Jones, Gonzalez Dominate as Fury Routs Express 12-2

by Gunnar Berndt

De Abreu also with standout attacking display as Ontario climbs above playoff line 

Ontario, Calif. – The Ontario Fury has climbed into the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) Pacific Division postseason picture for the first time since late February, courtesy of a 12-2 rout of the visiting Turlock Express on Saturday night. While former U.S. Men’s National Team star Jermaine Jones thrilled the fans with four goals and an assist in the contest, fellow midfielder Juan Carlos Gonzalez had a pair of tallies and three assists for an equal points total. Brazilian defender Maicon de Abreu also enjoyed an excellent attacking performance, putting up two goals and two assists on the day.

With a pair of home games remaining in Ontario’s regular season, Head Coach Jimmy Nordberg’s men will be rooting for a San Diego Sockers win in Tacoma tomorrow, as that would see them retain their spot above the playoff line beyond the weekend.

Against Turlock, the Fury came out guns blazing in the opening quarter, captain Israel Sesay smashing an excellent setup pass off the boards and De Abreu firing home to make it 1-0. The Express subsequently had netminder Edgar Martinez to thank for keeping the hosts from doubling their lead, as the 29-year-old rushed off his line for an excellent foot save against a wide open Jones. However, German-American Jones would not be denied on his next opportunity, sprinting onto an Anibal Echeverria through ball and calmly slotting inside the far post for his side’s second.

Ontario very nearly added another strike before the end of the period, but Martinez put up a fight with some more quality goalkeeping. First, the California native came up with a stunning double-save to deny Gonzalez twice in quick succession. Then his one-handed parry sent the ball wide on an Andy Reyes drive from a difficult angle.

The home team continued to knock on the door in the game’s second period. After Gonzalez went close again by hitting a low, left-footed shot across the frame and off the right post, Jones rattled the opposite upright with a powerful toe poke from the other side of the area. Matt Max had a chance to pull one back for Turlock not long thereafter, but Fury ‘keeper Chris Toth prevented the tally by way of a fingertip save that was followed by a very similar stop from Express netminder Martinez against Echeverria at the other end.

The hosts made it 3-0 when De Abreu picked out William Raygoza, and they would have had another before the end of the half if not for an inexplicable DeBray Hollimon miss. De Abreu’s pass from the right beat the goalkeeper and found its way to the far post and the foot of his wide-open teammate, whose awkward hit at the doorstep saw the ball somehow bounce back out instead of into the open net.

Following intermission, the Fury did get its fourth of the match, Raygoza completing his brace on a setup play by Jones. Evan McNeley then converted another DeAbreu assist to make it five and Jones also bagged his second tally, finishing off a Gonzalez pass on a power play for a 6-0 advantage. After Jones subsequently headed home for the hat trick on an exquisite ball off the boards from Gonzalez, the visitors finally got their first when Omar Tapia picked out Adrien Gutierrez.

Three straight tallies in the closing quarter would see Ontario build a 10-1 lead. First Gonzalez ensured his brace with a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper on an Echeverria assist. Then Nevada native Echeverria recorded his third assist and in the process helped Jones get his fourth of the game, followed by a Francisco Cordeiro netter that was set up by Gonzalez. While Turlock’s Matthew Germain finished from ex-Fury defender Douglas Lima to double his side’s goal total, Cordeiro scored his second on yet another Gonzalez assist and the latter completed his own brace before the final whistle to round out the score line at 12-2.

The Ontario Fury next faces an April 4 home clash with rivals and league leaders San Diego Sockers that is as crucial as it is historic, given the game’s massive playoff implications and the fact it will feature the duel of former Stars and Stripes teammates Jermaine Jones and Landon Donovan. Tickets to all Fury games at Citizens Business Bank Arena may be purchased by clicking here or calling 909-457-0252.