Just when the NPSL season ends, we get this awesome double-header of soccer. The Xolos of Tijuana traveled up to Riverside to challenge some of the best local talent, in front of the biggest crowd this season. The first match between Riverside FC would end 9-0 , as the confident u17 Xolos would put on an entertaining show for the crowd. Right after that match, the Coras Senior squad would suit up and face the u20 Xolos and walk away with a 3-1 victory.
Riverside FC played hard for 90 minutes against a very strong u17 side. The first goal came quickly and instantly built confidence for the visiting side. After that goal, the Tijuana CB duo began to split almost the entire length of the field, in an attempt to build wide play from the back. Riverside would often try to press the opponent, but wasn’t quick enough to stop possession. Many of Tijuana’s chances were broken up by #4 of the Riverside Academy, his athleticism was top-notch and he made two perfectly executed slide tackles, in the box, to stop a goal opportunity.
This was the first international friendly for the Riverside Academy. While the majority of the match was in Club Tijuana’s favor, the young Riverside players earned that international experience. The young players have now had the opportunity to see how high the bar is set in other countries and how they can strive to rival their peers. This tough loss will hopefully fuel the fire within these very talented Riverside players.
At 7:00 pm the main event kicked off, Riverside Coras vs Club Tijuana U20s. As it got closer to game time, more and more fans started to flood the bleachers of the stadium. The noise makers were out, the vuvuzelas were screaming and the tacos were grilling. It was a throwback to what helped me fall in love with this club and this experience, but even bigger. Everywhere you looked there were fans, and not just families, but all lovers of the beautiful game.
Riverside Coras would control majority of the match against the Xolos. possession started in the backline as the Coras would look to utilize the wings. The attacking pair of Kevin and Paul, continuously stretched the backline and provided scoring chances for each other. While the Tijuana reserves may have been as tactically strong as the Coras, they were at a loss when it came to physicality and experience.
For all of the details on the night’s events, check out our post-match recap:
That’s all she wrote folks! After a warm summer’s eve, the Coras close the 2018 NPSL season. Of course there will be other games, like Club Tijuana and the Riverside County Cup, but the Coras will have to watch the playoffs from home. The match finished at 3-3, an impressive outing from the Coras who dictated majority of the tempo, especially in the second half. This was a fitting end to Riverside’s season, they battled hard and didn’t give up till the end. Goalkeeper Robert came up huge on multiple occasions, even after receiving a strong knock in the first half
I think anything short of winning a national title is always going to be disheartening. Not making the playoffs sucks, but we have set a bar really high for ourselves and there is always room to grow.
The first half would end 2-2. OCFC succeeded possession early on to Riverside. While Riverside would apply pressure, the longer the attack was on, the wider the gap between the midfield four and the back line would grow. OCFCs attack was led by their target striker, who consistently played with back to goal and supplied others for opportunities to attack. Riverside Coras would fight back twice in the half: once from a dangerous corner sent in by Eric Gonzalez and a second goal from Alex Zaragoza who dribbled his way up the midfield and made sure he finished his chance.
The second half was all about the tactical adjustment. Identifying the space Orange County was exploiting, head coach Robert Vidrio tasked Eric Gonzalez to be the #6 (center defensive midfielder) and mark off the space in front of the centerbacks. This would force Orange County to attack from the wings, which led to their third goal. Riverside Coras were able to answer back for the last time; the whistle would blow and end the match at 3-3.
For details on the match, check out our post-match recap where Sal and I go over how this was a fitting end for the Coras and how we continue to move forward.
For the last match of the season your Riverside Coras FC are up against Orange County FC. Riverside are currently in 5th place, but officially out of the playoff race; while Orange County sit comfortably in third and are continuing to fight for an automatic spot into the playoffs. In the last match-up between these two NPSL Southwestern conference foes, OCFC grabbed a late winner in front of their OC faithful. This time the Coras welcome their opponents to the heat of Riverside for an entertaining season finale.
In their last match, a seven goal thriller, the Coras lost to OCFC in the final moments of play, when Alessandro Canale laid off a nice finish from the Dakota Collins assist. However, this match would turn out to be the catalyst for change within the club. Head Coach Robert Vidrio was appointed ahead of the Riverside County Derby, Riverside’s scoring drought was ended and it set the tone going into the remainder of the season.
