The Kings of Columbia
Sometime around noon on Monday, July 22, 2019 Columbia FC broke the news that they had been promoted. In the Fall of 2019, we will see Columbia FC play in Maryland Majors Division 1. The feeling of joy and pride could be felt on every post on the #CFCMD social media pages.
This promotion come to a side who has consistently been a top performer and a contender in all three of their seasons. Columbia FC joined the league in the Spring of 2018. Since then, they have qualified for the Division 2 promotion playoffs each season. In the spring of 2018, they lost in the semifinals against Super Delegates FC. In the Fall of 2018 they lost against Steel Pulse FC. Then, in the Spring of 2019, they lost against Maryland International. Columbia FC has never finished below the top three. With that sort of consistent excellence, it was only a matter of time until the promotion of the Howard County powerhouse would come to fruition.
Under Head Coach Carlos Tolentino, Columbia FC has an impressive MMSL all-time record of 23-9-4. Their best season was the Fall of 2018 when they would end the season with a mighty 10-2-0 record. However, a new challenge awaits coach Carlos and his boys: Division 1 of the Maryland Majors.
When speaking to Coach Carlos about his promotion, I could see the joy and feel the passion in the words he spoke, and now there is a new focus for Columbia FC. In a brief interview, Coach Tolentino shared his insight on the new promotion:
How does this promotion change the team’s offseason? What is the new goal for the team?
“The offseason changes because now we need to focus on bringing up the level, we don’t just want to be in D1, we want to win the title. There are so many great teams in D1 and it will take a lot of work but with the talent we have, and the new talent set to join us in the offseason; we know we can do it.”
What message do you want to send to the players?
“The message is that we have to work harder. We need to remind everyone and show everyone why we earned this promotion. The part of the message that doesn’t change is we are here to win titles. We fight and never give up.”
How are the players taking the promotion?
“The players are super pumped. They understand the importance of this achievement. They know all the work it took to get here. Now we are ready to go all out. That’s the only way we know how to”.
Tolentino’s passion for progress comes through in every word. The team is united and ready to take on whatever is heading their way. One thing is for sure, the team and staff are full behind Coach Carlos and for good reason.
We also got a chance to speak to 1st Captain Jose Rech Origaen, a former Catonsville F.C. player. He has had experience playing in D1 of the MMSL. Jose knows what it takes to succeed, but he can speak for himself on that subject:
What does this promotion mean to you personal and as the team Captain?
“It literally means everything. I was originally in D1 with Catonsville F.C with a few other teammates. we merged with an Academy and it didn’t work out. So, the majority of the team left and sought out a new Club that was forming. Which was Columbia F.C. Since we knew each other for a few years now that core became the core of Columbia and since then we’ve grown exponentially. In the year and a half of competing, we’ve reached 1 semifinal lost against the champion and then reached two finals back to back. So, we’re an established team. What we were lacking was luck. Couldn’t get those opportunities in. We matched every single team head to head. Being in D1 as a Captain now I have to commit 1000% as I have to represent our colors. I’m so happy to be back on top of MMSL”.
What message do you want to deliver to your teammates?
“My message to our teammates is to know that you worked your butts off for this. Playing in cold rainy finals, 100-degree heat against players that were faster and stronger than us. we know what it’s like to endure! We’re always the underdog and there is nothing better than knowing how to get back up and that’s what we did after each and every lesson we’ve had to learn”.
Another of Columbia’s captains is Christian Garrido. He is the 2nd captain for Columbia FC, here is what he had to say:
How does this promotion change the fall season for you and the team?
“It will change in all ways. Players and staff are even more motivated to reach our new goals. Now is our moment to show what's is Columbia fc ready for. We will face great teams like Christos and Steele Pulse. So, our commitment is to be there in the top in this coming season”.
What does this promotion mean to you personally?
“Wow. It means a lot. All the hard work and training. From the beginning our goals is to be in D1. We work for it, we fought for it and now we are in it. It Makes me feel proud of my teammates and staff. Because every game we fought with all and this is the result of our hard work”.
Both captains are ready and excited to lead their team in the upcoming D1 fall season. We are expecting a good show Columbia FC.
– Hector Monterroso