By Liliana Marquez
Three sophomore players of the men’s soccer team accepted full scholarships to attend Kansas Wesleyan University for the fall, yesterday, after a meeting held at East Los Angeles College.
Defender Galo Moreno, forward Kevin Gomez and midfielder Geovanni Rodriguez have decided to continue their education and soccer careers with the Kansas Coyotes after two seasons playing for the Huskies. ELAC’s Head Soccer Coach Eddie Flores was present during the signing of the scholarships along with KWU’s Head Coach Mike Dibbini and Assistant Coaches Gabe Romo and Mike Padilla. For Moreno, attending KWU is a great opportunity to keep sharing the field with his teammates and to continue his education.
“I decided to attend KWU because I want to play with my teammates. I want to be a champion and go as far as I can. I also plan to major in Criminal Justice and continue studying,” said Moreno. According to Rodriguez, what attracted him the most about KWU is their Criminal Justice program. He wants to major in that and get his Bachelors and Masters degrees at this university. “Education is my main goal, but I also want to earn a spot on the team, win the league and be national champions,” said Rodriguez.
Gomez, who was the Huskies captain for the 2011 season, showed his hapiness for transferring to KWU. “I want to keep playing soccer and also major in Criminal Justice. KWU is giving me what I need,” said Gomez. During the 2010 season these three players helped the Huskies finish the season with an overall record of 9-7-5 and a conference record of 7-3-4.
The Huskies were also able to make it to the first round of playoffs where they were defeated by the Irvine College Lasers with a score of 2-1. For the 2011 season, Gomez scored a total of eight goals, while Moreno scored six. Their outstanding performances both home and away helped the Huskies enter the playoffs where they were also defeated on the first round by their South Coast Conference rivals, the Long Beach Vikings.
ELAC finished the season with an overall record of 11-5-6 and a conference record of 6-2-6. While playing for ELAC, Moreno scored a total of seven goals. His ability as a defender and goal scorer for the Huskies earned him a place in both the 2010 and 2011 SCC All Conference First Team.
Moreno was also able to score a hat trick during the 2011 season against the Compton College Tartars. He became the second player to accomplish this for the Huskies after almost three decades without having a player score three goals in a match. “Galo is fine, but he will need to start focusing on the classroom. The biggest challenge he has is to transfer all his talent from the field into academics,” said Flores after the scholarship signings.
Gomez scored a total of 18 goals while playing for the Huskies, and in 2011 earned a place on the SCC All Conference First Team along with Moreno. Gomez also ended the season in the ninth place for the 2011 SCC men’s soccer individual statistics with a total of eight goals, six assists, and 22 points. “Kevin is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever had.
He overcame a lot of personal issues and will be a good addition to KWU. He has earned my respect, I am sure he will be fine,” said Flores. Rodriguez had two difficult seasons and had to set his priorities straight. “He was not going to make the cut for the team, but I talked to him and told him he didn’t have all the time in the world to study and play soccer, so he needed to set up his priorities.
He is a hard worker, he will do fine,” said Flores. Dibbini said that he was excited to keep ELAC connected to KWU and that the connection has been successful, having some some former ELAC players who transferred to KWU become all conference players. Padilla also shared his thoughts on the players.
“They are three gentlemen with experience who have been playing at the highest level, and we hope they will do great,” said Padilla. “It’s very exciting to keep the connection going. I am glad to have these players continuing their education,” said Romo.