Boys Soccer: 5 questions for the upcoming season

The season is less than a month away. Let’s get the chatter started with some things to ponder heading into the season.

1. Will De La Salle win a sixth straight title?

The short answer is probably. The Spartans, believe it or not, were a relatively young team last year. Sure, they graduate some key seniors, but they also return a lot of key players. Plus they are always deep, and by February are as close a unit as you will find.

2. What other teams can challenge the Spartans?

I believe San Ramon Valley has a good chance to challenge this year, as does Pittsburg. Of course, Monte Vista, Cal and Richmond have a chance to challenge as well.

3. Who is the best player in the East Bay?

Tata Ayala, and I think it will be by a good margin. I wonder if there will be another Erik Montes, a guy who both scores and assists.

4. How about Division II?

Campolindo made an unexpected run to the title game last year, and this year they return nearly the entire team. I have to think they are a heavy favorite this year.

5. Which teams could rise up to challenge?

Some unexpected teams could include Castro Valley, Antioch, Deer Valley, Livermore, Kennedy-Fremont, Alameda and San Lorenzo.

Matt Smith

  • Highlanders Soccer

    Hey Matt,
    How do you think Piedmont will do this year? Do you think we will make it past first round of NCS?

  • footiefan

    I agree. Games between Berkeley, Odowd and Alameda should be interesting to say the least. Doesn’t the Alameda High coach also coach some of the Berkeley kids in Club? If so, that will be another great twist to these games. Which also makes realize how far the AHS program had come. I remember not to long ago Alameda didn’t really make any noise but now I hear they have a lot of NPL players which wasn’t the case before and should bring the level of play. I wonder what brought on this change? Its always interesting to see a program grow.

  • Matt Smith

    @highlanderssoccer:disqus It’s hard to tell this early on if Piedmont will make it past the first round of NCS, but I will tell you that I like their new coach in Rory, and I think they will still have Matt, and he is an exciting player. It seems like they could be a surprise team in the WACC.

  • ConradNolan

    Key to success this season will be a physical defense especially against teams with faster but smallish forwards. Soccer is a contact sport.

  • mudhen

    That should be interesting! Hayward has a lot of talent , but they lack the discipline that DLS has. if it’s on the rathole of a field at Hayward, that will work to their advantage. Rigo is a killer striker, but I don’t know if his “Chicharito” size will work against him. He’s a good kid too!

  • Yellow Jacket

    Didn’t expect so much talk about the Berkeley program! Love it. (Where are all you EBAL lovers??) I think Berkeley will be very interesting to watch this year. As mentioned before Yassine and Jasper are very solid in the midfield and both have had a year of Varsity experience under their belt. As always BHS will have a large pool of talent to pick from and you never know who will pop up. Excited to hear that Coach Andre will be taking over the Varsity position, I know he is well liked amongst the community and more importantly, the players. I think the biggest struggle this year will be the back 4 and having a consistent scorer up front. Replacing Matt and Watson will be difficult, as well as the Solomon up top. Best of the luck to the program!

  • Strykerboy

    Helfrich is at DeAnza Force Academy. Injured in pre season, hasn’t played a match this season. UC Cal commit last season.

  • Panther Soccer

    @Matt Smith
    What are your opinions of the Antioch High School squad this year?

  • Marshall Matters

    Pitcoch is strong in goal for Odowd, but i think midfield will be a big problem. Berkely has a much better midfield.

  • Aylona