If early season results are any indication, Pittsburg High will once again have one of the strongest boys soccer teams in the East Bay.

The Pirates went 3-1-1 at the Tri-Valley Champions Challenge, wrapping up the two-week event with a 9-2 win over Dougherty Valley on Dec. 14.

Junior forward Edwin Barela scored two goals in the first six minutes as Pittsburg (3-1-1) was off and running early against the Wildcats.

Javier Valencia also had a day to remember, scoring three goals and assisting on two others for the Pirates, who are ranked sixth in the East Bay by Bay Area News Group.

Brandon Garibay had a goal and an assist as well for Pittsburg, which also had a 2-1 win over College Park on Dec. 11 and a 2-0 win over San Ramon Valley on Dec. 4 to start the event. The Pirates tied Amador Valley, which finished second in the tournament, 1-1 on Dec. 7, and their only loss came to eventual champion Monte Vista 2-0 on Dec. 9.

Dougherty Valley (2-5-0) got goals from Omar Maldonado and Borrdya Pour Bolourchian.

Pittsburg is coming off a 13-4-6 season in which it won the Bay Valley Athletic League title for the second straight year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.


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Key returning players for the Pirates this season include senior captains Esteban Beruman and Ricardo Vasquez, who were both first-team All-BVAL selections last season. Beruman was one of the most dangerous strikers in the East Bay last season with 17 goals and nine assists. Vasquez had five goals and three assists.

Other key returning players are Michael Gonzalez, goalkeeper Juan Venegas and Valencia.

Pittsburg hosted El Cerrito on Dec. 18, after this newspaper went to press, and play at improved Clayton Valley Charter on Dec. 21 before Christmas break.

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