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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 2:56 pm | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 
Recreation

Soccer League Keeps No Scores But Gives Weekend Warriors a Real Kick

The Press Room soccer team of Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol. Front (from left): Leonard Judson, Ross Cathie, Eddie Munizich, Martin Coombes, Yemi Olayemi and Ali Javanbakht. Back: Salvador Linares, Martin Cook, James Ibbetson, John Lorenz, Steve Golden, Marcus Boyle, Bert Neeft, Alex DeBem and Armando Flores. Click to view larger
The Press Room soccer team of Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol. Front (from left): Leonard Judson, Ross Cathie, Eddie Munizich, Martin Coombes, Yemi Olayemi and Ali Javanbakht. Back: Salvador Linares, Martin Cook, James Ibbetson, John Lorenz, Steve Golden, Marcus Boyle, Bert Neeft, Alex DeBem and Armando Flores.  (Press Room photo)

Some use the weekends as a way to unwind from the hectic schedule and pressure of work by smashing a serve over a net, trying to shave a number or two off a golf score or screaming at a television for the home team. 

John Lorenz, however, brings relaxation much closer to the goal line. 

A founding partner and director of operations at Arlington Financial, Lorenz plays soccer in a league that doesn’t keep score. There are no standings, no end-of-the-season trophies and no league champs. It’s the Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol.
 
Yes, it’s organized league play; no, it’s not pickup games. Started by Arturo Breton and commenced on Jan. 1, 2015, Liga has matches every Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.

“The purpose of the league is to have fun. It’s for the love of the game,” reports Lorenz. “There are eight teams in the league, and we play year round — except June, July and August — on the field at Santa Barbara Junior High.” 

The league is run on the honor system, and there are no I.D. cards, necessary in other leagues to prevent ringers. 

Each team pays a fee for six months of play. If a team can’t pay the fee, there is a waiting list of teams that can, and teams can renew their contract, (i.e. pay for another six months) if there are no complaints about them.

As far as Lorenz knows, there at least four adult soccer leagues in the Santa Barbara area. Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol​ is the only one without all the stats. 

Lorenz serves as team manager and plays striker/forward on the Press Room, a team started about 15 years ago. There’s a core of players who’ve been together for over 10 years, with a number of nationalities represented: Mexican, Dutch, British and American.

Lorenz started playing soccer at age 13 and hasn’t stopped, which has given him friendships to last a lifetime. Different colleges courted him, but before opting for UCSB and intramural play he spent four weeks in Germany immersed in a soccer camp after high school graduation. 

Today he plays just for his passion of the game. 

When Lorenz isn’t working, playing for the Press Room or watching his team, Manchester United, he’s probably coaching his son’s Under-10 soccer team, participating in Toastmasters or serving on the investment committee of the Santa Barbara Museum of History.

To find out more about Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol, call Lorenz at 805.699.7307 or email him at [email protected]

Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Liga Santa Barbara Veteranos De Futbol.

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