Getting more exposure in the attack for the Chattanooga Football Club, Daniel Valenciano unloaded a strike from 30 yards out that Stumptown Athletic goalkeeper Vincent Tasca barely deflected from going in the back left of the net.
Near misses were the story of Saturday night's cold and rainy exhibition match for Chattanooga FC, which outshot its future National Independent Soccer Association opponent 16-4 in Finley Stadium but managed only a scoreless draw against the visitors.
"We used Danny as one of the two attacking midfielders, and he looked good," acting head coach Peter Fuller said. "We are not a team that tends to compete in the 18-yard box, and we don't have a guy that will run through a guy or the goal post. But Danny has that ability, and it was good to see him do some of that higher up the pitch."
CFC could not buy breaks at all. As one example, Juan Sanchez sent a free kick off the right post that was rebounded by Max Wilschrey, whose strong header was cleared away in the 34th minute.
A misplayed pass in the midfield nearly cost the home team as Stumptown's Donald Benamna intercepted it and drilled a shot off the crossbar in a one-on-one matchup in the 74th minute.
Overall the back line for CFC held strong, and right back Jowayne Laidley caught eyes once again.
"Jowayne has been fantastic," Fuller said. "He is a winger who we have tried to convert to outside back. For his size he is an absolute beast. He has been banging and knocking people off their feet. He's really stood out to me the last few matches."
Felipe Oliveira and Wilschrey worked well in tandem at times, and Genki Miyachi nearly helped create a score as he intercepted a pass and dished a nice ball to Oliveira, who missed just wide right.
Everson Lima created challenges for the Stumptown defense as he was strong in the air and also had a back-heel shot right in front of the net and another close shot saved in the second half.
Saturday's match came a week after CFC and Stumptown played to a 2-all draw in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"We have played some really good soccer and have been really good on two-thirds of the field," said Fuller, whose team will conclude its 32-match season next Saturday in Finley Stadium against the Milwaukee Torrent. "We just have got to stick our face in the box where nobody else will and get it done."