Look Back Part 4 FCTB vs. Puerto Rico on May 29
The following is part four of the “Best 10 of 2010” series, which is taking a look back at FC Tampa Bay’s best games of the 2010 inaugural season.
In the first of four meetings with later to be USSF D-2 League Champions Puerto Rico Islanders, FC Tampa Bay defeated the squad 2-1 at Steinbrenner Field. The two Aarons gave FCTB the win – it was King’s third goal and Wheeler’s fourth goal of the season.
Perry Van Der Beck On The Match:
"This was a very good result for us. Puerto Rico has always had a successful reputation and we were pleased to have won this first meeting. I am also pleased with the number of scoring chances we created. Hopefully, we can capitalize more on those in the future."
It was another dramatic late goal for FC Tampa Bay as striker Aaron King clinched the victory with a clinical finish in the 83rd minute. King’s strike completed a 2-1 victory for Tampa (5-1-3) over the Puerto Rico Islanders (2-3-0) on Saturday night. FC Tampa Bay extended their league-best unbeaten streak to seven matches.
“We’re on a great streak,” said King after the match. "Tonight we came at it with a lot of heart and I think we deserved that win tonight."
Takuya Yamada picked up the ball in midfield and sent in a pass for Aaron Wheeler. After a few touches, Wheeler weighed his pass perfectly and sent it into the path of King. King first timed it with the outside of his foot and sent it past the Puerto Rico goalkeeper and inside the far post.
“The feeling of winning is just amazing, so this team will definitely keep pushing for more,” said King.
It was Wheeler who got the scoring started just before halftime. Islanders midfielder Joseph Salem was shown a straight red card for an apparent stomp on Long Tan’s ankle in the 36th minute. Shortly after that Graham Tatters sent in a cross from the left side that eventually found its way to the feet of Wheeler, who put it past Bill Gaudette and into the back of the net. The goal was Wheeler’s fourth goal in five games, and he now leads FC Tampa Bay in goals and points scored.
FC Tampa Bay carried the 1-0 lead into halftime, but 10-man Puerto Rico found its equalizer in the 56th minute. Joshua Hansen set up Marco Velez’s goal for the shorthanded Islanders.
Despite having played just 48 hours earlier, FC Tampa Bay still seemed fresh and continued to work harder than the Islanders. A number of shots caromed off the goal posts and crossbar, including a prelude to the decisive goal by Aaron King. Facing the sideline, King chipped a ball across his body and beat Gaudette in the 80th minute. The shot nearly came down in time, but bounced off the crossbar.