Kitsap Soccer Club signs seven for upcoming season

BREMERTON — Kitsap Soccer Club signed seven players last week to continue filling out the team’s 2017 National Premier League roster.

KSC signed attacking midfielder Romario Lomeli, right back Anthony Mota, central midfielder/defender Jack Philp, Tyler LaCourse, defensive midfielder Javo Reyes, midfield Brian Charles and attacking midfielder Jesus “Chuy” Sanchez.

Lomeli, Mota and Philp were signed April 17 and LaCourse, Reyes and Charles were signed April 12. Sanchez was signed April 10.

Lomeli, 22, capped a distinguished career at UC Riverside in 2016, notching career bests in goals (5) and assists (9) in his senior season. Those statistics were good enough for him to be named to the Big West all-conference first team. He was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s All-Far West Region team.

In his collegiate career, Lomeli had 10 goals and 20 assists in 77 career appearances for the Highlanders. A native of Panorama City, Calif., Lomeli is a former member of the Chivas USA skills development academy.

“I was very surprised that Romario was available after he finished his college career at a high level and played at the MLS Combine this winter,” Kitsap SC associate head coach Liviu Bird said. “We’re happy to take him in for the summer and give him a place to train at a high level every day and hopefully watch him continue to succeed for us.”

Mota, 21, just finished his senior season at the University of Great Falls in Montana. He made 17 appearances with 16 starts in his final season with the Argonauts. Over his career, he had eight goals and six assists in 71 appearances for Great Falls.

Mota, who was born in Upland, Calif., was also a three-time Cascade Collegiate Conference all-academic selection.

“Tony came to our invitational tryout last year when we were still a professional club. We would have signed him if not for his desire to finish playing in college,” Bird said. “We were glad to have him come out again this year, and he showed the same ability.”

Philp, 19, is coming off his first season at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. He made eight appearances with one start for the Hawks.

Philp is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was a captain for his championship-winning youth side at Tynecastle FC. He also played for Hutchison Vale FC and graduated from Currie Community High School.

“Jack is a versatile player who can play a number of positions well,” Bird said. “He came recommended to us by Shaun Scobie, a former Kitsap assistant coach who coached Jack in their home country of Scotland. Jack is used to playing a high-tempo, aggressive style, which fits in perfectly with what we’re trying to build.”

LaCourse and Reyes both came to Kitsap from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

Reyes, who graduates this spring, played in 18 games for ORU last season with 14 starts. He notched one assist for the Golden Eagles.

“Javo is an intelligent player in central midfield with great awareness, distribution and ability to regain possession for his team,” Bird said. “Being one of the older players on the roster, we also expect that he’ll bring a level of leadership to us that will help the younger players as they try to become professionals.”

LaCourse played 16 games for ORU as a freshman last season, with 12 starts. Prior to ORU, he attended Metro Christian Academy in Tulsa.

“Tyler is a young center back whose college coaches are very excited about his potential,” Bird said. “He certainly has the raw potential to be a very good player in a couple years, and with the right attitude and work rate in his college career, we expect Tyler will reach that potential by the time his senior year rolls around.”

Charles, 22, is a product of California State University — Bakersfield, which also produced Sanchez.

He played three seasons for the Roadrunners, making 34 appearances with three starts. He has one career assist for CSUB.

“Brian is a technical and speedy midfielder that can play in many areas of the field,” Kitsap SC head coach Roy Lassiter said. “He comes to us from CSU Bakersfield, where he played 16 games as a junior. We will look for Brian to add depth to our midfield, and he will be a great addition to our team.”

A longtime fan favorite, Sanchez made his professional debut with Kitsap in the USL Premier Development League in 2014, leading the Pumas to the PDL national championship game. This season will be his first in the NPSL.

“It’s always important to us as a club that we sign players who can connect with the local community,” Bird said. “Having played for us for a couple years and coached youth soccer in Kitsap County, Chuy is a player our fans will instantly recognize and be able to connect with.”

He played for Kitsap last season, recording a goal and three assists in 10 games. For his career, Sanchez has eight goals in 51 career appearances, including the 2015 USL season with the Oklahoma City Energy.

“On the field, his experience with will be invaluable in guiding our younger players to their goals of playing at the highest level possible, as Chuy went through the journey from being a college player to a professional,” Bird said. “We’re excited to have him back.”

Sanchez, 26, is a native of Mazatlan, Mexico, but he grew up in Chula Vista, Calif., near San Diego. He played four seasons at California State University Bakersfield before turning professional in 2013.

Training sessions for Kitsap Soccer Club are set to begin on May 1, and the regular-season opener against Spokane Shadow FC is scheduled for May 20 at Gordon Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton.

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