San Francisco Glens - El Farolito Farolito Championship Match
The San Francisco Glens - El Farolito Farolito Championship Match Sunday 2PM at Boxer Stadium
This Sunday, November 11, the San Francisco Glens will play in the CPSA Championship Final at Boxer Stadium at 2PM. The game will be broadcasted on Radio 1010 in Spanish (sorry, English-only speakers!).
The opponent is El Farolito. The Glens and El Farolito have a rivalry that goes back many years. It began in 1991 when SFUSC, the Glens precursor youth team, played El Farolito in the Men's State Cup Final. That year SFUSC was comprised of U19 players. The year before, in 1990, the team won the U19 CYSA State Cup as U18s. They went on to the Western Regional Championship where they lost 2-1 to North Hungtington Beach (Zak Ibsen, Jorge Salcedo) who won the National Championship. The boys wanted to return to the State Cup in 1991 but there was an administrative obstacle: the CYSA. Back then, CYSA Administrators had a strangle hold on youth soccer, and they decided to break up the SFUSC team because it had become too strong. As a result, the SFUSC youth team entered mens soccer where the qualified for the Men's State Cup Championship and faced El Farolito in Final. SFUSC lost that match to El Farolito 1 nil on a PK awarded by Brian Hall who judged that SFUSC goal keeper, Chris Carniato, handed the ball outside the 18 when he fisted it to clear. They not only got the pk goal but SFUSC went to 10 players because Hall ejected the goalkeeper. Thus began a long rivalry that has spanned 16 years. The two teams have faced each other many times since then and the record is fairly balanced. This year El Farolito has the edge but it's somewhat cosmetic. Earlier in the year the Glens were re-scheduled to play a rainout against El Farolito on the same day that a Seals match was alread scheduled. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Glens, you should know that many of the Glens players also play for the Seals in a different leauge called the PDL and in May the two leagues conflict timewise. The Glens requested to move the date but El Farolito refused the request, which was their right. They were granted an automatic victory and three points.
Two years ago the Glens faced El Farolito in the CPSA final at St. Marys College. That year the Glens finished in first place and were awarded CPSA regular season championship honors. However when the Glens got to the final, they experienced 3 unfortunate events: John Colan, the top goal scorer in the league that year, pulled a lower calf muscle a week earlier. John Cowmey the starting midfielder for the Glens pulled a hamstring midway in the first half. Finally, a broken love affair the night before put another striker, who will remain unnamed, into a state of disorientation and ineffectiveness. Yes, the team had plenty of excuses, and in a final such excuses sound like sour grapes. Still the Glens, sour grapes an all, battled El Farolito strongly though they lost the match 2-1. Last year, 2006, El Farolito and the Glens played in post-season competition again, this time in the semi-finals of the CPSA Championship series. The Glens had a full squad and easily handed El Farolito an unquestionable defeat of 3-1. Ah, the sweetness of revenge!!
This year's match should be very interesting. El Farolito is undefeated in 20 league games. The Glens finished 3rd in the league and had to knock off second place Santa Clara Sporting last week, 1-0, to get into the final. The Glens go into the match with confidence and a solid roster. El Farolito goes into the match equally confident with an undefeated season to qualify them for the rights to play in the final.
Playing for Money
One thing behind the rivalry of this match that is not often discussed or recognized is the role of money in the game. The Glens is a fully and truly an amateur side. Even though many of the players have played or do play professionally, no Glens player receives a dime for playing. They all play for the old fashioned love-of-the-sport (okay there may be a monetary motive because by playing for the Glens a player may be better prepared to make money elsewhere or perhaps get a scholarship to go to college). Regardless or in spite of some tangential monetary value for playing, there is no financial incentive for any player to be on the field this Sunday.
In a world that is driven by greed and acquisition this is refreshing to know. El Farolito, however, is not a true amateur team. Many, if not all, of their players will receive cash stipends for playing on Sunday, just as they have for every game they played this season. There's nothing illegal about it. However, the difference between the two "cultures" is part of the rivalry and interest in the game. Every player and every coach in the league is aware of this issue. This is the battle of the "play for pay" verus the "play for the love of the game" cultures. Of course, it's never as simple as that and we recognize that a player has every right to seek compensation if he's deserving of it. Some players need the cash. Last year, Marcos DaSilva played midfield for the Glens for nothing. He worked hard in his off time to make ends meet by delivering pizza. Yes, of course he's Brazilian!! This year Marcos is the starting striker for El Farolito, enticed there by the cash he receives for playing in the game. This happens all the time. John Colan tells me that the manager of El Farolito asks him "every time" he sees him to come to El Farolito to make money. Indeed, Colan could make a few hundred dollars each game. Sometimes he does this when he plays in San Jose for Swami's Hondurans and we lose Colan for that match. Still, Colan, who is far from rich and struggles to make ends meet gives up the opportunity to make money when he plays for the Glens. That's special.
