Former San Diego Boca FC Coach Papo Santos
Pro Soccer News: Perfect Storm hits San Diego Boca FC in Loss to Sonoma County Sol
San Diego Boca take one on the Chin and Prepares for Crucial Match with Lancaster this weekend. Coach Papo Santos Quits Team.
The stunned silence after the game continued all the way home during the ten-plus hour ride from Sonoma to San Diego. San Diego Boca FC (5-6-1) were hit hard on the field by the Sonoma County Sol (5-4-1) 5-0 at Sonoma State giving up 3 undeserved goals in the first thirty minutes.
A shorthanded team made the trip up north, lacking multiple starters including Cameron Roget and Juan “Kichi” Perez-Bernal due to yellow cards, Ze Roberto, Edber Quiroz due to injury and Jose “JoJo” Coronado.
A short roster wasn’t the only problem Boca attempted to overcome, as a much wider field and inexperience on the grass caused numerous missteps and ill-timed passes. The Sol were also no pushover, as they put immense pressure up-front and found numerous opportunities in front of the net.
San Diego Boca FC General Manager Travis Chesney said, “This wasn’t Boca. The way we played; the overall performance wasn’t up to the level we expect of ourselves. This is one of those games you have to bury in the dirt and keep going and get back to our winning ways. Our missing players are returning, and despite the disappointment, we are still confident in our ability as a team. We now have a must win at Lancaster this weekend who beat Hasental 3-2 on Sunday. We have to be ready as Lancaster has improved significantly since we last played them at home when we beat them handedly 4-1. We are lucky that the playoffs are still in reach, and now is the time to take advantage.”
Last week, Head Coach Eliseo “Papo” Santos informed the players and San Diego Boca management that he was leaving and therefore also did not travel with the team, citing personal reasons last week. San Diego Boca goalkeeper, Steve Gonzalez told SN that coaches in the professional soccer change, sometimes with very little advance notice. As a former LA Galaxy player, Gonzalez said, "The players pull together and make it work and adjust to the new coach." Boca is currently reviewing top coaches for the position of head coach for the NPSL team.
Coach Santos said "I want to thank the fans for their support this NPSL season. Unfortunately there is a business side to soccer and some conditions were not met. I had to draw a line and make a decision as my summer program for under-served kids at Hoover High School in City Heights was coming up soon. It became a personal financial hardship for me to continue. I wish the players and everyone at San Diego Boca well."
In its second season, San Diego Boca FC has operated as a grassroots organization, with many of its staff working for the love of the game, as opposed to a sizeable paycheck. As founder Yan Skwara said, "No one is making money, no one is getting the $60,000 paychecks they deserve. We have a lot of talented players and unfortunately we can't pay them what they deserve. It really is a question of how much money we want to loose and we want to stay financially stable and keep our expenses down."
While Boca administration have been footing the bill for travel, location and general logistics costs, the coaching staff basically volunteered. While financial disputes are always confusing and complicated, a difference over funds and how they were allocated seems to be at the root of the decision for the team and the coach to part ways.
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San Diego Boca FC
is part of the Western Division of the 38-team National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Boca FC was founded to promote professional, amateur, and youth soccer throughout San Diego County through a grassroots approach, following that of storied Argentina club Boca Juniors.