This match will weigh heavily on both sides. Riverside will be looking to end the season on a high-note, going into a potential rebranding season, while OCFC are seeking an automatic playoff spot after having played an extended season, due to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
A good result for the Coras should not be solely focused on the result, but rather fixing the things that hindered our results throughout this season, getting booked and finishing out matches. Yellow cards have been a consistent thorn in the play of the Coras, which I believe has also played a part in why we let in goals during the late moments of each half. Riverside’s defense is aggressive while trying to close down the attacker; any card given could result in our players giving extra space to the OCFC attackers, in fear of another penalized tackle. And that space is what Alessandro Canale and Dakota Collins will be looking to exploit again. Lastly, play hard. Not just for moments, but for the full 90 minutes. Grind for a win or force OCFC to earn a result.
Last match, at J.W. North had a fantastic crowd! Let’s continue to come out and support your Riverside club. Exciting things are in the future for Riverside and it’s soccer culture, so let’s celebrate it!
Last week your Riverside Coras FC had the week off from NPSL play, but that doesn’t mean we had a dull week. We here at Coras HQ wanted to let you in on some extra sweet news, the Coras will be facing off against Liga MX side, Club Tijuana. Their reserve squad (Under-20) will be traveling up to Riverside to face our main team. Make sure you come out and support your clubs, Wear white and red and lets fill that stadium!
On this week’s Coras podcast, I fly solo and share what I did during the bi-week as well as more Riverside, World Cup and Coras news.
Everything was riding on this one match, June 10th , 2018. Riverside Coras fought for their playoff spot but fell short. The score would end 4-0 to an Arizona side that came prepared and with the intention of bringing home no less than three points. Sunday’s match would end up being played at J.W. North High School, in front of what looked like the largest crowd Riverside has had all season. You heard noise makers, away fans and even personal cheering sections “ COACH SHAAAAAAANE!”
Riverside would go on to play the best 40 minutes I have seen them play all year. Strings of possession were long and meaningful as they looked to open up plays on the wings. Once possesion pushed FC Arizona back towards their own goal, it became time to beat defenders with their dribbling skill and that was the cherry on top of the possesion sundae.
Then, like many other occasions this season, disaster struck in the 45′ minute… twice. That really just turned everything upside down. Riverside had been dominant to that point but failed to convert their chances, including a penalty blocked by FC Arizona goalkeeper Giovani. The half ended and the crowd was in shock.
To start the second half, Coras GK Alonso Lara would be subbed out for Robert who would end up letting in two goals throughout the second half.
Play began to get rough; fouls were more frequent and stoppage time continued to add up from various infractions. The Coras had a few chances from corners and free kicks, but they were unable to find the back of the net. While a few players stuck out, it wasn’t enough to topple last year’s Southwestern Conference champions.
Riverside Coras FC take the field for the last time at home against Orange County FC. For a bigger look at last nights match listen to Sal and I discuss it on our post-match recap:
Everything is on the line: no losses, no draws, just wins. Riverside Coras welcome FC Arizona to J.W. North High School, where the atmosphere will be tense and the temperature will be hot. Playoff pressure does not solely fall on Riverside, FC Arizona are currently in fourth place and have this Coras team waiting for them to slip up. With two games left, it’s Do or Die for both teams. Last match, FC Arizona beat Riverside Coras 1-0 (goal by Cesar Mexia Casillas), expect the Coras to be ready to fire back with their new-found attacking partnership of Romi Lomeli and Kevin Huezo.
So many things have changed with the Coras since the last time they face FC Arizona. We’ve seen coaching changes, tactical changes and player changes. While Riverside has always liked to operate with speed through the wings, similar to the last matchup against FCAZ, it has been their ability to pass around the back and search for opportunities. The passing and vision of Eric Gonzalez has helped unlock the pace and physicality of the attacking Coras.
Arizona is coming off a huge 6-0 victory over Temecula FC and are looking to earn their playoff spot on the tenth. I anticipate goals from both teams, but discipline will be key to winning this match. In their last match against one another, a total of four cautions were issued. While Riverside has only had one player sent off the pitch, these are the matches that require the most self-control. If Riverside is to earn a favorable result they will need to be active for 90 minutes, commit to attacking in numbers and score tons of goals.
This is set up to be the most important match, in the Southwestern Conference, this season. The top three teams have separated themselves from the other competitors this season and the last playoff spot can be decided after this match. If Arizona lose, they have one more week to breath. If Riverside lose, playoffs will no longer be an option.
