Even though heavy rain drowned out some big matchups in Week 2, the top teams in Liga HEB returned to form without incident. Each of the Hurst squads look to be heading into Rivalry Week undefeated, but Atlético Central seem to have found their form, and Stallions FC showed signs of greatness despite dropping their first statement game of the season. There's a chance that nobody makes it to the All Star Break without a loss.

Week Three in the Liga HEB Character Curriculum is all about Teamwork, and the clubs that have best mastered that concept have prevailed thus far. Once again, a steady passing attack saw Raiders to a dominant win and Hurst City to a strong finish. Team chemistry tends to win the day in La Liga, and it will be tough to secure a spot in the Ideal Impact Champions' Cup Match without it.

Hurst City Wear Down Spartans FC

Photo by Steven A Jones, 6 Stones

Of all the teams in Liga HEB, Hurst City had the most difficult road through the early weeks. The rain helped them escape an interesting matchup with Stallions FC last week, but they've impressed early against both of their rivals from Central. The league's defending champions are playing well enough to land at the top of the table. But that doesn't mean that the results have been easy.

Spartans looked more poised and in control than in their first outing, holding their own in a match that was nearly scoreless in the first half. They've got a sturdy center back and an abundance of talent behind their attack, but they lack the poise to become something special just yet. HCFC took advantage of soft defending on the wings and jumped ahead 3-0 because of a series of turnovers near the edge of the Spartan penalty area. Central's lone goal was a nice consolation, though, and could be leveraged into a turnaround.

City, on the other hand, continued to play with their signature outside-in possession. The match was even for the first 30, but their opening goal — a sneaky backdoor finish — shifted both teams' tactics and allowed Hurst to slowly take over the game. The difference in this one was discipline, with the boys in white finding time for extra touches and smart passes while Central rushed into turnovers and team arguments.

Atlético Central Run Away from Real Euless

Photo by Colton Archuleta, Trinity High School

Atlético took an early lead and never looked back in their matchup with Real Euless, which proved to be a much-needed rebound game. After a dismal outing in Week One, Central seems to have found an identity. Strong play from their center backs saw the Blue to an easy win over their young foes.

Real Euless has been at the bottom of the table for almost a full year, mostly due to a lack of structure. Real tends to look lost on the field, especially against top-notch competition. That trend continued in Week Three. Euless don't move well off the ball, and a lack of spacing makes it tough to keep possession. Frequent turnovers led to an abundance of goals as Central exploited open space all over the field in this one.

Atlético finally looked at home, with their skilled players settling in for a fireworks show. Their striker tallied a brace with the help of one of the aforementioned center backs. If there's an achilles heel for this squad, it's a lack of midfield talent. They control the back line well and pack plenty of punch up front, but holding the ball against tougher opponents will prove to be a challenge.

Raiders United Seize Top of the Table

Photo by Daisy Portillo, Trinity High School

Before Horsemen fans start to fret, it should be noted that this match was much closer than the final score. Euless finally has some swagger this season, and they played the league leaders evenly for the final thirty. The trouble is that they didn't settle in until they were several goals behind.

Stallions FC are still gelling as a club, but they've got heaps more experience than in previous years. The only real hole for them, tactically, is set pieces. They surrender too many and don't seem to know how to handle them. Waiting for the ball to come to you is a great way to see it in the back of your net.

On the other side of the pitch, Raiders United continued to do Raiders United Things. Their offense was efficient, almost clinical, in the first half. That's when the bulk of the goals were. After that, though, the game plan fell apart. It's troubling to see a team this talented switch to selfish play after running up the score. Too much individual effort in the second half, not enough patented Raiders soccer. Otherwise, RUFC might have an even more bloated Goal Differential. Regardless of that hiccup, they've got a firm grip on first place. And they've already topped the best of their competition.

Liga HEB runs on generous support from Ideal Impact, Inc, Elite Fitness HQ, 89.7 Way FM, The Soccer Corner, BB&T, and Parra Car Care.


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