CVC’s De Groot named girls soccer coach of the year by California Coaches Association

Jacob De Groot has gone 159-30-7 with four Central Section titles in seven seasons as Central Valley Christian’s girls soccer coach.

Central Valley Christian’s Jacob De Groot has been named the Coach of the Year for girls soccer by the California Coaches Association.

De Groot will be recognized for lifetime achievement during the CCA’s 56th annual Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Awards Night, scheduled for June 15 at Fresno’s Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

De Groot is 159-30-7 with seven league and four Central Section titles in his seven seasons as the Cavaliers’ coach.

The CCA will also honor Central Section historian Bob Barnett with its Ed Strelow Award media award.

Dinner tickets are $45. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 and the awards program at 8.

Details: Rob Grailou (650) 341-2484.

Tough choice looms for D-I girls soccer seeding

Bullard’s Erin Banda, right, tries to skirt by Sanger’s Amber Rodriguez in their girls soccer match at Sanger High on Jan. 31, 2013. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

Interesting decisions loom Saturday when Central Section soccer playoff seedings are announced, particularly in Division I for the girls.

I’m curious to see which school is anointed the top seed by section commissioner Jim Crichlow and his crew, at least as things stand at this moment.

Bullard (16-3-1) and Central (20-4) appear to be the top two contenders. The Knights and Grizzlies have split two head-to-head showdowns, with Central winning the last matchup 2-1. Bullard won the first 2-0.

The Knights have already secured no worse than a tie for the County/Metro Athletic Conference title. Central will at least win a share of the Tri-River Athletic Conference crown if it beats Clovis North and Clovis East this week.


Read more →

Fresno’s Paul Islas drafted by MLS’s Chivas USA

Fresno Pacific University’s Paul Islas, right, has a shot blocked by Cal State Stanislaus’ Carlos Gavino, left, in a game Thursday night, August 30, 2012, in Fresno. (ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE)

Paul Islas — who honed his skills locally with the California Odyssey Soccer Club, Bullard High, Fresno Pacific and the Fresno Fuego — was selected Tuesday by Chivas USA with the 19th pick of Major League Soccer’s Supplemental Draft.

Islas, 21, is expected to report to the Carson-based Chivas USA’s training camp this week.

“This is my shot and I can’t let anything get in my way,” Islas said in a Fresno Pacific-issued news release. “I just have to go down and take care business.”

Islas is coming off a 22-goal, 12-assist senior season at Fresno Pacific, where he wasn named an NSCAA Division II All-American. He finished his four-year career as the Sunbirds’ third-leading career goal scorer (55) and assist maker (33).

“I think some people will look at it and say he comes from a smaller school, a smaller area and it’s hard to argue that,” Chivas USA Director of Soccer Operations Kevin Esparza said. “But the top goal scorer in the MLS this past year is a player that came from a Division II school. We will take a gamble and I am looking forward to watching Paul prove everybody wrong.” Read more →

Fresno Fuego announce 2013 schedule

Fresno’s Tyler Reinhart, left, pulls away from Ventura’s Tim Pontius before taking a shot on the goal in the first half of their match at Chukchansi Park Thursday, May 31, 2012. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

The Fresno Fuego will help kickoff the Premier Development League season May 4 against LA Misinoreos FC in Cerritos.

The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. and is the opener of a 14-game regular season for the Fuego, which went 8-5-3 and finished third in the Southwest Division last year.

The first of Fresno’s seven home matches — all played at Chukchansi Park — is set for 7 p.m. May 9 against the BYU Cougars. The Fuego also has home matches May 24th (vs. LA Misioneros FC), May 30th (vs. Ventura County Fusion), June 20th (vs. Pali Blues), June 22nd (vs. FC Tucson), July 11th (vs. Pali Blues) and July 13th (vs. Southern California Seahorses). Read more →

Ex-Buchanan star Guajardo allocated into new women’s pro soccer league

Buchanan’s Anisa Guajardo leans on Stockdale’s Michelle in the first half in a 5-1 romp by Buchanan at Buchanan High School on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. (Fresno Bee File)

Jan. 11 update: Guajardo was allocated to the Boston Breakers, along with USWNT players Sydney Leroux, Heather Mitts and Heather O’Reilly. Canadian national team members Adriana Leon and Rhian Wilkinson also are on the squad while Cecilia Santiago joined Mexico teammate Guajardo. Full list.


Former Buchanan High standout Anisa Guajardo is one of 55 players from either the U.S., Canadian or Mexican national teams allocated to the National Women’s Soccer League.

Guajardo, a forward on the Mexican National Team who just concluded a four-year career at Pepperdine, will learn Friday which of the upstart league’s eight teams she’ll be assigned to. The NWSL includes the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey), Seattle Reign FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.

The Bee’s 2008 Girls Soccer Player of the Year will have her salary subsidized by the Federation of Mexican Football. Guajardo helped lead Mexico into the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012.

The NWSL, formed out of the ashes of the defunct Women’s Professional Soccer, is set to launch in April with each team playing a 22-game regular season schedule.

Other players allocated to the league include U.S. Olympic team standouts Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach.