greater Renton, came up well short in a 4-1 drubbing Sunday at Renton Memorial Stadium.  The boys will now be cast down to the Silver (read: runnerup) Division and meet Snohomish United on February 21st in an elimination game.

Mercado, who had just come off a totally complete 4-0 thrashing of the Heat a week earlier, just couldn't follow that match up with any consistency.  Renton, playing with nothing to lose, carried the play from the outset, firing two shots early in the 4th and 9th minute, the first one severly testing Craig with a nice block while the second one whizzed dangerously just wide.  But in the 13th, the same Renton forward #4 blasted a roller across from the right corner that Will unfortunately cleared into his own goal for a 1-0 lead.

The only real highlight for the boys came in the 16th when Austin won his own ball back and fired a shot into the far upper V for the equalizer.  But any momentum quickly evaporated in the 21st when a counter attack led to a loose ball at the top of the Crossfire box that the home side turned and drilled for a 2-1 Renton lead.  Trevor was fouled just outside the 18 a few minutes later, but his direct sailed over the bar.  Crossfire remained down by one at the half.

Crossfire, knowing they merely needed to tie to inch past the Heat into the elimination round, stormed out in the 2nd half with their usual high energy.  Things looked real promising in the 54th when Brandon took a nice feed from Austin and ripped a shot in mid-stride that somehow the Renton keeper stoned to preserve the lead.

From there it started to slip away.  The boys were just not sharp in their passing game all day, and a long clear by Renton that Craig couldn't handle led to another opportunistic opponent goal and a 3-1 lead in the 70th. The home team added insult (4th goal on a header finish off a nice cross) to injury (Brandon whacked in the final seconds) and the clock painfully ran out.

Final Score: Greater Renton 4 Crossfire 1


Sunday, January 31
Crossfire Turns Down the Heat

Impressive Team Win Fires Up Tourney Chances

It was a cool, damp morning at Perrigo Park, but the heat was definitely on Mercado to save their tournament chances.  After the prior's day ice cold performance in a 2-0 loss to the Mt. Rainier Vipers, the boys came up with a huge effort to blank the Highline Heat, 4-0.  The complete team victory evened Crossfire's record at 1-1 in the 2010 Challenge Cup.

The Heat, who the boys had beaten and tied in two fall league meetings, were coming in red hot after a season-high six-goal performance a day earlier against Crossfire's next Sunday's opponent Greater Renton FC.

The boys had plenty of energy early in this one.  In the 7th minute Tim sent in Austin with a lovely linkup but he couldn't quite get off a decent shot.  On the ensuing corner kick, Andre' popped a follow over the bar.  Then in the 12th, Jordan sent a ball down the right flank to Nick G. whose patented cross found Trevor's foot for a loud driving finish that the Heat's keeper brilliantly stopped.

But the attack would continue for Crossfire.  Will's booming goal kick found a hole in the defense and it bounced all the way to Trevor who finished this one for a 1-0 Mercado lead in the 16th.  Crossfire got its second tally in the 33rd.  Nick R., who had literally subbed in seconds before, posted immediate dividends with a high cross from the right that James headed in on his second whack.  It looked like it would be a three-goal advantage in the 38th when Ryan W. found some daylight past midfield and launched a 40-yard missile off the woodwork that Michael followed too high.

The Heat finally got their best chance of the half in the 41st when their talented forward #2, who looks like Manchester United Wayne Rooney's stunt double, got in deep before being thwarted by a sprawling Craig save, one of nine big stops in the match.  The game went to intermission with Crossfire ahead, 2-0.

The boys continued to play strong to open the 2nd half.  In the 53rd Austin flicked a long ball to a striding Trevor who conked another one off the right post, but was hammered on the play in the area.  He drilled the PK far left and Crossfire now had a 3-nil advantage.  In the 61st, Austin powered a strong header from a well-struck Andre corner for a commanding 4-0 lead.

The victory was no longer in doubt, but due to the tournament scoring system, it was imperative that the boys hang on to the shutout to move up in the table after their opening game thud.  And it wasn't going to be simple.  Ryan C. was unfortunately sent off with a red card for dissent in the 67th and Crossfire had to play the final quarter of the match a man down.

Now it was time for the defense to shine.  The Heat, knowing well even one goal would mean a lot in the standings, mounted a furious rally in the final 20 minutes.  They outshot the boys 8-1 during that time, with several serious scoring bids saved not only by Craig's lunging efforts, but once by a last ditch Ryan W. header at the goal line and another by a Will lunging deflection.  The referee's generous stoppage time gave the Heat time for a few more flings, but the boys were up to the task.

Final score: Crossfire 4 Highline Heat 0

Saturday, January 30
Crossfire Faces Uphill Tourney Battle after Loss to Mt. Rainier

Flat Performance in Challenge Cup Opener

Knute Rockney, the legendary Notre Dame football coach, once famously said "The secret of winning games is working more as a team, less as individuals.  I play not my 11 best, but my best 11."  Well the Mount Rainier Vipers played their only 11 on Saturday morning at Marymoor Park, but it was more than enough to top Crossfire, 2-0, in the first game of the 2010 State Challenge Cup.

The Vipers, the 2009 Challenge Cup semi-finalists but competing with no substitutes, took the game to Mercado right from the kickoff controlling the action in the early going.  In the 13th minute, they lifted a dangerous high shot that Craig managed to snag, no simple task on a damp and drizzly day.  A few minutes later, Rainier drove a a direct kick just wide of the frame.

Meanwhile Mercado, despite their large roster advantage, was not getting enough of the play.  Their only decent early opportunity came in the 19th on a rare combination, a give-and-go between Tim and Austin, but Tim's cross went astray.

Finally the Vipers broke through for what held up to be the eventual gamewinner in the 25th.  A weak clear straight out led to a follow-up blast from the top of the box inside the left post for a 1-0 lead for the visitors.  They had another excellent scoring bid in the 39th following a penetrating run before Craig deflected a shot wide.  Mercado had only one more chance before halftime when Austin was sent in down the left flank but his shot under pressure was wide.  It remained 1-0 at the intermission.

