Season Preview: Men's Soccer
by Stephen Morales
Returning to the field after the delays caused by Covid-19, ELAC Men's Soccer met with numerous challenges both on and off the field. Head Coach Eddie Flores was a guiding rock for the team in many ways and in the end, the team fought all the way and ended up with six selections to the All-SCC North Conference team.
Now another year removed from the pandemic, and with a more normal offseason to work with, Coach Flores and his team are prepared for action, as the team opens the new season on the road on August 26th against Santa Ana.
As the team prepares for the new year, we caught up with Coach Flores to see how they're looking.
SM: Based on last year's results, what is your focus on going into this season?
EF: After last year's Covid cases and personal changes, we have a new coaching staff with tons of experience. We had a very strong recruiting class, which was helped by a more united coaching staff and a staff that can devote more time to the players this year. We were also able to bring in several international players as well (Chile, Brazil and Argentina).
SM: How was it having a more normal offseason in all aspects?
EF: Recruitment is the biggest plus. With a diverse group of players, (local and world) it's a big thing. We kept around 30 players from about 75 total who came out. Being able to go to games as well was a plus.
SM: How has practice looked as we approach the first game?
EF: Practice has looked good. A lot of players have stepped up. We are working on solidifying the starting 11. You'll see it next week and then we will work out the rotations. We are all optimistic. This is a very good group that has come together quick.
SM: Any athletes you'd like us to keep an eye on this year?
SM: Thoughts on the upcoming season?
EF: We know we have two top tier conference teams (Cerritos and Mt. Sac). The other teams fight it out for the last spots. I believe we will be in the mix for the playoffs. If the season goes the way we plan, we stay healthy, we can be very good and in the mix. We have a pretty good schedule that should help our rankings.
SM: Anything else we should know?
EF: Come out and support us! We have a lot of 6pm Friday games. Wed love as much support from the campus as we can get. Shoutout to coach J, Coach Gomez, and Coach Macedao and Coach Santos. They make my job a lot easier.
With a lot more unity, Coach Flores is looking forward to what should be a great season of Men's Soccer.
Key Schedule Dates
- Season Opener: @Santa Ana, Friday August 26th 4pm
- Home Opener: West Hills-Lemoore, Monday August 29th, 3pm
- Conference Opener: @Long Beach, Tuesday October 4th, 4pm
- End of Regular Season: @Cerritos, Tuesday November 1st, 4pm
- SCC Tournament: November 4th-11th.