First the good news: After months of planning and a 6-0-1 exhibition game record, the Hollywood Kickers soccer team officially comes into existence this weekend with a pair of games in the Pacific Northwest.
Now the bad news: Four key members of the Kickers are in Colorado.
Midfielders Luis Cuevas and Doug Swanson, forward Mike Getchell and defender Paul Krumpe have been invited to regional tryouts for this summer's U.S. Olympic Festival (formerly called the National Sports Festival) in Houston.
"Our No. 1 priority," says Dieter Hochheimer, Kickers coach, "is to produce players for our national teams. We are 100% supportive. We like to be flexible."
But also practical.
Hochheimer still hasn't given up hope of seeing at least Krumpe and Cuevas on the field tonight when the Kickers take on Portland at Portland Civic Stadium. Both Krumpe and Cuevas were members of the gold-medal winning West team in last year's National Sports Festival. The Kickers hope that since Krumpe and Cuevas are returnees to the National Sports Festival, they will be excused from the tryouts by noon today. If that happens, they will immediately board a flight to Portland.
If not, Hochheimer will still have 13 men, including former Cal State Northridge defender Scott Murray, available for the Kickers' entrance into the Western Soccer Alliance. He is particularly pleased with the work of goalkeeper Lorenzo Caccialanza, defenders Murray, Alberto Bru, Mark Arquette and Armando Ceja and midfielder Martin Vasquez, who played for the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
On Sunday night, the team will be in Seattle's Memorial Stadium to play the Seattle Storm. Portland and Seattle each recently played the World Cup-bound Canadian national team. Both games ended in a tie.
The Kickers' home opener is scheduled for May 24, when they will take on Dundee of Scotland in a 7:30 p.m. game at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.