Sockers Strike Deal with Ontario, Acquire Leo De Oliviera and Juan Gonzales
The San Diego Sockers added more to their depth in a stunning four-player deal that sent two-time MASL goalkeeper Chris Toth and Andy Lorei to the Ontario Fury for Leonardo De Oliviera and Juan Gonzales.
It was a surprise move to trade Toth, who is the son of Sockers legend Zoltan Toth, as he made 134 saves last season against 45 goals, good for a .753 save percentage. The keeper is a reason the Sockers won some of their games as his quick instincts preserved many a lead. His stats were tempered from last season due to him splitting time with Boris Pardo.
The trade now frees up a spot for Pardo to become the number one goalie. Pardo is undoubtedly up to the task and is no slouch in the box, evidenced by his 109 saves and .747 save percentage, proving that he can handle himself. San Diego is left in good hands at the position, and Pardo has the backing of general manager Sean Bowers, saying that it was “time to move forward” and that “His skills and resume speak for themselves, giving us the confidence with our decision”.
Lorei had some memorable moments on the Sockers 2 squad and finished fourth in the league with 19 goals. He also spent some time with the big league squad as a rookie, scoring a goal and getting two assists. He will get more opportunities to see the field with the Fury.
The main prize for the Sockers is De Oliviera, who at times has flashed the potential to be the next big thing in MASL. On his season, he scored 13 goals and paired those with 15 assists, good for 28 points on the season. He already has the support of Bowers, as the general manager was more than happy to add his “exceptional scoring talent”.
So far, rumors point to the team liking the talent of De Oliviera in training camp. His dribbling skills and passing deftness will work wonders in combination with veteran Kraig Chiles and free agent add Taylor Bond. He will have to show that he can stay healthy though as he only played 13 of 22 games last season. However, his skill cannot be denied and, when he is on the field, adds to the dangerous Sockers offense.
Gonzales is the twin brother of former Socker Felipe Gonzales and has spent parts of his seven-year career with the Anaheim Bolts, Las Vegas Legends, Turlock Express, and Fury. Gonzales scored seven goals and six assists in 22 games last season and has 55 career points in his career. He will serve as an essential depth piece and a veteran presence.
With this trade, the team loses a valued goalkeeper in Toth as well as an above-average prospect in Lorei, but in doing so they added the talent of De Oliviera and the veteran presence of Gonzales, all while freeing up the keeper spot for Pardo. With all of the depth, it will be interesting to see how head coach Phil Salvagio juggles his lineup come game time.
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.