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ECNL Feb 01, 2023

ECNL Boys Florida Regional League Selection Game 2023 Recap

The ECNL Boys Florida Regional League Selection Game proved to be one to remember, as both sides battled back and forth throughout the night in a tightly contested game. (View Rosters)

Seven minutes into the game it was the East that got on the board first when Jorge Torres (Solar SC) found himself open inside the box on a cross and managed to finish a volley just in front of goal to give the East a quick 1-0 advantage.

In the 32nd minute, West goalkeeper Aleksandar Kolar (Cleveland Force SC) made a great save to keep the game at 1-0, but off the ensuing corner kick, Torres found the back of the net for a second time to double the East advantage.

The East would take a 2-0 lead into halftime, but the West brought some extra fight with them in the second half.

In the 54th minute, Erick Rios (Austin Texans NTX) made a good run through the East defense and put an excellent finish past the goalkeeper to cut the deficit in half and get the West right back in the game.

Just about 15 minutes later the West pressure paid off again as they earned a penalty kick that gave them a chance to level things up. Paul Padilla (Florida Kraze) calmly stepped up and narrowly slotted the penalty into the bottom right corner and past the diving goalkeeper to knot the game up at 2-2.

The East had the answers though.

In the 81st minute, Alex Sonne (Oklahoma Celtic) found himself in a lot of open space in the box, after a ball was played through to him, and he fired it home to give the East their advantage back.

They were not finished yet though. Just a few minutes later it was Torres again. He worked his way in front of goal and finished off a good pass to get his third goal of the evening, completing his hat trick, and sealing up a 4-2 win for the East.

“I just try to be as direct as possible and try to go forward as quickly as possible,” said Torres when describing his style of play after the game.

Torres also described how exciting it was to play in front of such a big crowd and how he hopes as he progresses he gets the opportunity to continue to play in more big games in his career.

“It’s very different. I’ve never played in front of a crowd as big as that,” Torres said.

As for what the experience will do for him moving forward, Torres hopes he can keep building on it, and hopes his success is something he can take back to his club to help them continue to progress this season.

“Keep building on it and keep trying to improve,” Torres said.

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