The Men’s soccer squad flew to new heights in 2010. Starting the season 6-2-0, the men’s team received the program’s first-ever national ranking and won a program-best, ten matches. But the team’s first playoff appearance in three years seems to be just the beginning. They’re ready to soar.
“We can be better,” says head coach Tim Romanello. As Romanello’s fourth tour of duty in charge of the men’s program begins, expectations are high. “That framework of high expectations leads to high achievements,” said Romanello.
Romanello has been busy. The first order of business was the hire of Jason Clare, a full-time assistant coach from Yeovil Town FC, a mid-flight professional team overseas in England. “He brings great knowledge and a tenacious attitude about the game,” says head coach Tim Romanello. “It’s great to have him here and he will pay great dividends to this program. I’m very excited about the partnership.”
Romanello cut loose eleven possible returners from a side that went 10-8 and made the playoffs a year ago. The left deadwood and a series of signings of promising players are clear indication, expectations are indeed high. Thirteen out-of-state players will join the squad, including Auzzie Mitch Higgins and Irishman Eanna O’Gorman, both expected to be impressive and make an impact.
But there is new local talent, too. Victor Millan and Aaron Arredondo, both from Dodge City HS, will be key contributors and are expected to see plenty of minutes.
The 2011 squad will feature just five returners, one of which is All-Region player Larry Martinez, who is both creative and dangerous in and out of space. His eleven goals and eight assists led the team and will be viewed upon as a catalyst for the team’s success. Marcos Moreno will also be a key player. Moreno was injured in the early part of the season and never fully recovered. Also returning is Mikhail Kooh (four goals, one assist), Junior Cruz (seven goals, one assist) and Julio Arias.
Chris Sargeant has made a full recovery from ankle surgery and figures to play an important role in the back line. Dodge City’s real strength is in the midfield, so if the men are looking to make a serious run at hardware, Dodge City needs more consistency in their back line and up front. Transfers Javier Rojas (Barton County) and Alberto Checa (Garden City) were brought over specifically to help fill those voids.
Last season’s signature moment was the 4-0 victory over then-unbeaten Cloud County. The victory showcased how effective Dodge City could be and was for the better half of the season. This season, however, there is plenty of quality talent on the roster to believe. Question is, just how far can the men’s squad go? Romanello had this to say: “We certainly have better talent this year. Now it’s up to hard work and discipline. Anything’s possible.”