By: Danielle Gawronski
Who are the San Antonio Blossoms? They sprouted up out of nowhere it seems (pun intended). They added a Facebook profile picture on February 22nd. They sent an email to the Classic Elite soccer family on March 1st announcing this new WPSL team. On March 1st they also announced on Facebook that their first rostered player was Lindsay Tubbs, a member of the Classic Elite coaching staff. They later added to their roster over the next few days: Erica Michaud, Taylor Olson, Becca Mays, and Briana Zunker.
The Blossoms recently held tryouts March 12-14. A core group of about 9 Athenians came out. There were a number of possession drills to see the ladies’ skill with passing, first touch, vision, runs, and teamwork. They progressed to small sided games. This kept a quick pace, pushed fitness, and made for a speedy attack. I was excited to see focus on scoring early on. The former Athenians players were clear standouts on the field. You can see a foundation that would be great to build around this group. They are already used to playing together at a high level.
Aaron Metzger, the Director of Coaching for Classic Elite had this to say, “Tryouts went well. We were happy to see a strong core of players from last year’s Athenians team at the San Antonio Blossoms’ tryouts. Their quality and experience, combined with the talented college and youth players we have added, will make for an exciting roster with a good balance of youth and experience. We are happy with where we are right now and can’t wait to get on the field and start preparing for the San Antonio Blossoms inaugural season in the WPSL.”
In the midst of competing for positions there were smiles and laughter. A comradery was forming which is beneficial to the future of any team. There was a good mix of newcomers too. Aidee Rodriguez, a local player in the adult leagues around the city, felt the “tryouts were a good experience. There were different levels of players with different styles of play. It’s a good way for each of us to gauge where we stand in relation to other players. At minimum we can all learn something about ourselves through this experience.”
One difference between the Blossoms and the Athenians is that the tryout age is younger. There was a 13 and 15-year-old holding their own with some veterans. Becca Mays is looking forward to “mixing the young talent with older experience as it’s a good recipe. The younger players will really benefit with playing with the older ones where they have to have a faster pace and definitely a lot of learning.” It’s the foundation we see at many professional clubs, including SAFC, of investing in the youth and future of the team.
The team should have some definite advantages being attached to a local club team, Classic Elite. With local club support there should be more feasibility for becoming established and staying in the community. There is a strong network of coaches bringing knowledge and experience to the team focusing on specific areas of player development. There will also be a steady pool of talented players to recruit from.
At this point the team is still germinating and hasn’t released any new additions yet. We will continue to watch and see what sprouts up.
For more information about San Antonio Blossoms Soccer, including tryouts, schedule, etc. please visit their website at www.SanAntonioBlossoms.com.