10 Sockers' Players Highlight USA & Mexico Arena Teams
The US National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) and Mexican National Futbol Rapido Team jointly announced player pools for next weekend’s three game series.
The two national arena teams will face off in Ontario, CA on May 11, Turlock CA on May 12 and Bakersfield, CA on May 13. The US team is coached by San Diego Sockers coach Phil Salvagio and Mexico is coached by Atletico Baja coach Rene Ortiz.
The games will serve as early preparation for October’s WMF World Cup in Tunisia. The US and Mexico met in the finals of the last WMF World Cup in 2015, in which the host United States was victorious.
Salvagio opted for a deeper pool with his selection of 25 players, 16 of which can dress for each game. Ortiz tabbed 16 players for Mexico, pending possible late roster adjustments.
The USNAST is led by two-time reigning MASL MVP Franck Tayou, 2014/15 MASL Rookie of the Year Gordy Gurson, and current MASL Goalkeeper of the Year Chris Toth. Other notable players include Nick Perera, Matt Clare, and Taylor Bond. Nelson Santana and Travis Pittman from the MASL Ron Newman Cup champion Baltimore Blast also made the cut.
“This is the first step on our road to Tunisia,” said USNAST General Manager Bernie Lilavois, “and as we schedule more games over the next few months throughout the country, more players will get a chance to showcase their skills. But this is a big weekend for these players to show us early on whether they deserve to secure a spot on the World Cup squad.”
Mexico is led by Cristian Gutierrez, who scored 51 goals for Atletico Baja this season, Erick Tovar, and Daniel Villela
Adding some local flavor, the Ontario Fury will be represented by seven players and the Turlock Express have four selections, collectively, on the US and Mexican rosters. Ortiz brings five of his Atletico players to the international stage. Salvagio selected six players from his Sockers squad, while four more Sockers will play for Mexico.
|Gordy Gurson||F||Cedar Rapids|
|Felipe Gonzalez||D||San Diego|
|Matt Clare||M||San Diego|
|Joshio Sandoval||D||Cedar Rapids|
|Brian Farber||M||San Diego|
|Derek Huffman||F||Cedar Rapids|
|Scott Martin||D||San Diego|
|Chris Toth||GK||San Diego|
|Boris Pardo||GK||San Diego|
|Jesus Molina||GK||San Diego|
|Alfonso Rodriguez||GK||Mexico City|
|Jesus Mendez||D||Mexico City|
|Eduardo Velez||D||San Diego|
|Ray Reza||M||San Diego|
|Erik Tovar||F||San Diego|
|Angel Curiel||F||Cedar Rapids|
|Sergio Del Rio||VP|