2016 Season Review
While the Deltas didn’t play in the NASL 2016 season, their presence and influence was vital to the return of the NASL for a new year. Thanks to club owner Brian Helmick and his Silicon Valley connections, owners and teams around the NASL were able to get on the same page and move forward with promise following a tumultuous off-season. Since their announcement, Deltas have spent time trying to establish a foothold to build on and securing a fan base for the upcoming season.
The team has been vocal about their plan to work openly and honestly with its fanbase, as well as with other teams around the country, regardless of their league. A great example of this can be noted with the club’s first ever open tryout. Not only did they make the cost of it very feasible for the individuals who participated, they also invited other pro teams in the area to come and scout players as well, at no cost to the clubs.
Additions and Subtractions
SF Deltas have done well to build what looks to be a solid NASL squad on paper. Cosmos supporters should be thankful for SF’s willingness to allow midfielder Danny Szetela to return to New York after Rocco took hold of the club, despite Szetela recently signing a contract with the new NASL side.
The club has built up a solid core of NASL veterans including Romuald Peiser, Nana Attakora, Greg Jordan, and Tom Heinemann. The team has also added players who showed well in their first NASL season last year like Danny Cruz, Bryan Burke, and Devon Sandoval, along with some MLS veterans in Kyle Bekker, Michael Stephens, and former Toronto FC designated player, Jackson.
The team brings some international talent along for the new year, with Kenny Teijsse, Cristian Portilla, Reiner, and Adana Demirspor all coming to play for a United States club for the first time in their professional careers.
Preseason Thus Far
The Deltas stayed local for their first preseason, unoffically participating in the local area Hella Cup against other professional neighbors San Jose Earthquakes, Sacramento Republic FC, and fellow newcomer Reno 1868 FC. The club also played against Cal University and NPSL side East Bay Stompers.
The club drew 1-1 against Reno in their first preseason match, defeated the Earthquakes 1-0, then tied again, this time with Cal 0-0. Deltas will defeated East Bay Stompers 2-1 before finishing up preseason play with an exclusive friendly against USL side Sacramento Republic in their first ever match at Kezar Stadium, a match that ended in a scoreless draw.
Off the Pitch
The club announced that their inaugural season would take place in the iconic Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The team also announced they would extensively renovate the stadium and keep it available for additional use. New seats from Candlestick Park, a new locker room, and some added amenities will make the historic stadium look like one of the best new venues for NASL play.
The team has also tried to grow awareness for the club by introducing social media campaign #onlytogether which is designed on breaking down social boundaries through soccer.
Final Grade and Predicted Finish
The Deltas are off to a great start off the field, and on the field their team looks to be a great mixture of experience, fresh faces, and potential. Expect the Deltas to be a competitive side throughout the year and moving forward, and don’t be surprised if they’re able to sneak into the post-season in their inaugural year.
Final Grade: A