The San Diego Sockers made a move to upgrade their keeper position in a sport where two is always better than one.
On Jan. 28, the Sockers announced that they signed goalkeeper William Vanzela to a 2021 MASL contract. As per league and club policy, the terms of the deal were not announced.
The 35-year-old Vanzela comes to San Diego on a loan from the Baltimore Blast, who have recently announced that they will not be participating in the 2020-2021 MASL season. In a Jan. 15 announcement, Baltimore cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of a facility to play in as factors in their decision not to play.
A four-time indoor champion. An emotional leader. A shot blocker beyond compare.
Welcome to San Diego, @william_vanzela!
— San Diego Sockers (@SanDiegoSockers) January 28, 2021
Vanzela brings a winning attitude and top-tier goaltending to a team that already boasts Boris Pardo. A four-time MISL and MASL champion with Baltimore, Vanzela’s .763 career save percentage (SV%) ranks tops among active goalkeepers.
During the 2019-2020 season, Vanzela posted a 15-7 record in 22 starts in net for the Blast. The native of Brazil posted a 4.48 goals-against average (GAA) with a .706% save percentage (SV%)and had a pair of shutouts.
Vanzela will now share the net with Pardo and form an elite one-two punch in San Diego. In 18 games played, Pardo posted a record of 11-6 record with a 4.90 GAA and .693 SV%. While Pardo took a step back in the 2019-2020 season, he still ranked in the top 10 in both GAA and SV% while being tied for fourth with Ontario Fury keeper Chris Toth in wins.
San Diego now has two of the best goalkeepers in the league, which is a net positive in a sport where two goalkeepers are needed thanks to back-to-back games and potential injury.