By Jonathan Saenz
COD’s Jose Silva (16) winds up for a header. Photo courtesy of COD Athletics.
College of the Desert’s soccer season is underway. Men’s and women’s soccer officially started Aug. 25. The head coaches have revealed strategies and new faces that could give them a competitive edge this year.
Leading the COD men’s soccer team this season is coach Enrique Cardenas. Cardenas is joined by three assistant coaches, Manuel Hurtado, Daniel Rivera and Christian Nehme. With a record of 3-14-3 for the 2016 season, this group hopes to turn things around.
Jesus Murillo Perez (midfielder) and Ezekiel Barragan (midfielder) are two players to keep an eye on. The players are leading the pack, tallying one goal a piece within the first two matches of the season. A couple freshmen that are expected to make a difference for the Roadrunners are Michael Cruz (goalkeeper) and Omar Felix (defender). The COD men’s soccer squad seems determined to run away with a winning season.
COD women’s soccer (yellow) gets ready for a match. Photo courtesy of COD athletics.
Head Coach Garrett Estrin is leading COD’s women’s soccer team for the third season in a row. Coach Estrin is accompanied by three assistant coaches, Jorge Polanco, Emilia Jimenez and Sarah Felix. With an overall record of 7-10-4 last year, this squad is striving to improve.
The women’s team has already experienced a few player injuries early the season leaving the active players with more work. “We have a very talented group this year, but we’re very thin. We’ve already suffered quite a few injuries in our early preseason. We have a roster of 19 players,” said Estrin.
Although the women’s soccer team is lacking players, the team is not lacking talent. Coach Estrin spoke highly of all his players and highlighted a few freshmen that might have a big impact this season. “Right now our leading scorer is forward Jianna Guerrero. Defender Taylor Doyle has played every single minute of our first three matches and midfielder Sam Toriche from Cathedral High School is looking very strong for us.” Coach Estrin is confident in his young players and hopes for a promising season.
But how did these players end up at COD? Coach Estrin explains his recruiting process, “I coach at Rancho Mirage High School when I’m not coaching at COD. I get to see all the players who play in the De Anza League. I’m always keeping an eye out for new talent.” Estrin added. Estrin’s assistant coach Jorge Polanco is also the head coach at Cathedral City High School. He sees all the Desert Valley League players.” This recruiting-duo seems to be working for the COD women’s soccer program.
The next men’s soccer home match is Sept. 26, 2017, against Cuyamaca College at Boone Field. The next Women’s Soccer home match is Sept. 19, 2017, against Palomar College.