Austin Aztex Soccer
The Austin Aztex finished its inaugural season in the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League as part of a four-team playoff in the Southern Conference this past weekend, winning its first match, but losing in the finals to a rival of sorts.
The team traveled to Ocala, Fl. for the tournament, facing the top-seeded Ocala Stampede in their home stadium on Friday night. They beat the favored Stampede 3-2 on Kekuta Manneh's 70th-minute goal, after going up 2-0 and then giving up two consecutive goals.
Sunday afternoon, the Aztex faced the Orlando City U23 squad — affiliated with the former incarnation of the Aztex now known as Orlando City FC, and lost 4-2. Though Manneh won and converted a penalty kick in the 12th minute to give the Aztex a 1-0 lead, the Floridians tied the match three minutes later, built a 3-1 lead, and held the lead throughout the rest of the game.
Although Khiry Shelton's stoppage-time goal brought the Aztex to a 3-2 deficit, they were beat on a counter-attack while trying to press for the tying goal in the match's dying throes. Orlando City's Aduny was able to finish his one-on-one opportunity in front of the goal to seal the victory.
Attendance wasn't perhaps what it could have been in Austin: Only 900 showed up on Friday to watch their hometown team, according to the Aztex report, and Sunday's final match was played, as the team's game reporter Jeff Burns relayed, in front of only 155 fans.
Despite missing out on a chance to extend its playoff run (Orlando City will go on to the PDL's National Semifinal round), and the small crowd, the Aztex are predictably upbeat about the season in the official write-up of the match on its website.
The Aztex will be back in action when the USL PDL regular season starts up again in May 2013.