By Ray Hamill — The H-DNL will be well represented on next year’s College of the Redwoods men’s soccer team.
On Monday, two more local players — Fortuna’s Braiden Barsanti and Alonso Garcia — signed their letters of intent to play for the Corsairs this coming fall, as a busy offseason begins to bear fruit for the team.
Head coach Kyle Van Dyke has now added players from four of the seven H-DNL teams, including four all-league selections, and he’s not done yet.
In addition to the talented Fortuna duo, who are both expected to battle for a starting spot immediately, Del Norte’s Jin Vue also has committed to play for the team, as has McKinleyville’s Rocco Previde and Eureka’s Jesus Parra, the latter of whom is transferring back to the area after a year at Santa Rosa JC.
Van Dyke says he wants to add more competition for places, and with the players he has coming back, along with an impressive class of recruits, that should not be a problem.
“It’s about bringing more competition,” he said. “Every recruit I talk to, I tell them just because a player is coming back it doesn’t guarantee them a place on the team. If you come in and earn your spot, it will be you.”
Gio Magdaleno was the team’s only goalie last season and played well between the posts, but the added competition of Fortuna’s Garcia and Noah Williams from Susanville will be good for all three players when preseason training begins in July.
Barsanti, meanwhile, was an an All-League selection this past fall and will bring his speed to the wings, where Van Dyke hopes he can create some mismatches.
“We’re going to move him outside to utilize his speed,” the coach said. “But he can play all over.”
Vue, who signed his letter of intent last week, was also an All-League selection for the Warriors and will see time in midfield.
“He played well for Del Norte last season, and he’ll come in and compete as well,” Van Dyke said.
Previde, who was one of the most consistent players in the entire H-DNL last season, was a force along the back line for Mack and another All-League selection.
“He stands out to me as a player who has a lot of potential,” the CR coach said.
Parra, who was an All-League selection for the Loggers in the spring of 2021, red-shirted at Santa Rosa this past season and will bring some experience to the table.
Parra is expected to play in midfield and in attack.
“He’s another dynamic player who can play all over the place,” Van Dyke said. “ And he’ll bring some experience from being around a strong squad at Santa Rosa.”
The CR men will also welcome Jesus Torres from Parlier High in SoCal, another striker who also is expected to play a key role.