Men’s Soccer Begins 2013 Season in Full Swing

By Bryan Stauffer

First-year head coach Yossi Raz and the new-look Cal Poly Pomona men’s soccer team are eager to avenge the program’s disappointing 3-11-3 record from a year ago.

An alumnus and former coach of Cal State Northridge, Raz has a history of succeeding as both a coach and a former player. Raz was a part of a CSUN coaching staff that posted a record of 82-68-29 from 2005-2012, with two Big West season titles, a Big West Tournament Championship and two NCAA Tournament berths.

So, why leave a successful coaching stint at CSUN to come join CPP?

“The students I’m going to get to work with here are a very special type of market,” said Raz. “It’s very high on the academic side. They are driven as individuals, but they are also great soccer players that want to compete for championships. To work with such a market, it’s very appealing to me.”

Having gone from coaching one successful Cal State program to one that is still trying to find its identity, Raz is excited about the opportunity to impact this program and bring success to a team that has finished 12-18-5 over the past two seasons.

“Everything you go through in life makes you a little bit better, a little bit more mature, a little bit more wiser,” said Raz. “I hope that I’ll be able to bring quality individuals to the program that can represent us well both on the field and off the field, and hopefully we can accomplish great things.”

The Broncos return only five seniors from last year’s squad, a team that was -10 in goal differential, but with the maturation of a few key juniors and a new coach at the reigns, 2013 should be a completely different story.

“I think we have a lot of potential,” said fourth-year netminder Andrew Todd. “[Success] comes from working hard. Working hard beats talent, and working hard is kind of our main component; but we also have a lot of skill, as well. Once the talent starts clicking and we start clicking, I think we’ll do pretty well this season.”

Todd noted that, despite having a lot of new faces on the squad this season, the Broncos are focused on one thing: winning.

“Everyone is just determined to win,” said Todd. “We’re all competitive and every practice is a challenge.

Fourth-year forward Brandon Cortez returns as the second-leading goal scorer from a year ago and will be leading the attack up front this season, while fourth-year defender Christopher Rosales, who led the team in minutes last season, will head the Broncos’ defensive efforts.

Third-year midfielder Abiel Coronado will play a bigger role in the offense this season after starting five games for the Broncos in 2012. The business administration student takes pride in mentoring the underclassmen, knowing that they are the future of this program.

“We try to push them to succeed and to learn a lot more,” said Coronado. “Whenever they need help or have questions about any scenario on or off the field, we try to help them as much as we can.”

The Broncos have opened the season 3-2-1 (1-2-1) and will continue play on Friday when they take on Sonoma State at Kellogg Field.

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