LOCALS: Steres makes jump from PDL

IRVINE -- Daniel Steres was drafted by Chivas USA, spent a month in camp with the Seattle Sounders, and has been a force -- in the back or anchoring the midfield -- as the Ventura County Fusion have turned the Premier Development League's Southwest Division into their own playground.

Now he's back with the Sounders, taking the next step in his journey to being a full-fledged professional.

Steres (Calabasas/Calabasas HS), who starred at San Diego State, was taken by Seattle in last week's college-waiver draft and headed over the weekend to Washington.

“We're getting the contract [sorted out], and then working my way up to get a starting role, obviously,” Steres told ESPN Los Angeles after the Fusion's 2-1 victory Friday evening over Orange County Blue Star. “Sounds like they're excited to have me come in. I'm excited to go in.”

Steres, probably a center back or right back in MLS, lost out in numbers games during preseason at Chivas and, after his release by the Goats, in Seattle. He's been superb for the Fusion, bolstering the backline next to Mickey Daly (Cal State L.A.) or Tim Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS and UC Santa Barbara) or teaming with former Chivas USA/Portland Timbers midfielder Rodrigo Lopez (Santa Barbara/Santa Barbara HS) in central midfield.

The Fusion (6-1-1) are atop the Southwest Division after rallying for a 2-1 win against Blue Star at Concordia University. Travis Bowen (Van Nuys/Chatsworth HS), the older brother of Chivas USA forward Tristan Bowen, scored both goals -- his fourth and division-best fifth of the season -- with the winner coming in the 76th minute.

Ventura is one point ahead of FC Tucson, which visits the Fusion next weekend.

Pontius, the younger brother of D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius, also is getting some MLS attention. The big center back, a Sounders draft pick, has been in camp the past week with the Galaxy. He says playing with the Fusion has helped prepare him.

“College is one thing,” he said. “College prepares you for the next step. This is kind of the in-between phase between college and pros. You've got a lot of players here who can make the next step.”

He said his time with Sounders in preseason was “spectacular.”

“Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me, but at the end, I gained a lot of experience out of that opportunity,” Pontius said. “Spots were tight there, so there's only so much you can do. You play your game, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. You try the next one.”

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

USL PRO: Orlando City (8-1-2) boosted its lead in the third-division league by beating second-place Charleston (7-3-0) for the second time in three weeks, a 2-1 decision on goals by Jean Alexandre, who just arrived from the San Jose Earthquakes on a two-game loan, and former Real Salt Lake/FC Dallas forward Jamie Watson.

Rochester (6-2-3) is even on points with the Battery after a 1-1 draw with resurgent Wilmington (4-3-4) extended its league winless streak to five games.

The L.A. Blues are back in action this weekend, with games Friday and Sunday against Dayton (0-5-5) -- winless in USL Pro play and 3-0 in the U.S. Open Cup -- at Cal State Fullerton.

Antigua Barracuda returns to league play after a month off, visiting Charleston and Orlando City. The islanders next week play in the Caribbean Football Union's club final four, facing Trinidad's Caledonia AIA in a semifinal Tuesday and either Puerto Rico Islanders or Trinidad's W Connection in the final or third-place game Thursday. Prevail in one, and the Barracuda are headed to the CONCACAF Champions League.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: The loss to Ventura was Blue Star's first this season, and they followed with another 2-1 loss, to previously winless Pali Blues, also after going ahead. The results dropped O.C. (3-2-5) to third, five points behind the Fusion and four behind FC Tucson (6-1-0), both with games in hand.

Pali (1-5-3) bounced back after a 6-1 midweek defeat at L.A. Misioneros (2-3-4), who got a hat trick from Jaime Chavez (Industry/Workman HS). Cody Carlson (Burbank/Burbank HS and University of Redlands) and Charlie Reiter tallied for the Blues.

Newcomers Tucson spent a day in first place after sweeping its games in Utah; it has posted six straight shutout wins, the first five by 1-0 scorelines, but has not yet played the Fusion nor Blue Star.

Fading Fresno (3-4-3), the defending Southwest champ, has lost three in a row and is winless in seven after La Mirada's Southern California Seahorses (2-5-2) got a goal from Ryan Shaw (La Cañada Flintridge/St, Francis HS) in the 75th minute for a 3-2 win. Daniel Chew (Lake Forest/El Toro HS and Biola University) scored twice in the first 10 minutes, both from Shaw assists.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: Cuban forward Eder Roldan scored his seventh and eighth goals of the campaign to lead Fullerton (5-3-2) past winless Phoenix, 4-1, and tighten the race for the second Southern Conference playoff spot. The Rangers are one point behind second-place FC Santa Clarita (5-2-3), which was held to a 1-1 draw by visiting San Diego Boca. Alex Harlley (Rosamond/Rosamond HS) netted his fifth goal for the Storm.

