The San Diego Sockers added some more coaching experience to their squad on Thursday.
The team signed former Socker Rene Ortiz and goalkeeper coach Victor Melendez to a coaching staff that is led by head coach Phil Salvagio and also includes Ray Talia and Zolian Toth.
Ortiz initially signed with the Sockers in 1987 as a 17-year-old.
He started off by playing for the Sockers Reserves, where he won the Mitre National Amateur Championship and his play earned him the Championship MVP.
He was later called up to the senior squad and won three straight MISL titles and went on to play with the NPSL’s Milwaukee Brave for four seasons, appearing in the 1994 NPSL All-Star Game. After returning to the Sockers for three more season, he was drafted by the MLS’ Dallas Burn in 1996, but only appeared in two games and would finish his playing career in 2000.
After obtaining a USSF “B” coaching license, he was named the Mexican Indoor National Team head coach and continues to hold the position.
He also has coaching experience with the MASL’s La Raza de Monterrey and Atletico Baja and currently teaches PE at Hilltop High School and coaches the girls’ varsity soccer team
This will be Melendez’s first year as a goalkeeping coach for the Sockers.
He has played professionally for Mexico for two years and has earned a USSF “A” Coaches License ranking. He has coached for 28 years and has experience as a Cal-South Instructor, Region IV Goalkeeping Coach, ADOC Crusaders coach, USSF Regional Instructor, assistant coach for Atletico Baja, Mexican World Mini Football Federation assistant coach, and has been on the staff of the San Diego City College soccer program.
Melendez comes with a plethora of knowledge from his playing and coaching days, and will work with current goalkeeping consultant Zolian Toth to help improve the already solid play from goalkeeping duo Chris Toth and Boris Pardo.