Grand Prairie, TX – Texas United got back in the win column in convincing fashion on Saturday with a 5-1 win over FC Cleburne in Grand Prairie. The matchup was the second meeting between the two teams this season. On Monday, Texas United travels to Cleburne to face the team one last time before the regular season ends.

The match started off quickly with Armando Pelaez grabbing the first goal of the match in the 10th minute. The Texas United forwards continued their pressure all throughout the first half, with the home team launching numerous attacks on the opposition’s defense. In the 23rd minute, Julio Vargas doubled the lead to make it 2-0.

Despite the continued pressure, FC Cleburne earned a penalty when goalkeeper Hunter Harrison took down an attacking player in the penalty area. However, Hunter came up big with a save to keep the score 2-0, a result that would hold until halftime.

After a slow start to the first half, FC Cleburne cut the lead in half with Hikaruhito Meike grabbing FC Cleburne’s first and only goal of the match. Texas United immediately answered the FC Cleburne goal when Giovanni MontesDeOca found the back of the net in the 68th minute to make the score 3-1 in favor of Texas United.

The offensive pressure from Texas United refused to let up. In the 70th minute, Vargas grabbed his second goal of the night to extend the lead to 4-1. Not long afterwards, Vargas completed his hat trick in the 73rd minute. At the final whistle, the score read Texas United 5 and FC Cleburne 1. Needless to say, the players were excited to get back to their winning ways.

“This win helps us get right back to where we want to go. It’s going to help us prepare for the next couple of games,” MontesDeOca said when asked about he feels about the win. “We needed a win. It’s building confidence, and we’ll keep working towards the next match,” Vargas added.

Caleb Smith also shared his thoughts on the victory. “We can build a lot of momentum off of this game. We had a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals, and played some really good soccer. We can take this energy and move into our next couple of games,” Smith said.

When asked about what head coach Arez Ardalani’s message was to the players in preparation for this match Vargas responded, “We know we have good players. We just needed to keep our head up and keep working,” he said. Smith added, “The best cure for a loss is winning again. Once we get back to our winning ways, we can carry on being better and better the following games.”

Texas United rematches FC Cleburne again on Monday, and the players shared their thoughts on their third matchup of the season. “We’ve beaten them these past two games,” MonteDeOca said. “They’re going to come out hungry in this third game. We’re playing in their home, so we have to bring the passion and energy,” he added.

Vargas and Smith also shared with us their expectations for the third matchup against FC Cleburne. “We have to come back with a winning mentality and be humble. We can’t think it’s going to be an easy game,” Vargas said. “We have to come out with the right mentality and the right attitude,” Smith said. “If we can keep playing our style of play, the goals will come,” he finished.

Texas United resumes action on Monday, June 25th as the team meets FC Cleburne in the third matchup of the season. Through seven games of the season, Texas United have 13 points and are within striking distance of the top spot in the Mid-South Division of the Southern Conference. The team has seven games left of the regular season and looks to be a real threat in the playoff picture.