Thousand Oaks' FC Hasental (3-5-2) halted a three-game losing streak by holding runaway leader San Diego Flash (8-0-2) to a 1-1 draw in Simi Valley. Manuel Cazares gave the Conejos a 72nd-minute lead, but the Flash rallied through Dutch Jock 12 minutes later.

The Flash last week entered a partnership with Cal FC, a natural progression. Cal FC coach Eric Wynalda has ties to the Flash, which also is coached by a Fox Soccer commentator, Warren Barton.

USL W-LEAGUE: Pali Blues (7-0-0) used their Pepperdine connection to slaughter the Victoria Highlanders, then swept its games in Colorado to pull away atop the Western Conference.

Lynn Williams and Anisa Guajardo each scored twice and had an assist and All-American Michelle Pao netted the first goal in the 8-0 romp over the Highlanders. Williams scored two more to beat the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, and added an assist in the 3-0 win over Colorado Rush. Sarah Huffman assisted goals in all three games.

Things didn't get much better for Victoria (1-8-0) on its SoCal trek. Pasadena's L.A. Strikers (1-3-0) won, 3-0, as USC's Samantha Johnson (Palmdale/Highland HS), UCLA's Zakiya Bywaters and former Cal State Fullerton standout Vanessa Valentine tallied. Santa Clarita Blue Heat then routed the British Columbia club, 6-0, scoring three times in the first 14 minutes, the first two from Taryne Boudreau assists.

Victoria has been shut out in eight straight games, since opening the season with a 3-2 win over Vancouver. The Whitecaps remain winless, but they held second-place Seattle (4-0-1) to a 0-0 draw in front of 4,500 in Tukwila, Wash.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: The San Diego SeaLions (3-0-0) took command in the Pacific-South, beating Beach FC, 2-0, as former USC star Rosie Tantillo connected on a free kick and Nikki Petracca tallied on a counter a minute later. The Long Beach club outshot the SeaLions, 15-10, and missed several goalmouth sitters.

Jessica Murphy (Torrance/West Torrance HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills) tallied twice as South Bay club Ajax America beat L.A. Vikings, 3-0, the Los Alamitos team's third shutout loss in as many games. The Vikings home game was switched from Saturday night at Home Depot Center to Sunday evening at Ajax's Nansen Field for economic and safety reasons.

NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE: The Carolina RailHawks, winless through their first nine games this year, are the hottest team in the NASL. They're 4-1-1 in their last six games, all competitions, and that includes the win over the Galaxy and, now, successive wins over the Nos. 1 (Puerto Rico) and 2 (Minnesota) clubs in the league. Brian Shriver scored his 10th goal, all competitions, in Saturday's 5-1 romp, Minnesota's first defeat. That enabled San Antonio (5-1-4), unbeaten in its last eight league games, to vault past the Stars (4-1-5) into second place, just one point behind Puerto Rico (6-2-2).




Last week's results (home teams listed first)

Tuesday (U.S. Open Cup)

Harrisburg City Islanders 3 (Touray 13, 94, Mkosana 118), New York Red Bulls (MLS) 1 (Lade 59), OT

Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1 (Grant 55), Dayton Dutch Lions 2 (Garner 12, DeLass pen. 97), OT

San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) 1 (Campos 75), Charlotte Eagles 2 (Thornton 28, Salles pen. 116)


Rochester Rhinos 1 (Rosenlund 30), Wilmington Hammerheads 1 (Nicholson 68)


Harrisburg City Islanders 0, Wilmington Hammerheads 2 (Budnyy 31, Hertzog 34)

Richmond Kickers 1 (Bulow 92+), Charlotte Eagles 0

Orlando City SC 2 (Alexandre 7, Watson 57), Charleston Battery 1 (Paterson 38)

Dayton Dutch Lions 1 (Copier 79), Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 (Harada 86)


1. Orlando City SC (8-1-2) 26 points; 2. Charleston Battery (7-3-0) 21; 3. Rochester Rhinos (6-2-3) 21; 4. Richmond Kickers (4-2-5) 17; 5. Wilmington Hammerheads (4-3-4) 16; 6. Harrisburg City Islanders (3-2-4) 13; 7. L.A. Blues (3-3-2) 11; 8. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2-6-3) 9; 9. Charlotte Eagles (2-8-2) 8; 10. Antigua Barracuda (2-6-0) 6; 11. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-5-5) 5.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


Dayton Dutch Lions vs. L.A. Blues at Cal State Fullerton, 7:30 p.m.

Rochester Rhinos at Harrisburg City Islanders, 3 p.m.

Antigua Barracuda at Charleston Battery, 4:30 p.m.

Richmond Kickers at Wilmington Hammerheads, 4:30 p.m.


