Men's Soccer Season Preview
After losing in the first round of the Region III playoffs, the Vikings return to the 2011 season with expectations of being a title contender. With two teams now eligible for the NJCAA National Tournament, this could be the year for the Vikings to represent Region III in the national soccer scene. With a recruiting class heavy with Suburban Council players, and a possible player of the year candidate in Joe Lombardo, the season looks promising for the Vikings to be a dangerous team in the league.
Team MVP from last season, Joe Lombardo (Orchard Park/Orchard Park), will be the leader of the attack. He comes into the season in top form as his team EUSA Syracuse won the Western NY U-19 State Cup and represented the state in the US Youth Soccer Region I Tournament. He is one of the top players in the league and is a skilled forward with very good speed and physical play. Other key returning players on the attack are Kyle Kline (Ichabod Crane/Valatie) and Jaret Farel (Columbia/East Greenbush). These two can play either as forwards or midfielders, and will be vital to the team's success. The defense will be returning Tyler Mashaw (Chatham/Chatham) whose speed and ability will be a great attribute for the back line.
With the loss of goalkeeper Renardo Dixon (Central/Bridgeport), Suburban Council goalies Brandon Leichman (Guilderland/Guilderland) and Ricky Acheson (Columbia/East Greenbush) will battle it out for the starting spot with the Vikings. Their physical presence and skill set in the net will be very important to the defense. Other key new players include defensemen Eugene Corcieone (Colonie/Albany) and Austin Kephart (Scotia-Glenville/Scotia), a transfer. Both are experienced defenders and will be the heart of the back line. Attacker Brett Gruener (Ballston Spa/Ballston Spa) will need to step up and provide goal-scoring opportunities with his speed and dribbling ability.