Community togetherness at SMC soccer tournament
It may have been just a friendly competition, but don't tell that to Tim Pierce.
The former University of California, Los Angeles All-American and current head coach of the Santa Monica College men's soccer team had his full arsenal on display Wednesday evening as a member of the SMC faculty soccer team, playing an instrumental role in the team's lone tournament win.
For the fourth consecutive year, the SMC faculty soccer team took to the field in a small tournament against other Santa Monica city institutions.
According to SMC President and Superintendent Chui L. Tsang, the games were small at first, only including a team made up of faculty and staff from the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, and SMC. This was the first year it expanded to include a team of Santa Monica City staff, and a team made up of local community members.
"The whole idea basically is to have all the folks in the community come out and have fun," said Tsang, who suited up and played for the SMC team.
The SMC team lost their first two matches of the tournament against the Santa Monica City team and the SMMUSD team, respectively, before pulling off a thrilling come from behind win against the Locals, 9-6.
On the sidelines, coaching the SMC team was Daniel Nannini, the transfer center faculty leader, who played collegiately at UCLA prior to coaching the SMC men's soccer team for five years.
"Everybody's out here volunteering their time, you see everybody out here paling around," said Nannini. "You go out, play hard, and then you're done with the game, it's fun."
Nannini said he believes that Santa Monica is a ripe location for intramural sports.
"I'm part of that first generation of Americans that first started playing in the sixties, there's a lot of us wandering around," said Nannini.
In addition to Tsang, Nannini, and Pierce, also participating in the tournament as members of the SMC team were english professor Shannon Herbert, communications professor Martin Goldstein, social sciences professor Guido DelPiccolo, mathematics professor Ebrahim Jahangard, science professor Pete Morris, KCRW staff member Christian Bordal, campus events manager Charlie Yen, community services staff member Luis Jauregui, and maintenance staff members Clyde Singleton and Carl Sheaffer.
Tsang hopes that the event will continue to grow.
"As far as I know, it's the first time in Santa Monica's history to have this kind of involvement of such a wide swath of the community. It's a good sign," said Tsang. "If we can do anything as a college to help pull the community together, that's what we want to do."