Aztecs Lose In A Hurry

Glenn Parsons
Date Published: 
Pasedena Star-News

Seattle Next

It may have been the most exciting game of the young season for the 7,143 fans at the East L.A. Stadium, but for the Los Angeles Aztecs, Sunday's contest against Mexico City's Universidad was disastrous.

Universidad scored twice in the first half and once again after intermission before the Aztecs could find the nets, coasting to a 3-1 victory.

The defeat was the second in four preseason contests for the Aztecs, who will open the North American Soccer League campaign next Sunday at 3 p.m. in East L.A. Stadium against the Seattle Sounders.

Universidad scored its first goal with only three minutes gone when forward Antonio De La Torre punched a soft five foot shot off the hands of Aztec goalie Kelvin Barclay.

As things turned out, Barclay, with 36 saves to his credit coming into the contest, should have quit while he was behind.

Instead of catching the shot, an art he as mastered, Barclay intercepted the shot above his head only to have the ball fall behind him and into the net.

Barclay, a Trinidad national, didn't have any better luck on the succeeding Universidad tally, which came when teammate Pedro Martinez blocked Barclay's view of the ball and Jose Luis Lopez belted the ball into the net with 28 minutes left in the first half.

"I never saw either of the first two goals coming until it was too late to do anything about it," Barclay commented. "I was screened by our own defense on both plays."

The final Universidad goal, scored with 12 minutes left in the contest, came without Aztec assistance as Velibor Milutinovic blasted the ball past the diving Barclay and into the net.

The lone Aztec goal came as teh last second ticked off the scoreboard (official time is kept by the referee on the field — when Montebello's Jerry Kazarian kicked the ball across the front of the goal and Uri Banhoffer tilted it back the other way and into the net.

But his squad's palyw as not the utmost in the mind of Aztec coach Alex Perolli following the contest.

Perolli, who remained seated on the bench during most of a gamed filled with uncalled fouls, finally erupted midway through the second half when L.A. midfieldman Leo Brewster was kicked in the stomach, but was ignored by referee Manuel Ortiz.

Perolli jumped to his feet, sprinted onto the field and confronted Ortiz, who promptly ejected the Aztec mentor.

"I was mad," Perolli said following the game, "but I didn't say anything wrong. I just wanted to know why the referee did not call a foul on that play."

[photo caption]
PUTTERING AROUND — Los Angeles Aztec defenseman Xeprem Nersepian manipulates ball into kicking position during Sunday's 3-1 loss to Mexico City's Universidad in East L.A. Stadium. The loss evened the Aztecs' preseason record at 2-2. —Staff Photo by Walt Mancini