North County Battalion (7-2-3) earned the 2nd seed in the Southwest Conference to host their first National Premier Soccer League playoff game of their inaugural season. They will face 3rd seed Deportivo Coras USA, from Riverside, CA at Del Norte High School Stadium on Saturday, July 9 at 7:00pm.
The two teams faced off once in April and most recently on June 29, however neither team earned 3 points. “For North County Battalion to have the extensive success both on and off the field in its first NPSL season in San Diego is wildly rare and refreshing,” said owner Jason Barbato. Between both games, Battalion and Coras only scored 4 goals combined, two coming from penalty kicks, one from each team. With this weekend’s game being their 3rd matchup, Battalion is thrilled to be playing Coras at home.
Battalion wants to capitalize on their 8-game unbeaten streak and get the win for their home crowd this Saturday. “Our fans have continuously pushed us to put everything out there, to keep going even after we’ve hit our limit. This game is for them. To show them that we hear them and we appreciate everything they’ve done for us this year,” said goalkeeper James Stroud. Stroud earned man-of-the-match honors three times this season despite a shortened season due to an offseason injury.
Leading goal scorer and forward Eric Lopez (9) is equally ecstatic for this weekend’s game, “we collectively have the belief that we can go far into playoffs, now it’s just a matter of actually doing it. The last few weeks of the season we have all been playing very well together. Our team is peaking at the right time of the season and we are all anxious to get the playoffs underway,” said Lopez. The team scored 23 goals in the final five games of the season, six of them coming from Lopez himself.
NC Battalion will host their first playoff game with the winner advancing to Round 2. The team looks to continue their success on and off the field this weekend. “We have been able to achieve above and beyond our goals in creating a dynamic supporter experience,” said Barbato.
Tickets for the game start at $4 for kids between ages 11-18, adults are $8 and can be purchased online. Gates open at 6:00pm and kickoff is set for 7:00pm on Saturday, July 9, 2016.