Lackluster coaching adds additional problems for soccer team

By Priscilla Hernandez

The East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team found themselves in a rut,  only gathering six wins throughout the season. 

In total, the Huskies played 22 games and ended with a record of six wins, 14 losses and two draws. To end their season, the Huskies went 0-2 in their appearance in the South Coast Conference tournament, losing to Pasadena City College and Los Angeles Harbor College. The two losses contributed to a 10-game losing streak to complete the season. 

Some spectators noticed there were some games where Head Coach Eddie Flores was not physically or mentally present. This led to the speculation that having an absentee head coach played a part in the no-win season during conference play. 

Despite what spectators thought, it ultimately came down to how the players felt when the presence of Coach Flores was missing. 

Midfielder Diego Martins and goalkeeper Tomas Ibarra gave some insight on how they felt about their freshman season and how they felt when their coach wasn’t there. 

On the topic of Coach Flores, Ibarra said, “The coaches told us that in some cases, Coach Flores would leave matches and training because he had a personal issue. I think it’s understandable if he left for that type of situation.” 

There were other times when the team was left in the dust without knowing why Coach Flores wouldn’t be there, but it was a rarity when the team wasn’t informed. The team understood why Coach Flores was not there at times, they knew it was because Coach Flores had to take care of something that’s deeper than soccer. 

“The coach had personal problems. I think everyone understands. If I was in the same situation, I would’ve made the same decision,” Martins said. 

 Ibarra and Martins don’t blame Coach Flores for how the season went down. Everyone on the team contributed the best way they could but the season was not in favor of the Huskies. The two also felt that his missing presence did not affect the team in a way that would make them play badly. 

“We have a good staff with professional coaches, we worked hard everyday to do our job, unfortunately, we didn’t have a good season,” Martins said.

Based on their results from each game, the Huskies were not an easy opponent. Despite the amount of losses they had, each game was a dog fight, with the majority of the scores being a one-goal difference.

“In the preseason we had good wins, even when we had the other coaches doing the training and going to the matches,” Ibarra said. 

The Huskies’ record does not reflect on the individual stats and highlights that some of the players accomplished this season. Multiple players proved how hard they worked  by earning a spot on the South Coast Conference leaderboard. 

Out of a list of 23 goalkeepers who were placed as stat-leaders, three Husky goalkeepers all earned a spot on the list. 

Sophomore Milton Salazar was ranked eighth on the leaderboard, which placed him in the top 10 goalkeepers in the conference. Freshmen Tomas Ibarra was ranked 15th and Eduardo Gonzalez  tied for the 22nd spot. 

Freshman Matthew Cortez also earned a spot in the offensive leaderboard. He was ranked 20th for goals scored. 

The ELAC men’s soccer team faced an unfortunate season but rose to the occasion by showing maturity and willingness to adapt through an unforeseeable obstacle. The maturity and willingness, along with the players’ hardwork and talent, played a role with multiple players landing on the leaderboard. 

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