The Temecula FC Quails celebrated Opening Day at Patricia Birdsall Sports Park May 8, vs. FC Golden State, with fans in attendance. By following current CDC protocols, the Quails worked with NPSL and local city facility officials to ensure Birdsall’s Field was a safe environment for fans, players, and staff.

It was a loud opening night for Temecula FC, who did suffer a 4-0 loss to FC Golden State and owner Brandon Jantz’ words backed up his mood as he stood somberly at the side of the pitch.

“Obviously, this one stings,” Jantz, the losing owner, said. “For a club that endured 14 months of COVID shutdown and is now operating on a volunteer basis, this hurts. We can’t control much on the business side as we are still closed but we can win matches and we didn’t tonight. An NPSL defeat for the first time in 417 days after COVID shutdown hurts, that is all a loss can do. The sting will go away.”

The Temecula FC Quails fell to FC Golden State during their Opening Day game at Patricia Birdsall Sports Park May 8. Valley News/Doug Yoder photo

An FC Golden State 45-minute goal by Nikolai Amurrio took the wind out of the sails right before halftime. Then an early second half goal by Marvin Merlano to make it 2-0 killed off the game as there was little in attack for Temecula. Two more Golden State goals toward the end of the match made it 4-0.

The Quails will look to prevent any pain that Arizona can inflict in two weeks’ time as Temecula FC welcomes AZ May 22, to Birdsall Sports Park. Jantz is interested to see how his squad will handle the adversity.

“A loss in league is much different from a pre-season one,” Jantz added. “Now we will find out if this group of Quails simply are happy to be here or plan to stay in the playoff hunt. We also expect manager Austin Levins to make a few changes before the next match as two professional players will be returning in Darion Mealing, whose ITC should be cleared from Sweden, and Mason Grimes returns as well. The proper response doesn’t involve blaming anyone, it is just about putting in two good weeks of training and being prepared to make the supporters proud and loud in their next match.”

Fans will be required to adhere to all city policies, including health and safety policies, and posted instructions while at Birdsall and around the field. A full rundown of Birdsall Field safety protocols and tips to prepare for attending a game can be found at www.temeculafc.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.