BY HECTOR TRUJILLO
The 10-time professional indoor soccer championship team San Diego Sockers showed off for their fans at the Del Mar Arena on Sunday with an impressive 11-5 drubbing of La Cabana from Tijuana.
The exhibition game, which was included with paid admission to the San Diego County Fair, was the first indoor soccer game to be played at the newly renovated and roofed Del Mar Arena.
"It was an intense game that we were able to take over," Sockers player Kraig Chiles said. "I am an outdoor player and this level of indoor soccer is different than what I am use to. I am trying to learn the game from the veterans and those with more experience."
Chiles, who played last season for Major League Soccer team Chivas USA, scored two goals on Sunday.
The Sockers drew first blood early in the first quarter with a fantastic goal from Anthony Medina who was assisted by Braeden Cloutier. Medina proceeded to pull off the hat trick, scoring two more times before the end of the first half and pushing his team to an 8-2 lead.
The visitors' frustration grew throughout the match, as they were unable to create enough quality scoring changes or stop the Sockers' constant onslaught. Several of La Cabana's players received two-minute penalties for hard fouls, making their chances for a second half rally impossible.
"We were really overwhelmed and did not keep our heads in the game as we should have," La Cabana head coach Javier Gress said. "We created some chances in the second half and took advantage of some mistakes, but the game was already out of reach at that point. Overall, I think our team played well against such a good level of competition."
The Sockers are returning as an expansion franchise of the Professional Arena Soccer League with hopes for more success than previous attempts. The PASL is made up of three Canadian, four Mexican and eight U.S. teams.
The franchise's most recent attempt at a comeback was in 2001, but it ended abruptly three years later.
Prior to that, the Sockers won eight Major Indoor Soccer League championships from 1983 to 1992 along with the North American Soccer League Championship in 1982 and 1984.
Some of the players who make up the new Sockers team played in San Diego with the minor league Fusion who will be the Sockers' affiliate. Brothers-in-law Dave Pike and Phil Salvagio bought the franchise last year along with Carl Savoia. Salvagio is a former player and now coaches the team.
The Sockers' first regular season game is scheduled for Nov. 12 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena. For more information, visit