College of the Canyons men’s soccer is looking forward to the start of the new year, with the 2023 season opener Friday, Aug. 25 vs. visiting Taft College.

In 2022, the Cougars posted an overall record of 4-13-3 and finished fourth in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division with a mark of 2-4-2. COC saw several players from the 2022 squad move on but has welcomed a new class of prospects in recent weeks.

Canyons head coach Phil Marcellin will rely on three of its returning players on this year’s team, including one from the progam’s 2018 conference championship team, Anthony Landeros, who returns to co-captain the squad and will also be counted on to provide an offensive spark for the Cougars.

COC sophomore Alejandro Chavez, in his third year with the program after a red shirt season in 2021, will work to command the back line with sophomore co-captain and outside back Jacob Reyes-Silva.

“I’m looking forward to what their leadership is going to do, and so far what I’ve seen in the summer, I think the guys are reacting really well to it,” said Marcellin, about the presence of Landeros, Reyes-Silva and Chavez in the lineup.

Canyons is set to test its chemistry in its first game of the season vs. visiting Taft, a team that closed out its 2022 season at the CCCAA Semi-Finals.

“I’m really excited about the fact that we have a really good culture on the team,” said Marcellin.

“There is something about this group, so far in the first four weeks, with what we’ve been doing, that has got us kind of excited,” added Marcellin. “There is a good chemistry and there’s a good attitude.”