Rebuilding is a process, especially with a young core and a rookie head coach.
Still, there is optimism surrounding the Fallon boys soccer team. The Greenwave ushers in a new era with coach Miguel Orduna, who takes over for the departed Nate Waite.
Fallon returns several players from last year’s playoff team, which was bounced, 4-1, by Truckee. However, a slim roster for the second straight season without a JV program to rely on for late-season call-ups will make for a challenging year.
“It’s like we are going into new waters,” Orduna said of his first year at the helm. “It will be a little bit of a change. I am very strong as far as offense.”
Returning to lead the way are Davis Koenig, Mario Ugalde, Angel Cornejo and Trevor Davis. Despite several returners, the newcomers outnumber the veterans.
“We are very young, but I am excited because we will be able to build it form the bottom,” Orduna said. “By the time these freshmen become seniors, I think we will have a lot of talent.”
For Orduna, though, he is focused on developing the talent to play to the best of their abilities. The former Yerington player has changed some of the philosophies used under Waite including a new formation.
The formation, which Orduna did not disclose, figures to be a catalyst to bring along the inexperienced players and hopefully throw off the competition.
Still, tactics are only part of the game. Powerhouses Truckee (the defending state champs) and Sparks not only thrive on tactics, but technical and creative play.
It’s two areas Fallon has been a step behind, but the work put in over the course of the summer will help narrow the gap.
“I’m excited and I think they are just as excited,” Orduna said. “I’m not in a hurry to get from point A to point B. I want to build on our touches and our confidence.”
The strength of the club, though, will be in the midfield led by Koenig, Ugalde and Cornjeo.
As for the defense, the group is young and inexperienced in addition to breaking in a new goaltender after last year’s netminder Miguel Perez could not return due to medical issues. Despite those setbacks, Orduna said improvement will come with practice and hard work.
“They are going to be on a learning curve,” he added. “We are doing a totally different formation that I haven’t seen anywhere in this league. I hope that will be the element of surprise for us.”