by San Diego Sockers

The San Diego Sockers—presented by Kaiser Permanente San Diego—continue a six-match road trip as they make their only trip this season to the Pacific Northwest, taking on the Tacoma Stars on Saturday night. The match will kick off from accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash-ington at 7:05pm PST, streaming live on Twitch on channel @masl_soccer.

This is the first of only two meetings between the Sockers and Stars this season. Franchises that date back to the MISL in the 1980s, the Sockers own an all-time regular season record of 70-22 against Tacoma. Last year San Diego went 6-0 against the Stars, and have won eight straight against Tacoma overall, dating back to the 2021 Ron Newman Cup playoffs.

San Diego (10-1, 29 points) was rolling into their six-match road trip with a series of winning streaks, all of which were rubbed out by Empire’s 10-4 win over the Sockers to begin the trip on Wednesday. The club had won a MASL-record 30 straight regular season matches, 17 in a row on the road and 14 in a row overall (dating back to the playoffs). In addition, the club’s all-time point streak was set at 51, with the Sockers losing in regulation for the first time in 52 matches (47-1-4).

The MASL Western Conference is proving to be massively competitive, with six clubs all vying for five playoff berths. San Diego enters the weekend tied for first place with Empire, with Chihuahua and Mesquite right behind at 24 points. The Sockers have five fewer matches played than the Strykers and one fewer than Mesquite. The MASL points champion at the end of the season receives the MASL Supporters Shield, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

On Wednesday night, the Sockers were shocked by the Strykers in a match dominated by the hosts from the Inland Empire. San Diego fell behind 7-1 before turning to a full-time sixth at-tacker, which elevated the final score to 10-4 with empty net goals. Franck Tayou had his best performance as a Fury/Stryker against San Diego, netting four goals with four assists for an eight-point game. Leonardo de Oliveira scored two goals for the Sockers, who suffered their second-worst statistical loss in MASL history.

Tacoma (5-5, 15 points) began the season with a 4-1 record before losing four matches in a row. The Stars rebounded last weekend for a 6-4 home win over Monterrey. With only ten matches played, the Stars have more than enough available standings points remaining to make a run at a playoff berth. Tacoma averages 5.9 goals-per-match and concedes 5.7 goals-per-match. Nick Perera is in his familiar position atop the Stars’ scoring leaders with (11-8=19) points in nine matches played. Micheal Ramos and Jamael “Juice” Cox are tied for second on the club with seven goals scored. Danny Waltman has started all ten matches in net for Ta-coma, posting a 5.65 GAA and .682 SV% on 116 saves.