By Ryan Maquiñana
Special to S.F. Examiner
The San Francisco Glens continued to stack their roster with local talent, announcing the signings of Ayden Bowers, Ranier Plantinos, Tariq Pulskamp, and Carlos Trujeque Leal for the 2019 USL League Two season.
All four players were standouts at San Francisco State for head coach Javier Ayala-Hil, in whose charge they will remain, as he leads the Glens. In 2018, the Gators shocked the college soccer world by making their first postseason appearance in 40 years, with each member of the quartet playing key roles.
The foursome’s historic run is even more impressive when considering the humble circumstances in which they arrived to The City.
Plantinos and Bowers were walk-ons after failing to receive a single college scholarship offer out of high school. Trujeque Leal was two years removed from organized soccer and in the workforce when he rediscovered the game at Lake Tahoe Community College. Pulskamp was a moderately-regarded transfer from Cal State Bakersfield.
“We’re absolutely pleased to bring the four of them aboard this season, especially after the success they had under Javi in college,” said Glens team president Mike McNeill, who also starred at SF State during his playing days. “They bring stability to the roster, but also some previous experience in this league.”
Plantinos is the lone returnee among them. The San Mateo native built on a 12-goal senior season forthe Gators in 2017-18 by scoring four goals for the Glens last year. One such effort last July caught the local television cameras’ attention when the 5-foot-10 forward slalomed through three Fresno FC Under-23 defenders and found the back of the net.
Bowers is coming off a breakout season with SF State, where he earned Division II All-American and Defender of the Year honors for the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Originally from Murrieta in Riverside County, the 6-foot center back is the son of ex-Major League Soccer defender Sean Bowers.
Pulskamp will reunite with Bowers in central defense for the Glens. The 6-foot Bakersfield native showed an ability to score all the way from the back line, notching seven goals in two seasons for the Gators en route to being named All-CCAA Honorable Mention as a senior.
Trujeque Leal, a Club Puebla youth system product, showed a knack of scoring in the clutch, pacing the Gators with five goals in 2018-19, including two game-winners. The 5-foot-9 forward from South Lake Tahoe finished his college career with All-CCAA Honorable Mention plaudits.
The signings are pending league and federation approval.
The Glens will announce the remainder of the roster before their May 5 season opener on the road at Kezar Stadium against crosstown rival SF City FC in the San Francisco Derby.
The San Francisco Glens’ USL League Two team had four players from last season selected in the MLS SuperDraft, so come watch the next wave of homegrown soccer stars this summer. With a Beer Garden and new Fan Zone as part of the Boxer Stadium game experience in 2019, get your single-game and season tickets now before the May 17 home opener at sfglens.com/tickets.