The San Diego Sockers continue to add to their lineup while keeping pieces from their previous team, as they have added high-scoring free agent Taylor Bond from Tacoma and re-signed free agent Luis “Pee Wee” Ortega, but at the same time, lost Luan Oliviera to the Milwaukee Wave.
Ortega was injured for much of the season as he was hampered by a knee injury that kept him in a brace, and he was seen wearing it even on the field.
Because of this, the midfielder was limited to 10 games and only five assists. However, he has forged a solid career for himself as he has scored 43 goals and 54 assists for a total of 97 points in a seven-year career in the MASL. General Manager Sean Bowers gave hope with the signing, saying that “We did not get to see the real “Pee Wee” last season as he was hampered by a knee injury. We know that he will be ready to return to form next season and provide our team a boost to the offense and fans with excitement.”
Another exciting add to a loaded Sockers’ offense, Bond brings the potential for yet another offensive phenom to pair with Kraig Chiles and Matt Clare. Acquired midseason by the Tacoma Stars from the Cesar Rapids Rampage, Bond totaled 24 total points by scoring 17 goals and seven assists on the season. A four-year veteran, he has tallied 88 goals and 27 assists for 115 points in 71 career games with Chicago, Cedar Rapids, and Tacoma.
He is best known for his 2016-2017 season with Chicago, scoring 54 points with a whopping 40 goals. Bond has spent time with the US National Arena Soccer Team and has played abroad in Sweden. Bowers noted those numbers from the past when he said that “If he can put up those types of numbers again, we will be very potent and successful.”
However, the Sockers did lose a key player to free agency as Oliviera has chosen to sign with the Milwaukee Wave. Oliviera, a talented midfielder, totaled 30 points for the Sockers, scoring 16 goals and 14 assists while providing solid coverage on both offense and defense. His contributions and bright attitude will be missed and we at EVT wish him nothing but the best in Milwaukee.
With the signing of Bond and Ortega, the Sockers have now made four transactions this offseason, including the signing of free agents Christian Gutierrez and Manuel Rojo. The Sockers are looking to be even more dangerous to the rest of the league as they continue to acquire talent in their quest for a 15th championship.