March 24, 2000
The San Diego Flash will playing the second of their first two preseason matches on March 25, 11:00 a.m. versus the U.S. Men's U-20 National Team at the Arco Training Center in Chula Vista.
The San Diego Flash is the parent team of the Elite, which will make its debut this Saturday. The U.S. Men's U-20 National Team has been successful both nationally and internationally, competing in the FIFA Youth World Championship in 1998. Both matches will be important indicators of the 2000 season for the Flash under the new head coach Colin Clarke. Clarke is eager to play these preseason matches in anticipation of the 2000 season after three weeks of training camp.
"The team has been training and working hard for roster spots and in preparation of the start of the season. These preseason games will allow me to gauge where our squad is and how far we have to go to get ready for the season," remarked Clarke.
General Manager Sam Kalousitan also announced today that the club has signed four players to contracts for the 2000 season. Goalkeepers Kevin Rueda and Tom Tate will anchor the back-line for the team, after signing one-year deals. In addition to Rueda and Tate, midfielders Kevin Legg and Nate Hetherington have come to terms with the club. Kaloustian will make further announcements this week on player signings.
Rueda, who was acquired in a trade with San Francisco Bay in 1999, finished the season with a 0.98 GAA. He started 17 matches and compiled an 11-6 record with eight shutouts. Tate played in 12 matches and recorded a 1.10 GAA with a 9-2 mark. Legg, who has been with the club since 1998, tallied five goals and six assists to finish fifth on the team in scoring. Hetherington, who is beginning his third season with the team, finished third in team scoring with eight goals and three assists.
Competition for the 22 roster spots has been intense and has led to the release of forward Antonio Robles and defender Daniel Sinohui. "It was a very hard decision to let the caliber of player like Antonio go, but we have so much depth at the forward position and it was a numbers game,' stated Clarke. Robles, who played with the team for two years, was the leading scorer in the 1998 season with 33 points on 14 goals and five assists. Last season, his production dropped to only three goals and one assist. Sinohui had been a role-player for the team since the 1998 season.
The Flash kicks off its third A-League season April 8 versus rival U.S. Pro-40 at Mesa College's Douglas Stadium.