East County Sports

For Local Athlete, Life is a (Pro) Beach


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

Robert Snaer-Williams, circa 2018 with San Diego Christian College

CASA DE ORO — Coaches in most any sport often will tell players to always try your hardest because you never know who might be watching.

Such is the case for former San Diego Christian College men’s soccer goalkeeper Ropbert Snaer-Williams.

Snaer-Williams, a 2017 graduate of El Camino High in Oceanside, played just one, long, horrible season with the Hawks (1-12-0 in 2018-19). He was the winning goalie in the school’s lone night game, a 1-0 victory at Soku University of America — the school’s only win in a forgettable campaign.

But someone noticed the agile ‘keeper, offered a tryout to join a lesser known professional team.

In what could be considered a million-to-one shot, he made the roster of this obscure yet world-ranked team.

In the summer of 2021, Snaer-Williams was named as the back-up goalie to the U.S. National Beach Soccer team. The U.S. Soccer Federation made the announcement from its offices in Chicago.

The word must of come via stage coach — the local stop between San Diego and Julian was not in Lakeside, but in the town of Foster (located north of Lakeside, but is now mostly underwater at San Vicente Reservoir).

So far, things have gone well for one of the two Team USA back-up backstops. Snaer-Williams has earned three caps (national team appearances), winning all three starts, albeit against much lesser opponents.

The USNMBST starting goalie is former San Diego Sockers all-star Chris Toth, who registered the biggest victory in U.S. history last month, posting a victory over Portugal, which is ranked second in the world by FIFA.

Toth’s father is also well-known locally as former Sockers all-star and assistant coach Zoltan (“Zollie the Goalie) Toth of Hungary, who is a member of the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame (Class of (’13).

The USNMBST owns a pair of CONCACAF Beach Soccer championships (2006, ’13), but haven’t fared well against the rest of the world until the past 24 months.

The sport originated in Brazil in the early 1980s, then was accepted by FIFA in 2005. There are now 98 officially recognized national teams in beach soccer.


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