Segota Returns, Sockers Get Offensive in 8-2 Win

Times Staff Writer

Two goals in 24 seconds, three goals in a span of 1 minute and 25 seconds and four goals in a quarter.

Sounds like what the Sockers used to do against visiting opponents, but what they didn't do much of last season.

Well, in their home opener Saturday night at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Sockers turned nostalgia into reality in an 8-2 victory over the Kansas City Comets.

With the Sockers leading, 2-1, early in the third quarter, Branko Segota scored into the far corner of the net on a running right-footer. At 8:21, defender Brian Schmetzer scored on a rebound. At 8:45, Hugo Perez lined a 35-footer past goalkeeper Alan Mayer. At 9:46, forward Keder scored on right-footer from 20 feet.

The Sockers led, 6-1, and were well on their way to their first victory of the season.

Playing in front of a crowd of 9,946 , the Sockers won their fourth straight home opener. San Diego defeated Minnesota to begin the 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons and Los Angeles to start the 1985-86 campaign.

A week after losing to Wichita, 5-3, in their season opener, the Sockers looked like a different team against the Comets, who were obviously tired from playing their third game in four nights.

"It was a matter of time before they died," Socker midfielder Juli Veee said.

And the Sockers took advantage of the death.

"It's gratifying because it's our (home) opening game and we weren't too sure what we had," Socker Coach Ron Newman said.

The Sockers had Segota, who picked up right where he left off against the Comets last season.

Returning to the lineup after missing all the exhibition season and the season opener with a hamstring pull, Segota scored two goals and had three assists.

On May 20, in the Sockers' 9-5 victory in Kansas City in the fifth and deciding game of the Western division semifinals, Segota had five goals and an assist.

"We took it to them," Segota said. "We let the forwards and midfielders do the damage. We had a lot of room up front."

Segota was joined by Keder, who scored his first three goals as a Socker. Keder's hat trick gave him one more goal than he scored all last year and in his entire MISL career, which spanned 12 games with the New York Express last season. Keder, 22, was acquired by the Sockers as a free-agent during the preseason.

"It was good to see Keder get his goals," Newman said. "That will only make him mature more rapidly."

Schmetzer, who missed the Wichita game with sprained knee ligaments, Perez and Fernando Clavijo had a goal each. Dale Mitchell and Jan Goossens scored for the Comets.

Socker goalkeeper Jim Gorsek made 10 saves on 24 shots.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Sockers scored twice in the second to lead at halftime, 2-0.

On the first goal, Segota used a cross-over dribble from right to left to get past Comet defender Kim Roentved, and then hit a left-footed bouncer into the net from inside the box at 6:08.

Keder and Segota hooked up on a give-and-go, with Keder scoring on a left-footer from the right of the box to make it 2-0.

Mitchell scored early in the third quarter, but the Sockers responded with a barrage of firepower.

Socker Notes

After 1 minute 42 seconds of play in the first quarter, the vapor lights at the San Diego Sports Arena went out, causing a 14-minute delay. . . . Fernando Clavijo served as Socker captain Saturday night. Coach Ron Newman plans to rotate captains for the first four games before deciding upon a permanent captain to replace Jean Willrich, who was traded to Wichita Nov. 3. Juli Veee was the captain in the season opener at Wichita. Brian Quinn and Branko Segota will get turns in the next two games. Newman said Clavijo was selected as captain for Saturday's game because he officially became a U.S. citizen Friday. Clavijo, a native of Maldonado, Uruguay, was honored during a halftime ceremony. . . . With only 14 players allowed to dress for MISL games this year instead of 15, the Sockers did not suit up goalkeeper Zoltan Toth. Jim Gorsek was the starter and Clavijo, a defender, was his backup but served no time in front of the net. Newman said he favors dressing 15 players. . . . Padre right fielder Tony Gwynn kicked out the opening ball Saturday night. . . . Comet forward Jan Goossens extended his regular-season scoring streak to 54 games with a goal and an assist. Goossens is 22 games shy of tying Steve Zungul's league mark of 76 games, set from 1978-81.

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