The Denton Diablos, the 2021 NPSL national champions, are looking for another strong season with the possibility of repeating last year’s title triumph.
The team saw 10 members of their championship squad appear earlier this year in their first US Open Cup match, which saw the Diablos fall to DKSC 2-3.
Joining them for the NPSL season are even more returning players, including leading scorer Sam Coad, midfielder Adan Garcia, forwards Brandon Cerda, and Anthony Powell, and one of the team’s inaugural signings, Carlos Flores.
Head coach Ramon Raya re-signed ahead of the Open Cup match and is joined by new assistant coach Matt Pittcock from Hardin-Simmons University.
As owner Damon Gochneaur, The Beard himself put it, “We don’t rebuild, we reload,” and that’s exactly what the Diablos have done.
In total, fifteen of the thirty players on the roster are returning from the 2021 champion side, and even more, like Brandon Terwege, featured for the Diablos either in their inaugural NPSL campaign or their Roja League squads during the pandemic.
Adding to an already stacked squad are a number of other local names, like former FC Dallas Academy members David Abonce and Brayan Padilla, and Solar alumni Jacob Pettigrew and Julio Vargas.
As last year proved, this squad’s core is strong and deep, and Denton has only added to it.
Off the field, the Diablos have even further integrated themselves within the Denton community, opening a team store just off the historic Denton Square and partnering with Denton County Brewing Company to launch Devil’s Tears, a beer celebrating the championship title. The Diablos seem to truly be taking hold as “Denton’s Team”.
With the Lone Star Conference growing to 10 teams and the NPSL as a whole growing bigger and stronger, the Diablos have a tough campaign ahead of them, but their roster looks set for the task and they have the city behind them.
The Diablos are returning to UNT and will play at the UNT Soccer Stadium in 2022.
Diablos games will appear on elevensports.com.