Sockers add Firepower, Steel in Quest for 15
San Diego Sockers have made some major roster moves this season to re-energize both sides of the arena. Important Sockers players like Chiky Luna, Nick Perera, Jonaton Santos, Enrique Tovar and Evan McNeley have moved on or retired since the end of last season. Luna and Tovar have retired from illustrious indoor soccer careers, while Perera (Ontario), Santos (Cedar Rapids) and McNeley (Tacoma) will all be suiting up in new colors.
Therefore, Coach Phil Salvagio went out to get some of the best attacking talent in the league. Salvagio brought in the “Haitian Sensation” Max Touloute from Kansas City Comets, Cesar Cerda from the now defunct Las Vegas Legends and Brandon Escoto from Atletico Baja. These players are all proven goal scorers in the league, each scoring 15+ goals last season.
New signings Max Touloute, Cesar Cerda and Brandon Escoto will add energy and pace into the Sockers front line. Touloute is a pacey, dynamic player that knows how to unbalance defenders repeatedly. Cerda is dangerous and is equally adept at scoring himself or providing the assist for a teammate to score. Escoto has magic in his silky left foot and will be a handful for MASL defenders this season.
“San Diego is an amazing place to be. Joining a team with a great history in one of the most beautiful places in the United States is a great opportunity I had to jump on.” – Max Touloute
In addition to getting some of the best attacking talent, Salvagio also acquired some insurance on the defensive side of the ball. Former Las Vegas Legends Defender Felipe Gonzalez adds some steel to the backline while adding a goal scoring capabilities. Goalkeeper Boris Pardo provides experienced hands and competition to Sockers incumbent starter Chris Toth. Both players will strengthen the backline and give the Sockers championship quality depth.
All the new players bring something fresh to the organization and will surely improve the team. Sockers are on the "Quest for 15" Championships and these additions should prove to be the missing piece to bring back the Ron Newman Cup back to San Diego in 2017.
Meet the players below:
2016-2017 New Player Bios
One of the most anticipated signings of the 2016-17 season, The “Haitian Sensation” joins the Sockers after scoring 25 goals with Kansas City Comets last season. In 2015, Touloute played 14 games where he recorded a total of 25 points with 17 goals and eight assists. He scored his first hat trick against the Tulsa Revolution on December 6 at the Cox Business Center. In 2014, Touloute played in four games for the Comets where he recorded 15 points with seven goals and one assist and appeared in all six playoff matches recording two goals and one assist, which eventually helped the team win its first ever MISL Championship.
A four year pro, Cerda comes to the San Diego Sockers from rival Las Vegas Legends. Last season, he accounted for 19 goals and 22 assists while also contributing 18 blocks, his highest single season total ever. The midfielder looks to improve on his best ever campaign with 14-time champions San Diego Sockers. Prior to joining the Sockers, Cerda was a member of Texas Oxford City and leading goal scorer for Saltillo Rancho Seco.
A highly regarded player in the MASL, Gonzalez joins the Sockers for the 2016-17 season from Las Vegas Legends. A proven goal scorer despite playing defender, Gonzalez has recorded 19+ goals in each of the last four seasons with Las Vegas. Now he looks to add to his goal scoring streak in a Sockers uniform. The San Jose Native will add steel and experience to the Sockers backline while proving a threat on the offensive side of the ball as well.
Brandon Escoto is one of the Sockers most anticipated additions to the squad the season. The talented left footer joins the Sockers for the 2016-17 season after spending his rookie season with Atletico Baja where he scored 26 goals and notched 11 assists. Escoto, only 22 years old, looks to be a constant threat going forward this season. Watch for him to stun defenders and electrify the crowd with his left footed magic this season.
The Hillside, New Jersey native is a new addition to the Sockers after spending three seasons with the Kansas City Comets. Last season, Pardo was runner up for MASL "Goalkeeper of Year" and first in the league in wins (16). On February 26, 2012, Pardo earned his first ever win for Missouri with a 21-6 victory over the Milwaukee Wave. Since then, Pardo has gone on to be one of indoor soccer’s most dependable goalkeepers. During his collegiate career, Pardo set a Seton Hall University record for most career shutouts and was named 2006 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and second team All-Region by Adidas before spending 2007 as an MLS goalkeeper and getting called up by Toronto FC and FC Dallas. In 2008 he was the backup goalie for the Kansas City Wizards reserve team.