By Ryan Maquiñana
Special to S.F. Examiner
The San Francisco Glens Soccer Club of USL League Two are proud to partner with the Examiner in featuring a different boys’ or girls’ high school team from The City every Sunday.
Lick-Wilmerding High School has long been renowned for its academic prowess, but recent results on the soccer field haveSan Francisco’s soccer community on notice. Of particular note: a 5-1 win over University on Jan. 11 at City College of SanFrancisco.
“University High School has been setting the standard in the area, but we beat them for the first time in nine years,” boys’ head coach Barry McCabe said about the Tigers’ 5-1 upset victory. “They’re an incredible team, but I think we’re finally catching up to them.”
While the Tigers have produced players like current USF midfielder Marcus Simmons, a starter on the San Francisco Glens’ USLLeague Two team in 2018, it has taken a while for the program to truly arrive. In 2018-19, however, Lick-Wilmerding now finds itself in the middle of a title race after starting Bay Counties League play unbeaten in six games (4-0-2).
“It’s been getting better and better since (former boys’ coach) Gavin Birmingham first took over,” said McCabe, who is in his second year leading the Tigers after a playing career in Ireland’s first division. “He started getting the school more committed to soccer, and now we’re getting more commitments from all the top clubs.”
The rising talent level has allowed McCabe to adjust his recruiting and coaching style as well.
“The school is incredibly academic, and we try to use that to our advantage,” he said. “We want solution-oriented players who can figure out problems that the game presents them, and not look to the coaches for answers all the time.”
Creative playmaker Mark Eidelhoch and physical midfielder Felipe Goggin — who also play club soccer in the Glens’ youth system — have combined for nine goals.
“As the No. 10 (attacking midfielder), I’m always looking for ways to get my teammates involved,” said Eidelhoch, a junior whopaces Lick-Wilmerding with 11 assists.
Rounding out the midfield is captain Will Roos, who has pitched in two goals to the Tigers’ tally, along with senior leadership.Up front, junior Oscar Deryck and senior Zeke-Ruben Moore provide balance, and have scored three goals apiece.
“I can play in the back as well, wherever my team needs me, but it’s definitely more fun to have the opportunity to score more goals,” said Deryck, a versatile left-footed winger.
Perhaps what makes the Tigers so dangerous is how complete they are. A pair of juniors—center back Max Beldner and goalkeeper Eddy Guzman—provide stability on defense. When they’re together on the field, Lick has conceded less than one goal per game on average.
“We all believe in Max,” said Guzman, who also suits up for the Glens’ youth program. “He makes all our jobs a lot easier when he’s in the game.”
Any chance of Lick-Wilmerding realizing its quest for BCL supremacy likely hinges on the final two games of league play. After a home date at City College on Wednesday against Urban, the Tigers close with a rematch on the road against University at Paul Goode Field.
“Our goal is to win the league for Lick and make a run at the [North Coast Section] title, but we’re focused on finishing strong,” said Goggin.
SF Glens SC Holding Open Tryouts on Feb. 24
After having four players selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft two weeks ago, the San Francisco Glens aim to rebuild their roster for their second season in USL League Two, starting with open tryouts on Feb. 24 at Beach Chalet SoccerFields.
Several players from last season’s tryouts ended up becoming major contributors in 2018 for head coach Javier Ayala-Hil, including technically gifted midfielder Diego Lopez and defender Rei Dorwart. The latter’s strong outings and postseason combine results led to him earning a trial with Club Tijuana’s Under-20 team. The September addition of ex-U.S. NationalTeam captain Jimmy Conrad as technical director is just the latest statement regarding the club’s ambitions for the future.
If you think you have what it takes to play in USL League Two, whose Bay Area alumni include reigning MLS Rookie of the YearCorey Baird and recent U.S. Men’s National Team call-up Nick Lima, log on to SFGlens.com to register for tryouts, which cost$50 per person.
Learn more on SFGlens.com or follow the club on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SFGlensSC.
SAN FRANCISCO BOYS’ SOCCER TOP 10 (as of 1/24)
1. St. Ignatius
5. Sacred Heart Cathedral
SAN FRANCISCO GIRLS’ SOCCER TOP 10 (as of 1/24)
1. St. Ignatius
7. Sacred Heart Cathedral