SOCKERS INTRODUCE TWO NEW COACHES TO THE STAFF
The 14-time San Diego Sockers have added two assistant coaches to their staff for the 2017-18 Major Arena Soccer League season. Former Sockers’ standout Rene Ortiz returns to the club as a coach and experienced goalkeeper coach Victor Melendez joins the team.
Ortiz, an Anaheim native, signed with the Sockers at the age of 17 in 1987. As a member of the Sockers Reserves, he won the Mitre National Amateur Championship and was named the Tournament MVP. Ortiz made the senior squad and won three consecutive MISL titles. He continued his career by playing four years with the NPSL's Milwaukee Wave. He appeared in the 1994 NPSL All-Star Game with Sockers GM Sean Bowers. He returned to San Diego to play three more years with the team in the CISL. In 1996, Rene was drafted by the MLS' Dallas Burn and played two outdoor seasons with the club. He finished his career indoors in 2000 after playing for five more teams in various leagues. After retiring, he obtained his USSF "B" coaching license and graduated in 2005 from San Diego State with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. In 2002 Ortiz was named head coach of the Mexican Indoor National Team, a position he continues to hold. He also coached the MASL's La Raza de Monterrey in 2009 and Atletico Baja in 2016 and 2017. Currently, he teaches Phys Ed at Hilltop High School and coaches the girls' varsity soccer team. In October 2017, he led the Mexican World Mini-Football team to a second-place finish in the WMF World Cup in Tunisia.
VICTOR MANUEL MELENDEZ
The 2017-18 season will be Melendez’s first year as the Sockers goalkeeper coach. He brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience including holding a USSF "A" Coaches License. After playing two years professionally in Mexico for two seasons, the Guadalajara, Mexico native has been coaching for the past 28 years. HIs credentials include being Cal-South Instructor, Region IV Goalkeeping Coach, ADOC Crusaders coach, USSF Regional Instructor, assistant coach Atletico Baja, Mexican World Mini Football Federation assistant coach, and on the staff of the San Diego City College soccer program. Off the field, Victor studied Mechanical Electrical Engineering in college.