Soccer at LACC was on the come back after seven long years. Because of coronavirus concerns, the return of soccer has been postponed.
BY NELSON CRUZ
In years past, Los Angeles City College has had major success with its sports department.
The last major tournament City College won was a State Basketball tournament in 2003.
After going seven years without a sports program of any kind, LACC approached Rich Kollen who is the Commissioner of the South Coast Conference with the idea of bringing back soccer.
South Coast Conference SID, Robert Lewis released a statement about the season.
“Due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and the current pandemic conditions in Los Angeles County, the presidents of the 12 South Coast Conference colleges unanimously made the difficult decision,” Lewis said. “To opt out of athletics competition for traditional fall sports for the 2020-2021 season.”
The school administrators decided that it would be safer to halt the season due to the pandemic than risk the health and safety of the student athletes.
This is not ideal timing especially when sports was on the comeback bit by bit at City College.
Soccer was rumored to be coming back to the school until COVID-19 protocols came into the picture.
Kollen listed some reasons why schools opted out of the soccer season.
“Many schools were on the fence about starting up their soccer programs,” Kollen said.
“COVID testing costs are expensive. Each test is about $50 per athlete. Players are going to have to get tested three times a week.”
LACC does not stand alone in this dilemma. Colleges like Los Angeles Harbor, East Los Angeles, El Camino, Pasadena, Los Angeles Southwest, Rio Hondo, Mount Sac, Long Beach City, Los Angeles Trade Tech, Mt. San Antonio, Cerritos College and Compton College are facing the same predicament.
The support for the soccer program is noticeable with the amount of participants they attracted.
Kollen says there were about 40 participants in men’s soccer that were ready to join. In women’s soccer, there were about 18 participants that were ready to start playing. Those athletes will not be able to showcase their talent on the soccer field this semester.
The mens soccer team coach Javier Aguiñiga expressed high hopes that he will have his team back on the field by spring and says the program will continue to serve students.
“We will continue recruiting and do what we have done in the past year since the pandemic,” he said. “Have our online zoom training with hopes to return to campus and train by April.”