By Gabe Zitrin
Coming off a tough loss is a challenge every soccer player will know at some point in his life, and an opportunity that every team now and then must seize to pull together to right their ship. San Francisco City FC will get that opportunity at 1pm Sunday at Negoesco Stadium as they look to move past last weekend’s defeat away to Burlingame Dragons by taking down Ventura County Fusion.
Despite the difficulties of their trip down the Peninsula a week ago, SF City have a few factors going in their favor — a full week’s rest, the return of head coach Paddy Coyne after a two-match absence, and the still-fresh memory of having defeated the Fusion once already, a comfortable 3-0 triumph in Ventura on May 6. The second-half outburst, with goals from Bryce Kaminski, Danny Kirkland, and Ben Brewster, was all the more impressive given that SF City had played a full 90 minute competitive match the previous day.
The Fusion have an impressive history in the PDL, and their 2016 incarnation featured three first round picks in the 2017 Major League Soccer draft. They’ve recovered a bit from their home loss to SF City, with a win and a draw since then, and last year avenged a similar home loss to SF City by winning in San Francisco later in the year, a feat they hope to repeat Sunday afternoon.
Either team could use the three points on offer as the Southwest Division of the Premier Development League is starting to crowd in the middle after four weeks of action, and mid-division teams don’t make the PDL playoffs.