Part of the Bay Area News Group

East Bay Soccer League Outlook

By Matt Smith
Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 2:53 pm in Boys soccer.

So I don’t have enough information on each team, so I’m just going to do an outlook for each league and then you guys can critique it, add comments or let me know about any team I didn’t give any mention to.

ACCAL
Until someone beats them, this league belongs to the Richmond Oilers. With that said, the gap is closing, and not because Richmond is getting worse. They are my No. 1 team to start the year, so that tells you what I think of them. Other teams in the league are getting better. Berkeley is going to be a force and Pinole Valley is going to be very good. De Anza is also improving and El Cerrito has a great player in Michael Tieku.
Richmond is my pick here, with Berkeley as the team to watch out for and Pinole Valley is the darkhorse.

BSAL
This league boils down to Albany and Piedmont, and this year, with the young returning crew I think Albany has enough to outlast the Highlanders. I think it will be a very good race between the two teams, and I think St. Mary’s could be a darkhorse.

BVAL
This league should be very, very interesting. I’m hearing good things about Deer Valley, Antioch is a program on the rise and Pittsburg has a new coach in Pablo Gaytan. Freedom, Liberty and Heritage are also getting better. Should be a fun race, and there is no way a team runs through this league without a loss. I’m going to go with Pittsburg as the frontrunner, with Deer Valley as a very close second and Antioch as the darkhorse.

DFAL
I’ve already got Las Lomas people up in arms about not having them ranked. I think this is a bit of a transition year for the DFAL and teams like Campolindo and Las Lomas that lost a few key players might be in the middle of the pack. I’m looking for teams like Dublin and Alhambra to be in the upper half. Acalanes is the clear favorite here. They won the section last year and return a lot of players. They are the giant in this league. I think Dublin is the second best team, and my darkhorse is Campolindo. They are very young, but talented.

DVAL
Rory Gentry has made a living of turning programs around and last year he made Clayton Valley a competitor. This year, the Eagles are the favorite. I really think the entire league is balances, with College Park, Ygnacio Valley, Concord and Northgate all having a chance to be in the mix. I’m gonna say the Falcons, who you can never count out, are the runners up as of right now, and Northgate is the darkhorse.

EBAL
Once again, this league should be the best in the East Bay and super competitive. I’m not picking against De La Salle, even though they lost a lot of good players. They still have kids like Wesley Moar and Michael Bernardi. This team will be very, very good. San Ramon Valley, Amador Valley, Granada and Monte Vista will all be beating on each other to climb to the top. I am going to predict nobody goes without a loss in league this year, but as far as the order of finish, I have no clue. Monte Vista is certainly a team I have my eye on.

HAAL
Just based on reputation and respect of what they did last year, I have Bishop O’Dowd as the highest ranked team in the East Bay Rankings, but the word is Castro Valley is considered the favorite. I think it is going to be a very tight race with those two teams and Hayward.

MVAL
Newark Memorial is going to be tough to beat for any team in the East Bay, and in the MVAL it’s going to be nearly impossible. This team is really good and will challenge, once again, in the NCS playoffs. I think Logan is a team to watch out for, and is my pick as the second best team right now. I liked what I saw in Washington last year and I would keep a close eye on the Huskies.

Alright, let me have it. Let’s hear what everyone has to say and if you agree or disagree.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Chino

    BVAL- Matt I believe Antioch should win this league… All of their players play club soccer with some good teams. Pittsburg is too young this year but will be a great team in the next few years. Don’t know much about Deer Valley. They always have a good team so they should compete. DVAL- It’s all going to be close… After a 2-0 lost for Northgate vs dougherty Valley I wouldn’t consider them a darkhorse. Haven’t heard enough about Clayton Valley to make them favorites. I will give the edge to College Park. With the darkhorse being a young and talented Ygnacio Valley. YV returns most of their players on offence and has a young defence. Concord is another team that’s very young that can surprise a lot of people this year.

  • tj

    Newark Memorial 2 Berkeley 1

  • SMC

    Hi Matt,

    Rory’s last name is Gentry at CVHS. He is one heck of a coach
    and love’s taking on the challenge to build a great program. It should be
    very competitive in the DVAL this year.

  • Matt Smith

    I knew that, I just had the Amador Valley lacrosse coach’s name in my mind for some reason.
    I fixed it.

  • DVAL

    I love it when people look at the first pre-season game and decide a teams success for the year! Only thing a loss means is they aren’t going undefeated.

    For all those historians out there, Northgate lost to Dougherty Valley last year and then finished strong for a #8 seed in NCS.

  • Anointed One

    Love the blog and the break down BUT …just because the DeLasalle bandwagon has the loudest horns and the most clowns revolving around it doesn’t make it the best circus.The elephants are at Monte Vista this year and they will will beat them at home and at Delasalle this year.
    Speaking of the DFAL, who is going to score for Acalanes now that the only offensive threat( Chalak) graduated? I hope the keeper has a good punt.

  • junior

    i dont know too much about soccer- but i dont believe i would want elephants playing on my team.

  • cokito

    Maybe kneeling across the goal?