Baggio is his name, soccer is his game

Baggio Dominguez was born to play soccer.

Baggio's mother, Rosa, likes to tell the story of how Baggio got his first name. When Rosa was pregnant with Baggio, the World Cup was in Pasadena. The year was 1994 and Italy and Brazil met in the finale.

"My mom was telling me … that my dad was thinking of a bunch of names to name me," Baggio said. "He just liked the name, 'Roberto Baggio.'"

As a result, Juan Carlos named his son after a star soccer player from Italy.

Baggio wasn't the first son in the family to have the name of a well-known player.

Baggio's older brother, Edson, has the first name of one of the greatest soccer players, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or better known as Pelé.

The best player in the Dominguez family is Baggio. The senior has helped Estancia match last season's win total in the first three matches of the season.

While Baggio has the name of a former goal scorer, it has been his job as a defender to stop the opposition's attack.

Baggio has solidified a defense that gave up too many goals last season. The Eagles opened the season with two shutout victories before allowing their first goals of the season in a 4-2 win against Corona del Mar last week.

"He's become a leader," Estancia Coach Robert Castellano said of Baggio. "He's somebody everybody looks up to. Everybody likes the kid."

What's there not to like about Baggio? Being on the field with his teammates is what makes Baggio go.

He and his teammates are enjoying the start to the season. They have turned things around at Estancia after last season's dismal record.

Many of the same players on this season's squad played last season, when the Eagles finished 3-14-4. There is a difference this season under Castellano, who is in his third season in charge of his alma mater.

"The kids were a little complacent because they won the [Orange Coast League title the] year before [last year]," Castellano said. "[They were] maybe a little overconfident coming in and lost a little bit of that hunger.

"With that year we had last year … that kind of makes us refocus and get that hunger back."

Castellano has pushed the Eagles more this season than in the previous two. He won't hesitate benching a starter.

The Eagles have a deep roster with 22 seniors. The defense, with Baggio, Sean Bjelland, Christian Montillo, Erick Gonzalez and goalkeeper Danny Guerrero, is stout.

Estancia suffered its first setback, losing at Newport Harbor, 2-0, on Wednesday. Baggio was on the bench when the Eagles broke down on defense a couple of times.

"None of the [nonleague] games matter, as long as we win league," said Baggio, adding that the league crown goes through Godinez.

Last season, the Grizzlies claimed the league title for the first time in the school's history.

There won't be any easy matches for the Eagles in league. They face Godinez, Saddleback, Calvary Chapel and Costa Mesa. The contests against Costa Mesa are always intense because of the cross-town rivalry.

Baggio's two older brothers went to Costa Mesa and played for the Mustangs. Edson and Juan have changed allegiances.

"They tell me, 'This is the only time I'm going to be going for Estancia, just because you're on the team. If you weren't on the team, I wouldn't go for [Estancia],'" said Baggio, who loves to see his family in the stands. "[My brothers and mom] come whenever they can and aren't working. [They're] always there supporting me."

Twitter: @DCPenaloza


Baggio Dominguez

Born: Oct. 20, 1994

Hometown: Costa Mesa

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 160 pounds

Sport: Soccer

Position: Defender

Coach: Robert Castellano

Favorite food: "Anything my mom makes at home"

Favorite movie: "Pineapple Express"

Favorite athletic moment: "I'd say sophomore year as a varsity starter going to the [North Orange County Classic] finals and [falling behind], 2-0, with two minutes left against Calvary [Chapel] and [coming] back [to] win in penalties and winning [the Orange Coast League title] that same year."

Week in review: Dominguez helped the Eagles beat Corona del Mar, 4-2, as Estancia matched last season's three-game win total three games into the new season.

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