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New decade, new tradition: Men’s soccer club making strides, friendship

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 15:10

soccer club

Kim MyoungHyang, Staff Photographer

Aristides Polío, the head coach of the soccer club, giving instructions to his students at the beginning of the practice.

Seven years ago, a men’s soccer club began at ASU but seemed to wither away after a short while, but now the ASU men’s soccer club is back as a registered student organization hoping to become more than just a club this time around.

With students from 13 different countries including, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Japan, the soccer team is starting to get their bonds as a team and develop some real chemistry on the field.

 Felipe Odorcyk, a senior midfielder from Porto Alegre, Brazil, noticed connections starting to be built in one of the teams first tournaments in which they played teams such as Tulane and Mississippi State.

“If you compare the first game to the second, you can definitely tell that we built some chemistry with each other,” Odorcyk said, “and from there, we could see a lot of the connections start to come together.”

The teammates have also begun to build friendships off as well as on the field; which is something that sophomore defender Kevin Wang from Sherwood, noticed over the course of the weekend.

“It was really exciting getting to spend the weekend with all the international students; learning about their languages and cultures was a lot of fun,” Wang said.

Aristides Polio, the coach in charge of the soccer club, was once a part of the team back when it started in the early 2000s.

“It’s a new decade and a new tradition that we’re trying to develop in bringing more soccer to the community,” Coach Polio said.

A big obstacle that the soccer club has faced is getting its name out and gaining support from fans and sponsors. With no sponsors and little to no fan base, the team expects to be limited in doing things such as hosting games and playing games at other universities.

 The use of the rugby team’s practice fields, although not marked, is one thing the soccer club is thankful for.

“To feel like we were playing on an actual field was good because we were practicing on the intramural fields preparing to play schools that have the proper facilities for their students,” Coach Polio said.

When asked about the game played against defending regional champs, Mississippi State, Polio was proud to acknowledge the quality of play shown by the team thus far.

“I had a group of guys that have been playing together for less than a month going up against a team that will be defending a championship, and we were able to hold them at 1-1 at half, which shows that they can play at that level,” Polio said.

The soccer team looks forward to taking advantage of many fund-raising opportunities as well as playing more teams of different calibers in the future.  They have scheduled teams such as the University of Mississippi and Western Kentucky, as well as Memphis and Northern Alabama.

As far as fund-raising, they have a number of ideas in mind and hope to host a clinic for young soccer players in the near future.

The ASU men’s soccer club will play the Hilltoppers at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the Western Kentucky Intramural Sports Complex.


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