Compton (2-1-1) is starting a new era with a familiar face as first-year coach Sammy Flores takes over the program. Flores has been coaching the lower levels at Compton since 2014, and knows what kind of system he wants to run with senior Carlos Rivera leading the way.
“We want to be touching the ball a lot and getting some wide play going to use the wings,” Flores said. “Rivera is going to the key for us. He’s the guy the whole team looks up to, and he keeps everyone together.”
Rivera will play all over the field this season, and already scored three goals in the first four games of the season. It is his third year on varsity, and he played for Flores as a freshman.
Senior center back Luis Gomez is also a returning starter and leader on defense, while sophomore Kevin Guzman has stepped up to fill the other center back role. Fellow sophomore Kevin Rodriguez has won a job in the midfield, and freshman goalkeeper Edwin Alvarez has two clean sheets in four games.
“This year we’re focusing on discipline and dedication to the team,” Flores said. “In previous years we’ve had some kids not fully committed. A lot of these kids have a lot of passion and individual skill. When they play tough teams in league they start losing what they practice and they start doing their own thing. The biggest test is going to be staying together, being disciplined and having dedication to the team, not just themselves.”