It’s one of the memorable lines from Kentucky Fried Movie, but the Monterrey Flash truly are building a fighting force of extra-ordinary magnitude and their fans will benefit from their gratitude.
The Flash have been making big strides in rebuilding the championship team that has sat idle the last two seasons. The signings started on June 10 when the Flash brought back star goalkeeper Diego Reynoso, who has started in the last three Ron Newman Cup finals.
On June 16 they signed defender Damien Garcia, who had played for the Rio Grande Valley Flash in the PASL, and the Monterrey Flash of the LMFR. Both Reynoso and Garcia were key players the last two seasons for Soles de Sonora.
On June 24 Monterrey signed Edgar “Chapa” Flores, who starred for the RGV Flash and was a late season acquisition for the Flash during their 2014/15 title run. Flores played one year with Saltillo Rancho Seco and then sat out the 2016/17 MASL season before leading the LMFR in goals this summer with Deportivo Don Roge.
On June 30 they announced the surprising signing of Efrain “Wilo” Martinez, who had spent the last four years with the Chicago Mustangs, winning the 2013/14 MVP award en route to helping the Mustangs clinch that season’s Ron Newman Cup championship.
July 7 saw the signing of defender Hector Vallejo, who not only had played for the Monterrey and RGV Flash, but also the Monterrey La Raza. Like Flores, he spent the 2015/16 season with Saltillo and sat out the 2016/17 MASL season.
Today the Flash announced the signing of deft-footed veteran playmaker Miguel Vaca. Vaca, like Martinez, was a long-time Chicago Mustang, and had been a part of that team for their entire five-year existence to date. There are rumors that two more former Mustangs could be heading down to Monterrey as well.
Vaca, who will be 36 in October, and Martinez, struggled last year. Vaca, in fact, was released just after the roster freeze after only playing in nine games, but it was more due to a personality conflict than performance. A change of scenery and a more talented ensemble should benefit both players.
In our T&B Ranks the Top 40 MASL Free Agents, Garcia was ranked #8, Reynoso was #10, and Vaca was #24.
The Flash have traditionally brought some of the biggest local Liga MX stars onto the turf (Walter Gaitan, Aílton Gonçalves da Silva, Hector Nicanor, Claudio Nunez, Jesus Arellano, Guille Franco among them) and are negotiating with some big names like Lucas Lobos for the upcoming season.
One player they may not be able to replace is Mr. Monterrey Genoni Martinez. Martinez was an original member of Monterrey La Raza in 1993 and played for every incarnation since. While Mariano Bollella will seamlessly replace player/coach Martinez on the bench, no one can fill the shoes of the legendary left-footed defender. After 522 games and six Defender of the Year awards, the 42-year old’s career may be done. He hasn’t played in the MASL since the Flash suspended operations in 2015.
Also gone for now is Erick Tovar, the Flash’s second leading scorer in 2014/15 and their runaway leader in the playoffs that year, who now plays for the San Diego Sockers. Alex Caceres is with the Ontario Fury and Angel Curiel signed this offseason with the Milwaukee Wave.
The new Flash could look very different than the old Flash, but the results could be very familiar.