Sept. 3, 2014
Coming off a 1-1 opening weekend, the University of Michigan men's soccer team (1-1-0) enters week two of action with a road trip to New York City to take on the Columbia Lions (0-0-0) Saturday (Sept. 6) at 3 p.m. from Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium. The match will serve as the opening game of the season for the Lions as well as a homecoming for U-M assistant coach Tommy McMenemy, who played for the Lions from 1999-2003 and is the lone All-American in program history. The two sides have never met before. The last time U-M played a team in the state of New York was St. John's in 2007, falling to the Red Storm, 2-0.
U-M opened the season with a 1-0 setback against the FIU Panthers on Aug. 29 before storming back with a 3-0 blanking of the SMU Mustangs Aug. 31 in a pair of matches at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Three U-M players in Tyler Arnone (Hicksville), Brett Nason (Melville) and Billy Stevens (New Hyde Park) grew up in New York State. Tyler Anderson is now a resident of Queens after growing up in Minnesota. Additionally, Evan Louro (South River) and Michael Kapitula (North Caldwell) grew up in New Jersey.
With his two goals against SMU on Aug. 31, Colin McAtee has already surpassed his season total from a year ago, when he had one score. The redshirt junior has now scored four goals in his career.
Also against SMU, Marcos Ugarte had a goal and an assist. In his first season in Maize and Blue a year ago, he scored one goal and had two helpers.
Freshman goalkeeper Evan Louro earned the start in goal against SMU, making three saves. He is the third true freshman goalkeeper to earn starting nods in U-M history, joining Peter Dzubay (2002) and Patrick Sperry (2006).
On Aug. 29, Louro was invited to the United States Men's National Team U-20 training camp.
Michigan came in at No. 3 in the Big Ten Coaches' Preseason Poll, the highest ranking U-M has received during the Chaka Daley era. Maryland, the No. 2 team in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, tops the rankings, followed by No. 10 Michigan State in the No. 2 spot. The Wolverines are ranked ahead of No. 15 Penn State, which is No. 4 in the poll, as well as No. 21 Wisconsin, which is No. 7 in the poll. Indiana, which is receiving votes in the NSCAA poll, comes in at No. 5, while Northwestern is No. 6. Rutgers and Ohio State round out the poll in the No. 8 and No. 9 spots, respectively.
Tyler Arnone, 2013 Big Ten midfielder of the Year, returns to anchor the midfield. The co-captain became the fourth player in U-M history to earn back-to-back first team All-Big Ten accolades in program history.
The redshirt senior enters his final season with 29 points in his career (nine goals, 11 assists) and 112 shots. He also has two game-winning goals.
Eight starters from the 2013 season return for the 2014 campaign in leading scorer James Murphy, Tyler Arnone, redshirt junior Colin McAtee and senior Marcos Ugarte, as well as sophomore defenders Lars Eckenrode, Rylee Woods and Andre Morris. Also, three-year starter Adam Grinwis returns in goal for the Wolverines.
Several Wolverines earned preseason accolades, headlined by Tyler Arnone earning TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI third team honors, First Team All-Preseason Big Ten by College Sports Madness and Big Ten Player to Watch status. Adam Grinwis and Marcos Ugarte were also members of the Big Ten Player to Watch List. College Sports Madness named freshman Ahinga Selemani as the Big Ten Preseason Freshman of the Year, while Lars Eckenrode and TJ VanSlooten were named to the first and second teams, respectively. Lastly, freshman goalkeeper Evan Louro was named to the Top Drawer Best XI All-Freshman squad.
U-M is 15-7-3 all-time at home under the direction of Chaka Daley.
Prior to the 2014 season, a new playing surface was installed at U-M Soccer Stadium. The sod derived from Graff's Turf Farm in Fort Morgan, Colo., and was installed by Bush Turf Colo. The sod was transported across the country in a pair of refrigerated trucks in rolls that were 100 feet long. The grass was grown in 90 percent sand base, which is a short cut stadium variety, and is maintained at one inch. The previous playing surface was recycled and composted. The project was completed in April, allowing three months for the pitch to settle. The installation took five days in total.
"We are confident we now have one of the best soccer facilities in the nation," said UMSS facility manager Paul Dunlop. "Our combination of a fantastic venue and a world class playing surface are is one of the top setups in the country."
