Correction: We mistakenly identified Jordan’s head coach in this article. Jordan’s head coach is Jason Steinberg. We apologize for the error.
By Alex Tam
It was an inauspicious start to Wednesday’s season opener for the Leadership and Jordan boys soccer teams.
No referees had arrived or were even planning to arrive by kickoff.
With both coaches forced into officiating the contest, Leadership pulled away in the second half to post a 5-2 victory in a non-league game at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields.
Jordan head coach
Jessie Cordray Jason Steinberg was visibly disappointed and felt the lack of officials cost his team after Leadership (1-0) scored three unanswered in the second half.
“Some of those goals that were called or allowed . . . it was terrible, the officiating,”
Cordray Steinberg said. “I don’t think that score reflects what the game was about at all.”
Nonetheless, Leadership broke open a 2-2 tie after the halftime break when Jordy Lopez scored off a penalty kick in the 50th minute.
Five minutes later, Eduardo Sanchez sailed a ball over the goalkeeper’s head and into the net for a 4-2 lead.
Lopez then notched his second goal of the half in the 61st minute to seal the win.
“We started to gel a little bit better in the second half,” said Leadership head coach Greg Perieff. “Most of our guys were a little bit late starting the season because of physicals and stuff like that, so we’re just starting to get a chance to gel now and learn a new formation, [which is] different than the one they played last year.”
Leadership never trailed, taking 1-0 lead in the 15th minute off a penalty kick by Misael Ortega.
Jordan answered when Edgar Acevedo slipped a ball past the keeper’s hands in the 20th minute. Leadership again took the lead with Kevin Flores’ goal in the 22nd minute before Jordan’s Aldair Chavez tied it nine minutes later.
“After getting the half in, they felt where they were at on the field a little bit better in the second half,” Perieff said. “And we had some success. I think our mindset as far as attacking and moving the ball down the field was a lot more solid.”
For Jordan (0-1), its biggest question now is if it can bounce back to the level of two years ago, when it finished first in the Academic Athletic Association’s Y Division, but was banned from postseason play because the program was on probation by the San Francisco Section.
The Jaguars went 4-14 in the AAA last season and
Cordray Steinberg said he has six ineligible players who he is hoping to get back eventually this fall.
“I think this team is better than we were two years ago, but we didn’t demonstrate that today,”
Cordray Steinberg said. “Once we get all of our ineligibles eligible and everyone starts working, we’ll get closer to where we were two years ago.”
The lack of officiating left
Cordray Steinberg with a bitter taste and the coach said Leadership breached its agreement when it signed a contract in the spring to set up Wednesday’s game.
“In our agreement, we secured the field, they were supposed to secure the officials,”
Cordray Steinberg said. “And they broke the agreement. It’s a transition for them [with a new coach and athletic director], so I understand that, but they didn’t do what they said they’d do.”