Sports are filled with moments of great joy, but also some bittersweet times as well. In the case of Wenatchee goalkeeper Angel Guerra it’s been a great career that is now on hold because of injury.
When EPLWA.com spoke with Guerra back in April he was full of hopes for the first season of the Evergreen Premier League. Wenatchee United was going to be counting on the experienced goalkeeper to organize their back line. Life—and soccer—don’t always turn out the way we plan. Before the season could even begin, Angel was out with an injury. Half-way through the season he’s still not back.
“It’s my rotator cuff so it’s one of those injuries you just have to give it time!” Guerra tells us in an update. “I don’t want to risk it especially because I am going to play college ball in the fall. I want to be out there playing believe me.”
Daniel Romero has taken over in goal for the Capitals.
Here comes that bittersweet thing again—below is an interview with Guerra that we did before his injury. In it he talks about his career and how he is looking forward to the EPLWA season. Hopefully we’ll see him on the pitch before the season ends.
Describe your soccer career from high school age until now.
I played every game except for one in high school. As a freshmen I helped Wenatchee High go all the way to regionals. We beat Davis in penalty kicks where I blocked two and we moved on. Sophomore year we lost a lot of players but we still had a good run; we did not make playoffs. My Junior year was the best year because we made it to regionals but there was no team that could beat us at our field. At one point we were ranked number 7 in the state. I was one of the captains in the team so it made it even better. Senior year we had good players but the previous year we had lost around 8 seniors that we had to start from the bottom again. We started playing as a team towards the end but it was not enough. I was also a captain my senior year. Freshmen and sophomore year I was honorable mention. My last two years I was second team all league. I still hold every goalkeeper record at Wenatchee High School. Soccer has given me a lot of opportunities in life. I have traveled a round the state, I have gone to Canada, and even Mexico for soccer. I have won a lot of championships, individual awards, but most important it has given me great memories with my teammates.
What is your philosophy of goalkeeping?
There’s only two goalkeepers per game. You wear a different color from the rest. You are the craziest player on a soccer team and you will do whatever in order to keep that ball away from your net. It takes attitude and commitment to be a great goalkeeper; if you don’t have attitude or commitment the box isn’t for you. Only a goalkeeper can appreciate what a goalkeeper goes through. There’s a level of pain you have to go through. The ball hurts, the ground hurts, being kicked hurts, get over it. The only thing stopping good goalkeepers from being great is themselves.
Talk about winning titles at PCC.
Winning titles with Peninsula felt so great because we are the most hated team in the NWAACC but we are the team that respects all the other teams. We show up and play our game, then we pack and off we go. I say `we` because I still feel like I am part of the program. Every player deserved to win both championships because I have never played for a program that fights harder for what they want. Evvery practice felt like a game, we were ready to go 30 minutes before practice. My first year I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted but I still supported my teammates because I knew I could have played for any other team but I wanted to be a pirate. The first title felt good but the second one felt even better because I played almost every game, I was a captain, and I broke the single season clean sheet record for Peninsula College with 12. Everyone on that team knew we would win the title again, we were like a family…we pushed each other to be better players, but also better people. Peninsula has a good program and I have no doubt they will keep on winning titles.
What has Wenatchee United pre-season been like?
We have been going hard for over a month now. We are a young team but we are working hard to obtain our goals this season. With a solid coaching staff we will surprise a lot of teams. My teammates are willing to work hard and we are still learning our head coach, John Wright’s, style of play but I have no doubt that by the first game we will be ready to go. We are excited to go to Port Angeles and participate in the Rumble this year. I feel like those games will be the hardest competition we will face this year, which is a good thing because we will know what to fix in order to be successful during season.
What are you looking forward to in the EPLWA season?
I am looking forward to the level of competition. We have a lot of college players but I do know other teams are stacked as well. I will be playing against players that I have played against before. Also, it’s the inaugural year so I am excited to be part of something new. The league seems organize and I hope they keep it up. It will be great to make new memories with my teammates and travel around the state.
How does your back line look so far?
I will have young players that I have played with before. I feel very comfortable with my back line. I also have a leader, Jonathan Rodriguez, that will help me organize and have some control over the other players. I feel like the back line will not be a problem for us. I will have players who aren’t scared to fight for 50/50 balls or win balls in the air. The back line will be the key to our attack.