Crossfire, which was getting very little play in the final third of the pitch, finally came out energized to start the 2nd stanza.  It lasted all of 5 minutes, culminating in a nice dribble effort and pass by Andre to Trevor who set up Tim for a shot that sailed over the bar.  From there the boys could not sustain much of an attack.  Their short and mid-range passing game totally failed them as balls were constantly given away or skidded harmlessly out of play.

The Vipers essentially put the game away in the 62nd by playing pinball on the goal mouth a couple of times before rapping in a score in the far corner for a 2-0 advantage.

Crossfire's offense was so inefficient that its first shot on the mark came from Brandon not until the 67th minute, and even that was when the offside flag was up.  Mercado's only serious chance to get back in the match was in the 70th minute when Brandon sent a bouncing pass from the right angle to a streaking Trevor, but his left footer rolled wide.

From there, the 11 unflappable mountain men from Rainier held strong and blanked a disheartened Crossfire squad.  Fortunately for the boys, the tournament has pool play, but the setback means starting tomorrow the road to the elimination rounds will be a steep one indeed.

Final score:  Mount Rainier Vipers 2 Crossfire 0

Saturday, November 14
Few Goods Runs, Many Hits and Too Many Errors

Crossfire Takes Fall League Crown Despite Final Game Setback

It would be easy to say Saturday's upset loss to the Maple Valley Rapids at Tahoma High School was due to missing three starters, to erratic officiating or even to not knowing where exactly we were playing in rural King County.  But the reality is a hungry opponent came out flying and scored two early goals to propel the Rapids to a surprising 3-2 victory over previously unbeaten Mercado.  Yet despite the loss, its first since August at the Northwest Cup final in Spokane, Crossfire ended the fall league season at the top of the table (8-1-3).

Just 4 minutes into the match, the Rapids took the lead they would never relinquish.  A counterattack down the left side led to a hard shot that Craig blocked but could not control, resulting in a follow-up header for a 1-0 lead.  In the 12th minute a ground cross was tapped in for a two-goal advantage.  The Rapids totally dominated the early part of the match.  Crossfire regrouped to get a few things going.  But they constantly made more unforced errors than a tennis player having a bad day and managed only two shots (giving up nine) in the first half that ended 2-0.

Mercado had a better start to the second half, but the Rapids were taking more advantage of a loosely officiated game with aggressive play that repeatedly stymied the Crossfire attack.  Just as it appeared the boys could mount a comeback, Will got tagged with a foul in the penalty area in the 67th minute.  The Rapids shooter looked like a flamboyant peacock as he bobbed and strutted before firing in the PK for a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Give the boys credit.  They kept plugging and were finally rewarded when Brandon laid up a nice cross for a James header to get Crossfire on the board in the 76th.  The Rapids seemed content to run out the time.  But as James struggled in the final minute to get off a shot, the referee awarded him a mysterious PK to apparently even things out.  While Trevor rang up the score and raced to midfield with the ball for the ensuing kickoff, this writer is convinced the referee knew he wouldn't be giving any stoppage time for a serious attempt at a Crossfire tie despite numerous "discussions" and yellow card bookings in the half.  And thus went the boys' undefeated run through the league.

Nevertheless Crossfire takes the regular season title and now must reset its goals on the upcoming Commissioner's Cup tournament beginning in early January.

Final score: MVP Rapids 3 Crossfire 2

Monday, November 9
Crossfire Settles To A Draw With HPFC

Crossfire vs HPFC

Crossfire traveled to Burien to play HPFC at Highline Stadium.  Crossfire is coming off a win against Snohomish yesterday and looked to put another W in the column.  Today also marked the return of Ian in the defense and another reshuffling of players due to injury or sickness.

Crossfire looking to continue the win streak with the long sleeved black jerseys started off nicely in the 8th minute when Ian took an overlap down near the corner of HPFC on the right and crossed it to an awaiting head of James for the score.  Not too long after, Jordan made a great takle and steal to pass to Austin down the left side who passed it to James in the center for another score in the 24th minute.

Things were looking up so we thought.  However, either the air changed or at least the karma changed.  In the 35th minute HPFC found a way to score and in a blink of only 3 minutes later, they scored again.  The first half would end 2 - 2.

Crossfire fought in the second half and found opportunities to score, but HPFC's keeper had some amazing saves to keep the score as it was.  There was a flurry on both sides to get that all important 1 last goal, but none would be had and at the end of 90 minutes, we would stay tied.

Final:  Crossfire 2  HPFC 2

Saturday, November 7
Crossfire Scores All Goals, Again; This Time All In Their Column

Crossfire vs Snohomish:

Crossfire and Snohomish meet again.  This time at L-Dub high school on a chilly blustery day.  But as it would prove again, Crossfire's scoring engine would heat things up.  Crossfire initially set up to play in red jerseys, but the chilly air was enough for the switch to the long black sleeved jersey.

In the early part of the first half it was business as usual.  Crossfire testing the field and working to get their rythmn.  And since it was cold, it took a while for the rythmn to come to fruition.  It wasn't until the 37th minute when James took advantange of his leaping abilities and headered a nice corner kick from Jordan for the first goal.  Snohomish didn't really have much offense in the first half and that would be the way the half ended; Crossfire up 1 - 0.

In the second half, Crossfire found its finely tuned engine and the team worked it well by scoring 4 more goals.  Trevor started it out with a strike from the 20 or so in the 58th minute just to the right of center.  Then another goal in the 61st minute by James from Austin on the left side, but this goal all started by a great defensive tackle for the ball by Jordan.  Just nine minutes later, James passed to Austin in the center in the 70th minute.  Three minutes later in the  73rd minute, Austin intercepted a loose pass by Snohomish and took it in on a solo score.  By this time, Snohomish was ready to have the match end and Crossfire proved that the black jerseys were cursed.

