Aug. 30, 2010
TAKING TO THE PITCH
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (0-0-0) kicks off the 2010 season this week, with its 11th varsity season in its new home, the U-M Soccer Stadium. The Wolverines will host the first men's soccer game at the new digs on Wednesday (Sept. 1) against Detroit at 7:30 p.m. Pre-season No. 14 Drake will travel to Ann Arbor on Friday (Sept. 3) to kick off the Labor Day weekend with another 7:30 p.m. contest.
The U-M Soccer Stadium, which will be formally dedicated in a men's and women's doubleheader on Sept. 17, is the crowning jewel of the three-field, soccer-exclusive, U-M Soccer Complex. The $6 million facility, funded by Intercollegiate Athletics resources and gifts, has been home to the Wolverines since late in the 2008 season.
We're Back -- The Wolverines return more than 50 percent of their scoring from last season, despite losing senior Mauro Fuzetti (2006-09), who led the way with a team-leading eight goals last season. Senior Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College), who led the team in points last season, and sophomore Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn), U-M's second-leading scorer from a season ago, return to lead the U-M offense this season. They will be joined by talented freshman Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich.,/Dearborn), the 2010 Gatorade Men's Soccer Player of the Year, as well as Malcolm Miller (Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill), who will provide additional depth to the Michigan front line.
Brotherly Love -- The 2010 version of the Michigan men's soccer team will feature a pair of brothers in Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) and Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich. /Dearborn). The Saads are the first pair of brothers to play for the Wolverines since Mychal and Robert Turpin donned the Maize and Blue in the early 2000s and is only the second set of brothers to ever play for the soccer program.
Welcome Home, Coach Bruh -- In addition to the eight newcomers joining the squad this season, the Wolverines are welcoming a new volunteer assistant coach in Adam Bruh (2002-05). Bruh joins the program after spending time coaching youth boys with the Albertson Soccer Club in New York. Bruh was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan and is U-M's all-time assists leader with 28. He also holds U-M's single-season assist record of 13, set during the 2002 season. In addition to the hiring of Bruh, U-M's long-time volunteer assistant Waldir DeSouza has moved into the operations assistant position.
Alex Wood Moves to the Head of the CLASS -- Senior Alex Wood (Northville, Mich./Northville) was announced as one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award on Aug. 18. With the nomination, Wood becomes Michigan's first men's soccer Lowe's Senior CLASS award candidate in the three years the award has been given. The initial list of 30 candidates will be trimmed down to 10 finalists in October by a national media committee, and those 10 names will be placed on an official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan voting will be couples with votes from coaches and media to determine the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS award winner. The winner will be announced at the Men's College Cup.
Introducing the Captains -- The men's soccer program will have two new captains this season. Senior Alex Wood (Northville, Mich./Northville) and senior/junior goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash. /Kennedy Memorial) will be wearing the yellow armband this season. It is the first time either has served as captain in his career.
A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That -- Michigan is looking for its fourth consecutive home-opening victory. The last time Michigan lost a home opener was during the 2006 season to No. 17 St. John and that was only the second-ever home-opening loss in program history ... Detroit and Michigan will open the season against each other for the second time since the 2005 season ... The Big Ten Network is scheduled to televise Michigan's home contest against Penn State on Oct. 3 and its game against Indiana on Oct. 16. In addition, U-M will have its games against Cincinnati on Oct. 6, Valparaiso on Oct. 13 and Bowling Green on Oct. 27 streamed live on BigTenNetwork.com.
U-M in Season Openers: 7-3
U-M in Home Openers: 8-2
U-M at Home: 54-22-7
U-M at U-M Soccer Complex: 7-9
U-M vs. Detroit: 6-0-2
U-M vs. Drake: 1-0
Senior Chase Tennant (Rochester, Mich. /Rochester) is six starts away from moving into a tie for No. 9 all-time on Michigan's career games started list.
Fifth year senior Matt Schmitt (Muskegon, Mich./Reeths-Puffer) needs three more points to move into the top 10 in career points.
Senior/junior Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash. /Kennedy Memorial) needs five wins to move into the top 3 all-time on U-M's goalkeeping wins list.
Friday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m. PDT -- vs. Illinois-Chicago (Seattle, Wash.)
Sunday, Sept. 12, 1:30 (PT) -- at Seattle University (Seattle, Wash.)
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423