El Paso, TX — The El Paso Patriots (1-3-1, 4 points, T-5th Mid-South) face a critical challenge against the West Texas Sockers (1-4-1, 4 points, T-5th Mid-South) this Saturday at the Socorro Student Activities
Though the season is still relatively young, head coach Francisco "Paco" Chavez is trying to shore up a young Patriots defense that has already allowed 12 goals, second-most in the Premier Development League's Mid-South Division.
Chavez already un-retired his assistant coach, veteran defender and former team captain Hugo Sámano. The move paid immediate dividends two weekends ago as El Paso throttled the Houston Dutch Lions for its first win of the season. Sámano also scored the opening goal against the Sockers last weekend in Midland, as the Patriots took a 2-1 lead into the locker room only to see that lead evaporate in the final 45 minutes for El Paso's third loss in five games.
Though West Texas has allowed a division-high 18 goals, they are 1-0-1 against the Patriots so far this season, earning all four of their points at home against El Paso. The Patriots know they have a critical three points on the line before a huge road trip to play two games in two nights, June 14th at border rival Laredo and June 15th against division-leading Austin.
Things started up well enough in Midland last Saturday as Sámano scored less than two minutes into the game. Forward Kiki Cervantes notched his second goal in as many games in the 42nd minute and the Patriots led by a goal at the half. But the Sockers followed Len Smith III's 25th-minute goal with two more from Juan Nava in the 75th and game-winner from Kal Herbert in the 83rd.
Gates open at 6 p.m. MDT Saturday, and children under 12 wearing their soccer jerseys will get in free. Advance tickets will be just $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 3-12 and are now on sale at the Dream Arena, 6969 Industrial Ave., El Paso, TX, 79915. For more information call (915) 771-6620 or go to the team website, http://elpasopatriots.com . Fans and media can follow the action with live in-game updates via Twitter by following @ElPasoPatriots.