SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Friday, July 14, 2017) – The Southern California Sports Club ended its second National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) campaign last Sunday (July 9) with a 3-3 home tie with Temecula FC.
Differently from 2016, SoCal SC did not advance to the playoffs of the West SouthWest Conference as the team finished fifth in the division. However, for Head Coach Daniel Musatti, the team performed as well as on its inaugural campaign.
“We had a good performance in most of the matches and we repeated the level we achieved last year despite struggling to turn our dominance into results in some moments”, coach Musatti said. “In 2016, our Conference had seven teams and we qualified to the playoffs as the fourth placed. This season, with the same points per game ratio, we finished fifth on a nine-team division. It’s important to remember, though, that our Conference added two teams (FC Arizona and Orange County FC) who were focused on results and came with a very professional approach, finishing at the top 2 of the division”.
According to coach Musatti, the club putted its philosophy of developing young players in perspective, working with a roster that averaged just over 21 years old. The youth of the team may have costed the club some valuable points in the playoff hunt, but the feeling in San Bernardino is that the mission was accomplished.
“We had the youngest roster of the division and that was a risk we decided to take, even knowing that experience still plays a role on soccer”, Musatti added. “We never entered this league to win it, but we feel that some of the points we lost could have been avoided if we had a few veterans in our roster. However, our primary goal was to develop players and we somehow achieved that”.
SoCal SC was tireless on its work to develop young players and prepare them to the next level of their careers. Several of the players progressed enormously during the season and some of them already had their talent noticed as midfielder Jorge Moreno, who left the club before the end of the season to try out for La Liga team Leganés and second tier sides Rayo Vallecano, Albacete and Getafe.
“We had a very talented group and the players who were committed and gave their best were rewarded”, commented Musatti. “I like to take Alex Zaragoza as an example of that. He was on the fourth team when he tried out for us but his hard work during six months earned him a starting spot on the team and made of him one of our most important players throughout the season”.
Next season is still several months away, but SoCal SC does not stop working. After the team finished its last match, meeting are taking place within the club to establish what the next steps for the franchise will be.
“We learned a lot in this league”, Musatti concluded. “We already have discussed internally about everything that happened this season and have identified the biggest issues we faced and possible solutions to them. Next year perhaps we’re going to have a different level of expectations, but whatever we do it will be built over the experience we had in 2017. This club has an enormous potential of growing and it just needs to find the right path to follow to do so”.