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Gervais boys soccer team in a youth transition for 2013 season

This year’s Gervais boys soccer team will have a difficult time matching the 2012 team that finished 6-5-2 for the Cougars’ first winning record since 2008.

“Last year we had a lot of talent, but this year, there are a lot of changes,” said head coach Juan Flores. “We don’t have any seniors this year, so it’s going to be a tough season.”

That’s not to say that Gervais does not possess talent around the ball. Flores points to defender Jami Morales and midfielder Alex Isiordia as part of a crop of young players who are on the path toward excellent soccer careers with the Cougars.

“(Morales) plays really strong defense,” said Flores. “He’s a tough boy.”

Players such as forward Peter Top, sweeper Juan Francisco and midfielder Mikey?Morales also give the Cougars a solid core to build around in the coming season and beyond.

“Mikey — he’s a small kid, but strong,” said Flores. “He’s aggressive with the ball.”

Gervais opens the season Thursday against Westside Christian, starting a string of three straight home games to begin the year.

“(I expect them) to do the best that they can,” said Flores.?“I know they can play real good.”

Flores is in his second year as head coach of the Cougars after spending a year as an assistant to Ebe Castro of Woodburn’s Azul Futbol Club and five years with former Woodburn High School coach Luis Del Rio.

“I?want to say thanks to Ebe and Luis for giving me the opportunity,” said Flores.



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