In a three team trade, the San Diego Sockers traded for one of the more promising defenders in the MASL by acquiring Guerrero Pino from the Kansas City Comets in a three-team trade that also included the Tacoma Stars.
The Sockers only traded one player in a deal that involved six players, sending Matt Clare to the Stars.
The 27-year old defender has played the last two season with the Comets and has been a bright spot in their lineup. The defender brought the heat with 22 goals and 13 assists in two seasons with Kansas City, totaling 35 points for his career. Peno is primarily for his defensive prowess, as he led the team in defensive blocks in 2017-2018 with 23 blocked shots, and he will be a fine addition to the Sockers’ collection of defensive wizards.
However, to acquire Peno’s talents, the Sockers had to surrender one of their top goal scorers in Matt Clare. The talented offensive players had 16 goals and 12 assists last season for the Sockers and was integral in setting up goals and rallies for San Diego.
The gritty midfielder worked wonders with forward Kraig Chiles and the two were the main forces in the offense. The trade of Clare, however, does give coach Phil Salvagio some breathing room when deciding how to split the minutes between the multiple midfielders on the squad.
“We are excited to bring a player of Pino’s caliber to San Diego,” said Sockers General Manager Sean Bowers. “His ceiling is very high and we think that he can be a great addition to what we feel is the best backline in the MASL.”
What Bowers says is not mere hyperbole, as the Sockers defense is looking to be one of the strongest in the league. Raymundo Contreras returns to lead the defense again, while both Cesar Cerda and Eddie Velez signed contract extensions in the offseason. San Diego also signed free agent defender Manuel Rojo, another high-ceiling player who was named to the 2016-2017 MASL All-MASL Rookie Team.
The Sockers return to MASL play in December 2018 with a 24-game regular season schedule and 12 home games at Valley View Casino Center.
The Sockers home opener is on Sunday, December 16, 5:05 p.m.
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show “Picked Off”, for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.