Richmond Kickers at Charlotte Eagles, 5 p.m.


Dayton Dutch Lions vs. L.A. Blues at Cal State Fullerton, 5 p.m.

Rochester Rhinos at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, noon

Antigua Barracuda at Orlando City SC, 3 p.m.

Leading scorers

Andriy Budnyy (Wilmington) 6, Nikki Paterson (Charleston) 6, Steven Smith (Antigua) 4, Yann Ekra (Harrisburg) 4, Dennis Chin (Orlando City) 4.




Southwest Division

Last week's results (home teams listed first)


BYU Cougars 0, FC Tucson 1 (King 32)


Southern California Seahorses 1 (Horn 39), Ventura County Fusion 5 (Tsonis 6, Nwankwo 10, Lopez 38, Chongo 45, Hardware 86)

L.A. Misioneros 6 (Chavez 13, 38, 64, Sanchez 33, 41, Mendoza 55), Pali Blues 1 (Tabor 25)


Ogden Outlaws 0, FC Tucson 3 (Garre 11, Campbell 44, Alvarez 78)


Orange County Blue Star 1 (Pettys 17), Ventura County Fusion 2 (Bowen 71, 76)


Ogden Outlaws 3 (Roylance 41, Burnham 66, 70), BYU Cougars 2 (Losse 9, Green 71)

Southern California Seahorses 3 (Chew 8, 10, Shaw 75), Fresno Fuego 2 (Caceres 38, Garcia 55)


Pali Blues 2 (Carlson 67, Reiter 78), Orange County Blue Star 1 (Shaddich 60)


1. Ventura County Fusion (6-1-1) 19 points; 2. FC Tucson (6-1-0) 18; 3. Orange County Blue Star (3-2-5) 14; 4. Fresno Fuego (3-4-3) 12; 5. Ogden Outlaws (3-3-2) 11; 6. L.A. Misioneros (2-3-4), 10; 7. Southern California Seahorses (2-5-2) 8; 8. Pali Blues (1-5-3) 6; 9. BYU Cougars (1-3-2) 5.

This week's games


Southern California Seahorses at Ogden Outlaws, 5 p.m.

Orange County Blue Star at BYU Cougars, 7 p.m.

Pali Blues at Fresno Fuego, 7 p.m.


Orange County Blue Star at Ogden Outlaws, 5 p.m.

Southern California Seahorses at BYU Cougars, 7 p.m.

FC Tucson vs. Ventura County Fusion at Ventura College, 7 p.m.


FC Tucson vs. L.A. Misioneros at Carver Middle School (Los Angeles), 7:30 p.m.

Leading scorers

Travis Bowen (Ventura County) 5, Victor Sanchez (Misioneros) 4, Daniel Chew (Southern California) 4, John Caceres (Fresno) 4, Paul Islas (Fresno) 4.



Last week's results (home teams listed first)


FC Santa Clarita 1 (Harlley 23), San Diego Boca 1 (Wallace 57)

FC Hasental 1 (Cazares 72), San Diego Flash 1 (Jock 84)

Bay Area Ambassadors 7 (Cardenas 28, Lopez 31, Walle 39, Samy 65, Klimenta 68, 80, Miller 87), San Francisco Stompers 0

Fullerton Rangers 4 (Roldan 39, 75, A. Turoldo 55, Arvizu 60), Phoenix Monsoon 1 (Sepulvera 72)

Sacramento Gold 1 (Jones 59), North Coast Tsunami 0

Real San Jose 1 (Kehoe 45), Sonoma County Sol 4 (Arroyo 21, 74, Middlemiss 69, 90)


Southern Conference: 1. San Diego Flash (8-0-2) 26 points; 2. FC Santa Clarita Storm (5-2-3) 18; 3. Fullerton Rangers (5-3-2) 17; 4. San Diego Boca (3-4-3) 12; 5. FC Hasental (3-5-2) 11; 6. Phoenix Monsoon (0-8-0) 0.

Northern Conference: 1. Sacramento Storm (7-3-0) 21; 2. Bay Area Ambassadors (5-3-1) 16; 3. Sonoma County Sol (4-3-3) 15; 4. Real San Jose (3-3-3) 12; 5. San Francisco Stompers (2-5-2) 8; 6. North Coast Tsunami (1-7-1) 4.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


Bay Area Ambassadors at Sonoma County Sol, 7 p.m.


Real San Jose at North Coast Tsunami, 1 p.m.

Fullerton Rangers vs. FC Hasental at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park (Simi Valley), 5 p.m.

FC Santa Clarita at Phoenix Monsoon, 7 p.m.

San Diego Flash at San Diego Boca, 7 p.m.

Sacramento Gold at San Francisco Stompers, 7 p.m.


