By Liliana Marquez
The upcoming soccer season is just a couple of months away and the men’s soccer team is already preparing for the challenges they will face ahead.
The first test that both returning and prospective players will face are tryouts which will take place on July 9, at Weingart Stadium.
With two of their main forwards gone, the Huskies face a problem with a lack of scorers, but the coaches hope to solve this problem during tryouts.
The Huskies also face a lack of defenders. From a total of eight from last season, about only four will be returning.
According to Head Coach Eddie Flores, there are only eight returning players considering the fact that some of them might not be able to make the cut because of grades.
Flores believes that the squad will be okay, and he hopes that they find good natural scorers before the preseason kicks off on August 29, at San Diego Mesa College.
“I am preparing mentally and physically. The team has to have one goal, and that is to win at conference, state and earn national recognition.” said returning player and Goalkeeper Juan Escobar.
“Things don’t fall out of the sky. It takes hard work, discipline and determination. Our goal is to do the impossible and surprise everyone,” said Escobar.
For Escobar the experience of the returning players will be crucial for the team in order to be back in the playoffs, “We have people that know what’s going on in conference and this can help the newcomers bond to the team a little faster,” said Escobar.
The Huskies will try to improve their overall and conference records of the last two years. The Huskies were 9-6-5 overall in the 2010 season; 11-4-6 in the 2011 season.
The highlight of last season was tying the then nation’s No 2-ranked team, Mt. San Antonio College then beating the then nation’s No. 3-ranked team, Cerritos College to vault into the playoffs.
The Huskies will attempt to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
“It will be even harder than last year. I am expecting to have a very well prepared team with a lot of experience and a winning mentality.” said returning player Christian Ventura.
“I think that next season we are going to have a team that is going to be able to compete with and beat the best teams in the South Coast Conference such as Mt.SAC and Cerritos.” said Ventura.
The team played two exhibition games at home last April, as part of their preparation for next season.
The first game was against the Los Angeles Harbor College Seahawks where high school graduates got a taste of what playing at the college level was like.
According to the coaches, the scrimmage was also intended to help the prospective players register for classes and get the information they need to get ahead of the game.
The following day, returning players faced the University of Redlands Bulldogs.
ELAC’s first SCC game will be against at Long Beach City College on Sept. 25.
The Vikings scored a huge upset over the Huskies last season during the first round of playoffs at Weingart Stadium by a final score of 3-2.
The coaching staff and players are very positive and hope to improve their records from last season.