The Burroughs and Burbank High boys’ soccer teams could both have successful seasons this year, but it will be interesting to see how both teams adapt to new coaches. Burroughs is the defending league champion and returns much of its team from a year ago. But the Indians will have to do with a new coach on short notice as Mike Kodama recently resigned to take care of his health. He is still assisting with the team, however. Angel Cardenas, a former Burbank player, takes over as the head coach.
The Indians have the framework of a team that could go very far in the CIF Southern Section playoffs after going 15-6-3 overall and making it to the second round a year ago.
Senior veteran center back Carter Wells, a three-year starter who is coming off of a torn meniscus injury that forced him to miss the end of last season, spoke of the outlook for 2020.
“We all love Mike and it is very heart breaking but he has to take care of himself. I know he’s going to try to be out here during the season,” Wells said. “We’re looking forward to this season. This is a big year. We’re looking to go far, both in league and hopefully CIF. We’re a tight-knit group on and off the field.”
As defending Pacific League champions, most of the starting lineup from a year ago remains intact.
Senior midfielder Carlos Rosales has been the deep-lying playmaker that the team has been built around the last two seasons. A four-year varsity player, he could be the player that leads the Indians to its first CIF championship match since 1994.
Junior Manny Gonzalez has scored 34 goals in his first two years in the program and earned All-CIF honors a year ago. He played on the wing last season, but may see more time in the middle this year.
Senior David Gerlach is also a four-year varsity player who figures to occupy the opposite wing from Gonzalez.
In the back, sophomore Wilson Harting should pair nicely with Wells. Harting played well in the back as a freshman under pressure when Wells was out injured.
Senior Manny Pascual is a third-year varsity player who can play a number of roles, but is likely to play as a wing back or in the midfield. His versatility may be a key component of the squad.
Junior Patrick Abarca is also in his third year on varsity. He is a talented midfielder who could feature in a role just behind the strikers.
Junior Elias Galaviz is similar to Abarca in that he is a talented offensive player who may play as a striker even though he handles the ball well enough to play in the midfield.
Senior Elijah Dumonde is another third-year varsity player who will be expected to do lots of the dirty work in the midfield.
Senior Dylan Mahoney is a returner who should see time at right back. Senior Matthew Rampacek is also a returning wing back.
Junior Jacob Cardenas takes over as the starting goalie, having been a reserve on the varsity last year. Senior Hyatt Entz is expected to also compete for playing time in the goal.
Among the newcomers, sophomores Jonathan Gerlach and Zachary Levy will add depth in the back, along with junior Josiah Aviles and seniors Joseph Soto and Colgan Martin.
Senior Abihud Munoz also returns and could allow for Burroughs to play with three center backs, which could push the wing backs to move further forward.
Senior Kobe Estrada moves up from the junior varsity and should offer help in the midfield as should junior Sebastian Reinoso.
Junior Ricardo Lopez might be the true center forward that the Indians could use.
The Bulldogs look to continue to move forward after finishing 3-10-3 last year, including a 2-9-3 league mark. They return nine varsity players.
Sophomore Freddy Cardenas should pick up the as a team leader in the midfield, replacing brother Andy, who was the captain a year ago. His brother, Angel Cardenas, is the new head coach.
“We’re not going to go from being the worst team to the top. It is a process. But for sure, this squad is better than last years,” said Angel Cardenas, who graduated in 2013. “The last time we made the playoffs was my junior year. I’m just trying to improve us.”
In goal, the Bulldogs will look to a pair of seniors in Jack McKinnon or Luis Estrada to take the goalie gloves.
Senior center back Kaiyne Nzenwa returns and should play a key role. Senior Eddie Bowman and junior Andrei Rodriguez both are varsity returners who should feature as wing defenders. Junior Omar Al-Issa could also see time as a wing back, as could junior Jorge Avalos Ortega and sophomore Edi Hakopian.
The Bulldogs are experienced in the midfield with senior Allen Arsenian and juniors Nicholas Diaz, Isaiah Marsh and Jack Tanglang returning to the varsity.
Senior Gabriel Preciado is varsity newcomer who should provide help in the middle of the defense.
The midfield has depth with senior Sebastian Navarro and sophomores Patony Kheshadorian, Monte Ter Galstyan and Kobe Shemula.
In the attack, Burbank will rely on the work of three newcomers.
Senior Gevorg Kivijian, freshman Garik Kirakosyan and sophomore Gabriel Armour look to fill the role of being a goal scorer for the Bulldogs.