The 2022 Laredo Heat SC squad took the field together for the first time Monday, May 9 with four days to prepare for the NPSL season opener in San Antonio.
The Laredo Heat SC began its rapid-fire preparation for the season opener holding its first practice Monday morning at UISD’s Krueger Field. The Heat are building toward championship aspirations as they aim to take the next step after last year’s run to the Lone Star Conference championship game.
“Laredo is a special place, so it feels really good to get back out,” Laredo Heat SC head coach John Powell said. “It’s a new group of guys, and we are getting right back to business with clear expectations for the summer.”
Laredo faces a quick turnaround with just four days of practice before hitting the road for the season opener. The Heat begin the 12-game regular season Friday traveling for a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Corinthians SC of San Antonio. The Corinthians opened their season on the road Sunday picking up a 2-1 victory over the Austin United FC in a battle of two new clubs in the Lone Star Conference.
“It is an initial concern to be very honest having just four sessions before our first match. With finals and timelines for everybody, it’s the best we can do for getting everyone here,” Powell said. “It was very good for a first day. Fitness levels are high, intensity is very good. We definitely have a very, very good group of players. Now it is about how fast the coaching staff can get everyone on the same page and ready to go for Friday’s opener.”
The new-look Heat feature a few familiar faces including a trio of returning starters in defenders Liam Morrison and Lewis Wilson and midfielder Oscar Govea. Also returning on the back line are three local athletes in Hector Arreola, Jorge “Koke” Mares and Jose Rivera.
“It is good to see some familiar faces and be back with the boys,” Wilson said. “We got the first day done. The boys are a lot more fit than last year. We didn’t have anybody fail. We are in good standing as coach said. We are looking good for Day 1. We’ll see how the week goes and take it from there.”
Following the season opener, the Heat face another quick turnaround as they host the FC Brownsville Explorers at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18 for the home opener. It is the first of three home matches in a stretch of seven days as they host the Temple Coyotes FC on May 21 and the Austin United FC on May 24.
The Heat play their home matches at the TAMIU Soccer Complex. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $20 for VIP access, and children 12 and under get in free.
Visit laredoheatsc.com and follow @laredoheatsc on social media to stay up to date on the latest news. Any youth players interested in joining the academy can visit laredoheatscyouth.com for more information. To see plans announced last week for construction of the Laredo Heat Soccer Complex, visit team.laredoheatsc.com/soccercomplex.
Lewis Wilson and Liam Morrison