San Diego 1904 FC Announces Coach, First Players Ahead of Inaugural Season

Created: 05 September, 2019
Last update: 27 July, 2022

La Prensa SD Newsdesk

(Courtesy / 1904 FC)

San Diego 1904 FC has formally announced a head coach and the signing of its first players ahead of its debut in the National Independent Soccer Association’s inaugural season on Sept. 7 against the Los Angeles Force.

In a press release this past Friday, the club named Alexandre Gontran, age 44, as its strategist. Gontran is one of 1904 FC’s initial investors and project managers responsible for bringing the club to San Diego in 2017 as a NPSL team. He has since remained involved in bringing the team to life as part of the newly formed NISA league.

As a certified coach with the French Football Federation, Gontran is responsible for developing outstanding talent and delivering them to top clubs. Notable pupils include Hatem Ben Arfa, Marvin Martin, and Demba Ba, one of 1904’s main partners.

“We are very excited to finally bring professional soccer to San Diego. We have worked hard to bring local and international talent on board. We have a young, hungry team which will fight for this city,” Gontran said. “Come to our first home game on September 14.”

In addition to its coach, three players were unveiled as part of the club’s first wave of signings.

“We’ve had a productive training camp and are seeing the team come together. There are a lot of talented players fighting for their place on the team,” Gontran said.

The three players are part of the 30-man training camp held at at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Gontran believes these talents have stood out over the last few weeks and will be vital in the team’s championship hopes.

Nelson Blanco is a forward from San Miguel, El Salvador. He was part of MLS side DC United’s youth academy until he signed a professional contract at age 17 with North Carolina FC of the USL Championship.

“I am ready to start a new chapter here in San Diego with a new project,” Blanco said.

Eder Arreola, born in Chino Hills, California, is a midfielder who plays on the left wing. As a youth player, Arreola took to the field representing UCLA, and has played professionally for Delfines F.C. in Mexico’s Ascenso League, Galaxy II, Shirak SC in Armenia’s top division, and the USL Championship’s Phoenix Rising.

“It has been a dream of mine to live and play here. We’re here to represent San Diego,” Arreola stated.

Ozzie Ramos is a center midfielder from Ceres, California. As a collegiate player, Ramos played at San Diego State and at Seattle University after a student transfer. While in the northwest, he was picked up by the Seattle Sounders program in 2018.

“Coming to San Diego for college and for youth tournaments, I know 1904 is a great team in the making and a club that the city needed,” Ramos said

A final 23 man squad for the full season will be named soon.

1904 FC’s first home match will be on Sept. 14 against Irvine-Based outfit Cal United Strikers at SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:04 p.m. (19:04 hours).