The Turlock Express have spent the past eight months on the sidelines, reflecting on a tough overtime playoff loss to the legendary San Diego Sockers.
But on Saturday, the Express's quest for a third consecutive trip to the Professional Arena Soccer League playoffs begins again.
The Turlock Express will kick off the 2013 season against local rivals the Sacramento Surge at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the Turlock Indoor Soccer Arena, 500 S. Center St.
The Express are Turlock's only professional sports team, competing in the top-level Professional Arena Soccer League. The team, comprised mainly of homegrown talents, competes against teams from big market cities like Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago, as well as four Mexican squads. And the team has been a fixture in the PASL playoffs, despite representing the smallest market in the league.
The Express will field a new-look roster this season after losing the team's leading scorer Ivan Campos, star midfielder Armando Martinez, and forward Bronil Koochoie to free agency. But the team has resigned other top players while adding two big free-agent goaltenders – Mitchell Watson, who has played for the under-18 U.S. National Team, and Javier Rosales, who has played in the U.S. Open Cup.
The roster isn't the only thing to change for the Express this off-season. The Turlock Indoor Soccer Arena has been newly remodeled, with additional seating and new restrooms.
Tickets for Sunday's game are available at the Turlock Indoor Soccer Arena, 500 S. Center St., for $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Tickets for those age 16 and under are $5 in advance, and $6 at the door.