The Glens is a hands-to-mouth operation. There is no income to justify paying players. The team doesn't receive money for the tickets sold at the gate. The league takes that money. There is no deep pockets business or sponsor to support the Glens players. There is the shallow pockets support of Joe Dugan's Alliance Travel business, but his business can only afford to pay for team expenses. The reality is that the players carve time into their personal and professional lives to make room for the game they love. When the players line up on Sunday no one knows who is paid and who isn't. On the field no one cares. It will be a battle. However, off the field, when people talk about why young men dedicate time to a sport, the pride edge goes to the Glens. They can honestly say they play because they love to play and people will believe them.
The Glens Roster for Sunday includes the following players: Goalkeepers: Dan Benton, a professional who plays with the Charlotte Eagles. Dan played his college soccer at San Jose State. John Hutchinson will backup Dan Benton on Sunday. "Hutch" has been the Glens regular keeper for most of the season until Dan returned from his pro duties back East. Also on the roster but injured is Harris Smiler, who was the starting keeper for the Seals U20 team during their fabulous 2007 season.
Centerbacks: Eduar Mafla is a professional with a long career. He was born in Colombia and also played in Bolivia, Peru and China. Rich Halvorsen, captain, plays for the SF Seals, and played his college ball at San Jose State. Rich may not be available because of family commitments. Bryan Baird is a three time All American from UC Santa Cruz(interestingly as a striker). He may play in the middle if Rich is not available. Other backline players include: Aaron Girard, an experienced left back who played at Chico State. Luis Aguilar, a professonal from USL 1 League who played this year for the California Victory and the Montreal Impact. Luis played his college soccer at USF.
Midfielders include: Rawley Masaniai who has been a Seals and Glens player for the last three years. Rawley spent a good portion of last year in Germany and his college years at San Jose State. Shani Simpson, also captain, is one of two Glens players who was on the 1991 team that played vs. El Farolito. Shani had a multi-year professional history with the Seals and was a starter on the Open Cup Semi finalist team who played vs. DC United. Shani also had brief MLS time with the Clash, the Chicago Fire and the LA Galaxy. Matt Languis is a mid-fielder who played his college soccer at USF, then joined the Frogs for the PDL season and afterwards joined the California Victory. He scored the winning goal vs. Santa Clara Sporting. Jaime Gomez is a veteran midfielder from the CPSA who learned the game in Colombia as a youth. Jeff Land is another veteran CPSA midfielder who played his college soccer at Hayward State. John Cowmey, an ex-professional from the Sounders and Seals, won't be available for the match because he's been placed on injured reserve. Nick Murphy is doubtful for the Glens midfield because of a recent hip-flexor injury. Nick at 18 is the youngest player on the Glens. He spent the last year learning the game in Osnabruck Germany under the watchful eye of our own Joe Enochs. Joe's career with the Glens club dates back to 1987 when he traveled with the SFUSC U15 team to the Gothia, Norway, Dana and Helsinki Cups. He played in the McGuire Cup (USYSA U19 National Champsionship final), later for the Seals, then went on to a lustrous pro career in Europe and has played for the US National team. Nick was on Osnabruck's U19 team. Osnabruck, for those of you who are interested, is doing fairly well this year in the Bundesliga 2. Last, but not the least of our midfielders, is Tony Alejandre. Tony and Shani played on the 1990 CYSA State Cup Championship team. Tony also played against El Farolito in the game that began the rivalry in 1991. Tony played for the Seals a number of years and played his college soccer at San Jose State.
Strikers include: John Colan, a professional with a long career in Peru, who has been at the top of the scoring charts in the CPSA for the past 3 years. Keith Ratzburg, also a top scorer in the CPSA, played professionally for the Seals, was called up occasionally to the MLS by the Clash, and played his college soccer at USF. Josh Hansen plays professionally for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the USL1. In fact, Josh has been in Vancouver this week to play in the Whitecaps game vs. the LA Galaxy. The game drew 42,000 people thanks, of course, to David Beckham, who did play in the match. Josh has also played for the LA Galaxy of the MLS and was on their MLS Championship roster last year. Tuka Tisam will be on hand for the final game. Tuka plays for the Cooks Island National Team. Tuka scored the most dramatic goal of our season againt Tepatitlan in the last match of the regular season with an explosive header off a long cross from Matt Languis. Finally, Carlos Diaz will dress for this game. Carlos was an outstanding youth player from the Napa area who has had time in U20 National team games. Carlos was the scoring leader for the Seals in the 2006 season. He played his first two years of college soccer at St. Marys but dislocated his knee cap early in the Seals 2007 season. He had surgery 5 months ago and recently started training again with the Glens. He's not ready for 90 minutes, but his very dangerous left foot has looked sharper in training, so don't be surprised if you see him for a few minutes on Sunday.
Players who have made recent contributions but are not currently available include: Adrian Melville, an ex-Princeton player, who has been sidelined by a hamstring. Johnny Gonzalez and Sam Krow-Lucal, both Seals players, who are not currently available. And finally, we can't forget Asahi Yamamoto, a Japanese player, who came from his home country just to play for the Glens in the second half of the season. He exploded onto the scene with a dramatic goal in his first game played at Kezar Stadium against Concordia in August. Konichiwa, Asahi-san, we hope to see you back soon!
That rounds out the Glens roster for this Sunday's game. Boxer Stadium is located in Balboa park near the junction of Ocean and San Jose Avenues. Come out and support the Glens. They'll reward you.