Final:  Crossfire 5  Snohomish 0

Sunday, November 1
After the Halloween Sugar High, You always Feel Sick

Crossfire Falls Backwards to Tie the Day After a First Place Victory

It's never a good thing to end your match with a yellow card.  But let's start there when Trevor was booked for expressing his general frustration with the day's events.  The feeling wasn't much better in any Crossfire stomach looking back at the entire game.  After the good taste of Saturday's rousing victory against the co-leading Redhawks, Mercado had major indigestion during Sunday's rematch with the Greater Renton Football Club (GRFC) at Redmond's Harman Park.  Crossfire was forced to settle for a 1-1 stalemate that had all the flavor of stale milk.

The only bearable thing to wash all of this down was an Austin header to finish a cross that Nick G. hustled to setup after a stray corner kick in the 66th minute.  While Crossfire had plenty of late-arriving energy for most of the second half, there was never enough ball continuity and too much irritation with the referee, their teammates, the sun and possibly too much candy from the night before to advance past a team they had defeated earlier this fall, 3-1.

GRFC made Crossfire pay in the 12th minute when a throw-in bomb was redirected past Brian for the game's first score.  In the 52nd minute, the opponents nearly went up two goals when they had a rocket direct kick from just outside the 18 that blasted off the crossbar near the far post.

Despite the tie, Crossfire actually picked up ground in the standings as the Redhawks were upended by the Maple Valley Rapids.  Apparently today was the day of the Goblins for the soccer elite.

Final score: Crossfire 1 GRFC 1

Saturday, October 31
It was Scary, but Crossfire's Treat is 1st Place

Boys Have a Devil of a Time Getting by the Redhawks

It's always a treat watching Crossfire and the defending Commissioner Cup champions Redhawks battle.  For the third time (so far) this year, the two teams played down to the wire and for the second time (plus one tie), Mercado came out on top, 1-0, on a sunny, windy day at Marymoor Park.

The Redhawks even wore a new costume (all black) for Halloween eve.  But in the 8th minute, it was Ryan C. who slipped in like a ghost and intercepted an attempted goalie clear.  He immediately sent in a long ball towards the far post that ultimately James corralled for an easy tap-in.  Only a zombie could have imagined that this goal would stand up as the match's only score.

Crossfire certainly could have had more candy in their bag by halftime.  In the 40th minute Brian sent James in alone, only be thwarted by the keeper.  Nick R. followed with a decent chance from a pretty Michael ball.  But for the most part the Redhawks used their wind advantage to pile up opportunities before halftime, outshooting the boys, 9-4.  The scariest moment was a spooky bouncer in the 30th minute that almost got over Craig's head before he finally gathered it.

The winds didn't blow quite as hard in the 2nd half in Crossfire's favor, but it was the Redhawks that kept storming back.  Their combination play kept the boys guessing which (witch?) way the ball was rolling and they relentlessly blasted shots that came at the Crossfire net like bats in the night.  But depsite getting off 15 more attempts in the 2nd half (24-9 advantage for the match), very few were on target and Craig handled those with ease.  Although the shorthanded defense had less rest than vampires, Tim very ably filled in at sweeper for Will, while Chris played his typical shutdown game at outside back to thwart any really good prospects for the opponents.

Crossfire needed all of their tricks to hang on for a hard-fought win against the Redhawks, 1-0, and now stand alone atop the table at 7-0-1.

Final score: Crossfire 1 Redhawks 0

Sunday, October 25
Crossfire Doesn't Miss the Boat

Late 1st Half Torpedo Leads to Sinking the Havok

The first time these teams met in the season opener, Mercado needed a late storm to turn the tide against NK Havoc of Poulsbo.  This time Crossfire controlled the air, ground and sea enroute to a 4-1 decision against their opponents in soggy Kingston.  Outshooting Havoc 22-3, the boys used a variety of weapons for the win.

It didn't look that easy from the start.  Crossfire had a couple chances early in the game, but it was actually Havoc who sent a tricky cross in the 18th minute that Brian corralled to keep the competitive first half match scoreless.  Finally right before halftime, Ryan C. whipped a nice lead ball to James who marched his way into the penalty area before being sandwiched to the turf by a host of Havok defenders.  The ball ricocheted right out to an onrushing Andre', who blasted a torpedo that almost ripped through the net for the game's first score.  Crossfire went to halftime leading 1-0.

The boys took the game over during the middle part of the second stanza.  In the 58th Austin fed a nice short ball deep down the right flank that Trevor neatly slid from the touch line to James out front who fired it home.  In the 68th Nick G. put out the first of his two beautiful long crosses, this one to James who used a second chance shot for a three-goal advantage.  Two minutes later Tim, who had just bounced back from a bloody nose thanks to a stray ball to the face, this time used his harder head to brilliantly redirect from the far post an even longer missile from Nick G. for Crossfire's final score of the day.

Havok did take advantage of a follow-up to a direct kick to get on the scoring sheet in the 77th minute.  From here, the boys just had to survive a testy finish (Havok was booked for 3 yellow cards during the match) to take home the victory.  The win keeps the boys in step with the Redhawks at 6-0-1 and the two co-leaders will meet next Saturday with first place on the line.

Final score: Crossfire 4 NK Havok 1


Sunday, October 18
Crossfire Starts Slowly, But Finishes Rapids

Mercado Tied for 1st at Fall Season's Halfway Point

Crossfire got off to a sluggish start in Saturday's match at 60 Acres against the Maple Value Premier (MVP) Rapids.  Playing the last of its fall league opponents for the first time, the boys gave up a lot of territorial control in the early going until they finally came alive.  Trevor was taken down in the box in the 15th minute, but unfortunately Jordan punched his PK wide right.  Still the boys kept the pressure on and in the 22nd scored on their prettiest combination of the day.  Will started it all from the back third with a nice ball to Nick along the right sideline who pushed it forward down the same wing to a streaking Trevor.  His lunging cross found an attacking Austin's header for the match's first goal.

Later in the half the Rapids got untracked and had three consecutive dangerous low crosses thwarted by Craig.  In the 42nd minute, Tim sent Michael in alone on the keeper who deflected his scoring attempt.  On the ensuing corner kick, Jordan's long drive landed on Trevor's waiting foot to knock in the finish for a 2-0 Crossfire halftime lead.

