Puerto Rican Soto switches to beach volleyball


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, February 2, 2013 – Hector “Picky” Soto is switching to beach volleyball after a brilliant volleyball career representing Puerto Rico and playing in several professional leagues.


Soto informed about his decision during a meeting of the Puerto Rico men’s training team held at University of Rio Piedras on Saturday.


“The time has come for me to pursue other alternatives and new things that can create new motivations,” Soto said. “That’s why I will be training with our national beach volleyball players.”


The 34-year-old Soto, who played for the national squad since 1997, recently helped Capitanes de Arecibo to the title in the Puerto Rican Men’s Volleyball Superior League.


Soto said that playing on the sand represents a new challenge and also offers him more time to spend with his family.


It has not been confirmed yet the partner and the first tournament for Soto to play in. The first NORCECA event is scheduled in Cayman Islands from March 21-26.


During his time with the men’s national team, Puerto Rico won the gold medal at three Central American and Caribbean Games and took part in two FIVB World Championships and one FIVB World Cup.


Soto, the top scorer of both the 2006 FIVB World Championship and the 2007 FIVB World Cup, played professional volleyball in the leagues of Tunisia, Japan, Russia, Belgium, Italy and Puerto Rico.