By Noe Ortega
The Men’s Soccer team struggled to find team chemistry throughout the season leading them to a record 2-10-9.
Men’s soccer had a team that had what it took to be a competitive team, unfortunately they had setbacks like injuries, dropped players, and referees not making good calls. Players were a problem to the team because they expected to have a different team before all these setbacks came in.
“Players, we ran out of players, if we were able to have the team that we were supposed to have, we would have done better and of course we did a really good job because every other coach would say ELAC was a very good team it’s just that the soccer God wasn’t with us,” said sophomore central midfielder Alvaro Torres.
Some players reflected on their season as “unlucky” while others mentioned that chemistry wasn’t always there. There were conflicts with each other during a game that caught them off guard or certain players who wanted to resolve the game as an individual rather than as a team.
“Our coach has this theory called the domino effect, where if one person fell the whole team fell and it always happened when everybody was arguing,” said freshman goalkeeper Joshua Moreno.
Most of the players also mentioned how the referee had a lot to do with ELAC this season, whether it was not marking an offside which led to the other team scoring or the referee making bad calls on ELAC.
They believe that the referee shouldn’t matter when it comes to the final score, but that they are a big influence to the team’s morale when they make bad calls. Most of the team agreed that they lost focus when the referee made a mistake and it would affect the whole team.
“Refs always mark against us when they shouldn’t and those problems become our problems that mess up our minds and we do lose focus and I feel like our inconsistency towards not letting the ref control the game, it is a major problem,” says freshman midfielder Luis Alvarado.
Nobody on the team expected to have a disastrous season as they did. The men’s team was constantly told that they played good and that they are always a tough team to play against. But the record doesn’t show it.
When Coach Flores was asked if he ever expected this season to turnout this way, he responded with “Never”. Even with all the injuries and dropped players Coach Flores didn’t believe that would stop the team from playing good and going the farthest they could’ve.
“It’s the experience…We’ve had less quality players and still gone farther,” said Coach Flores.
One thing that the team can agree on is that quitting was never an option. Some players see this season as motivation for next year and hope that the new players that come in are disciplined players that are dedicated to play for ELAC, players that have heart and that fight for the shirt.
The players returning for next years’ season said that they will return better and play their best for ELAC.
Most of the players agreed that they have respect for all the coaches, but they also feel that the head coach, Coach Flores and Coach Kike, weren’t very into their job like the other coaches were.
“Coach Christian and coach David were the ones that were with us at every moment, and coach Flores and coach Kike weren’t there when we needed them,” says freshman central defender Agustin Barros.
The team also mentioned that they felt that the coaches had different ways of playing which affected the entire team when they would be told to play a certain way and then the other coach would switch the way they play.
Coach Christian and Coach David, were more involved with the team and would take time off their weekend or weekday to have drills with the team.
“Coach David would take time off his weekend or weekday to set up drills for us, he would have his paper full of drills and that just showed that he cared,” says freshman midfielder Rigoberto Padilla.
The team understands that the coaches have jobs and family to worry about outside of ELAC, but they hope that next year all the coaches can be on the same page for the team.
Tactics were a big factor to this season when the team started this season in a 4-4-2 and then switched to a 4-3-3, where they got 2 wins off this formation, and a 3-5-2 towards the end of the season. Frequently changing formations affected the team because they had to change their style.
“When you have young mindset players who are still learning how to play soccer and still developing their soccer IQ it kind of makes it difficult for them to switch to another formation,” said sophomore defender Jorge Chavez.
Communication was difficult for the team to work with and that brought a lot of frustration. ELAC men’s soccer had a difficult season this year but they say that next year they will improve and they’ll fight so ELAC can be on top.