The first game of the ESPL kicked off at 9:00 AM Pacific Time to the elation of those in attendance. Emerald United, due to the roster, was rated far more favorably than their hosts but the change in the balance of power happened early as United’s Paco DeJesus nearly took Charles Alexander out of the game with an uncalled for tackle at the 20′ mark that earned him a straight red card and an escort to the locker room. When action resumed, Allen FC didn’t waste any time when at 24′ Jack Doyle dribbles through the unsettled defense to score. With a man down, Emerald United struggled to hold off Allen FC for the remainder of the half, proving their rating was well earned, even with a man down.
The second half started with Trent Areonak at 49′ earning a yellow card for tripping Charles Alexander, causing the captain of Allen FC to protest he was being targeted by the opposing team. Play resumed and Max Vice earned a yellow card at 52′ for sweeping Edge Righte completely off his feet. The following free kick nearly resulted in Emerald United gaining a score but the ball bounced off the post and Allen FC cleared the ball without a problem.
Our final score was 1-0 in favor of Allen FC and Emerald United went to the locker room upset that they were set to playing mostly defense due to the early red card.
“Paco shouldn’t have gone in so aggressively,” said Emerald United captain Trent Areonak. “We really weren’t able to recover from his loss so early in the game. Allen FC took advantage of the missing man and really had us on our heels for most of the match.”
“I was being targeted,” said Allen FC captain Charles Alexander. “There were only two cards given but I was shoved, tripped, and generally just abused out there. We kept the lead, though, and won the game. I don’t think it could have turned out any better in the end.”