By Tupac Zapata
The Los Angeles City College, men’s and women’s soccer teams were supposed to return to the fields and compete last year after a decade since LACC dropped its sports teams from competitions. A new coach was hired, and things were looking promising for the Cubs, as they were about to hold their first soccer clinic on March 14 of 2020. But then the pandemic hit.
The order for the brand-new uniforms was placed on hold, and a new generation of LACC student footballers had to wait what initially was to be a few weeks to flatten the curve. Those weeks turned into months, eating up the entire 2020 season of the South Coast Conference.
Widespread coronavirus tests were initially far too costly for our South Coast Conference, something only the NBA, MLB, and Division leagues could afford. The beautiful game would have to wait a year before LACC’s Be True Nike Field finally hosts its first soccer match.
With mass vaccinations well underway, the 2021 soccer season looks more confident with each passing day. LACC men’s soccer coach Javier Aguiniga Campos is optimistic about assembling a competitive team that will represent our school and makes us proud. “we have about 70 recruits who are eager to make this a winning program”, said coach Aguiniga.
A former center-back, coach Aguiniga coached at East Los Angeles College from 2010 to 2013 and coached at Rio Hondo College from 2013 to 2019. Aguiniga hopes to host the Cubs’ very first soccer practice on April 12. Players must be full-time students and have a 2.0 GPA to play. Currently, there are ten teams in the South Coast Conference.
There will be mandatory testing to all the players and team staff for the 24-game season that kicks off in the last week of August and ends in November. When asked about his soccer philosophy, coach Aguiniga likes his teams to defend well and emphatically said, “the goal is to be six feet away from our opponents while we have the ball at all times, especially during a pandemic.”
The administration has been very supportive of the renascent soccer program, and hopefully, there will be an entire season this year if we all do our part. After not having sports for so long, it will be amazing to watch live games and cheer for our school again.