Despite disadvantages, Wonders to keep going | NevadaAppeal.com

Despite disadvantages, Wonders to keep going

Fresno Fuegos midfielder Heber Mora heads the ball into Nevada Wonders midfielder Elliot Chappelle during the first half at Carson High School on Saturday, July 23, 2005. AP Photo Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal

Randy Roser is a realist, first and foremost.

Roser, the general manager/owner of the Nevada Wonders soccer team, likes to win just like the next guy. However, he sees the big picture, and that is to develop players for the next level.

While he would have loved to see the Wonders do a little better than 5-13, he knows that injuries played a big role in the team’s demise.

“I hate to lose like anybody else,” Roser said. “We had great players this year. We would like to win league, we would like to make the playoffs. We want people to come out and watch great soccer. We are very competitive.

“We are geared around college players, and they have to be back in college at a certain time. If we won, we wouldn’t have enough players to move on, or we would have to pull players from our academy team like we did this past week. We want to move on to their dream of playing in one of the upper leagues. We have three or four players in the UK (United Kingdom) trying out wth higher-division teams.”

Roser was referring to goalkeeper Dan Benton, who joined the team late in the year; Santa Clara star Audren Cashman and defender David Martin.

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Roser said his philosophy is a hit with college coaches in the Bay Area. Each year, the University of San Francisco coach will send three or four players to Roser, who then tries to improve on the player’s abilities and fitness and get them ready for their college seasons.

Another problem Roser and coach Paul Aigbogun face is the lack of a college team to draw from close by. The University of Nevada doesn’t have a men’s team. If Nevada had a men’s team, there would be more players locally involved, thus creating a bigger talent pool to shoot from.

Because USL players don’t get paid, it’s tough to get players from out of town to play for the Wonders. Roser said that the first year, the team tried to get players (at least the ones that wanted or needed to work) a job. He praised the efforts of Red’s 395 and Nevada Fitness for helping out.

Roser said because Aigboun is Nigerian, there were several foriegn players on the Wonders’ roster a couple of seasons ago.

“When 9’11 happened, they shut down all the visas,” Roser said. “You can only have five international players on your game-day roster. Most Nigerians play on the national team. They can’t get visas to come over and play.”

Still, Roser plugs along. One thing is certain, you know he and Aigbogun, who will return to coach the Wonders next season, will continue to scour the country for young soccer players who can keep the Wonders competitive with the rest of the teams in the United Soccer League.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281