Austin had a couple of excellent chances early in the second half saved by the opponents' new keeper.  Just as it appeared Crossfire was successfully navigating the Rapids to an easy victory, their foes countered with a fast-moving wave of their own and put one by Craig from the left angle in the penalty area in the 63rd, cutting the boys' lead in half, 2-1.

It looked like the rough waters wouldn't last long when in the 67th Andre' put a beautiful cross to Brandon right at the goal month, but his tap-in sailed high.  Craig prevented any further queasy stomachs when he poked away a possible tying goal by the Rapids in the 69th minute.  This allowed Brandon to atone for his apparent easy goal by golfing in a much more difficult long looping floater from the left sideline and a 3-1 Crossfire lead at the 75 minute mark.  After Nick R. was trampled by the Rapids keeper in the final minute, Trevor zipped in a second Crossfire PK opportunity by a confused netminder and the boys finished the first half of their fall season in style.  They currently sit atop the table along with the Redhawks at identical 5-0-1 marks.

Final score: Crossfire 4 MVP Rapids 1

Tuesday, October 13
Snohomish shows up on field, but Crossfire does all the scoring

Another physical game, but injuries at a minimum

Crossfire drove to Snohomish to play our northern rivals.  We knew it would be physical but didn't know the score would be lopsided.  The first half was mostly played on the Snohomish side.  It wasn't until the 38th minute when James took matters into his hands, but not literally, and scored on a nice strike from the right side.  The half ended with Crossfire up 1 - 0.

The second half continue with Crossfire taking the possession, but every now and then Snohomish would surprise us with an attack.  In the 55th minute Austin took a long released ball as their keeper came out to try and pressure him, but Austin side stepped him and found the net for the 2nd score.  An unfortunate attempt to clear, by Michael, during a corner by Snohomish ended up as an own goal.  Crossfire 2 - Snohomish 1.  Pressure by Crossfire immediately following that goal had RC getting a great header into the box for the 3rd goal.  In the 75th minute, Nick G. took a shot from the right side for the 4th goal.  Crossfire was just in cruise mode to get to the full 90.  In a misstep by Brian in goal, the ball slid through gloves and was kicked by his heal for another own goal.  Thankfully that was in the 89th minute and we knew the end was near.

Final:  Snohomish 2  Crossfire 4

Sunday, September 27
Good Soccer, Like Good Healthcare, Sometimes Ends Up Deadlocked

Late Goal Pulls Redhawks Even With Mercado in Battle of Unbeatens

It's a good thing Crossfire brought the full roster to Garfield High School for Sunday's early fall season titanic matchup with the Redhawks of Seattle.  Life can be tough in the city as no fewer than 5 Mercado players went down with injuries in this hard-fought match.  Crossfire's depth couldn't quite knock out the defending state Commissioner Cup champs, settling for a 1-1 tie.

After just two weeks of the fall campaign, it was already evident that these two squads had risen to the class of the league.  Crossfire and the Redhawks had already met once earlier in July's Crossfire Select Cup championship game, with Mercado taking the title with a 2-1 overtime thriller.  Right off the kickoff it appeared this would be another tight battle.  Both sides had some early chances as the intensity built.  James headed a corner kick rebound in the 13th minute that was swatted away by a defender.  A minute later the opponents pushed down the right side and whacked a shot just over the crossbar.

Finally it was Crossfire who broke the scoreless tie in the 19th minute.  After a nice buildup, Jordan sent a ball to Ryan W. down the left flank.  He lofted a long cross from at least 30 yards that kept rising and eventually finding the back of the net over the stunned keeper for a 1-0 Crossfire advantage.  The Redhawks had two more good opportunities in the 20th and 28th minutes, but both shots went wide.  The half ended 1-0, Mercado.

In the 52nd minute, Trevor rifled a low right corner direct kick that the keeper blocked with his best save of the match to keep the match close.  From here, Crossfire seemed to be battling their bodies along with their adversaries.  Over the course of the match, Tim (knee), Trevor (leg), Ian (calf), Will (knee) and Jordan (an assortment of body parts) all were forced to come out of the match with injuries.  The Instabench was gradually turning into the set of M*A*S*H.  Crossfire was in need of a good health care plan as much as a game strategy to make it through this match.

And the Redhawks were not going down without a fight.  First they shifted to a long ball strategy which the Crossfire defense held off on successive attempts in the 60th minute.  But later in the 74th, the opponents stopped a Mercado combination in their own half, quickly countered with a two-man push and finally inched in a rebound for the equalizer.  Both teams had more opportunities but the final whistle ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

Final score:  Crossfire 1 Redhawks 1

Saturday, September 26
Crossfire Stays Unbeaten with 5-1 Romp

Five Goal 1st Half Burst Turns off the Heat

Alright it was early, a 9 AM start at chilly Marymoor Park for an encounter with the Highline Premier Football Club (HPFC) Heat '92.  But how many offsides would it take to wake up the boys?  There were four calls in the first nine minutes alone of the match.  But no wonder, the Heat were only fielding a team with 10 players, so there just weren't enough opponents to keep Crossfire onside.

Once Mercado adjusted to the unven math, the boys shortened their passes and took control in rapid fire.  In a span of 22 minutes, Crossfire rammed home five unanswered goals on their way to a 5-1 rout to stay unbeaten (3-0) in Fall league play.

Ryan W. started the barrage in the 15th minute, rapping in the first goal off an opponent's leg, following his first shot attempt from the right touch line.  Just a minute later the boys came up with their prettiest score of the day.  Austin laid a ball out to Nick G. on the right wing who rifled a cross back for James' crashing header in the box and a 2-0 advantage.

Shortly afterwards in the 19th, James controlled a lead bouncer from Ryan C. and scored on his second opportunity past the keeper.  In the 26th minute, Austin came in strong down the right half of the penalty area and blasted one in the near upper V to make it 4-0.  Finally in the 37th, Ryan C. scored in tight off a nice feed from Craig.  Crossfire took an insurmountable 5-0 lead to the half.