U-M inked six prep standouts in Jacob Duska (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep), Tristan Jacob (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Nate Kohl (Hillard, Ohio/Hillard Darby), Evan Louro (Holmdel, N.J./St. John Vianney), Ahinga Selemani (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Billy Stevens (New Hyde Park, N.Y./New Hyde Park). Additionally, U-M welcomed a Georgia State transfer in junior midfielder William Mellors-Blair (Nottingham, England/The Nottingham Bluecoat School/Georgia State) at the mid-semester break in January. The class is ranked as the No. 2 haul in the country, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News. Two players, Selemani and Louro, were recently named to the United States U-20 Men's National Team and are consensus top-25 recruits, along with Kohl.
Several Wolverines switched their kit numbers from last season to this season. Ugarte will man the No. 10 shirt, switching from his previous No. 8 digit. Additionally, sophomore Yamann Sahlool switched from No. 24 to No. 20.
Following the 2013 season, former volunteer assistant Jhojan Obando was promoted to full-time assistant, a position he has held for the past two seasons since head coach Chaka Daley's hiring. Obando will assist with all program duties and continue to work with the team's goalkeepers.
Also joining the team as a program assistant is former Lafayette assistant coach Justin Makar. He spent the past three seasons with the Leopards as an assistant coach and will perform day-to-day operations, film and other duties as assigned.
Since head coach Chaka Daley's arrival in Ann Arbor prior to the 2012 season, U-M has sent three players on to the professional ranks in Luke Coulson (Cardiff City, English Premier League), Kofi Opare (D.C. United) and most recently Fabio Pereira (Sounders FC).
When Manchester United and Real Madrid took the field for the premiere game of the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup, it was in front of a record crowd of 109,318 -- the largest to attend a soccer match in the United States.
Manchester United claimed the 3-1 victory, earning two goals from midfielder Ashley Young in the first half -- including an impressive pass play in front to open scoring in the 21st minute -- and another on a header from Javier Hernandez to ice the game in the 80th minute. Midfielder Gareth Bale scored the lone goal from Real Madrid on a first-half penalty kick, finding the lower right-side corner of the net to temporarily even the score in the 27th minute.
"It was great to play in it," said Manchester United defender Michael Keane, who played all 90 minutes.
"It's obviously the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of. It was great experience. Just a massive stadium, and the fans were great. Considering football is not supposed to be that big in America, it was a massive game, wasn't it? It's obviously growing over here, and hopefully that will continue."
With the win, Manchester United earned a spot in the ICC championship match, and defeated Liverpool three days later in Miami by a 3-1 score line to take home the trophy at Sun Life Stadium.
The contest was the first soccer match ever played inside Michigan Stadium. It is the second non-football, non-NCAA game featured this year, joining the NHL's 2014 Winter Classic.
The announced attendance of 109,318 is the largest crowd to ever witness a soccer game in the United States. It was just the third time that a soccer game eclipsed the 100,000-fan mark and the first time outside of the Rose Bowl.
Michigan Stadium now holds the U.S. attendance records for football, hockey and soccer.
The match marked the first time either club played in the state of Michigan.
The Fray performed two songs during halftime of the match. Approximately 200 volunteers helped with the performance.
Manchester United's Ashley Young was named the Guinness Man of the Match after scoring two goals. Man U captain Darren Fletcher also earned several votes after posting a pair of assists.
The estimated economic impact of the game for Washtenaw County could reach $15-20 million.
LARGEST SOCCER CROWDS IN UNITED STATES
|2014||ICC||Manchester United 3, Real Madrid 1||109,318||Michigan Stadium|
|1984||Olympics||France 2, Brazil 0||101,799||Rose Bowl|
|1984||Olympics||Yugoslavia 2, Italy 1||100,374||Rose Bowl|
|1984||Olympics||France 4, Yugoslavia 2||97,451||Rose Bowl|
|1994||World Cup||Brazil 0, Italy 0||94,194||Rose Bowl|
Columbia -- The tilt on Saturday is the season opener for the Lions, who are coming off an 8-6-3 season last year and were 1-3-3 in Ivy League action. The offense was led by freshman Andrew Tinari in 2013, as he scored five goals and had three assists as a freshman.
Keep Up With the Wolverines -- Stay current with everything going on with your Wolverines by following Michigan men's soccer on twitter (@umichsoccer) and "liking" the Wolverines on Facebook! Fans can also follow in-match commentary by following the hashtag #UMLive
Friday, Sept. 12 -- vs. Maryland (U-M Soccer Stadium), 5 p.m.
Contact: Scott Kemps