Fresno Fuego: PDL skid snapped with win over U-23 Quakes

The Fresno BeeMay 23, 2014 

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Fuego reserve team player Omar Santoyo played in high school at Edison. He played for Roosevelt.

The Fresno Fuego finally got their first Premier Development League victory of the season Friday night at Chukchansi Park, blanking the San Jose Earthquakes U-23 squad 2-0.

Anthony Salccicia, a former All-Pac-12 midfielder and co-captain at Cal in 2012, scored in the 27th minute on a loose ball 5 yards in front of goal. Kurtis Bettencourt, a 20-year-old from Turlock, doubled Fresno's lead with a late second-half goal.

The Fresno soccer club appears to be finding its shape, notching its second straight win, both shutouts. The Fuego defeated the Orange County Blues (USL Pro) 2-0 on May 14 in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.

Fresno (1-2-0) plays Wednesday at new USL Pro side Sacramento Republic FC in the Cup's third round at Cosumnes River College's Hawks Stadium. The winner of that game will play June 11 against the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

Fresno's next PDL game is May 30 against the OC Pateadores Blues. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Chukchansi Park.

"The PDL is the most important thing," Fuego coach Scott Alcorn said. "The win gets us three points and puts us right back into the competition. We feel good."

Friday's victory was also the club's second against two different Earthquakes' teams this year. On Feb. 15, the Fuego won 2-1 against San Jose's MLS reserves in a Feb. 15 exhibition before the Central California Cup finale between San Jose and Los Angeles Galaxy.

First-year Fuego goalie Francisco Hernandez saw more playing time after his starting debut last week, replacing Beau Diaz to begin the second half Friday night.

Hernandez made back-to-back saves in the 65th minute to preserve Fresno's 1-0 lead.

In a preliminary exhibition, the Fuego reserves defeated local club La Raza FC 8-0. Omar Santoyo, a former Edison High forward, netted a hat trick.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6401, or @anhelllll on Twitter.

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