When you look at American soccer Twitter, or other various social platforms, you are always confronted with the same trending topics: promotion/ relegation and supporting local soccer. I’m not going to take the time to talk about pro/rel at this moment, but would rather focus on a small but growing campaign for local clubs; the community owned/ operated club model is seen throughout the world but also is developing a strong reputation throughout our nation with clubs like Himmarshee FC, DeKalb County United and Riverside Coras FC. The idea of being community owned varies within each system but stand by a few principles:
Funded by supporters and local/ regional sponsors – By funding operating costs locally, a club can be guaranteed that investment will benefit those in the community.
Voting power to the people – Lower league soccer clubs are registered non-profit organizations. To make sure that the club is always a reflection of the community, paying members will vote on various major decisions; some of these issues range from kit sponsorships and crest designs to where home matches will be played.
Run by supporters – Without the volunteers the club couldn’t exist. They fund the team, sell the tickets, announce the matches, create the content, cheer their hearts out and after the smoke settles,literally, they clean up the stadium.
As I continued to journey further into the depths of local soccer, I began to find an affinity with the concept. Then here was this blessing that the soccer gods laid upon me, my local club was community owned. After speaking with Robert Lopez-Guardado, Riverside Coras FC President, I found out that our club began to sell shares to the community.
We threw it out there to see how the community would respond and to our surprise there were quite a few soccer fans in the community that wanted to participate. It was very encouraging for us to see that the community was interested in becoming a minority owner. We threw out an ad and we got a response. Right now we have about 24-27 minority owners.
Currently steps are in place for Riverside to become a club fully owned community. In their first year of selling shares, five percent of shares were alloted towards community ownership. As the years progress, a certain percentage of extra shares will be sold, allowing community ownership to grow steadily, with less risk to the stability of the club. While there are quite a few community owned models out there, they are all different and focus on fitting to the communities needs first. Riverside is the city of art and innovation, over time those principles will bleed over into Riverside soccer and help create a unique culture, but that growth needs to be guided and that is what Riverside’s community owned model allows for.
I’ve always considered Riverside to be the big small-town. Riverside has 325,000 people and for some reason you always see someone you know. Small businesses remember your name and the restaurants remember your order. The community owned/ operated model fits Riverside perfectly. Steady growth ensures that new voices and ideas have the oppurtunity to impact the system. I can see a system in the future that allows someone to be a Riverside fan as a child and put on that jersey as an adult. Part of that vision involves a club that represents the community to the fullest and Robert was very excited to announce that they are looking into rebranding Riverside Coras FC, for that very purpose.
I would like to mention that we have contemplated rebranding the name a bit. incorporating another name to Riverside, perhaps dropping Coras and adding City or United and really [trying to] representing our community to the fullest.We have a bit of work to do this off-season, then we get look forward to being a fully community owned club. That’s always been our desire, that’s always been in our hearts; to engage with the community, especially these fans that not only support but become minority owners.
The money that is put into the club by the community is only one half of the effort that goes into the club. The volunteers are the second piece to that puzzle. As a sporting fan there are a lot of things we take advantage of at an event. Who cleans up, stocks the bathrooms, or even lets you through the gate; if you’ve been to a lower league soccer match, it was a volunteer. The Coras have around 24 volunteers and about half of those are minority owners as well.
As a volunteer myself, I was interested in how some others may have started with Riverside and I was able to have a conversation with two passionate volunteers who have just started with the program last year, PA announcer James Gutierrez ( @Mesajg on instagram) and Assistant Team Manager Jesus “Frijolito” Ortiz Castro.
James was noticeable early on, as I started supporting the Coras, because he was the voice in the stadium. It wasn’t until I watched the game in the booth that I was able to see how passionate he was for the team. He would gesture and cheer with fervor and immediately, with a straight voice, announce the play.
I’ve never [announced] in the past, I remember the first game of last season and I didn’t say a word till the second half, because I just didn’t know how to get into it. It’s not something I thought about getting into professionally but I do like to do it a lot. A lot of the things that I find pleasing or I like to do, I give it 110%. if that comes out and that’s evident through the way that I [announce] then thats great. Its working, but there’s always room for improvement.
Jesus is everything you want in a volunteer. He is dedicated, passionate and works hard when he’s representing the badge. He joined in October of 2017 and since his second practice has been a huge addition to the staff. He got started by just helping out his roommates, who are the goalkeepers for the Coras, and was able to work his own way on the field. Like everyone involved with Riverside, he loves soccer and this position with the Coras has helped him continue his educational path to become a sports psychologist.
