While the international friendly against Monarcas Morelia was memorable for the fans and team, it’s time for 1839 to get to work as they open up the regular season at 7:30 pm this Saturday, March 10 at Bill Dodd Stadium at Justin Siena. Roles will be reversed for 1839 as the second-year team now play host to debutants Academica of Turlock.
“We know how exciting it is to play in your first-ever official match and Academica will be ready to go,” said Coach Jesus Medina. “We just have to be better prepared than them.” Fans will have a chance to watch two games for the price of one as 1839’s second team host a Liga NorCal match against Contra Costa FC at 5:30. This the second game for the reserve squad. They tied Academica’s Second team last week 2-2.
For the senior squad, 1839 will be hosting seven home matches this year at the team’s new home stadium at Justin Siena High School. “While we love Memorial Stadium, Justin Siena offers more flexibility for us to make this a family-friendly environment and it offers us a chance to do these types of double-headers,” explains Josh Goss, one of the owners of 1839. “We are going to have a kids’-soccer zone which wasn’t possible at Memorial. Also, we can have the teams warming up on the grass outside the stadium, which allows us to have back-to-back games.”
The team is sponsored by some familiar businesses as well. Mira Winery, Perfect Puree Napa Valley and The Coliseum all played significant roles in the team’s first year and are the primary sponsors this year. Del Sur Mortgage, AUL Insurance, Ranch Markets, and Coast Landscape will also be big contributors to the team this year.
While many things from last year will look familiar to fans, there are a few new faces to the club. Joining the team is Max Alvarez – a former Napa High standout and player with St. Louis FC and Sacramento Republic of the USL. “Max brings incredible technical ability and speed at his position, and we are lucky to have him come home to play for 1839,” admits Tom Shutt, General Manager of 1839. “Max has already developed a large attraction, as he is now coaching with Napa United 1839 Academy. The kids shout his name when they see him.”
Joining 1839’s Max Alvarez will be former Austrian International player Lukas Schubert. Schubert was playing in the Austrian first division in 2013 when he suffered a heart condition. However, Schubert made it back to the pitch in 2016 playing for Ireland’s premier league team, Derry City. The team earned a qualifying spot in 2017’s Europa Cup. “Lukas contacted us looking to get involved in the soccer community in the United States,” recalls Shutt. “He told us his professional days of playing are behind him and he wanted to get involved in growing the game in the United States. Not only will Lukas be joining our 1839 team, he’s going to get involved in Napa United soccer as well. He will be teaming up with Max on Friday nights for Napa United’s Friday Night Soccer events.” Shutt said more details about Friday Night Soccer can be found on Napa United’s website.
The second team kicks off at 5:30 pm. Gates open at 4:30 pm for the kids’ zone. There will be soccer darts, a penalty kick game, and soccer pool. Tickets for the game can be purchased at www.napavalley1839.com or at the gate. Ticket prices are $10. Kids under 6 are free.