By Diego Zuñiga
Baltimore, MD (October 20, 2020)
The Baltimore Kings pro men’s soccer team will be traveling this weekend to play Atlético Zacatepec DE in Georgetown, Delaware - traveling out-of-state for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Many of our guys have been looking forward to this game and getting back on the field,” captain Josh Danza said. “As is true with most businesses in 2020, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t take a hit from everything that has happened. Although many of our games were cancelled throughout the year because of the pandemic, our club is alive and well, and our guys have been working hard behind the scenes.”
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has flooded professional sports organizations around the world with uncertainty, causing many minor league teams to temporarily or permanently shut their doors. Many players have been forced to make big decisions regarding their career.
“The goal of the club is to create a platform to showcase talented players whose desire is to play at the next level and push them on to bigger opportunities. Some of our guys had previously lined up opportunities to play overseas, but were not allowed to leave the country because of travel restrictions. At one point we even had some of our guys stuck in foreign countries, not able to travel to the U.S. Of everyone, I really feel it most for the players. Most have made incredible sacrifices to continue their careers while seemingly everything is working against them. This club was created for them, so it is great to be back on the field playing.”
Although this will be a closed-door match, it is still possible to support the players. Individual player sponsorships as well as team sponsorships are available here.
Some familiar faces on the roster include Josh Danza, Tommy Humphries, Axel Bax, Austin Murphy, Ken Truong, Pat Fleming, Gian Peixoto, Yassine Iguidre, Alex Shipley, Ajay Jagadesan, Caleb Kaiss, Vaughn Ridings, Chris Roberts, Brian Greuter, and Rob Jamieson.
Defender Devon Douglas was signed to the Pro Team in August after an outstanding summer with the U23s. Nick Verdi will also join the Pro Team after spending the past year training with the Pro Reserves.
Former DC United standout Junior Escobar joins the Kings this weekend in his first match with the club. Escobar has also spent time with Esporte Clube São José in Brazil and C.D. Audaz in El Salvador.
Midfielders Ioannis Kiotsekoglou and Gustavo Vera both impressed after coming in on trial for the past few weeks and will be making their debut with the club on Saturday.
Roster vs. Atlético Zacatepec DE
GOALKEEPERS: Brian Greuter, Rob Jamieson
DEFENDERS: Josh Danza (c), Devon Douglas, Tommy Humprhies, Wilmer “Junior” Escobar, Caleb Kaiss, Nick Verdi, Axel Bax, Austin Murphy
MIDFIELDERS: Ken Truong, Pat Fleming, Gian Peixoto, Yassine Iguidre, Alex Shipley, Ajay Jagadesan, Ioannis Kiotsekoglou, Gustavo Vera
FORWARDS: Vaughn Ridings, Chris Roberts
Founded in 2015, the Baltimore Kings are a minor-league professional soccer club whose men’s team competes in Pro Soccer Alliance. In addition to a men’s soccer team, the Kings also have a pro men’s futsal team, men’s pro reserve team, women’s team, U23 teams, youth futsal academy, and a free youth soccer academy.