LPC Men’s Soccer Takes Aim at Conference Title with Added Talent and Depth

The Las Positas College men’s soccer program is moving in the right direction under second year head coach, Andy Cumbo.  After a record-breaking season in 2016 that saw the Hawks make the CCCAA playoffs and lose just one game at home while being ranked as high as 15th in the nation, there are big shoes to fill with six players transferring on scholarship to 4 year programs, including NSCAA All-American, Marco Neves.  The sophomore proved to be one of the most prolific goal scorers in the state in 2016 and accepted a full scholarship to NCAA Division 1 Seton Hall University in New Jersey.  The Hawks will also be replacing two First Team All-Conference selections in center-backs Fernando Herrera Jr. and Michael Hatch, who received athletic scholarships to Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.  With high hopes for 2017, LPC is looking to continue their winning ways behind Cumbo’s leadership, key veteran returners, and a highly talented group of freshmen and transfers.

The Hawks top returners include Matt Hafizi (Pleasant Hill) and Nick Tucker (Pleasanton), who were each named to the All-Coast Conference Second Team a year ago.  Hafizi scored 2 goals to go with 3 assists last year, while Tucker assisted on 7 goals.  The Hawks are also expecting quality contributions from sophomores Kyle Adafom (Tracy), Navid Khamush (Dublin), Jordan Quick (Danville), and Cory Stewart (Dublin).  Coach Cumbo is expecting a lot of his returners and wants to keep the team’s goals simple and straightforward, honoring each step of the process of winning:  “We plan to build upon last year’s success by keeping our goals simple and doing our best one day at a time.  We need to earn the right to win each day, regardless of whether it’s a game day, training day, or recovery day.”

Teaming up with this group of sophomores will be an extensive list of recruits, both transfers from college programs and freshmen.

College transfers:  Matt Dremalas, transfer from St. Mary's College (Granada), Brannon Dwyer, transfer from Peninsula College (Redwood), Chris Finlez, transfer from CCSF (Heritage), Jake Foscalina, transfer from Cal State East Bay (Livermore), and Simon Fuentes, transfer from Chico State (Monte Vista).

Freshmen Additions:  Rene Alvarado (College Park HS), Ali Amin (Dublin HS), Tony Castillo (Dublin HS), Alex Charvet (Heritage), Victor Diaz (Kimball), Omid Eibagi (Foothill-Pleasanton), Anthony Kumar (Livermore), Pedro Madruga (Kimball), Arnie Maravillas (Deer Valley), Kyle McClanahan (Granada), Benji Morales-Villon (Castro Valley), Nathan Robinson (Washington-Fremont), Kyle Rudd (California-San Ramon), Ryan Tacconi (California-San Ramon), Abraham Tieku (El Cerrito), Blake Tucker (Foothill-Pleasanton), and Joseph Vargas Diaz (Gregori).

With these quality new players mixed in with returners from the 2016 team, Cumbo knows the recipe for success and thinks this team has what it takes:  “Last year’s team was special because we were hard-nosed with excellent team chemistry and a prolific goal scorer.  Our team this year is deeper and more talented player for player.  Our expectation is to go undefeated at home, win the Coast Conference North Division, and compete in the CCCAA state playoffs.  If we can combine the grit and chemistry from 2016 with our added ability and depth, the 2017 season should be a successful one as well.”

-Jordan Whittenburg