LOMBARD – The Rams feature just seven seniors after winning three games a year ago, but do have some of last year’s key talent back.
Senior forward Hugo Aguilar remains the top offensive threat for the Rams.
The four-year starter will be aided by playmaker Carlos Urbina. Urbina is a returner in midfield and will provide service to Aguilar.
Joining Urbina in midfield are a number of other returners, including Victor Aguilar. Victor Aguilar is coming back after recovering from a torn ACL as a junior.
“A year off [from injury] is tough to get back into things, both physically and speed wise,” East coach Josh Adler said.
“It’s been an adjustment, but he’s doing well.”
Joel Shungu, who transferred in from France last year, also provides some skill in the midfield. Throw in junior Jackson Zetterquist, who earned some minutes last season, and the Rams’ strength appears to be the midfield.
“A lot of our play is definitely through the middle of the field and connecting with them first before we go forward,” Adler said.
The defense doesn’t have as much experience. Sophomore Johnny Longo is the only full-time returner on the back line.
Senior Ivailo Alexandrov earned some time in the second half of last season. Even goalkeeper is new following the graduation of the stout Seth Quam. Junior Elvin Husetovic takes over in goal.
East entered Thursday’s scheduled conference opener at Naperville Central with a 1-2 record. The Rams lost to Downers Grove South 2-1 and South Elgin 3-0, but beat Proviso West 4-0.
“We’re kind of going through the growing pains a little bit right now,” Adler said. “We’re trying to find some consistency in our play a little bit with our lack of returning players.”
Glenbard East at a glance
Conference: DuPage Valley
Home field: 1014 S. Main St., Lombard
2012 record: 3-15-1 overall, 1-6 DVC
Coach: Josh Adler
Top returners: Hugo Aguilar sr. F Victor Aguilar sr. M Ivailo Alexandrov sr. D Johnny Longo so. D Joel Shungu jr. M Carlos Urbina sr. M
Promising newcomers: Elvin Husetovic jr. GK Jackson Zetterquist jr. M