Prep Impressions: March 18, 2012

Riverside King coach Todd Mapes (far right) stands with all 34 players in attendance at the 5th annual SoCal Soccer Showcase at Colton HS. / Dennis Pope Photography


I covered the Southern California College Soccer Showcase at Colton HS for The Press-Enterprise on Sunday, March 18, 2012, and came away thinking this event could be so much better.

First, the venue. Colton High School is venerable, and has an all-weather playing surface, but it’s hard from ideal. I could run off a list of more than a dozen schools, if not 50, that would be more suited to hosting an actual sporting event.

Second, the rosters. Some players showed up, others didn’t. The Orange County team only brought 11 guys and had to borrow from the Inland Empire’s team so guys could sub out. It was a mess. And don’t get me started on jerseys and numbers.

Third, the marketing. These were some VERY good players out on the field. FOMB Inland Area Player Of The Year candidate Jonathan Madrid (Fontana) played a huge role for the Inland Empire side. All-Inland Area players like Eddie Garcia (Riverside Poly) and Justyn Peeples (Riverside King) were also there, to name a few. This game should have been on the tip of soccer tongues.

Instead?

It was played in a dimly-lit, poorly-attended stadium that’s only redeeming features were the guy working the PA, and the hope that future sponsorship by the L.A. Blues USL-Pro team will catapult the event to new heights.

And the game? Fantastic. A 4-4 draw that went straight to shots from the mark. It was a promoter’s dream.

Now if only someone could put it all together.

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