• May 18, 2023

Derby Info: San Diego Surf vs Pateadores

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023

Location: Surf Cup Sports Park | San Diego, California

Age Groups: U13-U18/19

This weekend’s Continental Tire ECNL Derby Day matchup is a huge Southwest Conference showdown at Surf Cup Sports Park, Saturday, May 20, between San Diego Surf and Pateadores with major postseason implications on the line.

Club: San Diego Surf

Year Founded: 1977

Club Location: San Diego, California

Things You Should Know: 09 – 2022 ECNL National Champions, 07 – 2022 ECNL National Semifinalists, 05 – 2022 ECNL National Quarterfinalists

Quotables: San Diego Surf comes into the weekend at the top of the Southwest Conference in both the 04/05 age group and the 07 age group, while also sitting in second in the 09 and 10 age group. With the Derby this weekend and playoffs around the corner, Head Coach Danny Tonks believes the club has shifted their mentality in the last few weeks as the end of the season approaches.

“We’ve definitely seen a change in mentality with everybody in the last few weeks,” Tonks said. These games are perfect right now as we mentally prepare the players for seeing different things in the playoffs and playing at a higher level. We’re using it as a chance to prepare the boys to be mentally ready to go in the next month.”

While both sides are extremely talented, Tonks noted the importance of the players being mentally ready for the games this weekend, because not only is it a battle between two talented sides, but tactically the games will be played at a very high level as well.

“We know when we play them it’s going to be a great game, not just technically, but tactically as well. So, mentally it’s important for the boys to be prepared,” Tonks said.

With so much on the line as Surf enters an important stretch in the season Tonks believes these games come at a great time for his side. Even though the team has shifted their focus in training to the most significant part of the season, having a great side to compete against in high level games before the playoffs is something that can not be replicated in training.

“Even though we play them twice in the conference these could easily be games in the playoffs,” Tonks said. “There’s been great energy in training this week. We’re excited to play a top team and prepare ourselves for the playoffs.”

As for any added motivation, Tonks says the names of the teams alone mean his players know they need to be ready for a big challenge this weekend.

“Everyone knows that when it’s Surf and Pats it’s going to be a big occasion and a big game,” Tonks said. “The motivation is always there just for the name alone.”

Club: Pateadores

Year Founded: 1987

Club Location: Costa Mesa, California

Things You Should Know: 05 and 06 – 2022 ECNL National Quarterfinalists

Quotables: Pateadores enter the Derby with a lot on the line in terms of postseason play in the coming weeks. At the 04/05 and 07 age groups, Pateadores are second in the Southwest Conference right behind San Diego Surf, and could overtake them with a win at the 07 level. Meanwhile at the other age groups, Pateadores is fighting to secure postseason spots up and down the board, and results this weekend could go a long way to securing those spots for them.

“I think the next two weekends are going to determine a lot for our teams, but we’re looking forward to it,” said Boys Director Teddy Chronopoulos. “Every age group has some sort of playoff implication towards it, but regardless every time we play them it’s always a good matchup.”

With so much on the line for both teams this weekend Chronopoulos says these are games you mark on the calendar and get excited to be a part of. “When it’s on the schedule you always look forward to these games,” Chronopoulos said. “We’re excited to play them this weekend.”

With both sides in the state of California, Chronopoulos says there is a little added motivation this weekend with some of the players knowing each other off the field.

“Some of them are friends that are on ID camps together, or some or going to the same college in the fall,” Chronopoulos said. “So, I think you always have that little edge to it that you can hold over your friend when you play against them.”

With such a huge challenge coming late in the season, Chronopoulos believes these games come at a great time for his teams because they will give them a great opportunity to experience what the postseason feels like with the playoffs only a month away.

“I look at it as playoff preparation because these are the type of games you want to play before going into playoffs,” Chronopoulos said. “We’re looking forward to these games because it only helps prepare you for the playoffs. I’d rather play these games that are contentious, nail biting, and have consequences to them because that’s what the playoffs are going to be.”