CdM's strong run ends

Sea Kings fall to CIF Division III defending champion Paramount in semifinals Tuesday.

March 01, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

PARAMOUNT — A special guest hopped on the Corona del Mar High bus before the Sea Kings traveled to their next boys' soccer match on Tuesday.

Jack McBean was a familiar face to those onboard. He used to ride with many of the same players to matches before he left the team in December to join the U.S. under-17 national team.

McBean just got in the night before from Jamaica, where the 16-year-old helped the Americans to the CONCACAF title on Sunday.

Coach George Larsen said the Sea Kings could have used McBean to get to the CIF Southern Section Division III championship match.

McBean, no longer eligible to play in high school after he signed a professional contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy in January, just watched from the sideline. Being there reminded him of last season, when he helped the Sea Kings win the Division IV title.


Unlike last season, CdM was not going to make an appearance in the section finale this time around. The Sea Kings lost to fourth-seeded Paramount, 2-1, ending their shot at winning a second straight section title.

It was going to take everything the Sea Kings had to knock off the defending Division III champion Pirates. Larsen said they just did not have it.

"For whatever reason, we really struggled to have good energy around the field. It's normally not something we struggle with," Larsen said. "It might have come down to the fact that we do have a lot of new faces in here and the inexperience really caught up to us."

What CdM (16-3-7) lacked, Paramount (17-2-6) used, as the Pirates' experience helped them return to the big stage.

Paramount Coach Rafa Villasenor called the matchup, which featured the CIF Southern California Regional Division I champion Pirates and Division II champion Sea Kings, the ultimate battle.

The Pirates were fortunate to have Antonio Salgado, who set up the match's first goal on a corner kick and scored the last one on a set piece. The most important one, a header in the 64th minute, turned out to be the game-winning goal.

The senior striker had an identical twin brother on the field, but Salgado clearly stood out.

"It means a lot," Salgado said of being able to defend the Pirates' title against Fontana on Friday or Saturday. "We've battled through. Every time we gather up as a family. We play as teammates and communicate [well]. We do everything we can to get a [win]."

Larsen said the effort the Sea Kings gave was not enough to get past Paramount.

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