NORTHEAST GLENDALE â€” Joe Agoston will take victories, not presents.
So don’t, for example, offer to purchase a time machine for the veteran Glendale Community College men’s soccer coach.
Simply put, last season is one Agoston would rather forget after the Vaqueros managed to win just one match.
â€œWe aren’t thinking about last year anymore,â€ said Agoston, whose team finished a dismal 1-19-2 and 1-11-2 in the Western State Conference last season. â€œIt’s the future we are looking at.
â€œWe want to have more victories this season. Every game will count for us.â€
The Vaqueros can equal their win total from a year ago when they host Fullerton College at 7 p.m. today in a season-opening nonconference match at Sartoris Field.
Glendale college will look to post its first winning season since it went 12-5-4, 11-2-3 in 2003, which was the last time it qualified for the Southern California Regionals.
The Vaqueros will also be searching for their first conference championship since 2000.
Before they do that, Agoston said, there must be cohesiveness on the field and the willingness for the players to apply themselves during practice sessions.
â€œThey will either shape up or ship out,â€ said Agoston, who will begin his 22nd season at Glendale college. â€œAll the spots are open, so they’ll have to earn it.
â€œIt’s been a good attitude [during the first two weeks of practice]. We’ve had field sessions where they’ve been focusing on different things.â€
The Vaqueros lost plenty of one-goal matches simply because they didn’t have enough offensive firepower to battle against many of the elite teams in their conference, which included defending conference champion L.A. Mission.
Agoston doesn’t want a repeat performance.
â€œIt takes one goal,â€ Agoston said. â€œThey just didn’t have the skill or determination.
â€œThere weren’t many blow outs, we just didn’t have any forwards who could score.â€
Perhaps a retooled group of forwards and speedy midfielders might turn things around for Glendale college.
The forwards will likely be sophomore Brian Benavides and freshman Yader Arita.
There should be plenty of depth at midfield with nearly 10 athletes ready to handle those responsibilities.
The midfielders will consist of sophomores Tony Coreas, Brett Vorster, Dino Barbiera and Irving Valencia.
They will be joined by freshmen Lenny Lavastida, Artin Saginian, Nicolas Rodriguez and Emilio Vallelos, who graduated from Crescenta Valley High.
Barbiera, who will be the new Glendale High girls’ soccer coach in the winter, earned all-conference first-team honors last season.
Valencia secured all-conference second-team accolades.
The defenders will feature freshmen Franklin Ventura, Efrain Molina, Jorge Oliva and Nelson Andrade.
Agoston said that six players tried out for goalkeeper.
For now, it appears as if freshmen Gildardo Aguirre and Edwin Cabrera will share the goalkeeping chores.
The Vaqueros appear to have a better mix of talent compared to last season, Agoston said.
â€œWe do have more depth,â€ Agoston said. â€œIt looks promising, but it’s up to them.â€