Union male athlete of the month – December 2015

Senior Soccer Midfielder Angel Guerra

LEADER-Angel Guerra1UNION, NJ — Guerra was a captain on the Union High School soccer team, which entered the state playoffs with an overall record of 10-7-1. The Farmers defeated East Orange, 2-0, behind a strong defensive effort, before bowing out in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 loss to eventual champion Elizabeth.

On soccer
“I started playing when I was 8. I played every sport — baseball, basketball, everything. And it always came back to soccer. The only sport I loved playing was soccer.”
“I just enjoy trying to maintain a lead, or if you’re down 1-0, coming back in the second half knowing you can win the game. And in soccer, it’s always even. In football or basketball, if you’re not tall enough you can’t be that good. But with soccer, you can be 5 feet 2 inches and be the most amazing player in the world.”

On playing with a veteran group of seniors
“When I was a freshman, our team was all seniors. There was nobody left after that, the roster graduated. So coach moved up a lot of players. I’ve been playing with them for so long, now. It’s a good experience with them.” “I’ve been to states three years, my sophomore, junior and senior year. The team made it all three years, it’s been the same group. We all know what we’re doing right before a game. Way early before the East Orange game, we actually went to Rutgers and we had talks, we ate food together like we do before every game. It’s a good thing, for all of us.”

Favorite pro team and player
Barcelona and Ronaldinho. “Ronaldinho when he was on Barcelona.”

On the Farmers’ style of play this season
“Usually we like to play possession, we like to hold the ball. That’s pretty much how we play. We don’t sit back, we try to go at the other team. Coach tells us everything about our opponent, their tendencies and everything, so we try to play to them, for how to stop them. And that’s how it is for pretty much every game.”
What do you call it, football or soccer?

On the coaching staff
“The coaches have done so much for me. Coach Lembyrk has probably been the most motivating person I’ve ever met in my life. I mean, living with only my mother and my grandmother, I don’t really have a father figure, and I could say that coach Lembryk is like a father figure to me. He demands the best from all of us on the team — every practice, every little thing.”

If you won the lottery
“I would probably give most of it to my mother.”