A rebuilding year for OC boys
But coach Obiero expects his Pioneers to hold their own in the TRL
After enjoying one of their best seasons in years in 2012, it is likely to be a rebuilding year for Oregon City High School boys soccer this fall.
A year ago the Pioneers finished 8-6-2 and they advanced all the way to the sweet 16 of the Class 6A state playoffs before dropping a close game to Central Catholic, 2-0.
The Pioneers have graduated eight players from last years varsity squad, including all-league players Landon Collier and Rodrigo Carvalho from their forward line, along with league defensive all-stars Daniel Slack and Blake Beneville.
And weve lost our two best returning players Blake Leonetti (midfield) and Luis Armenta (defense) to the Timbers Academy, said Oregon City coach Myque Obiero. I think well be competitive, but its definitely going to be a rebuilding year.
Obiero is carrying 21 players on this years roster, including 14 underclassmen.
The Pioneers return eight varsity regulars from last year, including: seniors Anthony Le (midfield), Tony Flores (defense/midfield), Jalen Satter (defense) and Christian Adams (forward); juniors Kyle Brewer (goalkeeper), Fransisco Ferreyra (forward) and Kyler Luke (forward); and sophomore Andrew Curtis (midfield).
The [Three Rivers League] lost a lot of players top-to-bottom, so I think actually we could be pretty decent [in league], Obiero said.
Oregon City has an exchange student from Brazil in Lucas Visconti, whose skills could bolster the Pioneers efforts in the midfield and in the front line.
Rounding out this years varsity roster are: seniors Iran Zarate (forward), Lucas Visconti (midfield) and Justin Low (defense): juniors Chandler Petersen (forward/midfield), Amrit Thada (midfield), Chris Kohler (midfield) and Aaci McNamara (midfield/defense); sophomores Caleb Slack (midfield), Jaylani Cooper (midfield), Nicholas Slaughter (midfield), Blake Coomes (defense) and Alvin Salazar (defense); and freshman Austin Pederson (defense).
I think a strength for us right now is possessing the ball, said Obiero. We still have a lot of work to do on finishing....
Obiero has a new varsity assistant in Josh Cameron.
He was our freshman coach last year, Obiero said. He brings good experience. He played at Oregon State and for the Timbers.
Obiero liked what he saw in Oregon Citys season opener with Dallas, a 7-0 Pioneer victory. Six different Oregon City players scored goals and goalie Kyle Brewer had to make only one save.
Curtis headed the onslaught with two goals and an assist. Flores had a goal and two assists; Satter, Coomes, Adams and Petersen added single tallies.
It was very rainy and the conditions were fast, said Obiero. I wanted the guys to work on fundamentals, which they did the entire game. We still have a lot of things to work on, but I was happy with the effort.
Obiero singled out Curtis and Florez, a four-year-starter, for their composed play; and central defenders Petersen and Satter for shutting down Dallas offense and pushing the ball forward to spark Oregon Citys offensive thrusts.
Oregon City plays Madison on the road at 4:15 p.m. this Thursday, and the Pioneers begin Three Rivers League play next Tuesday (Sept. 17), hosting cross-river rival West Linn.
Obiero said that because they return the most experience from last season, he expects West Linn and Lakeridge to be the teams to beat in the TRL this fall.