In the spirit of the 2012 Euro Cup, it’s time for some way too early boys East Bay soccer chatter.
Here are 10 questions heading into next year.
Can De La Salle win five straight titles? They have quite a bit coming back, and will almost undoubtedly open the season as the No. 1 ranked team.
2. Can Richmond finally get an NCS title?
The Oilers have some pieces to replace, including 26 goals from Gerardo Mendoza and the very underrated Israel Ayala in the midfield. But, they have plenty coming back and as long as Erik Montes is on the pitch, the Oilers will be a threat.
3. Is this YV’s year?
YV was the best Division II team for much of the season last year, but faded just a bit at the end with injuries and grades. The Warriors have most of their key players returning, including Edgar Damian and Jonathan Ayala. They should be considered the favorite.
4. Is Pittsburg good enough to compete for a title?
Yes. The Pirates return almost everyone. They have to replace top scorer Jaime Lopez, but expect to see the type of team that pushed DLS to the brink in the playoffs.
5. Does Acalanes bounce back from the early playoff exit?
Without a doubt. The last thing teams needed was for the Dons to be even more motivated. I’d actually be shocked to not see them in the NCS final next year.
6. How good will Hayward be?
Short answer: very good. With many returning players, including key scorers and contributors, and with a bad taste in their mouth, they’ll be motivated.
7. What of our Division II finalists?
Both teams graduated quite a bit, so it will be interesting to see how both come back. Both sides still have plenty of talent, and good coaches.
8. Who is this year’s Tennyson?
What a great run Tennyson went on last year. A special run for that school. My sleeper teams are Alameda, St. Mary’s, Miramonte, Mount Diablo, Foothill, and of course, Tennyson.
9. Who’s next in the EBAL?
I think Cal and Monte Vista will be battling to be the team that challenges DLS. And of course, SRV will be very good.
10. My way too early finals predictions?
DLS v. Richmond
YV v. Acalanes