By Noe Ortega
Husky men’s soccer looks to return strong for the upcoming 2018-2019 season with a roster full of newcomers.
East Los Angeles College men’s soccer ended its last season with an overall record of nine wins, eight losses and five draws.
It was the first time in the last three seasons that the Huskies made it to the playoffs.
With only five player’s returning from last years roster, head coach Eddie Flores wants the returning players to be team leaders for the new players.
Flores said he believes that the recruiting done by assistant coach Ricardo Raygoza and himself, can lead ELAC to be a competitive team for the fall season.
He also said that he is confident with his team from his goalkeepers to his midfielders, but lacks a striker that can score and keep the opponents defense busy.
“Defensively we’re going to be good, I need people to put the ball in the back of the net. For the first time in a while, there’s a big question mark because we don’t know who’s going to take that role,” Flores said.
Flores found a striker that he thinks can be a key player for ELAC, but he is 19 years old with a work visa who is at Huntington Park High School trying to get a high school diploma.
They also found two goalkeepers from Maywood Academy High School and Baldwin Park High School.
Two out of the five international players from last season received scholarships. Center back Agustin Barros and defender Andres Martinez both got scholarships. The only international player that is returning is midfielder Edson Jimenez.
The Huskies recruited two players from Chile, one player from Brazil and are looking to recruit a player from England as well.
Flores said that there may be more international players coming but he isn’t sure.
They also recruited a defender from Pasadena City College who played against ELAC last season.
“I think it’s going to be something different. It’s always good when you create and start from scratch,” Flores said.
Men’s soccer training camps begin on the fifth of July.
Depending on how many players go to the trainings, last year 80 players showed up, the coaches will decide which players come back the next day for the second day of training camp.
The coaches will then finalize a team of 40 players to take to what they call a regular camp.
From the 40 players, the final roster will get cut to 30 players.
The only players that are automatically in the team without having to win a spot are the international players.
Flores said that since the international players come from playing soccer since they were kids, they should also be leaders for the players coming directly from high school teams.
“We have a lot of inexperienced players because they’re coming out from high school teams. So for this season, we need the second year players to be leaders,” Flores said.
Flores said he is mostly excited about a defender that is coming from Theodore Roosevelt High School and a Brazilian center midfielder that’s here from Sao Paulo.
One of Flores’ worries is that the 30 players that make it to the final team will miss out on playing due to grade cuts or injuries.
In the 2016 fall season, men’s soccer finished the season with just 15 players compared to the 30 they started with due to injuries and grade cuts.