This key US Open Cup qualifying matchup will kick off the 2012 campaign for San Diego Boca FC as the club has made numerous changes in coaching and player personal during the offseason to prepare for the upcoming 2012 NPSL season.
The two teams have not met in league play in the past as the Phoenix Mansoon is a new NPSL entry in 2012 so the match will be a quick “get to know each other battle” as the loser of the match will be eliminated from entering the prestigious 2012 US Open Cup which is the longest standing US Soccer Tournament spanning back to 1914.
San Diego Boca FC’s President and General Manager Yan Skwara commented, “We are excited to get this season out the door as it’s been a busy off season. The US Open Cup Qualifier this weekend against Phoenix certainly get things moving quickly as we are basically looking at this match as a must win. This is going to be a tough season as is every season, but we feel we are prepared. We have worked hard during the off-season keeping the players that we wanted from last year’s squad along with identifying and adding the new talent that is necessary to make this a winning season.
“Having brought in new head Coach Karim Ben Mazouk from the departing Papo Santos was the beginning of the beginning. Coach Karim has been a pleasure to work with as he is a seasoned coach with over 30 years of coaching experience and he knows his game. Coach Karim carries a international passport originally born and raised in Morocco and settling here in San Diego many years back coaching at all levels starting including Youth soccer, High School soccer, Colligate soccer and Professional. Coach Karim knows exactly what he wants to do with this squad and we have worked well together to bring together what we feel are a special group of players together that are not only some of the best local players from San Diego but a international mix of talent that have made their way to our club in some shape or form. To compliment Coach Karim, we also have had the fortune to sign Assistant Coach Miguel Garcia who has done a fantastic job in playing his role as assistant coach. Coach Miguel’s professional career in goal with Necaxa and the San Diego Sockers back in the 80’s gives us a solid coaching staff entering the new season.
We are very pleased to re-sign Forward, Juan “Kichi” Perez, Defender, Jared Kikura and veteran Goalkeeper, Steve Gonzalez from last year’s squad as they are key players that are leaders both on and off the field. To compliment our returning players from last year, we wanted to make sure they were supported with the right mix of new talent in all positions.
Skwara continued, “We were very fortunate with several signings this off season starting with two players from Switzerland in 20 year old Mustafa Samatar (6’2-165) and 21 year old Gabriel Buckson (6’2-160). Both players arrived in San Diego several months ago to begin training with the squad and have made an immediate impact on the pitch. I think our fans will enjoy the goal scoring punch that Gabriel brings to the table as he has great speed and very good technique with the ball not to mention a great shot which every good forward possesses.
Mustafa on the other hand brings a work ethic into the midfield that is very solid and consistent and he knows how to break down plays and start a new attack.
Forward, Gabriel Buckson Midfielder, Mustafa Samatar
Newly Signed Defenders Jamel Wallace (6’3 -180) and Jordon Grider (6’2 -175) bring strength and size in the back line along with local San Diego State graduate Defender Zach Luzczynski (6’1-172) Mexican Defender Bernardo Fernardo (6’2-179) and Brent Zuniga to create solid depth and strength in the back line. Our midfield includes third year BOCA midfielder Andreas “Apache” Canizales who is joined by newly signed playmaker Christian Maderos, Midfielder Chris Smith, and South African attacking midfielder Adam Meltz. Other key signing’s this year who are all also San Diego natives include Midfielders Juan Cardona, Defender, John Cardona, Midfielder Geovanni Sanchez, Midfielder, William Quintanilla, Midfielder Eder Gomez, Forward, Alfredo Rodriguez and Midfielder Michael Perez who are all battling for a starting position.
Skwara continued, “Our coaches and players are prepared and committed for the season as we have high expectations of ourselves. Playing an attractive brand of winning futbol that our Boca fans can enjoy is our objective this season and I like our chances.”
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About San Diego Boca FC
San Diego Boca FC is part of the Western Division of the 49-team National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). San Diego Boca FC was founded to promote professional, amateur, and youth soccer throughout San Diego County through a grassroots approach, following that of storied Argentina club Boca Juniors. For more information, visit www.sdboca.com or www.npsl.info.