Santa Clarita on top after shutout

The Fullerton Rangers slapped around FC Santa Clarita en route to a U.S. Open Cup berth, debuting with a 5-0 romp a month ago. They discovered a very different foe in the rematch.

Tyler Coombes (Palmdale/Palmdale HS and Cal State L.A.) and Alex Harlley (Rosamond/Rosamond HS) scored early goals, and the Storm (2-0-1) -- revitalized by a new coach (Jose Meza) and lots of new talent -- pulled out a 2-0 victory over the weekend to vault over the Rangers (2-1-0) and to the top the Southern Conference standings in the National Premier Soccer League's Western Division.

Coombes, coming off a five-goal, NPSL player-of-the-week performance in a 9-1 rout of Phoenix a week earlier, tallied in the third minute, heading home Stephen Martines' corner kick. Harlley, a Togo-born forward who scored 45 goals as a senior this season at Rosamond High School, first-timed from 22 yards a Matt Shaxton cross in the 27th.

Santa Clarita leads the San Diego Flash (2-0-1) on goal difference.

Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental claimed its first victory, winning, 2-1, at San Diego Boca on goals by Robert Pate (Chatsworth/Chatsworth HS and Cal State Northridge) and Omar de la Piedra (L.A. Mission College). The Conejos' home opener, at Cal Lutheran's Rolland Stadium, is Saturday night against Santa Clarita.

The Bay Area Ambassadors play Sunday for a U.S. Open Cup berth against Stanislaus United Turlock Express, which beat Paso Robles' Naples FC, 5-2, in the U.S. Club Soccer qualifying final.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Paul Islas scored twice late in the first half as defending Southwest Division champ Fresno Fuego opened the PDL season with a 4-1 win over L.A. Misioneros.

Cesar Rivera, the L.A. Blues' top scorer last year, netted the lone goal for the L.A. side, which, a club official said, includes former Chivas USA midfielder Gerson Mayen and former Galaxy defender Mike Randolph, although neither featured in the Central Valley. The return game is Sunday at Carver Middle School in Los Angeles.

USL PRO: The L.A. Blues (0-2-0) sit at the bottom of the table, 11th place, the only club without a point, one of two without a goal, and they've got this weekend off. Defending champion Orlando City (3-0-0) is sprinting -- the Lions have outscored foes, 8-1 -- and Rochester (2-0-0), after two wins over the Blues, are the one truly perfect club: nothing but shutouts.

Long Beach's Tino Nuñez (Millikan HS/Compton College and UC Santa Barbara), who played for Real Salt Lake a few years ago, scored the second goal in Pittsburgh's 2-0 win over Dayton.




Last week's results (home teams listed first)


Charlotte Eagles 1 (Salles 35), Harrisburg City Islanders 2 (Welker 23, Noone 51)

L.A. Blues 0, Rochester 2 (Hoxie 50, Banks 56)


Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2 (C'deBaca 17, Nuñez 81), Dayton Dutch Lions 0

Richmond Kickers 0, Orlando City SC 2 (Fuller 61, Pulis pen. 89)

Wilmington Hammerheads 0, Harrisburg City Islanders 0


1. Orlando City SC (3-0-0) 9 points; 2. Charleston Battery (2-1-0) 6; 3. Rochester Rhinos (2-0-0) 6; 4. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-1-0) 6; 5. Harrisburg City Islanders (1-0-1) 4; 6. Antigua Barracuda (1-1-0) 3; 7. Richmond Kickers (1-2-0) 3; 8. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-1-1) 1; 9. Wilmington Hammerheads (0-1-1) 1; 10. Charlotte Eagles (0-3-1) 1; 11. L.A. Blues (0-2-0) 0.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


Charlotte Eagles at Antigua Barracuda, 4 p.m.


Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.


Charlotte Eagles at Antigua Barracuda, 1:30 p.m.

Rochester Rhinos at Dayton Dutch Lions, 4:30 p.m.

Richmond Kickers at Orlando City SC, 4:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Wilmington Hammerheads, 4:30 p.m.




Southwest Division

Last week's results (home teams listed first)


Fresno Fuego 4 (Caceres 30, Islas 34, 41, Berhane 57), L.A. Misioneros 1 (Rivera 47)


1. Fresno Fuego (1-0-0) 3 points; 2. Orange County Blue Star, Pali Blues, Southern California Seahorses, Ventura County Fusion, BYU Cougars, Ogden Outlaws and FC Tucson (0-0-0) 0; 9. L.A. Misioneros (0-1-0), 0.

This week's games


Fresno Fuego vs. L.A. Misioneros at Carver Middle School (Los Angeles), 7 p.m.



Last week's results (home teams listed first)


North Coast Tsunami 1 (Urbany 8), Sonoma County Sol 0

Phoenix Monsoon 0, San Diego Flash 1 (Zuniga 2)

FC Santa Clarita Storm 2 (Coombes 3, Harlley 27), Fullerton Rangers 0

San Diego Boca 1 (Kukura 83), FC Hasental 2 (Pate 12, de la Piedra 19)


San Francisco Stompers 1 (Borges 87), Real San Jose 1 (Pacheco 40)

Sacramento Gold 2 (Piña 64, 78), Bay Area Ambassadors 0


Southern Conference: 1. FC Santa Clarita Storm (2-0-1) 7 points; 2. San Diego Flash (2-0-1) 7; 3. Fullerton Rangers (2-1-0) 6; 4. FC Hasental (1-2-0) 3; 5. San Diego Boca (0-1-2) 2; 6. Phoenix Monsoon (0-3-0) 0.

Northern Conference: 1. Sacramento Storm (3-0-0) 9; 2. Real San Jose (1-0-2) 5; 3. San Francisco Stompers (1-1-1) 4; 4. North Coast Tsunami (1-2-0) 3; 5. Sonoma County Sol (0-1-2) 2; 6. Bay Area Ambassadors (0-2-1) 1.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


San Diego Boca at Phoenix Monsoon, 4 p.m.

FC Santa Clarita vs. FC Hasental at Rolland Stadium, Cal Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks), 7 p.m.

North Coast Tsunami at San Francisco Stompers, 7 p.m.

Bay Area Ambassadors at Real San Jose, 7 p.m.


San Diego Flash vs. Fullerton Rangers at Santa Ana Stadium, 5:30 p.m.

Sonoma County Sol at Sacramento Gold, 7 p.m.



USL W-League: May 11

Women's Premier Soccer League: May 19