Arlington Boys Soccer Wins Second Tournament of the Year

Arlington Boys Soccer Wins Prestigious Champions Cup Tournament
Posted on 12/09/2017
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RIALTO >> Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Rodriguez wasn’t given any space in the first half so in the second half he just took it.

Rodriguez blasted in the game-winning goal as Arlington came from behind to defeat Temescal Canyon, 2-1, Saturday night in the 2017 Tournament of Champions title game.

“We struggled in the first half and it wasn’t going our way so we just had to keep our composure and keep looking to take up those spaces,” Rodriguez said. “Before the second half our coach gave us a speech that woke us up and we scored two quick goals to change the game.”

A fiery halftime talk from Arlington coach Kevin Watson refocused his charges, and Ivan Corona scored the equalizer with a powerful downward header forced from a corner kick five minutes into the second half.

“We lit a fire into them and just went back to our style in the second half,” Watson said. “Sometimes it takes the leader to fire them up a little bit, and I think they responded well.”

Arlington continued to apply pressure and six minutes later Rodriguez came away with the ball in the attacking third. The senior forward pushed the ball up the left side before firing a right-footed shot past Temescal Canyon goalkeeper Marco Estrada and inside the far post.

“I just looked to my right and I didn’t see anybody so I just I just decided to go for it and shoot and see what happens,” said Rodriguez, who was selected tournament MVP.

It was the fourth goal in three games for Rodriguez, who scored twice in a 2-0 win over Temescal Canyon during the final game of pool play on Wednesday and once in a shootout win over Upland on Friday.

“It’s difficult when they’ve seen you already and after you’ve scored two goals against them and they come out and they man mark you,” Rodriguez said. “They got me frustrated in the first half and I lost my head a little bit.”

Rodriguez was cautioned by the referee for a late tackle after being dispossessed of the ball in the first half. The talk from Watson helped.

“We needed to hear what we were doing wrong because we we’re fixing it on the field,” Rodriguez said. “We put our trust in coach Watson, and so far we haven’t lost.”

It’s the second tournament title of the preseason for Arlington (8-0-1 overall), which won the Heritage Tournament last week and remained unbeated.

Amir Pourmehdi scored in the 25th minute as Temescal Canyon (4-2-0) took its first lead against Arlington in more than 100 minutes of play.

“I thought it would play to our advantage to have played them before but obviously (Rodriguez) is their focal guy so we manned up on him and shut him down in the first half,” Temescal Canyon coach Mason Dool said. “

Robert Duran had Temescal Canyon’s only shot on goal of the second half pushed over the cross bar by Arlington goalkeeper John Samano.