To make it a more competitive 2nd half, the Heat "recruited" an 11th man and it resulted in a much more interesting 45 minutes of play.  Brian was able to get a lot more work in goal and the usual stalwart back line of Chris, Jordan, Ian and Will were up to the challenges.  Only a late score in the 77th minute by the new 11th man (wearing Brian's jersey, no less) spoiled Brian's shutout.  But all in all, it was a solid team effort and a nice tuneup for the following day's early season league battle with the Redhawks.

Final score:  Crossfire 5 HPFC Heat '92 1

Sunday, September 20
Crossfire Takes 2nd Straight Win at Starfire

Two Early 2nd Half Scores Keep Mercado Unbeaten

Great coaches always tell their team they have to work hard, train relentlessly, give it their all and play the full 90.  For all that effort, couldn't we at least get free parking too?

Crossfire travelled down on Sunday afternoon to the Seattle Sounders' Starfire complex in Tukwila for a matchup with Greater Renton Football Club (GRFC).  Both teams were coming off matching opening weekend 3-1 victories.  Only one team would end the day undefeated.

Unlike last week's need for late-game heroics, Mercado started off this contest strong.  Ryan C., Tim and Austin all had good shot opportunities denied in the first 15 minutes.  But in the 16th minute an onrushing Nate finished a short cross from Austin for a 1-0 Crossfire lead.

Just two minutes later it appeared the boys would take a two-goal advantage, but James' low shot went just wide of the far post.  The near miss seemed to energize the opponents who battled the boys evenly over the next 15 minutes.  And after a strong pass across to the right angle, GRFC scored the equalizer with a high finish.  The game went to halftime tied 1-1.

Craig kept the game even just one minute into the 2nd stanza with a good save right out front.  Then James got busy.  In the 52nd, a beautful Andre' cross neatly found James' sprawling header for a 2-1 Crossfire advantage.  Just a minute later, James followed his own shot in close and made it 3-1, Mercado.

In the 66th, Trevor had a great chance to cement an insurmountable three-goal lead.  But like James' 1st half bid, his low blast went just wide on the far side.  This once again gave GRFC some hope and it took two huge saves by Craig, the first one battling a shot off a corner kick in the 73rd, followed by a block at point blank range in the 79th.

Crossfire had a few more opportunities to ice it.  Brandon had a great chance in the 81st from a nifty Jordan pass, and then Brian had two straight rips thwarted by brilliant keeper work, including stopping the second with a lunging deflection.  The boys were finally able to run out the time and pick up their 2nd straight league win.

Final score:  Crossfire 3 GRFC 1


Sunday, September 13
Crossfire Works Extra Time to Eke Out Season Opening Win

Two Goals in Stoppage Time Lift Mercado Past NK Havok

After three highly successful summer tournaments, Crossfire was ready for some smooth sailing as they opened their fall season with an early morning match at Hartman Park against NK Havok of Poulsbo.  Little did they know they would be in choppy waters for most of the match.

Havoc barely had time to get off their ferry when they had a brilliant counter in the 2nd minute.  A  give and go sprang a talented opponent with a long run and he shot one past an outstretched Craig for an early Havok 1-0 lead.

Mercado spent much of the half without much consistency.  They did still have a few scoring opportunities.  Trevor had a decent left footer in the 10th minute.  Austin was in alone in the 17th minute.  Tim had a header off a long Ian throw right before halftime.  But Crossfire never got many quality combinations and spent too much time worrying about referee decsions.  The half ended with Havok still up 1-0.

As is their typical style, Crossfire started the 2nd half at full throttle.  Displaying their first consistent set of passes and keeping their opponents on the defensive, they finally broke through in the 49th minute.  Ian sent a long cross from the right angle that James' header kept alive long enough for Austin to strike home for a 1-1 tie.

Havok's skipper, sensing some serious Crossfire momentum, took a lot of extra time attending to his slightly injured sweeper.  The strategy helped turn the tide long enough for his squad to get back on even keel.

The next 15 minutes were pretty evenly matched. Then Havok took the play over with several good chances.  Craig blocked a direct kick in the 62nd minute and just two minutes later came up with his best save of the match when he stymied the early goal scorer's high left footer.  In the 70th minute Ian provided the most dramatic stop when he hustled back to swipe clear an apparent score right before it crossed the goal line.  And just one minute later a Havok 25 yard blast went just over the crossbar.  The boys were doing everything they could to keep their collective head above water.

Then it was Crossfire's turn to regain the edge.  Its best chance came in the 87th minute when both James and Austin had hacks in the box off a corner kick.  As the clock was winding down it appeared the boys had missed the boat on a season opening win.

But just as regular time was expiring, a stray Havok goal kick riccocheted to a grateful Trevor who eked a shot agonizingly slowly off the far left post and into the net for a 2-1 Mercado lead.  The boys had barely stopped their jubilant celebration when a long Will goal kick found an unmarked James, who unleashed Austin with a lead ball and he powered one past the beleagured goalie for the clincher.  The boys had finally found the leaks in their opponents and sailed home with the victory.

Final score:  Crossfire 3 NK Havok 1

Sunday, August 30
Sky River Tournament - Championship Match

PK's Pull Mercado out of Hornets' Nest for Sky River Title

Crossfire forgot to pack the bug spray for this trip.  And who needed it?  The weather was sunny, the water looked inviting and all signs pointed to a relaxing day at the park on the way to the Sky River Tournament championship.  Well the Hornets planned a big surprise.  And the boys nearly got stung.

Just 48 hours after Crossfire had thoroughly dismantled the LVR Hornets of Laurelhurst/ViewRidge, 4-0, in group play, the boys figured their opponents would be a cinch to swat away.  LVR brought only 12 players to the match and were admittedly surprised even to be in the title game.

But knowing they were undermanned and overmatched, LVR decided to pack 10 guys in their own end, frustrate the Crossfire attack and play for a draw.  And the strategy worked to perfection.  The boys were outhustled and frustrated in the first half which ended in a scoreless tie.

