Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2019
HIALEAH, FL – Junior college athletics, at the very core of their nature, is built for teams to have a high rate of turnover on their rosters from year to year.
Coaches don't have the benefit of getting three or four years to fully bake their teams; instead, they have to put their squad in the microwave and hope there aren't any cold spots.
With a roster comprised of nearly all new freshmen, ASA Miami men's soccer head coach JC Gonzalez knows that his team's season-opening, two-game road trip this weekend will be an excellent litmus test to see what his team is made of.
The Silver Storm will hit the road Saturday and travel to Daytona Beach, Florida where they will play two games on a neutral field at Daytona State College – opening up against the University of Bahamas on Saturday at 5 p.m. and taking on Andrew College on Sunday at 11 a.m.
"This weekend will be the perfect opportunity not only to see what we have on the pitch but also in the locker room and on the bench," said Gonzalez, who's entering his fifth year leading the program. "It's a chance for the team to come together and build some unity and camaraderie…it should be a great bonding moment for them. Hopefully, we can come back from there 2-0."
It will be ASA Miami's first-ever meeting against University of Bahamas, which is located in Nassau and fortunately didn't sustain the same degree of damage that other parts of the island nation did. Sunday's game against Andrew College will be the fifth meeting between the programs, with the winner taking the series.
Of the 25 players on the Silver Storm's roster this season, only four are returners from the 2018 team. And Gonzalez said that the number could be diluted because only two of the four were starters from this past season and the other two were role players that didn't log a lot of minutes of action.
"It kind of feels like we're an all-freshman team," Gonzalez quipped.
Even though Coach Gonzalez had to learn a lot of new faces, he did see that his new roster is has a wealth of talent, something that he hopes will carry his team this weekend and throughout the season.
"After seeing the team the past couple of weeks, I'd talk to the coaches and there were days where we'll say 'wow, we look good' and there were days where we we'll say 'wow, we're in for a long season'. I feel we're somewhere in between. I feel we're an all-around better team and I think we're deeper this year than we've been in years past. A lack of depth hurt us last year…we had to be more cautious and pick our moments when we wanted to attack – have a more defensive mentality and try to counter. This year, we'll be able to attack and be the aggressor."
"We always want to be positive and think we have the best team in the nation, but I guess we won't see until this weekend."