Deltas Roster Progressing Nicely Ahead Of First Season

Coach Marc Dos Santos has infused the roster with plenty of experience and youthful talent
Matthew Levine (@NASLInsider} | Feb 2, 2017

Photo credit: San Francisco Deltas

The San Francisco Deltas officially started their preseason in preparation for the 2017 NASL season, their first as a club.

Coach Marc Dos Santos has assembled a squad that has a mix of experience and youth, with players that have had vast experience in North America and some that will have their first chance at soccer in the United States and Canada.  

“I’m quite happy,” Dos Santos told “It was a no-brainer that we needed to have an experienced group of players.”

Some of the players that will line up for the Deltas include goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the 2015 NASL Golden Glove award, defender Nana Attakora, and midfielder Michael Stephens, who won two MLS Cups. Those three are among the slew of signings that have competed in the NASL or in North America for a number of years.

While Dos Santos worked with Peiser in Ottawa, there may not be too many players in San Francisco that were a part of Dos Santos’ side that reached The Championship Final in 2015.

“We’re not here to copy-paste,” said Dos Santos, who is willing to have a few former players should the situation arise. He noted: “It’s the nature of the opportunity. There’s players I’d love to have back and work with.”

Dos Santos has also looked abroad to find youthful talent that could have a big impact in club's first year in the NASL. Defender Kenny Teijsse, 24, was most recently playing in the Dutch Eredivisie with Go Ahead Eagles, while Maxime Bourgeois, 25, who has featured for several youth national teams for France and has experience in Ligue 1, France’s top division, has also signed. Cristian Portilla, at 28 is more experienced, but is also looking to take his opportunity with San Francisco having played in La Liga, Spain’s top divison, among other countries in the world like Greece and Cyprus.

With an eye on younger talent, those players can blossom as the Deltas progress through the year and beyond.

“I’m excited about giving an opportunity to guys like Maxime, Kenny, and even Cristian,” Dos Santos said. “You always have to bring in players whose motivation is very, very high.”

In building the roster for the inaugural season, Dos Santos started from the back and is now looking to add more pieces to the club’s front line. Peiser was among the first signings and the club built through the central areas of the field, adding wide players around them. Recently forward Devon Sandoval joined the ranks.

“The team has been built from the back and we’re working hard to have good No. 9s to compliment what we’ve done up until now,” Dos Santos said.

While a bulk of the roster is in place, the club is leaving several roster spots open for any late additions for the upcoming campaign.

“We want to keep a certain margin for that and be smart around that,” Dos Santos said. “When medicals start, hopefully we’ll have 80 percent of the roster signed.”

While Dos Santos is confident that the squad can push for the postseason in its first year together, he knows it will take more than just having good players to include in the team sheet.

“People can look at the roster and say it looks good, but today we’re good individuals and not a good team,” Dos Santos said.

With the group in training this week, the process of jelling into a good team is firmly underway in San Francisco. 

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