Sockers

‘Almost Like You Broke Up With Your Girlfriend’ Chiles Talks Premature End to Sockers Season

After falling short in heartbreaking fashion last season, the club was in position to compete for a championship again in 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic caused the sports world to come to a complete stop, and cost one of San Diego's perennial contenders to lose out on a chance to win a championship. The Major Arena Soccer League ended its season on March 12th. The Sockers were scheduled to wrap up the regular season on Sunday and make a push for the Ron Newman Cup, but Kraig Chiles and company won't get that opportunity.

"We felt like we were battle tested and ready to go into these playoffs as a true title contender."

Despite the initial shock, the Poway native knows the league's decision was the right one. Like many others he wasn't sure how serious of a threat coronavirus really was. That changed as the number of cases rose, and leagues everywhere shut down.

"This is a big deal, this is global and this is something that we kind of all have to get together and fight," Chiles said. "It completely makes sense, it's disappointing that the league is gone but it couldn't have gone any other direction."

Still the disappointment of a season cut short remains, especially since it came on the heels of a heartbreaking finish a year ago. The Sockers had their 23 match win streak snapped in the Western Conference Finals Last April - their sole aim all season was to finish the job this spring.

"Every year we feel like we have a good opportunity in the playoffs. I felt like we really tested ourself this season and we were in the best position we've been in in years to make a deep run in those playoffs and it's disappointing.

"This is a weird feeling, it's almost like you broke up with your girlfriend with no closure and you don't really know why - and you're like, 'oh I think we would've done really well I hope.'"

The SDSU product knows that's a feeling shared by many in San Diego.

"I feel for those guys on the Aztec basketball team that lost their last year of eligibility and they won't have anything to go back to next year. And I feel for those high school kids that aren't competing and losing their senior year in their sport."

He's got a healthy perspective on the circumstances, which are tougher for some athletes than others.

"It's disappointing, but at least I have an opportunity to try again next year and it's not the same for some of the other sports organizations and players across this city."

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