To say that the men’s soccer team at Concordia had a rough 2005-2006 season would be an understatement, but head coach Vladimir Pavlicik is optimistic about this year’s team.
“There are some new faces, obviously and we’re confident that if we keep working hard at the rate that we have been working the last two weeks, there will be some good things,” Pavlicik said.
“It’s a long season, we still have a lot of things to learn but with the progress we’ve already made, we are beginning to play as a team and soccer is a team game,” he continued.
Pavlicik kept on emphasizing the team game, he said the team doesn’t have individual stars that will blow teams away, but rather a solid core trying to prove that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Let’s put it this way,” he said, “Greece beat the United States [at the FIBA World Basketball Championship semi-finals on Friday]. Can you give me any of the Greek players?” he asked. “But, you can name all of the American players. That is my point, it is a team game and we don’t need the names. We just need a group of players working hard and the success will come through,” he continued.
With a young roster this year, Pavlicik isn’t singling out any veterans. “We all need them to step up,” he said. “We finished last a year ago, and we don’t want that to happen again.”
Last season, the Concordia team had to forfeit their first four games after using an ineligible player, meaning they started off with an 0-4 record. Pavlicik said that he was impressed with how the players kept their morale, and looks at that as a positive thing going into this season.
“Last year we didn’t do too well with the issues we had,” said Alessandro Adessa, one of the team captains. “But we’re coming along. We have some veterans coming back and some great rookies and hopefully we’ll mold into a good team,” he continued.
Pavlicik is very excited about one rookie in particular, Chris Baerhole who came over from Germany this season.
“We’re really happy to have him,” the coach said.
The team has been playing exhibition games to prepare for their season opening game on Sept. 17 at the Universit