Brahmas Men’s soccer is back

Brahmas Men’s soccer is back

In a short amount of time, the athletic department has brought back two different sports. One is women’s softball, and the other is men’s soccer. 

For the first time in over 40 years, men’s soccer has made its anticipated return to athletics.

At the moment there hasn’t been a coach appointed or a group of players formed. All that is known is the team will take the field in the fall. 

Dean of Student Services Claudia Velasco said she can’t wait for the sport to begin.

“I am super excited to bring men’s soccer, and see the team compete and hopefully win in our college,” Velasco said. “As a Latina I grew up watching soccer with my dad. Thanks to him, I learn to enjoy and love soccer.”

Bringing back a sport that is in high  demand can be immense.

Athletic Director Susan Armenta said that this process has been brewing for a while. 

“We’ve been monitoring requests from students, faculty, and the community, and there is strong demand to host a men’s team,” Armenta said. “We’ve been discussing it over the past year with Dean Claudia Velasco, VP Jason Cifra, and with President Aguiar, and felt it was about time to bring back men’s soccer. We brought up the idea with the Western State Conference and it was approved last year.”

It’s been a lengthy period of time since men’s soccer has been in athletics.

It’s been so long that the last time Pierce had men’s soccer, Women’s soccer head coach Adolfo Perez said his brother was playing for the team. 

“I had a brother that ironically played at Pierce. He played in 1980 and I think that was the last season that took place,” Perez said. 

The return of a sport of this caliber is not to be taken lightly.

Perez said this news and program will be big.

“It’s going to be huge. I know the interest has been crazy and every time they do a survey at school, what would you like that we don’t have–  it’s always men’s soccer,” Perez said. 

Perez has coached the women’s team for over 20 years and has been very successful in making the playoffs for several years.

Perez said he thinks the men’s team could be as successful as the women’s but will take some time.

“I think it’s going to take work. Obviously, it will take a lot of dedication but I think the results will speak for themselves,” Perez said.

Perez has also confirmed he will be the assistant coach for the men’s team. 

Bringing back a sport like this will help the college in several ways.

Armenta said that bringing back a sport with this much support will bring more students to sign up for Pierce.

“It will help boost enrollment first and foremost. We will have full-time students that will be served by various student services such as College Promise/financial aid, EOP&S, and Center for Academic Success,” Armenta said. “Additionally, as a Hispanic Serving Institution, we will be serving a student population that has been identified as an equity gap in learning.”

Not only will this improve enrollment but also attendance for games.

Perez said he expects attendance rates to drastically rise.

“Soccer is big, and we’re going to get a lot more people going to games. And I know a lot of kids that were going to go to four year (colleges) are now going to two year (colleges) just to play soccer,” Perez said.

In addition to helping students, this can also benefit the community.

Velasco said that we should expect tons of support from everyone.

“We should expect to have great numbers of students that will want to play competitive soccer, we should expect that we will have more student-athletes attracted to Pierce due to the new sport,” Velasco said. “We should expect more involvement of the community and Pierce community coming to watch the games, and of course full support from administration.”

Velasco said that the Pierce athletic department has always put students first.

“Our culture in athletics is to always make sure our players are students first and athletes second. Academics for all of us are very important, as they can move on to successful careers by obtaining higher education,” Velasco said.

Fall 2023 will mark the long-awaited debut of men’s soccer.