West Texas Sockers News Release -- www.wtusockers.com
Friday, April 27, 2012
ODESSA, Texas -- The West Texas Sockers have a new goalkeeper, and perhaps a new on-field face of the franchise, with the addition of Alonso Jimenez to the club’s 2012 roster. He was one of six players introduced on Thursday as the Sockers prepare for their fourth season of competition in the Premier Development League (PDL). The 2012 regular season opener is May 5 at Grande Communications Stadium.
As he prepares for his second season as the Sockers’ head coach, Warren Cottle feels Jimenez is the ideal choice to lead the club both on and off the pitch.
“We are very excited about the addition of Alonso to our team,” Cottle said. “He is a wonderful example of a young man, from here in West Texas, who has achieved a great deal by following his dreams. Given his vast experience, he will be the perfect fit for the team.”
Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Jimenez was a high school star in the Permian Basin and also brings an international résumé to the Sockers. A standout at Odessa High School, he has played the last four seasons in Mexico, three of those at the First Division level for Indios. The Sockers’ head coach also likes the intangibles Jimenez brings to the club.
“The most incredible thing about Alonso is his work ethic. He is constantly pushing himself and others to be the best they can be. This is exactly the attitude we were looking for to lead this team,” Cottle said. “You don’t accomplish what he has in the game without a total effort and commitment to being the best player possible.”
At Odessa High, Jimenez earned First Team All-District honors in each of his four seasons and was named the District’s Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior. He capped his Broncos career by being named All-State as a senior.
The six players introduced today include three more players with strong West Texas ties -- Joe Munoz, Wally Valdivia and Shelby Sharp. Joining them are Texan Gabriel Mendoza and Denmark’s Anders Moeller.
Munoz and Valdivia have been with the Sockers since the club’s inception, each entering their fourth season. For Sharp, the University of Texas Permian Basin’s team captain, 2012 will be his first PDL season.
Munoz is the Sockers’ career scoring leader, holding the club’s all-time marks for both points (25) and goals (11), and ranks fifth all-time in games played (35). He led the inaugural team (2009) with 17 points.
Like Jimenez, Munoz was a standout at Odessa High, leading the Bronchos to a district championship and the regional final four as a senior. He went on to play for Indios USA in 2007 and helped that club capture the United States Amateur Soccer Association National Cup.
Valdivia ranks directly behind Munoz (sixth all-time), playing in 30 games with the Sockers, and is the club’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 11 points. His five career goals are tied for third in club history. A First Team All-District selection in his senior season at Odessa Permian (2002), Valdivia scored 12 goals for Mojo in two varsity seasons. He went on to play for the U-23 Texas state championship team and spent two seasons with Guadalajara in Mexico’s Second Division.
Sharp came to UTPB in 2009 following an outstanding career at Stephenville High School (2005-09). A four-time First Team All-District selection, Sharp is Stephenville’s all-time leading goal scorer with 83. In both his junior and senior seasons, he was named the District’s Most Valuable Player and was his team’s captain three times, first as a sophomore.
With the UTPB Falcons, Sharp was named the team’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2009 and has served as the team’s captain since 2010. He was named to the Heartland Conference’s All-Academic Honor Roll in the 2010-11 season and was a Second Team All-Heartland Conference performer this season. His career résumé also includes the North Texas State Team in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) from 2003 through 2008 and extensive club play in the Fort Worth area.
Mendoza was also an outstanding Texas prep player, earning All-District honors in each of his four seasons at Red Oak High School. He capped his high school career by being named First Team All-District and his team’s MVP as a senior. Now a second-year starter on defense at Lubbock Christian University, Mendoza has played club soccer for the Dallas Texans, a Nike Premier Club program (designated to the top-46 youth elite clubs in the country). He is majoring in Exercise Sciences at LCU.
Moeller has a slightly different background, as his native Denmark does not have school athletic teams, but has been playing competitive soccer since age five. He played in his native country through 2001 and is now at Western Texas College (Snyder, Texas) and helped lead the Westerners to a regional championship. The freshman plays defense for WTC, which is ranked 10th nationally.
The Sockers, who finished the 2001 season 5-11-0, will again complete in the PDL’s Mid-South Division. The defending division champion Laredo Heat, El Paso Patriots and New Orleans Jesters are returning members of the division and are joined by the Austin Aztex (returning after a two-year hiatus) and a new club, the Texas Dutch Lions.
Cottle, who will again be assisted by Chris Bryant, believes the addition of the six players introduced today will provide a solid
foundation for a return to the PDL playoffs. He also thinks the addition of Jimenez, the former OHS star, in net could provide some special moments at Grande Communications Stadium.
“One of the most exciting aspects of Alonso coming to the Sockers is that our fans will be cheering on one of their own. He will be a
positive and influential member of the Sockers and the West Texas soccer community. We are very fortunate to have him as a part of our organization.”