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

Leading scorers

Tyler Coombes (Santa Clarita) 8, Eder Roldan (Fullerton) 8, Manolo Piña (Sacramento) 8, Ross Middlemiss (Sonoma County) 6, Justin Picou (San Diego Flash) 6, Ladule LoSarah (San Diego Flash) 6, Brandon Zuniga (San Diego Flash) 6.




Last week's results (home teams listed first)


Pali Blues 8 (Pao 3, Williams 35, 83, Shaner 37, Hubka 66, Tangorra 70, Guajardo 73, 81), Victoria Highlanders 0


Colorado Rapids 1 (Gunther 69), Pali Blues 2 (Williams 26, 50)

L.A. Strikers 3 (Johnson 23, Valentine 71, Bywaters 75), Victoria Highlanders 0

Seattle Sounders 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0


Colorado Rush 0, Pali Blues 3 (Washington 5, Bogus 6, Hubka 60)

Santa Clarita Blue Heat 6 (Nuzzolese 4, Borges 10, Luis 14, Fernandes pen. 68, Link 69, Rodwell 72), Victoria Highlanders 0


1. Pali Blues (7-0-0) 21 points; 2. Seattle Sounders (4-0-1) 13; 3. Colorado Rush (3-2-0) 9; 4. Colorado Rapids (2-2-1) 7; 5. Santa Clarita Blue Heat (2-2-0) 6; 5. L.A. Strikers (1-3-0), 3; 7. Victoria Highlanders (1-8-0) 3; 8. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-3-2) 2.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


L.A. Strikers at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:30 p.m.


Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m.


L.A. Strikers at Victoria Highlanders, 7 p.m.


Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Colorado Rush, 6 p.m.


L.A. Strikers at Seattle Sounders, 4 p.m.

Leading scorers

Lynn Williams (Pali) 4, Nikki Washington (Pali) 3, Samantha Johnson (Strikers) 3, Erin Gunther (Rapids) 3, 14 with 2.



Last week's results (home teams listed first)


Central California Heat 2 (Sherr 51, Ruiz 83), North Bay FC Wave 4 (Carlberg 14, Mushbacher 24, Abbott 48, 55)

Beach FC 0, San Diego SeaLions 2 (Tantillo 77, Petracca 78)


L.A. Vikings 0, Ajax America 3 (Livergood 16, Murphy 19, 83)

Central California Heat 3 (Moineau 46, Mason 52, Torres 79), San Francisco Nighthawks 0


South Division: 1. San Diego SeaLions (3-0-0) 9 points; 2. Beach FC (1-1-0) 6; 3. Ajax America (1-1-0) 3; 4. L.A. Vikings (0-3-0) 0.

North Division: 1. California Storm (2-0-1) and Bay Area Breeze (2-0-1) 7; 3. North Bay FC Wave (1-0-1) 4; 4. Central California Heat (1-2-0) 3; 5. West Coast Wildkatz (0-1-1) 1; 6. San Francisco Nighthawks (0-3-0) 0.

This week's games (all times Pacific)


Beach FC vs. Ajax America at Nansen Field (Rolling Hills Estates), 3:30 p.m.

San Francisco Nighthawks at West Coast Wildkatz, 5 p.m.

California Storm at North Bay FC Wave, 5 p.m.


L.A. Vikings at San Diego SeaLions, 2 p.m.

San Francisco Nighthawks at Bay Area Breeze, 5 p.m.

Leading scorers

Rosie Tantillo (San Diego) 8, Nikki Petracca (San Diego) 4, Katie McCoy (California) 3, nine with 2.



Fourth Round

Last week's results (home teams listed first)


Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 1 (Palacio 78), Chivas USA (MLS) 2 (Agudelo 31, Angel pen. 93+)

Seattle Sounders (MLS) 5 (Alonso pen. 50, 70, Montero 58, 68, Rose 66), Cal FC (Thousand Oaks, USASA) 0

San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 1 (Lenhart 85), Minnesota Stars (NASL) 0

San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) 1 (Campos 75), Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) 2 (Grousis 28, Salles pen. 116), OT

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) 3 (Touray 13, 94, Mkosana 117), New York Red Bulls (MLS) 1 (Lade 59), OT

D.C. United (MLS) 1 (Wolff 47+), Philadelphia Union (MLS) 2 (Carroll 46+. Hoppenot 95), OT

Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1 (Grant 55), Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) 2 (Garner 12, DeLass pen. 97), OT

Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 2 (Collin 27, Bunbury 79), Colorado Rapids (MLS) 0


Upcoming games (all times Pacific)

Tuesday, June 26

Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) vs. Chivas USA (MLS) at Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m.

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) at Philadelphia Union (MLS), 4:30 p.m.

Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS), 5:30 p.m.

Seattle Sounders (MLS) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), 8 p.m.