It was another banner year for the University of Redlands men’s soccer team. And so comes one of the honors that comes with that as head coach Ralph Perez has been named NSCAA Division III West Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
The Bulldogs finished 17-4-2, including the program’s 13th Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) regular-season championship, its first NCAA tournament berth since 2011, and a first-round NCAA victory.
In his 10th year at the helm of the Bulldog men’s soccer program, Perez successfully developed the young talent on his roster while starting 20 different players throughout the season.
Redlands traveled to San Antonio, TX, as the lone SCIAC representative in the first round of the NCAA tournament and proceeded to upset the No. 10 Whitworth (Wash.). With Perez leading the come-from-behind effort, the Bulldogs fired off two second-half scores in the latter minutes of the contest to force overtime and eventually advance to the second round on a 3-2 decision.
Since arriving at Redlands in 2006, Perez has produced a winning record every season and has never surrendered more than five defeats in conference play.
This is his second West Region Coach of the Year selection, the first coming back in 2011.
When University of Redlands men’s soccer coach Ralph Perez was asked two months ago if his top player Richie Marquez has a shot to make the Philadelphia Union squad, he answered yes without hesitation.
Well the veteran coach knew just what he was talking about.
That MLS club just signed the former Bulldog and Bloomington High School standout to a contract after a solid showing in the team’s training camp.
Marquez became one of three Union draftees to receive a contract out of the original eight who were selected at the SuperDraft, which took place in late January.
“Now that my dreams are finally coming true and I’m on the team, I’m extremely excited and thankful,” Marquez said. “The whole experience since getting drafted has been very humbling, and it has really made me appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given. The coaching staff here in Philadelphia is amazing, the city is beautiful, and the fans are awesome!”
Marquez was selected 44th overall by the Union as the only NCAA Division III student-athlete chosen in the SuperDraft.
As a Redlands student-athlete, Marquez cemented his legacy as one of the best to ever play for the Bulldog men’s soccer program. Beyond being named the 2013 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Player of the Year as a defender, he was honored by coaches around the country with D3Soccer.com Third-Team All-America honors. In addition, he collected National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Third-Team All-America laurels for his efforts during his junior season. He garnered First-Team All-SCIAC honors and NSCAA All-Region plaudits every year of his collegiate career.
Marquez is the third Redlands player to sign with an MLS team, following Ross Schunk ’09, who was drafted 47th overall by the Colorado Rapids in 2009, and Adam Acosta ’05, who signed with Real Salt Lake as a free agent in 2006.
With the 44th overall pick in the 2014 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, the Philadelphia Union selected University of Redlands soccer standout Richie Marquez.
He was the only NCAA Division III student-athlete among this year’s class of draftees. Marquez, a graduate of Bloomington High School, becomes the third Bulldog men’s soccer player to pursue a career in the MLS, following Ross Schunk ’09, who was drafted 47th overall by the Colorado Rapids in 2009, and Adam Acosta ’05, who signed with Real Salt Lake as a free agent in 2006.
“This is a tremendous honor for all of us here at the University of Redlands. We felt all along that once Richie got invited to the combine that he could show the MLS coaches his skills and talents, and today really exemplifies that he belongs in the MLS. We wish him all the best in succeeding in Philadelphia,” Head Men’s Soccer Coach Ralph Perez stated.
After shining at the 2014 MLS Player Combine last week, MLS coaches took notice of the Bulldog defender. Not only did he turn heads on the field during each of his team’s three games at the combine, but he impressed in the off-field physical testing by ranking second overall in the Opta Jump (20.5″) and fifth in the 30-meter sprint (3.96 seconds).
Marquez racked up the accolades while playing for the Bulldogs, including a D3Soccer.com Third-Team All-America nod, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Player of the Year award, and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First-Team All-West Region accolade.
After finding out that he had been selected by the Philadelphia Union, Marquez sat down with the Sports Information Office to talk about his draft-day experience.
Watch the interview with Marquez.