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CdM plays loose

Boys' Soccer

Sea Kings do their best to enjoy the moment and open CIF playoffs with convincing win over Don Lugo.

February 16, 2012|By Steve Virgen

CORONA DEL MAR — The question lingered.

Even during a dominating 4-0 win for the Corona del Mar High boys' soccer team, the question lingered?

What was the question?

Just how good would this team be if it were at full strength and not missing any players who shifted to U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams or even one who turned pro?

It would be a dream team, a type of side that delivers a CIF championship.

Striker Mason Case, defender Jack Gorab, goalkeeper Connor Gaal and defender Greg Allen compete for the Rancho Santa Margarita Pateadores, who are traveling to a play a game in Arizona this weekend.

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Midfielder Grady Howe, who also played last season for the Sea Kings, is on the Los Angeles Galaxy academy team. As academy players, they can't compete in high school due to U.S. Soccer Development Academy rules.

Jack McBean, a former CdM standout, signed a professional contract with the L.A. Galaxy as a sophomore. He would've been a junior this year at CdM. He's also on the U.S. national under-22 soccer team.

That's a lot of talent missing. But the Sea Kings aren't really concerned with that lingering question. They want to show how good they can be without them. They opened the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs with a convincing win over visiting Don Lugo of Chino Thursday.

"It pisses me off a lot," CdM goalkeeper Armon Alaghband said of people talking about what might've been. "Everyone was saying, 'You guys are going to suck now without those players.' … They are really talented players and they are all my friends. But we have a really strong team. We have a lot of confidence. We want to close this thing out."

Alaghband posted his second straight shutout. He made a sensational save on a penalty shot during the second half. He said the save gave him more confidence. Taking over for the departed Gaal has motivated him as well.

"I wanted to prove people wrong," he said.

Conor Roche, who scored two goals against Don Lugo, had a different take on the Sea Kings' approach.

"We definitely would've had a lot more talent if they would've come out but we moved past that a while ago," Roche said. "We definitely have enough talent on the current team to win CIF."

CdM (10-6-3), the Pacific Coast League champion, showed its talent against the outmatched Conquistadores (12-7-2). Roche and Max Premer scored a goal each in the first half, as the Sea Kings built a 2-0 lead within the game's first 15 minutes.

Connor Morrill assisted on Premer's goal.

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