Mercado came out with more fire in the 2nd half, with consecutive decent shot attempts by Trevor, Tim and Ryan W. (off the post).  Trevor sneaked in alone in the 47th minute, but could not find the trigger.  In the final minute Andre' rifled two crosses that Crossfire could not quite finish and the game went to full time still at 0-0.

In this tournament there would be no overtime periods, just penalty kicks.  James moved in to goal for Crossfire and immediately came through with a flying save to his right.  Austin then blasted one in for a 1-0 Mercado lead.  LVR was once again thwarted on their 2nd attempt when James again darted to his right for the block.  Nick G. calmly coaxed a low far side shot in for a 2-0 advantage.  With the pressure building, James this time scampered left for his third straight clutch save.  This left it up to Trevor to wrap it up and he delivered a high far post score and Crossfire had secured its 2nd summer tournament title.

Kudos to the Hornets who really gave the boys all they can handle.  Hopefully they learned never to underestimate hungry bees.

Final Score:  Crossfire 1 LVR Hornets 0 (shootout, 3-0)

Sunday, August 30
Sky River Tournament Game 4

Elite brings tough game, but not enough

The Crossfire boys had to climb out of their warm cozy beds for an 8am match to face an Elite team from Vancouver, WA.  Crossfire brought early energy and was able to find the goal in the 11th minute when James who was on the left side with his back to the goal spoun about to his left around the 18 for a right footed shot on the ground to the far post for the score.  From there on to the end of the first half, Crossfire held most of the advantage on possession, but not further scores were made.

The second half started and looked much like the end of the first half with both teams scurrying to score.  Tough ball control on the poor fields made for unfortunate turnovers for both sides.  Crossfire sealed the deal in the 54th minute with a free kick that Will took in our own half to Michael Powell who then passed to an awaiting James for a right-footed strike for a 2 - 0 lead.  That is the way the game ended, but it was enough for Crossfire to move onto the finals.

Final:  Crossfire 2  SCSS Elite 0

Saturday, August 29
Sky River Tournament Game 3

Not much umph in Arsenal attack

Crossfire started quick in its attack.  In the 3rd minute, RC, on the right side, took a cross from Jordan on the left side around 10 yards and made a nice right footed strike into the net.  In the 22nd minute, a hard working Brandon tried to dribble through defenders in the penalty area and was awarded a penalty kick for the foul he received.  Brandon kindly accepted the PK opportunity and made the score with a careening ball off of the left goal post.  Crossfire now up 2 - 0.  The first half ended the same.

Crossfire again started things quickly.  In the 31st minute a free kick was awarded to Crossfire around 20 yards out and to the right of the goal.  James took the kick and in a well placed bending ball found the upper far post for our 3rd score.  Just a few minutes later, Ian made a throw in around 30 yards out into the goal area and a deflection off of an Arsenal player into the net gave Crossfire a 4 - 0 lead.  In the 41st minute, Austin took a placed free kick from Ian on the left side into the net for the fifth goal of the day.  That is the way it would end.

Final:  Crossfire 5  Arsenal 0

Friday, August 28
Skyriver Tournament Game 2

Hornets with Not Enough Sting

In game 2 of the Monroe Skyriver tournament, Crossfire wasted no time against the LVR Hornets of Laurelhurst/View Ridge.   In just the 3rd minute, Ryan W. took a lead ball from Trevor, sent one across the penalty area past Austin to an onrushing Nick G. for the finish and an early 1-0 lead.  Just 7 minutes later, Ryan C. posted up like a basketball power forward, turned and fired off an errant corner kick and Crossfire was up by two.  In the 17th minute Austin rapped one in from a nice Nick G. pass set up initially by James.  Still in the first half, Austin pulled down a ball and fired one just inside the far post for a commanding 4-0 Crossfire halftime lead.

While the boys had several more good scoring opportunities, the only real suspense in the 2nd half was whether the boys could maintain the shutout and earn the maximum torunament game points (10).  Keeper Brian ended any drama by stopping a hard short side shot in the 45th minute.  Apart from that, the LVR offense did not have much of a bite in this match.

Final score:  Crossfire 4 LVR Hornets 0

Thursday, August 27
Skyriver Tournament Game 1

Life in the Evergreen State

There are definitely things you can count on living in the Evergreen State.  Lots of evergreen trees.  Grass that will always turn green (no matter how burnt it gets in the summer).  And apparently it also means that Crossfire opens a tournament by playing Evergreen '92 of Everett.

This time the setting was the rather cozy fields near Lake Tye in Monroe.  With a pitch more narrow than your average teen jeans, the boys started the match with plenty of pressure but couldn't find enough openings to get a good shot off.  The first half (30 minutes in this tournament) ended in a scoreless tie.

The second half began with Crossfire taking the energy up several notches.  In the opening minute Trevor threaded a through ball to a streaking James who powered a left footer for a 1-0 Crossfire lead.  In the 42nd minute, Ian took advantage of the slim sidelines to bomb a throw almost to the goal line that the keeper deflected back to Trevor's advancing head for a 2-0 advantage.

Crossfire survived a scare when Chris was called for a suspect foul on a ball tackle close to the end line.  But in this field's parameters, almost everything within the 18 was in the penalty area so it resulted in a PK.  Craig was up to the task with the key save to preserve the two-goal lead.

The boys kept the pressure on and finally in stoppage time, Andre' lofted a 2nd straight nice corner kick that Ryan W. hammered in right before the final whistle to complete the whitewash.  Just like in the Crossfire Select Cup opener, Crossfire blanked Evergreen 3-0.  Apparently we can count on it.

Final score:  Crossfire 3 Evergreen '92 0

Sunday, August 16
Spokane Northwest Cup Game 5 - Finals

Usually Winter Never Ends When You See This Much Shadow

Celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has nothing on Crossfire '92.  He pokes his head out once a year to spot his shadow, then goes back to hibernation once the cameras leave.  Our boys had to endure a 2nd match in three days with the Spokane Shadow, this time in the finals of the Northwest Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Just a couple hours after a rousing semi-final victory over the Wenatchee Arsenal-Fire, Crossfire got a encore dose of soccer's dark winter with the talented premier level club.  Once again the opponents were too strong for the boys and took the tournament title by a similar 3-0 margin as the opening match.  They proved they could take out a Select team.  Good show.  Even the groundhog might be impressed.

