Misc Soccer News

Match Preview: vs. Central Valley Fuego FC

Union Omaha Signs League One Veteran Luca Mastrantonio

May 29, 2024 – United Soccer League One (USL1)
Union Omaha News Release

It’s been diverging fortunes for these clubs since their season openers, so Union Omaha is looking to further their own success by piling onto Fuego’s woes. A nearly two-week break between matches can be a double-edged sword for the Owls, but you may not find them arguing with the chance to rest and reset after the madcap slate to kick off May. Hosting a flailing Fuego side may be a nice way to get back into the swing of things, though.


Soccer isn’t basketball. There are no Steph Curry-esque heat checks to send an entire crowd reeling before they can even blink. Right now, Missael Rodríguez is trying to change that. The Windy City native has been tearing through opponents at gale force speeds. His six goals this month includes a tally in every match but the Sporting KC loss, and braces against Hailstorm and Charlotte Independence, taking 82 seconds and 12 minutes for each. His diagonal runs in and out of the half-spaces cleave through defenses, clearing paths forward like a jungle guide with a machete, but his array of finishes from all over are pure craft.


There may not be a weirder start to a season than Union’s, purely from a scheduling standpoint. The Owls went nearly a month without a league match after a trip to Chattanooga was postponed, putting them at one match played while others had as many as five. They still didn’t get true rest, though, because they had to venture from California to Massachusetts on a short week to open the season. They’ve played two Cup matches at Caniglia Field to boot. Four matches in May’s first 11 days (and a fifth on the 17th) makes for a crazy run to deal with as well… with nearly two-week breaks bookending that stretch. It’s hard to truly gather momentum when the schedule escalates and de-escalates quicker than even Ron Burgundy can handle, but it’s worked out well for Union Omaha so far.


Last season, Union Omaha swept the season series with three wins over Fuego FC. The finale of those, against interim coach Edison Gonzalez, was maybe the most dramatic, with a 93rd minute winner from Joe Gallardo. The Owls kicked off 2024 with a hard-fought 2-1 win that featured Blake Malone’s first goal for his hometown club. Overall, Union Omaha is 6-1-0 against Central Valley Fuego FC, by a combined score of 11-4. They’ll have two more chances to punch that record up further, with a cup match in early August…

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