Vaqueros applying themselves

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — When applying for a spot on the Glendale Community College men's soccer team, compare it to applying for a job.

The position at hand is open to all those who vie for it, making for plenty of competition.

That's what Glendale college Coach Joe Agoston tried to get through to his team before a recent practice.

"I tell them that all positions are open and it's up to them how much they want it and want to put in the work," said Agoston, whose team will kick off its season Friday at 7 p.m. with a nonconference home match against San Bernardino Valley College at Sartoris Field. "It's better off that way so they know they have to work that much harder."

The Vaqueros will field 22 players this season after going 5-12-4, 4-9-1 in the Western State Conference for sixth place. Only two are sophomores, including goalkeeper Hakop Boghossian, a Hoover High graduate, and defender Rafael Reyes.

So what's the forecast for a more definitive turnaround regarding the inexperienced program this season in its quest to record its first winning season in seven years and reach the Southern California Regionals for the first time since 2003?

"I think its very promising," said Agoston, who led the Vaqueros to their last conference championship in 2000. "You go in wiping the slate clean because every year it's mostly a new team.

"We do have some good players who are skilled and disciplined. They can be coached and they just need to play and handle their responsibilities."

Boghossian, a former All-Area and All-Pacific League pick, will likely be the starting goalkeeper. Those who also might see time in goal are Tadeh Zaghan, a Hoover graduate, and Mohammad Molaei.

The defenders will consist of Menoa Mirzakhani, a Hoover graduate, Andrew Reyes, Arootin Teimoorian, a Burbank High graduate, and Antonio Vielman.

"We don't have a lot of depth on defense, so we are probably going to have to juggle guys around a little," Agoston said.

There likely won't be a lack of depth in the midfield, which will consist of Zaid Abu Abed, David Adamyan, Matheus Campos, Hassan Dawodieh, Mamadou Dioum, Christian Lopez, Victor Olsson, Alex Peralta, Juan Perez and Vartan Sarkissian.

The forwards will be Pavlo Alves, Harutyun Arzumanyan, Anton Forsberg and Andy Sandoval.

"I think we have a lot more firepower at midfield and we have some finishers up front," Agoston said.

Adamyan said the Vaqueros have high expectations.

"We do have a lot of skilled players who have various backgrounds," Adamyan said. "We especially have a lot of skill at midfield and that's going to be huge because that's where you have to control the tempo and speed of the game."

Glendale will play eight of its first 11 matches on the road. It will begin conference at 2 p.m. Sept. 27 against host Citrus and will conclude the regular season Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. against visiting Oxnard College, which captured the conference championship last season.

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