Aztecs Test Tough Miami at East LA

Date Published: 
Valley News

The hottest team in the North American Soccer League, the Los Angeles Aztecs, will try to notch its sixth consecutive league victory against the rugged Miami Toros at 3 p.m. today at East Los Angeles College Stadium.

Miami has lost only once in five games and is contending for the Eastern Division title against defending NASL champion Philadelphia.

The match features two outstanding offensive teams.

Douglas McMillan leads the Aztec forward line, which is the highest scoring in the NASL, while last year's most valuable player, speedster Warren Archibald, spearheads the Miami offense. The 27-year-old Trinidad forward scored 12 goals last season.

He also played on the Trinidad national team last year which also sported Aztec starters Tony Douglas and Ramon Moraldo.

Miami's goalie, Osvaldo Toriani, is among the best in the NASL. He currently ranks third with a 1.20 goals against average, allowing only six goals through five games.

He was the goalkeeper for Independiente during several seasons when that Argentine Club was South American champion. He allowed Pele only a single goal during four games against Santos and the legendary soccer superstar.

"There's no doubt that this is the toughest team we will have to face at home," said Aztec head coach Alex Perolli. "Miami was one of the finest teams in the league last year and already they're off to a fast start.

"It's going to be our toughest game so far and it'll show us how good we really can be when we have to. Miami has a very fast team and any good, fast team is always dangerous."

The Aztecs will present a three-game state cup soccer championship preliminary program. Montebello Homenetmen and the San Pedro Yugoslavs will battle for the Southland state cup championship at 12:45 p.m. The teams are perennial powerhouses in the Greater Los Angeles Soccer League.

The state cup program will open at 10 a.m. with the Branford Rangers of the Golden State Soccer League meeting Veracruz of the California Soccer League in a Division Three under-15 Southland State Cup title.

At 11 a.m., the Branford Rangers and the Celtic Flyers of the Pacific Soccer League will meet in an under-11 battle for the Southern California championship.