Bay Cities FC Upended by Cal United Strikers FC

Goal by Andy Contreras in the 72nd minute is the difference
Published May 19, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Rocha Multimedia

Written By Scott Matulis


Bay Cities FC lost to Cal United Strikers FC for the second time this season on a goal by Strikers FC forward Andy Contreras in the 72nd minute.  

“Strikers is a veteran team,” said Bay Cities FC head coach Anders Perez. “They have guys who have been in the league for a long time. They are older and more used to the competition than our guys. Yet every game has been competitive and we can argue some of the results should have gone the other way.” 

Coming off a midweek Lamar Hunt US Open Cup meeting with LA Galaxy, Strikers head coach Don Ebert shuffled his lineup, to ensure fresh legs. Leading scorer Omar Nuno, who scored the late game-winner during Strikers FC’s recent 4-3 victory over Bay Cities FC, started the game on the bench. He was replaced at striker by Caleb Suh, who would be a thorn in Bay Cities’ side all game long. 

Strikers FC came into the game riding a five-game NISA win streak while Bay Cities FC had won its last two. Both teams came out of the locker room playing hard, pressing, and creating chances. Cal United Strikers FC had chances early with Contreras missing a chance wide and Suh pounding a shot off Alan Cruz’s crossbar. Bay Cities threatened as well with Edson Cardona and Josiah Romero both sending shots on goal. 

The first half was hard-fought and physical with both teams clogging the middle and fouls slowing down play. Bay Cities FC’s right back Jonathan Partida, who had been working hard to return from injury went down in the 7th minute with a groin injury and was replaced by Danny Turgeon. In the 22nd minute, Strikers FC’s Gonzalo Salguero earned a yellow card, followed a minute later by Cardona earning a yellow card of his own. The first half ended 0-0 with Cal United Strikers FC leading 4-2 in shots. 

The second half remained scoreless until Contreras's goal. Strikers right back Kevin Garcia Lopez, who had been Strikers' most dangerous player all game, worked the ball down the right side and fired a cross to Contreras at the top of the box.  Contreras controlled the ball, spun to his left and fired a shot over Cruz’s right shoulder to put Strikers up 1-0. Both teams then went to their benches with Cal United Strikers swapping out three players and Bay Cities FC giving newly acquired midfielder Andrew Paoli his first appearance.  Paoli, who appeared in 63 games over five seasons at UCLA, subbed in for Antonio Jimenez and slotted in at defensive midfield behind Carlos Gomez Zavala. 

Bay Cities FC sent men forward to find the equalizer, but at the 77-minute mark, midfielder Ivan Valencia drew a yellow card for a rough challenge on a Strikers throw in. A minute later, Valencia was given a second yellow for a challenge from behind on substitute Shinya Kadano and sent to the bench with Bay Cities' second red card of the season.  The tackle stopped a Strikers FC breakaway that might have led to a goal, but from that point on Bay Cities FC was down to 10 men.  Cal United Strikers FC ground out the remaining 11 minutes plus stoppage time to end Bay Cities FC’s win streak at two. 

“It’s always disappointing to lose to a rival,” said Perez. “For whatever reason, we were afraid to put passes forward together and play in tight spaces, which is our game. You have to be confident to play through pressure at times. Strikers, even though they rotated their lineup, were able to make it difficult on us and we did not respond like we should have. We will continue to work hard in training and hopefully, when we see them again, we’ll do better in the middle of the pitch.”


Game Notes

  • For the game, Cal United Strikers FC was whistled for 9 fouls while Bay Cities FC was charged with 11. 

  • Cal United Strikers took 18 shots to Bay Cities FC’s eight.  

  • Bay Cities FC goalkeeper Alan Gomez-Cruz made five saves, but recorded his first loss after victories in his first two appearances. Cruz took over in the Bay Cities’ goal for Ian McGrane who transferred to MLS side Saint Louis FC two weeks ago. 

  • UCLA alumni Andrew Paoli, a recent signing, made his Bay Cities FC debut, entering the game in the 75th minute.  Perez had this to say about Paoli after the game: “He did well and looked comfortable, even though it was just his first appearance. He will really help us, especially now that Ivan is out for the upcoming game. We are lucky he landed with us.  

  • Bay Cities FC (2-3-2) remains in third place in the West Division while Cal United Strikers FC (5-2-0) remains in first. 

  • Ivan Valencia received two yellow cards in the second half and was forced to leave the game at the 79th minute. Valencia will miss the team’s next game.

  • Leading scorer Anthony Orendain missed his second-straight game with a knee issue he picked up during training. 

  • Coming off a midweek Lamar Hunt US Open Cup meeting with LA Galaxy, Cal United Strikers FC made nine changes to its lineup. The only repeat starters from the Galaxy game were goalie Jean Gamain Antoin and defender/team captain Garrett Hogbin.  


Up Next

  • Bay Cities FC plays the first game of an east coast road trip, May 21 against the Maryland Bobcats. The Bobcats (3-2-2) lead NISA’s East Division. 

  • In addition to the Bobcats, the road trip includes fixtures against Michigan Stars FC and Chattanooga FC. 

  • The next home game is June 1 against Flower City Union.  The game is at 7 pm at Sequoia High School Stadium. Tickets can be purchased here.  


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