The regular season of the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL) culminates this Saturday when Galveston Hurricanes FC and Twin Cities FC from border city Eagle Pass compete for the TPSL League Cup Final in San Antonio. The match will kick off at 4:00 p.m. at Tapatio Soccer Complex. Stadium location details are in the image at the bottom of this post.
The original TPSL was formed in 1997 and folded ten years later. The league came back to life and resumed play in 2013 with 6 clubs. TPSL is the only high-level amateur league in the state that consists of teams solely based in Texas. This will be the fifth year that the League Cup Final will be contested in the reformed league. A new champion will be crowned for the 2017/18 season since three-time defending Cup holders Austin Real Cuahutemoc were eliminated in the semifinals this year.
How the teams got here:
First place: Twin Cities FC 9-1-0 27 points +31 Goal Differential
Second place: Galveston Hurricanes FC 7-3-0 21 points +19 Goal Differential
Galveston defeated Austin Real Cuauhtemoc 4-3 on aggregate
Twin Cities FC defeated Houston Fury 3-0 on aggregate
Head to Head Regular Season results:
The two sides split the games played, with both teams winning on the road. Twin Cities 2-0 and the Hurricanes 3-1 (the only loss suffered by Twin Cities FC all year).
Club Owners/Head Coaches:
Twin Cities FC: Jesse Gonzalez
Galveston Hurricanes: Brendan Keyes
Players to Watch:
Twin Cities FC
Forward: Braulio Guillen-moved to Eagle Pass from Mexico midseason and scored 24 goals in 6 matches
Center Back: Jose Ramos-has been a part of the club since Day 1 in 2014
Center Back: Sulio Rodriquez-Team Captain
Right Back: Ian Villarreal-17 years old.
Winger: Brandon Ibarra-also 17 years and the second leading goal scorer
Goalkeeper: Jaime Garcia
Forward: Juan Nava: Tied for top goal scorer with 13
Forward: Blane Nauck: Also tied for top goal scorer
Center Back: Eloy Obergon: Team Captain and longest serving player-8 years-played with the club when they competed in the NPSL
Center Midfielder: Hector Diaz
Defender and Midfielder: Jerson Carrasco-versatile player who is a Teacher and Coach at Texas City High School
Goalkeeper: Tyler Garner-Vice Captain and has played with the Hurricanes for 6 years-also part of the club that played in NPSL
Twin Cities FC
- This will be Twin Cities FC 4th consecutive trip to the Championship game. The team lost the previous three to Austin Real Cuauhtemoc.
- Like to play a 5-4-1 and push the wing-backs up into space vacated when the opposing team pushes high up the field.
- Coach Gonzalez expects a very close match and believes the team that controls the midfield will be key. “It should be a really close match, especially in the midfield. I really hope the game doesn’t get stuck in the middle because they (the Hurricanes) have a really good midfield.”
Galveston Hurricanes FC
- The Hurricanes will also be looking to win their first Championship-this will be the first time they have made an appearance in the finals.
- Galveston typically plays a 3-5-2 at home and adjusts as needed on the road. The team plays an attacking and possession based style and likes their wingers to get up and down on both ends of the field. As noted by Twin Cities coach Gonzalez, the Hurricanes attempt to dominate the midfield and force the match both in the attack and on defense.
- Coach Keyes believe this will be the toughest match of the season. “Twin Cities are a very technical side. We definitely have the fire power up front and we have the fastest wingers and forwards in the league. It will be an epic game that can go either way.”