Nick Perera On His Return To The San Diego Sockers
Coming Home To My old Team In A New League.
Perera has come ‘home’ to the San Diego Sockers and is making a big difference in the arena – already he has scored 16 goals and made 19 assists. Perera is also on the US Soccer Athletes Council as well as the Captain of the US Beach Soccer National Team.
Indoor soccer is a very fast-paced and demanding sport that — quite simply — is not for everyone. Mastering the ins and outs of the sport requires a willingness to learn, the humility to accept that you don’t know everything and the effort to improve tactically and technically every day. To put things simply, my major challenge was the humility part.
I have always considered myself a student of the game, willing to learn and improve myself, but accepting that players were more versed and tested than me and might have insight I wasn’t privy to … well, that was a challenge.
Back when I began with the San Diego Sockers, I knew many of the players well from previous training during my college off-season, but I was quickly introduced to a whole new crop of players who were indoor veterans. A wealth of indoor history suddenly became available to me and it didn’t take me long to notice that I was a rookie. I played in 10 games my rookie year and won a PASL National Championship with a group of players that would go on and win two more on the run.
In the summer of 2011 I signed for the Milwaukee Wave and was quickly reminded that not only was I a rookie, but that I would need to relearn the game. Keith Tozer, the legendary Milwaukee Wave coach and current Futsal National team coach would teach me his style of play (a tactically and physically demanding defensive style) and engrained humility, hard work and sacrifice into me.
After three years in Milwaukee which included winning an MISL Championship and two semi-final appearances, I would come home.
Cue to the MASL.
The MASL is in its inaugural year and has a lot of growing up to do to improve aspects across the league, but one thing I can certify: it is refreshing to finally be united under one umbrella.
Fans across the league may complain about the Eastern Division having multi-point scoring, players will moan about the disparity in quality from division to division, but ultimately, everyone agrees that the best thing for the sport is to continue growing and improving the MASL.
I came back to the team that gave me my Indoor soccer debut. The San Diego Sockers are almost like a family to me.
The Sockers are an exceptional story. I have yet to find a similar example of a team that has retained as many players over the seasons and performed as successfully. To think that 11 players on the roster are San Diego natives, and have featured in every one of their Championship winning seasons is astounding.
This year, the San Diego Sockers roster features a batch of Internationals along side of great home-grown talent. Our coach, Phil Salvagio, has recruited and signed players from all over the world: two Brazilians (Guto & Ney), one Argentinian (Matias Kruger) and one Spaniard (Ismael Hernandez). If you count me as a non-San Diegan, make that two Spaniards. I am also being told that one more player will be announced shortly, but that news will have to wait.
Our indoor soccer games are very exciting and attendance continues to rise as fans — all across the country — discover they have a wonderful opportunity to be entertained by what I consider one of the most fan-friendly sports around.
Personally, I am enjoying every minute of life in San Diego. I have come back to play with old friends, in front of my wife, family and loved ones. I am challenged to learn and improve at every practice, and — yes, I am still working on the humility part.
|0||Jesus Molina||GK||5’11”||170||1/17/76||Santa Rosa, CA|
|2||Ryan Cariss||D||5’8″||150||1/10/81||Temecula, CA|
|5||Anthony Medina||M/F||6’1″||185||2/25/79||El Cajon, CA|
|7||Brian Farber||M||5’8″||165||4/15/82||Sandpoint, ID|
|9||Chiky Luna||M||5’9″||160||12/20/79||Vista, CA|
|11||Mardney “Ney” Almeida Felix||D||5’7″||163||12/25/87||Brazil|
|16||Eduardo Velez||D||5’9″||147||10/13/81||Tijuana, MX|
|17||Raymundo Reza||M/F||5’10”||175||5/7/89||Denver, CO|
|19||Dan Antoniuk||D||6’3″||205||1/23/81||Philadelphia, PA|
|20||Evan McNeley||D||6’0″||180||12/3/82||Everett, WA|
|21||Christian Maderos||M||5’9″||160||8/14/93||San Diego, CA|
|23||Mike Mercuriali||D||6’3″||190||7/28/83||San Diego, CA|
|25||Johnny Topete||M||5’11”||180||8/24/89||Escondido, CA|
|26||Arman Nadjafi||M||5’7″||145||1/18/91||San Diego, CA|
|31||Chris Toth||GK||6’1″||170||8/4/89||Fallbrook, CA|
|32||Jeff Hughes||M||6’1″||185||8/20/84||Covington, KY|
|34||Edgar Aguilar||M||5’9″||165||3/10/91||Oceanside, CA|
|36||Eli Galbraith-Knapp||D||5’10″||170||10/12/91||San Diego, CA|
|37||Kraig Chiles||F||5’11″||185||5/14/84||Poway, CA|
|77||Nick Perera||F||6’3″||200||6/5/86||San Diego, CA|
|87||Chad Hagerty||M||5’9″||175||10/25/86||Louisville, KY|
|99||Gustavo “Guto” Machado Quieroga||M||5’7″||149||6/1/84||Brazil|