Everyone that participates with Riverside Coras FC has a chance to do more and that’s what is exciting. The saying is “ it takes a community to raise a child” and a part of growing up is becoming a professional. As a community club, I want to see the Coras move not only players through the world soccer system, but professionals as well. We will continue to develop as a group and as individuals, promoting Riverside and Riverside Soccer.
Sunday evening was a scorcher at Riverside Stadium. It was 93 degrees on the thermometer and most likely felt like over a hundred on the pitch. After 90′ and a few water breaks, the Albion Soccer Club stood victorious 3-1. The lone goal-scorer for the Coras was recently acquired, Yosimar Hernandez, who has been a star performer at left back.
I have began to form some what of a ritual after each match the Coras play. The next morning I immediately open up the NPSL standings and check where Riverside sits and the scenarios it may take for Riverside to make the playoffs. After this week’s loss to San Diego, the ritual ended and right after, I tallied it myself. After this week’s loss, Riverside Coras are now six points behind FC Arizona who are holding that last playoff spot.
How can Riverside Coras FC make the playoffs?
Next week’s match will be against FC Arizona. If the Coras can win by three goals they can help put in place a six goal swing in the goal differential rankings. That means in the last match week if Riverside can win, Arizona loses and the goal differential can swing another six points, in favor of Riverside, then the Coras will make it through to the playoffs.
Check out Sal’s thoughts on this weeks Post match recap:
Three final games at home. The playoffs are on the line and the Coras will need to be ready to defend their fort, Riverside Stadium. Since the hiring of head coach Robert Vidrio, Riverside has been a whole new squad. In his four matches Robert has 2 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw. Robert, along side a few key players, have helped change the culture in the Riverside locker room.
This Sunday ASC San Diego travel to Riverside attempting to take three points away from a physical Riverside Coras FC who will be fighting for their chance in the playoffs. Riverside are currently eight points behind third place ASC, but only need fourth place to qualify for the play-in round of the playoffs. A win this week would potentially put them in fourth place going into the most crucial match left in the season.
The first match between these two SoCal clubs, saw 5 yellow cards, 1 red card and 2 goals. The Coras were unable to break down the Albion defense and lost 2-0 ( goals by Garrett Heine and Sean Callahan) in their second match of the season. The plot has changed this time around; in the last 4 matches Riverside has scored 10 goals, collected 7 points and have only had 1 home game. The team is pushing towards playoffs and needs to continue to battle to stay alive. It’s a fight and Riverside needs warriors
Last week against Oxnard, the Coras welcomed back forward Kevin Huezo, who scored a crucial goal in the six goal thriller. Hopefully G-Unit ( Eric Gonzalez and Hugo Gutierrez) can start this match, but Riverside has shown to have depth in the center midfield position. New fullbacks Yoshi and Omar have also been highlights in the last few weeks: Yoshi showing his offensive skills through precisely timed overlapping runs and Omar’s athleticism has had him described as a “Bulldog” by Social Media Admin Salvador (@sal84447520 ). With these new defensive additions Alex Zaragoza could be transitioned into the attack. I think a left side controlled by Alex and Yoshi would look fantastic!
ASC San Diego has been a strong team throughout the entire year. Currently they sit five points under conference leaders Orange County FC, but have remained in contention for that first place spot all year. The last match was a battle and with everything on the line for the Coras, I would expect this one to be even more exciting. Stand strong Coras, it’s time to hold down the fort!
Riverside travels three plus hours just for a point, the sad reality of this match week. This was the second time in three weeks that the Coras had to match up against the Guerreros of Oxnard and while Riverside battled for the win, they were only able to earn a draw. Defensive mistakes have costed Riverside multiple points throughout the season; it may have been a stoppage time penalty this week, but head coach Robert Vidrio will have to enstill some discipline into his team if they are going to finish in that playoff spot.
The deadline to make the playoffs is quickly approaching and Riverside have put themselves in a situation to control their own destiny. Can they win out the remainder of the season and attempt to achieve glory in the playoffs or will they come up short and have to read about it from home? The next three weeks will be hard-fought but it will take discipline and hunger for Riverside to make it.
Listen to our post-match recap as Sal explains what happened to the Coras in Oxnard and where we go from there: