SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University men's soccer team has initiated its preseason training for the 2011 season. Twenty-nine student-athletes are in camp, trying out to make the official roster and travel with the team to Southern California Tuesday, Aug. 16 to practice at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
"It's an exciting time for us to get the guys back after a long summer, in which a lot of them spent getting ready for this moment," said SCU head coach Cameron Rast, who has been named the league's 'Coach of the Year' four times in nine years. "This morning the objectives were to see where they were physically. Additionally, it's always important to revisit some of our core pieces of our system of play."
The Broncos have named Mykell Bates and Murphy Campbell team co-captains. The two seniors lead a group that is trying to repeat as West Coast Conference Champions and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
"This year we are going to build off the success we had last season," said Bates, who is one of nine returning All-WCC players on the 2011 preseason roster. "Our ultimate goal is make an appearance in the College Cup in Alabama."
With the team's season-opener about two weeks away - versus Stanford on Saturday, Aug. 27 - the Broncos will practice twice daily in preparation for their week-long trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which begins Tuesday.
"The preseason is a couple weeks long and the risk is that things can get stale," said Rast about the trip to San Diego. "Our original intention was to go on a foreign tour, hoping to go to Costa Rica to play some matches and get our guys ready. Unfortunately, that fell through."
"The back up plan all along was to go to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. It's a place where world class athletes train, the facilities are amazing, the food is great for performance athletes. We are going to be able to get ready in a very isolated, performance-oriented environment. I think the guys are in for a real treat. I am excited about going."