NFL, MLB, CFL stats

Sockers Place 14 Players on Rosters for Mini Football World Cup in Perth

September 16, 2019 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) - San Diego Sockers News Release

SAN DIEGO--The San Diego Sockers will be sending fourteen players to Perth, Australia to participate in the 2019 World Minifootball Federation (WMF) World Cup. The third edition of minifootball's WMF World Cup will take place from October 1-11 in the Australian western beach city, with 32 countries gathering to chase the Cup. The Sockers by far lead in club participation for the event, which will see Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) talent flood the rosters of the North American clubs and Brazil.

In addition to player participation, Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio will make his second appearance as the head coach of Team USA, having won the World Cup in the United States in 2015. The USA advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2017 WMF World Cup in Tunisia under the Ontario Fury's Bernie Lilavois, who has organized the club this year as General Manager.

Team Mexico, led by Sockers assistant coach Rene Ortiz, will look to break through after reaching the finals of the first two WMF World Cups, losing to the USA and Czechoslovakia in 2015 and 2017. El Tri will pin their hopes on All-MASL First Team midfielder Brandon Escoto, who led the Sockers in points in the 2018-19 season with 55 (32 goals, 23 assists). Joining Escoto in the midfield will be Sockers veteran Hiram "Pollo" Ruiz and young forward Christian Gutierrez.

The defense will be entirely populated with Sockers, led by All-MASL Second Team defender Cesar Cerda, who has worn the captain's armband during exhibition play. Cerda will be joined in the back by Guerrero Pino, Ray Contreras, Ismael Rojo and Luis "Peewee" Ortega.

Team USA will be led by Sockers captain Kraig Chiles, the three-time MVP who led the Sockers with 35 goals in 2018-19. Boris Pardo, the MASL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018-19, will anchor the USA defense, with veteran Brian Farber helping organize and activate the midfield. Travis Pittman and Taylor Bond bring versatility and two-way play to the roster of the Red, White and Blue.

Not to be forgotten is forward Leonardo de Oliveira, who has been selected to represent Team Brazil in Perth, rounding out the Sockers' contingent. Brazil, a perennial contender, will be in the same group as Team USA, showing down on October 6 in the final match of group play.

"When you consider that fifteen players are selected to start a MASL match, having fourteen Sockers selected to their respective national teams says a lot," San Diego general manager Sean Bowers said, "We are proud to have our boys play for country as well as club, and hope to see one of them lifting the World Cup at the end. We also know they will be getting invaluable experience they can bring back to our club as we pursue the Ron Newman Cup."

The WMF World Cup will be contested at Langley Park in Perth, Australia, with the Opening Ceremonies on October 1 and the Final on October 11. Team USA competes in a group with Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. Team Mexico will compete with Moldova, Somalia and the Ivory Coast in group play. The Round of 16 will take place on October 8, with quarterfinals on October 9 and semifinals on October 10.

For more information on Team USA, visit For more information on the WMF World Cup, visit

• Discuss this story on the Major Arena Soccer League message board...

Major Arena Soccer League Stories from September 16, 2019

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent San Diego Sockers Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew