BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--As Bakersfield prepares for its 2013 men's soccer season in the Western Athletic Conference, the Summer provides an opportune time to reflect on the some of the individual success stories. The Roadrunners' emergences into a national power is re-inforced by former players at the highest level of the game.
Gyasi Zardes has scored three goals for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. Zardes has worked his way into the starting lineup in recent weeks. He was named MLS Rookie of the Week by Soccer By Ives July 22.
Kory Kindle was selected in the second round (25th overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids.
Three former 'Runners are currently playing in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Richard Menjivar and Alberto Navarro are members of the Atlanta Silverbacks. The Silverbacks finished first in the 2013 Spring portion of the NASL season. Menjivar is also a member of El Salvador's National team which bowed out in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Gold Cup to the United States.
Lyle Martin is in his second season for the NASL's San Antonio Silverbacks. This is the fifth professional stop for Martin, a 2005 first team All-Conference selection for Bakersfield.
The NASL has been sanctioned as a Division II Professional League by the United States Soccer Federation, placing it under the MLS in the hierarchy in US Soccer.
Eric Shannon, a former All-Conference selection in goal for the Roadrunners, has signed a professional contract with Antigua GFC, a team in Guatamala's First Division.
Chris Widdy, a 2011 honorable mention All-Conference selection, has signed a contract with the Vermont Voltage of the USL Premier Development League which is in the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid.
"It is fantastic that many of our alumni are playing the sport they love at a professional level." said Bakersfield head coach Simon Tobin. "Watching Gyasi score the game winner for the Galaxy and Richard represent his country made it a very special week."