Eduardo Guillen is living the dream.
The Tokay High boys soccer player, a senior halfback and striker who is one of the Tigers’ captains, found openings in scoring on the field that mounted to wins. In a Tri-City Athletic League game against rival Lodi at Don Rostomily Field on Wednesday, Guillen had a goal in the Tigers’ 4-0 win over the Flames.
“It was a good experience,” said Guillen of scoring against Lodi. “We were expecting to win. But it took us a couple of shots to get the (goals) in. Once we got the first one, then the team just started scoring.”
In another TCAL game against Tracy at Hubbard Field on Jan. 29, Guillen scored another goal in the Tigers’ 3-1 win over the Bulldogs.
“We were on a fast counter attack and my teammate Jeffery Orozco was down the right side of the flank,” recalled Guillen. “I was running behind as a striker. I called for the ball early and he sent it. Once he sent it the keeper came out and I was just able to tap it over.”
Entering Friday’s home game against St. Mary’s, Tokay is 6-0-2 in league and 10-1-3, inching closer toward another league title.
Guillen has scored nine goals this season.
This season, Guillen and defender/halfback Eduardo Rodriguez are the only two returning starters from the 2018-19 squad that won the TCAL title; Tokay lost quite a few starters to graduation last spring. There are 16 seniors on this year’s team.
“The rest is a whole, brand new team,” said Guillen of this year’s squad. “We started off not kind of fast; we weren’t adapting. But once we got more games, more repetitions and we had a full team, we started playing better. Now we’re contending for a good playoff spot and try to win (the Sac-Joaquin Section title).”
Tokay will close out league play against Lincoln on Wednesday. The playoffs are scheduled to start on Monday, Feb. 17.
Guillen felt that the team needed to open the communications on the field after Galt posted a 2-0 win at Warrior Stadium in a non-league game on Dec. 3, 2019.
“I think we improved more with the communication,” Guillen said. “For a long period of time, we had to adapt. So we worked a lot on communication.”
Now Guillen and the Tigers have build their confidence in the last two months.
“Once we got the goal-scoring mentality and got the goals in, we have extra confidence in scoring,” Guillen said.
Soccer plays a big role in the Guillen family. Eduardo learned the basics of the game from his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
“It’s just a tradition in my family,” Guillen said.
Guillen has been playing competitive soccer since he was 8 years-old.
When Tokay ends its high school boys soccer team at some point in the playoffs, Guillen plans to play soccer at a four-year college. He plans to major in business.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.