Still the boys put up a good fight and had several strong scoring opportunities.  Twice in the first half, Jordan threaded nice through balls in to Trevor (couldn't quite get the shot off) and Austin (great keeper save), respectively.  James drilled a header from a booming Ian throw that the Shadow keeper scrambled to grab.  And Jordan just missed the post on a looping horizontal run around the 18.

In addition Brian gave Craig a breather in goal and had a strong match thwarting several good Shadow scoring opportunities.

Despite the setback, Crossfire took home hardware (runnerup trophy) for the 2nd straight tournament and can now set its sights on the Monroe Skyriver tournament in 2 weeks.

Final score:  Shadow 3 Crossfire 0


Sunday, August 16
Spokane Northwest Cup Game 4 - Semi-finals

Only Fire Wakes up the Boys at 8 AM

The boys finally had a even matchup in the Northwest Cup semi-finals when they took on the Wenatchee Arsenal-Fire Sunday at an obscenely early (for 16 year olds) 8 AM kickoff.  This match was all about size (Crossfire) vs speed (Wenatchee).  Speed killed early when the Fire took advantage of a lightning fast 3-on-1 break in just the 3rd minute for a quick 1-0 lead.  But soon Crossfire began to flex its muscle and skill over a scrappy, but physically overmatched opponent.  James got the equalizer, putting in a rebound off a scrum out front in the 14th minute.  Crossfire had (too) many opportunties the rest of the half but had to settle for a 1-1 tie at the break.

The Fire opened up the 2nd half with a flurry until Austin flicked a booming goal kick by Will to a breaking Trevor who followed his own shot for Mercado's first lead of the match in the 47th minute.  It barely lasted as Wenatchee came back and put one in the upper corner for a 2-2 tieDespite Crossfire's overwhelming shot advantage, it appeared this one was headed for extra time.  But with 8 minutes remaining, James kept alive a Jordan corner kick long enough for Brandon to knock in what ultimatly proved to be the game winner.  Crossfire still could not put out the Fire until the final minute when James drove home the clincher.  The boys were going to the finals!

Final score:  Crossfire 4 Wenatchee Arsenal-Fire 2

Saturday, August 15
Spokane Northwest Cup Game 3

Tie(breakers) goes to the Runner

It was getting complicated leading up to the third and final game of the round-robin play.  We were competing with two other teams in our group for two spots in the tournament semifinals.  The only glitch was we were not playing head-to-head with our competition for the coveted spots.  So now we were stuck with NFL-style tie-breakers:  goal differentials, brighter uniforms, more days in the sun, the usual playoff vagaries.  The only thing we knew is that we had to win big.  Pretty big.  And what better opponent for solving a tie-breaker than another match with the Breakers, this time Breakers Dittman.

The boys were ready from the kickoff.  In the 1st minute, Austin again got things rolling with a ground cross to James whose shot was tapped in by Nick G.  Just two minutes later, Ausin followed a James crossbar boink for a quick 2-0 lead.  When it seemed that Crossfire might face another mid-half lull, Andre' set up Michael with a brilliant angle cross in the 27th minute.  And when Jordan took advantage of another hardware richochet after Trevor hit the post, it was a comfortable Crossfire 4-0 halftime lead.

But still was it enough?  Just to make sure, Austin drilled home his second goal of the game early in the 2nd half and soon afterwards James slid one across to Nick G. for his second of the afternoon and the boys were rolling to an easy victory.  Even though a semifinal spot was not guaranteed, Coach appropriately called off the dogs at that point.  The boys were still rewarded with a top two finish in their group and will live on for an early Sunday AM semifinal matchup with Wenatchee Arsenal-Fire.

Final score:  Crossfire 6 Breakers Dittman 0

Saturday, August 15
Spokane Northwest Cup Game 2

Breaker Breaker

No it wasn't a return to CB radios days (although I suspect there are a few still operating on this side of the Cascades).  Saturday morning Crossfire was facing Breakers Viveiros, the first of two entries from the Breakers club of Spokane.  Austin was certainly getting a handle on the ball early.  After two quick good shot opportunities, he finally powered one home for an early Mercado 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.  Soon after in the 19th minute, Ian sent in a long ball that Brian kept alive long enough for James to rap it home for a two-goal advantage.  And when Jordan intercepted a goal kick and beautifully put one through to Trevor for a breakaway finish early in the 2nd half, it looked like the rout was on for Crossfire.

But Vivieros was not shutting off its radio yet.  They gradually took over the frequency and got on the board with a corner cross in the 55th minute to cut the lead to 3-1.  Fortunately the boys survived the static and held on for the tighter than expected win.

Final score:  Crossfire 3 Breakers Viveiros 1


Friday, August 14
Spokane Northwest Cup Game 1

No Sun, but a Strong Shadow

Just a couple weeks ago, it was over 100 degrees and we were all sweating in Seattle.  Now we're in Eastern Washington in mid-August for the Spokane Northwest Cup.  So what happens?  Summer's a shadow of its former self.  And Crossfire's first tournament match is against the Spokane Shadow, a 1st division Premier club fresh off its recent Crossfire Premier tournament championship (beating both Crossfire's A and B teams for the cup).

Everywhere the boys went, they were surrounded by Shadows.  It didn't take long for the opponents to strike, taking advantage of a counter in the 8th minute and scoring off a cross for a 1-0 lead.  A 2nd counter led to an easy score in the 15th minute for a two goal advantage.  Only some great work by Craig in the net kept the margin reasonable as the game went to halftime.

Crossfire did come alive midway through the 2nd half, but the energy did not produce many scoring opportunities.  The Shadow finally put it away in the 62nd minute with a nice turn and rocket shot from just outside the 18 for the final outcome.

