Preview: Real Maryland v. American University
Monarchs face Tenleytown Test in 3rd match of the pre-season
Tomorrow, Real Maryland travels to D.C. to play the American University Eagles for their third of six preseason matches.
“This will not be an easy match,” warned Monarchs coach Silvino Gonzalo as the team stretched around the center circle after last nights practice. “American is a well coached team and they move the ball around nicely.”
Despite the coach’s words of caution, he says he’s very confident after another strong week of training. “It was a short week of practice because we only practiced Monday in the weight room, while our two other practices were outside, but it was good work. I am happy because I see great improvement as a team.”
The Monarchs (1-0-1 preseason) head into the match on the back of a 1-0 win at George Mason and for Gonzalo the goal remains simple. “I would like to pick up where we left off on last week’s game, keep improving, and win the game”
2 Real Maryland Players to Watch:
Daryl Ferguson is an uncompromising central defender who is both ferocious in the tackle and clever on the attack. Look for most of Real Maryland’s offense to begin with him at the back.
Nilson Perez is known for his smart running up top and should prove a handful for USL defenders all season long. In addition, Perez holds the ball up well with his back to goal, bringing his teammates into the play, and as we saw last week when he scored against George Mason, the Columbian has a killer finishing touch.
American University is an NCAA Division I college team participating in their spring season--a period when college teams are allowed to conduct official practices and play exhibition matches against pro teams and other schools. “We are using the spring season to work on team chemistry and how the guys play together,” American coach Todd West said in a telephone interview yesterday, “and we do more fitness then the guys would like.”
American finished fifth in the Patriot League last fall with a 6-9-3 overall record. Despite a tough season, American is traditionally one of the stronger sides in the NCAA. The Eagles have only played one game so far this spring, a 2-1 win over Delaware University.
While West admits he does not know a lot about Real Maryland, he and his charges are excited by the challenge. “I’m just using this match as a chance to get guys games because we run and train a lot in the spring without a lot of match practice,” said West, now in his 8th year as AU head coach. “Now we get a chance to give guys games, see how they are progressing, and measure them in real competition.”
2 Players to watch
Luis Martinez bolsters the midfield for the Eagles. The sophomore transfer from Syracuse University is a classic number 10. He plays quick, has great vision, and wonderful technique. Expect most of the AU offense to go through him.
Daniel Shannon, led the Eagles in scoring last season with 3 goals and 2 assists. “Shannon is a very good player who has the potential to play at the next level,” said coach West. A versatile player, Shannon started 17 of the teams 18 games last fall and can play either up front or in the midfield.
***The Match will be played at American University at 12:30 PM at Reeves field and is free of charge. The address of American University is 4400 Massachuetts Avenue, NW Washington D.C. 20016.
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