Attention to all Umass Amherst students, alumni, and residents of Western Massachusetts! The Umass Men's soccer team has kicked off their fall season, and encourages you to support their run for the playoffs this year. Why should you, you ask?
Well, just a few months ago in Brazil the 2014 World Cup was held. The pulsating energy of the tournament touched millions of people as it was watched and replayed in homes, hotels and bars around the earth. This tournament essentially acted as a vehicle that effectively illustrated why people are so mesmerized by the sport of soccer. As an audience we collectively witnessed extraordinary skill, excitement, passion, and heartbreak and in the end, were sad to see it go. However, the good news for everyone is that soccer in the United States is growing rapidly and is truly accessible for anyone who wants to experience the game.
So, The Bent Musket encourages you to support the development of soccer at all levels and in this particular case, collegiate soccer. Out in the rolling hills and valleys of Amherst Massachusetts, the Umass Minutemen play their soccer at the Division 1 level in Atlantic 10 conference. This program competes at a high level and has a rich history as they have won numerous A-10 titles, made runs into the NCAA tournament, and produced many talented student athletes.
Now, fast forwarding to this year, the current Umass team features 11 freshmen, 6 sophomores, 6 juniors, and just 2 seniors, with interim head coach Devin O'Neill at the helm with his two assistants - David Lindholm and Jamey Mercer. This young but talented team has struggled to find their form and adapt to the college level in their opening games as they have started their campaign 0-4-0. However, those losses came at the hands of out-of-conference teams, which means that their place in the A-10 conference has not been jeopardized. With 14 more games left to play in the regular season before the A-10 tournament rolls around, the team has plenty of time to find its groove and chemistry.
So all of you New Englanders, if you're in the area to visit the 5 colleges, why not catch a soccer game? The team is exciting and their slow start can be explained because of so many young new players. Once these young athletes figure out where their classes, laundry machines, and dining halls are, expect them to hit the ground running. If you want be a part of the growing phenomenon in the United States that is soccer, then get out and support the Umass Minuteman!