By: Miguel Dominguez
East Los Angeles College Soccer coach Eddie Flores’ goal this year is for the team to stay healthy. The other goal for the team is to “finish in the top four” this year, Flores said. In 2019 the ELAC Huskies finished the season with four wins, 12 losses and five draws.
All ELAC sports were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year the team started conditioning in April without equipment, as part of the protocols the district gave out this year. Full practices with equipment started in July, giving the Huskies soccer team a month to prepare for their first match, which resulted in a draw with Santa Ana College Dons. ELAC soccer team currently have a record of zero wins, four draws and one loss in this season which began on August 27th.
Huskies defense has been great for the team, allowing only four goals in five games. Offensively “we need to improve” said coach Flores. The Huskies have only scored 3 goals in their five games.
The Huskies had a tough game against Rio Hondo, which resulted in their first loss with a final score of 1-0. The following game Huskies versus Orange coast college resulted with no goals. final score 0-0. Most of the team players are freshmen this year around said coach Flores. Only six of the players from last season in 2019, have returned to the team. 23 are freshmen for the huskies.
Of the 23, four are international students. Three Argentinian soccer players and a French goalkeeper. Fans should keep an eye on freshmen Argentinian midfielder Ramiro Hermida and French goalkeeper Santiago Pagnutti. They come with a different mindset and the experience they bring from the academies; it shows on the field, said Flores.
They both come from great soccer academies in their countries. Hermida was from the academy of Boca Juniors in Argentina. said Flores. Boca Juniors is a well-known team in Argentina where the soccer legend Diego Maradona played for before moving to Europe.
All the players and coaching staff from the soccer team are vaccinated. The team still needs to get tested once a week for COVID-19.
Only a few players returned this year because of the pandemic. Most of the players had to drop out of school and work to provide for their families. Others just focused on school and left the soccer team, Flores said.
Their last game resulted in a draw 1-1, against Norco. Their next game will be on Tuesday at Bakersfield. The Huskies will be receiving Cypress at 6pm. Fans are permitted to attend the games if they are “social distancing” this season.