Kraig Chiles Makes An Impact In Every Game – Now Chiles To Break All-Time Record and Become Sockers ALL TIME LEADING GOAL SCORER
Chiles Is 3 Goals Short Of Breaking the 14-Time Champion San Diego Sockers Record
Kraig Chiles #37 is approaching a historic benchmark as he is three goals from breaking the San Diego Sockers all-time scoring leader Branko Segota’s record — Segota tallied 298 goals during his career ending in 1991.
In his eight-year career with the Sockers, Chiles has transformed from an aspiring young player to the leading member of the team — and a man who constantly gives back to the game his loves. Aside from his professional soccer duties as a player with the MASL club, he is also the team captain of the US Futsal Team as well as the Director of Coaching of the Cardiff Mustangs where he is helping children develop life skills on and off the soccer field.
SoccerToday’s Diane Scavuzzo Interviewed San Diego Sockers captain Kraig Chiles just a couple of days before this next match on Friday Dec 9th vs Turlock Express — when he will most likely break the all time scoring record for the 14 time Champion San Diego Sockers and become the Sockers ALL-TIME Leading Goal Scorer. The record was set in 1991.
Diane Scavuzzo: How long have you been playing for the Sockers?
Kraig Chiles: This is my 8th year playing with the San Diego Sockers.
Diane Scavuzzo: Years ago, when you were playing and you saw all the jerseys hanging high above the arena, did you ever expect your number to be up there?
Kraig Chiles: No, I didn’t.
Back when I first started playing, Paul Wright, Aaron Susi and Sean Bowers were starters. We had five or six players that had twenty years of experience or more. I think the starting line-up was Wright, Susi, Bowers, Brayden and me. I just tried to keep my head down and play as best as I could.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many have you scored?
Kraig Chiles: 296.
Diane Scavuzzo: Whose record are you breaking?
Kraig Chiles: Branko Segota who scored 298 goals.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you expect to break it this weekend? The record is twenty-five years old.
Kraig Chiles: I hope — although last time there was pressure for me to break Julie Vee’s record, I didn’t score until five minutes were left in the fourth quarter and I only needed one goal to break that record.
Now I need to score three goals to break the all time record — and that is not easy.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many times have you scored a hat trick (three goals in one match) recently?
Kraig Chiles: This year I have earned three hat tricks.
Over the last eight years, I think I have over 50 hat tricks. So, yes, it is possible.
What I can tell you is that I’m on all the free kicks and I think all the balls are coming in my direction. I think my teammates will be doing whatever they can to help me break this record. They will tell me to stand on the back post and wait to tap the balls in the net — or at least, I’m hoping that’s the case.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do you want to break the record next weekend?
Kraig Chiles: Because I want to do it in front of the home fans!
Breaking this record at home means the world to me. It is important to have my family there and all the home fans.
Obviously, it is going to be different if I have to do it when our team is in Tacoma the following weekend.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do you believe you have been able to score so many goals and break this record?
Kraig Chiles: First of all, I think I’ve been fortunate to be on a team that has had a lot of success. But it’s interesting — I’ve put a lot of thought into it.
I really think I’ve scored more goals than other players because of decision making and technique.
I think technically I am solid. I’m able to finish in a variety of different ways. I also think I make the right decision more often than not. What part of my foot to shoot with, when to shoot, when to push it left or right and when to pass.Diane Scavuzzo: When you talk about your technique. What do you think that you are doing that other players are not?
Kraig Chiles: Personally, I can release the ball quick enough to not allow goalies to respond. I have a quick release on my shot and I think I catch a lot of goalies thinking that I’m going to push balls or dribbles when I actually release a shot.
A lot of it is just practice and repetition. I remember in college, just getting out there with two-time All-American Tally Hall and hand full of players and staying after practice with coaches. Going over where I should be finishing when I’m on certain parts of the box. All that just plays dividends now. It’s all second nature to me.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you believe you have developed your soccer IQ through repetition and intelligence?
Kraig Chiles: Yes. I’m a student of the game. When I was in high school I watched a ton of soccer. In particular EPL, as well as La Liga and MLS. A lot of my Division I teammates couldn’t have cared less about watching games. They relied on their athleticism. I always felt like I could learn a lot from watching these professional players and their movements off the ball. I think that’s a huge factor in being a legitimate player.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice would you give to a striker?
Kraig Chiles: Constantly be involved in the game. Try to constantly be moving players into positions that you want to get them in so you can exploit them.
I’m not just running around really fast or brainlessly thinking. Soccer is a thinking man’s game.
I very often am trying to drag the defenders around without wanting to receive the ball at that moment and then flash into the areas that I do want the ball and leave the defenders behind in the area that I dragged them into.
I’m constantly moving around the field. Trying to make space for myself and teammates. I’m out there consciously trying to move the pieces of the puzzle around.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you compare soccer to other sports when you talk about it being a thinking man’s game?
Kraig Chiles: In football the coach sets the play. In basketball the point guard dictates a lot of what happens. In soccer, it’s a game where you have to be intelligent. In my opinion, a lot of the game is decision making.
As a player, you get to a high level, and everyone is technical. Everyone is athletic. Everyone has the base traits you need to be a college soccer player or better. You have to be extremely intelligent and really be able to out think some of your opponents. Decision making is a key component.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is breaking this record going to mean to you personally?
Kraig Chiles: It’s going to mean a lot. I think when it’s all said and done I will look back at this record as one of my greatest achievements. Right now, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how it’s all happening. I think that this and captaining the U.S. Futsal National Team – I will look back in 20 years and those will be the two things that I cherished the most from my playing career.
Don’t Miss This Next Game: Sockers vs Turlock Express
Friday Dec. 9th at Valley View Casino Center – TICKETS
7:35pm Kickoff – Star Wars Night
Game specials include: Star Wars Night, Free Parking, $2 Beer Night, Special Edition Star Wars Themed Lightsaber giveaways (first 500 fans), and a halftime Teddy Bear Toss benefiting the Rady Children’s Hospital.
Originally founded in 1978, the San Diego Sockers returned in 2009 and are the most successful indoor soccer team in the sport’s history. The team has won a total of 14 indoor championships in the MISL, PASL and MASL leagues combined. In addition, the Sockers also set a U.S. pro sports record with the longest winning streak boasting 48 straight wins.
Breaking the all-time record for scoring the most goals scored will be an amazing accomplishment.