By Tom Tigani
– Riverview Register
Riverview Gabriel Richard isn’t looking to any one player to lead them to the Catholic League Class C soccer title this year.
“We’re not a one-horse team,” second-year Coach Eric Perilla said. “Everybody’s got to earn their playing time, but at the same time everybody’s an important piece. You’ll notice that we work together as a unit. When we don’t, we fall apart. Not that we don’t have talented players, but we’re a lot stronger as a unit.
Perilla said he believes playing within his system will help the Pioneers to survive the loss of eight seniors to graduation. That belief has been borne out so far, as the Pioneers already boast a 5-1-1 record, including a 4-0 win over regional rival Southgate Anderson to start the season and a 3-2 victory over Allen Park High School last week.
“It was really nice to see the boys pull that one out, since we’re a Class A school and we’re Class C,” Perilla said.
“The whole goal for us here is to really turn this into a powerhouse soccer program,” Perilla said. “We plan to hold the boys to real high expectations.”
He recently helped three of his players to meet those expectations by bringing them aboard to Wayne County Sporting, the Michigan Premier Soccer League that he plays on. Senior Tyler Paoletti, junior Marco Pomponio and sophomore Krzysztof Szymczuk all helped Wayne County Sporting to become one of three amateur teams that soon will be going into U.S. Open Cup competition.
Whatever comes their way, Perilla says playing as a team is the key to the Pioneers’ success this year.
“The guys really have to stick to the tactics. We’re not just a team that just goes out there and plays. If guys can stay on the same page with the patterns and movements we show them off the field, we’ll do well.
“I want people to see that our team plays to a philosophy.”