Final score:  Shadow 3 Crossfire 0

Tuesday, July 28
Crossfire Select Cup - Game 4 & Championship Match

Crossfire Select Cup Day Three Recap 

Mercado Shoots Down Redhawks for Crossfire Select Cup Title 

It seemed like only yesterday, but five months after the sting of losing in the 2009 Commissioners Cup state finals, Crossfire got another crack at the Redhawks from Seattle.  This time it was in our backyard for the Crossfire Select Cup championship. As the afternoon heat soared towards 90, neither team nor its fans brought high energy in the first half.  60 Acres was eerily quiet after 2½ days of tournament soccer as the two squads battled to a first half stalemate.  The Redhawks had the closest scoring opportunity in the 21st minute when an apparent goal off of a corner kick was nullified on an offside call. 

The second half was a different matter. The teams jacked up their intensity right from the kickoff.  On both ends, balls were careening off posts and crossbars, goalies were making mad scrambles for possession, and numerous shots were twisting just wide or over the target.  Both Ryans were booked for yellow cards as the pursuit of the tournament title became ever more passionate. The two sides somehow knew this game was not going to be decided by full time, so off to two 10-minute overtime periods we went.   

Finally in the 72nd minute, Crossfire’s persistence was rewarded when Austin’s long arching shot bounced off the keeper into the well-extended chest of the onrushing James into the net for a 1-0 lead.  Things looked really secure for Mercardo in the 2nd overtime when Ryan W’s persistent challenge led to a loose ball for Ryan C. who struck a beautiful shot into the far upper V for a seemingly insurmountable two-goal advantage with under four minutes to play. But the Redhawks are not the reigning state champions for nothing.  They quickly responded with a goal in the 88th minute and had a couple of possibilities for the equalizer.  Crossfire hung on and clinched it first Crossfire Select Cup title! 

Final score:  Mercado ’92 2 Redhawks 1 (OT)  

Earlier Sunday Game – Crossfire Only Puts on a Tie in Dress Rehearsal 

Already having secured a berth in the tournament title game, Crossfire played their last game of the round-robin with ISC Arsenal from Issaquah at ¾ speed.  The opponents, making a decent showing over the weekend including a close 2-1 loss to the Redhawks, made the boys pay early with a goal in the 5th minute. 

Crossfire did manage some sustained energy in the 2nd half, but could not capitalize on a couple of good opportunities.  It looked like their weekend undefeated mark was in jeopardy until Trevor was handed some garbage in the ISC end and he neatly deposited it into the back of the net for the tie.  Ryan C. had one last chance right before the whistle that sailed just wide and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Final score: Mercado ’92 1 ISC Arsenal Red ‘92 1

Tuesday, July 28
Crossfire Select Cup - Game 3

Crossfire vs NSC Adrenaline 92

Today's match was an early one; 8am.  Morning for teenagers not usually a good thing.  Crossfire took the pitch dressed in red jerseys, white shorts and white socks.  NSC was in white jerseys black short and green socks.

For being in the early morn, the boys engaged right away.  At the 11th minute, Tim scored a on a header from a great Trevor cross from about 20 yards out.  Trevor took a free kick from 20 yards and bent it like Beckham into the right upper corner of the net for the second score in the 16th minute.  A mere 3 minutes later in the 19th minute Brandon made a great pass to Austin for a flick to the right as the keeper came out for the 3rd score of the first half.  The first half would end Crossfire up 3 - 0.

The second half saw mostly up and down the field with many attempts for scores from both sides, but Crossfire's defense was just too tough for NSC.  In the 63rd minute, Ian took a kick from out by the touch line about 6 yards into the middle of the goal area.  A loose deflected ball was found by Tim for Crossfire's 4th goal.  That would be how the game ended.

Final:  Crossfire 4  NSC 0

Friday, July 24
Crossfire Select Cup: Game 1 and 2

Crossfire Select Cup Day One Recap 

There’s nothing like a summer tournament to start out the season.  A fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate.  But who would have thought a gang of 16-year olds would begin the campaign running around in giant tighty whiteys?  Yet there they were, bright and spotless in their hot-off-the-press starched white uniforms.

 Game 1

First up was Evergreen ’92, a long-time opponent who had apparently pooled three squads together this year.  It took a while, but Crossfire finally broke though in the 32nd minute.  After Trevor won a header battle, RC sliced a beautiful diagonal pass to Austin who neatly reversed the angle back inside the far post for a 1-0 halftime lead. 

Early in the 2nd half, Nick R. put a nifty cross that Tim battled in for a two-goal advantage.  Just as Evergreen began to threaten the lead, Crossfire reasserted control.  And in the 54th minute Jordan’s brilliant corner kick found Tim for another tough finish, his second score, and a 3-0 lead. With the usual solid defense, Craig faced only a few tests in goal and Crossfire finished with a game sheet as clean as its whiteys.

 Final score:  Mercado ’92 3 Evergreen ’92 Zahajko 0

 Game 2

Later on Friday, Mercado met up with the Tornado’s.  Early on, Crossfire had its own storm brewing with five corner kick opportunities in the first 10 minutes.  However just like a bad weather forecast, all of them seemed to fizzle.  Fortunately a short time later in the 15th minute, Tim picked up right where he left off in the morning game, harassing a defender into a giveaway that he nudged into the net for a 1-0 Crossfire lead. But a few minutes later a Tornado’s beautiful cross found a solid header at the far post for a 1-1 tie.  Was a new wind about to blow? Not on this day when the sun was starting to come out strong.  Trevor’s pressure led to a nice cross from Ryan W. to Nick R., who whacked in what gave Crossfire the lead for good.  Soon after Austin took a nice ball from Brandon and rolled another one past the keeper for a 3-1 Mercado lead at the break. 

Again Crossfire had a short letdown through the middle part of the second half to keep the Tornado’s within range.  Once more the boys regrouped and turned the game into a breeze.  First Nick R. took a slick pass from Ryan C. and fired one in from the PK line.  Mr. Chaney finished the rout with some fancy footwork and an easy finish in the final minute.

 Final score: Mercado ’92 5 Tornado’s 1